Page 1

in good Patients need to pay attention to own healthcare See Page 7

Special Golden Years Edition

It’s time to ‘Meet Your Doctor!’ Page 4 Get ‘In Good Health’ at home. See coupon inside


Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

August 2013 • Issue 90

Facing Death

Exploring the ‘quality of death’ issue Page 5

Boilermaker Heroes

Challenged competitor overcomes odds See Page 13

Senior runner still rocks Boilermaker See Page 12

When it rains, it pours

Devastating flood takes emotional toll on Mohawk Valley Page 11




Dr. Graber is pleased to welcome Gregory Dalencourt, MD to the practice

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

Dr. Dalencourt is now seeing new patients for surgical consultation for those considering weight loss surgery


Our program has successfully met the highest standards set forth by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and is recognized as an ASMBS Center of Excellence. Surgeries are performed at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. Dr. Graber is the Director of Bariatric Surgery at both hospitals.

To find out more, visit or call 877-269-0355 to discuss how we might help you in your search to find a healthier you!

Is it 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 meetings are Aug. 4 and Aug. 18. The Third Option is a support group for married couples who are experiencing difficulties. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 315-735-6210 ext. 228, or visit


Grieving? Support is available Grief Survivors—formerly known as GriefShare—meets from 6-7:30 p.m. every other Tuesday at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The next meetings are Aug. 6 and Aug. 20. Grief Survivors is a faithbased support group for those who have lost a loved one. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 315-7356210, or visit



Over 38 Years Experience • Prompt • Personal • Professional INCLUDING • Personal Injury • Real Estate • General Practice

Perinatal network serves as valuable resource Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network, Inc., 1000 Cornelia St., 2nd floor, Utica, is available to help with health insurance needs. It can help find affordable health insurance, health care and medication. It can also help deal with unpaid medical bills. The network can help individuals apply and recertify for Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid. Visit the network at the following locations: • Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network, Utica: Every weekday, Tuesday evenings • Addictions Crisis Center, Utica: As requested • Utica Community Health Center: As requested • Human Technologies Corporation, Utica: As requested • Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency offices in Rome, Ilion and Herkimer: As requested • Rome Memorial Hospital business office: Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26 • Boonville Town Hall: Aug. 13, 27 • Trenton Town Hall, Barneveld: Aug. 6, 20 • Working Solutions One Stop,

Continued on Page 16

Ultra Modern Dentistry Backed by Old Fashioned Values

Where Integrity And Experience Count


Multiple agencies will be visiting the Utica Zoo for a Family-Community Resource Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday throughout the summer, with the exception of July 4. This is an opportunity to learn and ask questions about community resources. Participating agencies include the early recognition screening pro-


Bruce Stewart, DDS


‘Family-Community Resource Day’ at Utica Zoo

gram, which will offer free behavioral and emotional wellness screening for children aged 3-18. Other agencies include Kin and Kids, Fidelis, Head Start, United States Department of Agriculture, Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network, YWCA, Red Cross, Healthy Families and Price Chopper. Regular entrance fees to the zoo apply. For more information, call Kristin Lints at 315-798-8869 ext. 240 or by email at

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

• Advanced Laser Periodontal therapy available. • Implants placed and restored • CEREC Crowns - beautiful, strong, done in one visit • Digital low radiation x-rays • Root Canal therapy • Natural tooth colored fillings • Complete Smile makeovers • Complete recare services including periodontal and oral cancer screenings Extended Payment Plans through Care Credit

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Nearly 7 in 10 Americans take prescription drugs

Germ fighters, antidepressants, opioids top list; women, elderly likelier to have prescriptions


early 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two, Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center researchers say. Antibiotics, antidepressants and painkilling opioids are most commonly prescribed, their study found. Twenty percent of patients are on five or more prescription medications, according to the findings, published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The findings offer insight into prescribing practices. The statistics from the Rochester Epidemiology Project in Olmsted County, Minn., are comparable to those elsewhere in the United States, says study author Jennifer St. Sauver, a member of the Mayo Clinic Population Health Program in the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. “Often when people talk about health conditions they’re talking about chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes,” St. Sauver says. “However, the second most common prescription was for antidepressants — that suggests mental health is a huge issue and is something we should focus on. And the third most common drugs were opioids, which is a bit concerning considering their addicting nature.” Seventeen percent of those studied were prescribed antibiotics, 13 percent were taking antidepressants and 13 percent were on opioids. Drugs to lower lipids, such as cholesterol, came in fourth (11 percent) and vaccines were fifth (11 percent). Drugs were

prescribed to both men and women across all age groups, except high blood pressure drugs, which were seldom used before age 30. Overall, women and older adults receive more prescriptions. Vaccines, antibiotics and anti-asthma drugs are most commonly prescribed in people younger than 19. Antidepressants and opioids are most common among young and middleaged adults. Cardiovascular drugs are most commonly prescribed in older adults. Women receive more prescriptions than men across several drug groups, especially antidepressants: Nearly one in four women ages 50-64 are on an antidepressant. For several drug groups, use increases with advancing age. “As you get older you tend to get more prescriptions, and women tend to get more prescriptions than men,” St. Sauver says. Prescription drug use has increased steadily in the U.S. for the past decade. The percentage of people who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44 percent in 1999-2000 to 48 percent in 200708. Spending on prescription drugs reached $250 billion in 2009 the year studied, and accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures. Drug-related spending is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, the researchers say.

Ready to Care for You

St. Elizabeth Medical Group and

Hend Abdelwahab, M.D.

Dr. Abdelwahab recently joined the St. Elizabeth Medical Group and is accepting new patients at St. Elizabeth Medical Group New Hartford. Dr. Abdelwahab received her Medical Degree, with honors, from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. She is a 2012 graduate of the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency ������������������������������ For an appointment, contact (315) 797-2398.

St. Elizabeth Medical Group New Hartford St. Elizabeth Medical Arts 4401 Middle Settlement Road New Hartford

S T . E LIZABETH “Health Care Near You.”

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

Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

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. © 2013 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, Mary Stevenson, Deb Dittner, Amylynn Pastorella Advertising: Jennifer Wise Layout & Design: Chris Crocker Office Manager: Laura Beckwith

LFH employee gets ‘Going the Extra Mile’ Amber Kraszewski, materials management coordinator, center, was surprised recently when President/CEO, Michael Ogden and Marlene Little, human resources senior director, recognized her as a GEM (going the extra mile) at work. The GEM award recognizes staff for going above and beyond their typical job duties and making a significant difference by improving the quality of health for those they serve and exceeding customer service standards.

Increase your bottom line Advertise with In Good Health! Call 749-7070 today!

No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement—not to take the place of—the recommendations of your health provider.

August 2013 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 3

Don’t worry, be healthy Researchers: Positive outlook linked to reduction in cardiac events such as heart at-


eople with cheerful temperaments are significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event such as a heart attack or sudden cardiac death, new Johns Hopkins research suggests. Previous research has shown that depressed and anxious people are more likely to have heart attacks and to die from them than those whose dispositions are sunnier. But the Johns Hopkins researchers say their study shows that a general sense of wellbeing — feeling cheerful, relaxed, energetic and satisfied with life — actually reduces the chances of a heart attack. A report on the research is published in the American Journal of Cardiology. “If you are by nature a cheerful person and look on the bright side of things, you are more likely to be protected from cardiac events,” says study leader Lisa R. Yanek, an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “A happier temperament has an actual effect on disease and you may be healthier as a result.” Yanek cautioned that cheerful personalities are likely part of the temperament we are born with, not something we can easily change. While some have suggested it’s possible that people lucky enough to have such a trait are also more likely to take better care of themselves and have more energy to do so, Yanek says her research shows that people with higher levels of well-being still had many risk factors for coronary disease but had fewer serious heart events. She emphasized that the mechanisms behind the protective effect of positive well-being remain unclear. She also noted that her research offers insights into the interactions between mind and body, and could yield clues to those mechanisms in the future. For the study, Yanek and her colleagues first looked at data from GeneSTAR (Genetic Study of Atherosclerosis Risk), a 25-year Johns Hopkins project sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to determine the roots of heart disease in people with a family history of coronary disease. They analyzed information gathered from 1,483 healthy siblings of people who had coronary events before the age of 60 and who were followed for five to 25 years. Siblings of people with early-onset coronary artery disease (CAD) are twice as likely of developing it themselves. Page 4


Your Doctor

By Lou Sorendo

Satish K. Gedela

Satish K. Gedela is a hospitalist specializing in family medicine at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and is part of the clinical faculty at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica. Recently, Mohawk Valley In Good Health Associate Editor Lou Sorendo interviewed Gedela regarding his profession. Q.: Why did you choose family medicine as your specialty? What were the motivating factors in that decision? A.: I chose family medicine as it emphasizes developing long-term relationships with patients. This provides a daily remainder that behind every disease is a person with hopes, dreams and fears. I love the fact that I can care for the patient’s needs from prenatal care, newborn to end-of-life care. I am also a big believer in preventive health care and promote health as physical, mental and social well-being. Q.: Who or what influenced you to choose medicine as a career? A.: Right from my childhood, I always was fascinated by the services provided by physicians and admired their interaction with patients and their families. My parents (G.S. Naidu and Rajeswari) and brothers (Ravi and Rajani) always supported my decision to pursue medicine as a career. Q.: Are medical students interested in entering family medicine? Is there a shortage of primary care doctors in the region? A.: Most of the medical students who did their rotations with me were interested in entering family medicine. However, because of their huge student loans of over $250,000, they are being forced to go into specialties to pay off their loans. Even family medicine residency graduates are ending up working as hospitalists or emergency room physicians as primary care jobs are underpaid. There is shortage of primary care providers in the region and also uneven distribution, just like most of the areas in the United States. Q.: What do you enjoy most about family medicine? Do you treat people of all ages? A.: I enjoy being able to take care of people for a long time. I like to get to know them, not only their medical aspects but also other variables that contribute to getting well. I like working with kids as well as adults, and sometimes care for grandparents, parents and children all in the same family. I also enjoy being able to do minor surgical procedures. Q.: What are some of the more common diseases or illnesses that you encounter? A.: Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease, obesity, asthma, COPD, depression, anxiety, smoking, poly-substance abuse, low back pain, etc. are some of the common illnesses I encounter on a daily basis.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

Q.: Why did you choose the Mohawk Valley area to practice in? What do you enjoy most about the area? A.: It is hard to be away from home. I am glad that the Mohawk

Valley area has become my second home now. It offers small-city charm, ample recreational opportunities, a friendly and close-knit community, quiet neighborhoods, and affordable housing. Q.: You are a product of the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program. What do you believe are the strengths of that program? A.: The St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program embodies its mission by focusing on excellence in patient care and medical education. Its unopposed nature facilitates residents to acquire procedural training without competition from specialty residents or fellows. The area has a diversified patient population, while faculty and attending physicians are easily approachable. Q.: What skill sets are necessary in order to become a proficient family medicine physician? A.: A proficient family medicine

Continued on Page 17

Lifelines Age: 34 Birthplace: Panasalavalasa, Andhra Pradesh, India Current residence: New Hartford Education: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Gandhi Medical College, NTR University of Health Sciences, Secunderabad, AP, India, January 1998-May 2002; clinical rotating internship, Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad, AP, India, June 2002-June 2003; Masters of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology, Missouri State University, Springfield, Mo., January 2007-present; internship in family medicine, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica, 2008-2009; residency in family medicine, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica, 2009-2011. Affiliations: Andhra Pradesh Medical Council; Indian Medical Council; American Academy of Family Physicians; American Board of Family Medicine Personal: Wife, Sowjanya

Cover Story

Final Journey Hospice attempts to reduce anxiety associated with end-of-life process By Barbara Pierce


n the past decade, the United States has made tremendous strides in caring for the sick in the last few years of their lives. But we still have a long way to go to improve care for the dying, says a recent report, “The Quality of Death,” conducted by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit and reported in the Medicare News Digest on The report suggests that we medically over-treat at the end of life. That the “cure at all cost” mentality is so deeply engrained in our health system that we rely on expensive technology, paid primarily by Medicare, to sustain lives with little or no hope for improvement. “The evidence certainly points to this being true,” said Ann Tonzi, chief executive officer for Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. in New Hartford. “In comparison to other countries with different health care system structures, medical expenses in the last year of life of far are higher in the U.S.” “Health care in the U.S. is big business, whereas in other countries the focus is on service and staying well,” added Tonzi. However, despite our higher medical costs and advanced technologies, people in the U.S. do not live any longer than they do in other countries. “The rest of the world is much more rational about this,” said psychologist Steven Connor in Medicare News Digest. Connor, who has initiated hospice and palliative care programs around the world, added, “In our country, we spend twice as much money as anyone else on health care and we get worse outcomes. We have a system that is designed to reward over-treatment.” One notable U.S. success, according to the report, is the Medicare hospice benefit. Medicare pays for most hospice services.

Local advocacy

Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. of New Hartford provides end-of-life care. A team of professions provides comfort and support for those with lifelimiting illnesses and for their families, by attending to their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The team of professionals, including doctors, nurses’ aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and grief counselors, empower and educate families. They coordinate care between team members and family members to best meet the needs of patients and families. Hospice care is given to patients in many settings: their own homes, the Siegenthaler Center in New Hartford, nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities and many other places people consider home. Hospice and Palliative, Inc. offers hospice care to those in Oneida, Herkimer and eastern Madison counties. It cares for those who have a life expectancy of six months or less. This includes, but is not limited to, Alzheimer’s, heart and liver diseases, cancer, COPD, ALS, Parkinson’s and other conditions related to aging and end-of-life. Care is available to anyone who needs it, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay. The advantages of hospice care at the end-of-life are many. Hospice allows the patient and his family to remain together in familiar surroundings. The entire family is treated, not just the patient. Hospice care focuses on quality of life, not quantity of life. In hospice, expert pain management helps the patient be as comfortable and pain-free as possible. And hospice provides a cost-effective alternative to hospitals and institutional care, decreasing out of pocket medical expenses and Medicare expenses.

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

Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

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. © 2013 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 Stinger, Deb Dittner, Amylynn Pastorella Advertising: Donna Kimbrell Layout & Design: Chris Crocker Office Manager: Laura Beckwith

No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement—not to take the place of—the recommendations of your health provider.

The quality of death

The bad news, according to the quality of death report, is that most terminally people do not take advantage of the many positives offered by hospice care. Though almost half of everyone who dies in the U.S. is admitted to a hospice service, most use hospice for seven days or less. “We’re not getting to them in time,” the report states. “Hospice utilization statistics in New York state are much worse than the national average,” said Tonzi. “In New York state, only approximately 25 percent of people who could have been served by hospice actually come on to service. In our service area the utilization is much lower—approximately 14 percent.” The length of stay is also a critical issue, added Tonzi. Patients are being referred very late to hospice services, if at all. The breadth of services hospice offers to prepare a patient and family for the end of life cannot be fully realized in a week’s time. Research shows when patients are referred to hospice sooner, they actually live longer due to the support and symptom management they receive. “A common theme we hear from patients and families is that they wish

they had been referred sooner,” explained Tonzi. So that patients and families can benefit from hospice care, Tonzi said, “Advanced care planning with the doctor, patient and family. Making your wishes known---and advocating for those wishes---is the key. We need to be more open to discussing what we would want with our family and our healthcare provider if we were faced with a life-limiting illness.” “Education about hospice services and the care that can be provided to patients of all ages with any life-limiting illness, not just cancer, is critical,” Tonzi commented. “And, educating our community that coming to hospice does not mean giving up hope. Our focus is on quality of life for whatever time that maybe for that patient. Patients have actually gone off of hospice services because they have gotten better and then returned at a later time when their disease progressed.” What constitutes a good death will vary for each of us. But generally, a good death is free from distress and suffering for us and our families; a reasonable quality of life during the end-of-life phase; and opportunity for closure, for the transition.

Exercise up in U.S., but so is obesity


lthough Americans are exercising more, the obesity epidemic continues to expand, University of Washington researchers report. Their nine-year study of data from two U.S. health surveys suggests that physical activity alone is not enough to combat the problem. “While physical activity has improved noticeably in most counties, obesity has also continued to rise in nearly all counties,” said lead researcher Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, from the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. August 2013 •

The obesity problem is directly related to how much Americans eat, said senior author Ali Mokdad, a professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “Americans are not doing enough to control what they eat,” he said. They still consume more energy than they burn off through exercise, he said. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, and obesity contributes to serious chronic illnesses, high medical costs and premature death.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 5

Golden Years

Caretaker’s Creed How to be of value to a friend who is seriously ill

Don’t be cruel

By Barbara Pierce


hen a friend or family member is terminally ill, it is difficult to know how to react. It is difficult to know how to offer comfort and support. What can you say? What should you do? How can you help him or her cope? Too often, because we don’t know what to do or say, we do or say nothing. Often, friends abandon people when they are seriously ill, said Laurie Conover, oncology/palliative care social worker at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica. “So, one of the most significant gifts you can give the patient is the assurance that you will be there as long as you’re needed,” she said. “Don’t make empty promises or commitments that you have no intention of keeping,” she cautioned. “But you can offset the person’s fears by being there, being cheerful, and by asking questions that will help him or her express how he or she is thinking and feeling about what is taking place.” Just listen, she advised. Accept that there is nothing that you can say to make them feel better or to change the situation. Just being an ear is a huge thing, even though it may be very uncomfortable.

Caregiver’s guide

Other advice Conover offered in dealing with an ill friend: • Empathize with him or her. Put yourself in their shoes; what would you want to be said to you or not to be said to you? Don’t pity the person and make them feel like they are not human or an adult anymore. • Avoid judging what your friend or family member says. Avoid com-

paring their feelings to anyone else’s, including your own. In any way you can, honor the person, for it is always heroic to face death head-on. • Validate his or her emotions. Confirm that they are normal for feeling this way and it’s OK to feel this way. • Respect a person’s decision to refuse treatment. This is a personal decision and people shouldn’t be pressured into feeling they are doing something wrong. Being supportive is important and makes it easier to make these hard decisions. • Saying “Don’t give up the fight” pressures people to continue treatment when they might be at the end of life and treatment is making them have a low quality of life, low energy, or pain.

The Ragin’ Cajun

back to waiting. By Malissa Stinger

Seize the moment

Health issue becomes roller coaster ride


ave you ever left a doctor’s office, emergency room or hospital thinking that the physician really made no sense whatsoever and you knew 100 percent that the diagnosis you were given wasn’t right? Feeling so overwhelmed because you couldn’t argue your case on the grounds of, well, he or she is the doctor. I was taken to the ER one evening by an ambulance service due to “passing out at my sink.” First of all, I had no memory of the occurrence even happening but my kids swore it did. My 6-year-old daughter and my 8-year-old son told the paramedics that Page 6

In her book, “How to be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick,” Letty Cottin Pogrebin reinforces Conover’s advice. “Don’t pressure them to ‘keep up the fight’ or practice positive thinking. It’s cruel to imply that negative thoughts—that is, feeling discouraged, not battling hard enough, not having the ‘right attitude’—caused their illness in the first place or may have compounded their suffering. If your friend keeps getting sicker, the last thing they need is to blame themselves,” Pogrebin said. “Telling a terminal patient to ‘Keep up the fight!’ isn’t just futile; it’s mean,” said Pogrebin. “Don’t make a dying patient feel guilty for having lost the fight. Don’t make death into a personal failure.”

at one moment I was talking to them, when suddenly my body stiffened and I fell on the floor, with my eyes staring at the ceiling. My daughter said she and my son thought I was choking and tried all they could to get whatever was stuck out, including jumping up and down on my chest and stomach. I had no idea what they were talking about. After a massive series of questions that seemed more like an interrogation from the FBI, off to the ER I go. If you have ever been in an ER, then you know the routine: hours spent waiting to go from one test to the other then

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

Waiting game

I slept most of the time I was in there. Finally, five hours later I was sent home with a diagnosis of passing out. They gave it a fancier name, but I will keep it simple. All that time and I knew nothing more than I did before all this happened except I felt like I was in a different time zone or something. I went to my regular doctor and she did lots of lab work and decided my iron was low, and on with life I went. Two months went by and bam, again, I found myself surrounded by a crew of Stinger paramedics, asking me a ton of questions with total chaos all around me. In my kitchen stood police and emergency medical technicians and I could see my kids scrambling to pack their things in order to leave with their other parent. Yet I still had no idea

It’s cruel to suggest in any way that the sufferer is to blame for his pain, or has the power to alleviate his situation if only he would apply himself or think positively. Other ways Conover suggests one can be a good friend to an ill friend: “Do little favors, take their children to a game or the mall, make dinner for them, clean the house. Little, unexpected things go a long way,” Conover said. “Sometimes actions speak louder than our words, especially when there are no words to make it better.” Create periods of grace, added Conover. Do fun things; get your mind off of the illness; be as normal as possible. Help them remember things they may forget, as there is a lot on their plate. Write notes at doctors for them, keep track of appointments, etc. Be an advocate; speak up if you feel their pain could be better managed. Caregivers need a break also, said Conover. Burnout happens when caregivers do not take time for themselves. Caregivers go through a lot of the same emotions as the patient, sometimes even more because they see their loved one suffering. Offer to sit with the patient while the caregiver does something for himself or herself. Also, make sure the caregiver knows that to care for their loved one, they need to care for themselves (eating, drinking, sleeping, doing things that they enjoy, getting out of the house). Conover concludes: Your local hospice has great information on terminal illnesses and offers amazing support from social workers to nurses to chaplains. what happened. This time it seemed different. I felt as though I was there, but outside looking in. Once again, I was hauled off to the ER, not knowing what just happened. Same thing took place as the first time. Lay there for a couple hours, sleeping, nothing being done except needles being stuck in me. About six hours later a nurse comes in and tells me I tested positive for some drug I had never even heard of nor did I show any signs at all of any type of drug use, especially the one he said I tested positive for. The nurse flung a clip board at me and said “sign here,” which I refused after the nurse refused to let me talk with the ER doctor and have a second urine test ran. “The office will call you a cab,” the nurse said.

Continued on Page 8

Golden Years

Empowerment to the people Take control of your own healthcare future By Barbara Pierce


he facts are alarming. Medical errors kill more people each year than AIDS, breast cancer, or automobile accidents. Horror stories about people who are misdiagnosed abound. “Patients find more and more that their healthcare is being compromised,” says patient advocate Trisha Torrey of Baldwinsville. There are patient safety issues, money issues, doctor’s lack of time, and difficulties in communicating with their doctors. Torrey’s advice: “These days, wise patients are empowered patients, learning everything they can about the healthcare system, the obstacles to good care, and the steps they can take to get the best care Torrey possible.” How to become an empowered patient is described by Torrey on her website and on and and in her latest book: “You Bet Your Life: The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes.” “I have my personal misdiagnosis story that explains why I do the work I do,” said Torrey. “If it wasn’t for my receiving a wrong diagnosis, I would not be your guide to patient empowerment.” After finding a golf ball-sized lump on her torso, she saw her family doctor who sent her to a surgeon who immediately removed it. The surgeon informed her she had a very rare cancer. “And then he dropped a second

bomb,” she said. “I was told that the reason the lab results took so long was because the outcome was so rare—that a second lab had been called for a second opinion.” “When I finally saw the oncologist, he was very discouraging. I was told I had only a few months to live,” Torrey said. “I asked about the possibility that the lab results were wrong. ‘No, not a chance,’ he said. Two labs had independently confirmed the results. The pressure to start chemotherapy began to mount,” she said. “My business was already suffering. Being self-employed and having lousy health insurance meant that my diagnosis had now become expensive, too. I was spending way too much time researching, fretting, and paying for doctor visits and tests which were only marginally covered by my insurance. Life, what was left of it, was going down the tubes—fast.” “When I told my oncologist I

wanted a second opinion, his reply to me makes me shudder to this day: ‘What you have is so rare, no one will know anymore about it than I do.’” “If anything compelled me to begin digging deeper, that was it. Now I was ‘sick’ and angry,” she said.

Double take

As Torrey began researching, through friends and on the Internet, she found her lab results were not as advertised. Neither confirmed a diagnosis for the type of cancer she was told she had. As she did more research, “It became very clear to me that I did not have cancer, no matter what those labs and oncologists thought.” “Through The National Institutes of Health review, I was given the confirmation that, in fact, I did not have cancer,” she said. Torrey summarizes important things we all need to know as we interact with medical professionals in “10 Patient Empowerment Tips to Post on

Your Refrigerator Door,” a flyer available on www. • Become the expert in your own medical challenges. Read everything you can about your symptoms or diagnosis, ask questions, study anatomy, acquire and review copies of all your medical records. Be the authority on you. • Using your expertise, partner with your doctors and other providers. While they have a medical education and experience, you are the one who has lived in your body. Be an active participant on your healthcare team. If your provider won’t listen to you, or share in your decision-making, then find one who will. • Pursue a second opinion whenever you are diagnosed with a difficult disease or condition, or surgery, chemotherapy, or other long-term treatment is recommended. If they disagree, seek a third opinion. • Don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes less is more. As the authority on you, you’ll know when “no” is the right answer. • Thank your doctors and their staff when they have been helpful. Appreciation can go a long way toward strengthening your partnership. • Read and listen past the headlines. Get the whole story then pursue additional, objective resources to confirm their veracity and to determine how well they apply to you. Be sure Internet health information is credible. • Review your medical bills. Experts tell us that up to 80 percent of medical bills contain errors. • Provide support to others. Shared experiences can help others who suffer the same medical challenges you do. • Accept support from others. Whether it’s a loved one or a professional, sometimes it’s imperative to have an advocate by your side to keep you safe, or keep you from being railroaded.

Those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease may have lower risk of cancer and vice versa


lder people with Alzheimer’s disease are less likely to also have cancer, and older people with cancer are less likely to also have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the largest study to date on the topic, which appears in the recent online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “Since the number of cases of both Alzheimer’s disease and cancer increase exponentially as people age, understanding the mechanisms behind this relationship may help us better develop new treatments for both diseases,” said study author and phys-

cian Massimo Musicco of the National Research Council of Italy in Milan. The study involved 204,468 people aged 60 and older in northern Italy during a six-year period. During that time, 21,451 people developed cancer and 2,832 people developed Alzheimer’s disease. A total of 161 people had both cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, whereas that number would have been expected to be 281 for cancer and 246 for Alzheimer’s disease when considering how often the diseases occur in the general population. Therefore the risk of cancer was cut in half for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and the risk

of Alzheimer’s disease was reduced by 35 percent for people with cancer. “While other studies have noted this relationship before, this is the largest study to date and it has several strengths over previous studies, such as looking for the presence of the second disease both before and after the first disease was diagnosed,” Musicco said. “This controls for the possibility that the presence of one disease might obscure the diagnosis of other diseases because any new symptoms might be interpreted as a consequence of the already-diagnosed disease, or in the case of cancer, people might assume that memory problems were a side effect of August 2013 •

chemotherapy.” The researchers found the same result in people who died during the course of the study as well as those still living, controlling for the possibility that the reduced life expectancy for the first disease would also reduce the likelihood of living to develop the second disease. The study was supported by the National Research Council of Italy and the Foundation IRCCS “Santa Lucia” in Rome. To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Golden Years

What’s in your urine? The answer can be indicative of a major health problem

By Amylynn Pastorella


ver notice your urine looks a different color or if it has a strange smell? It could be from something you ate or your liquid output could be warning you of serious health problems. The tint of urine can catch your attention, especially if it looks unusual. The color in your toilet bowl may be something to worry about. Urination is one of the most common body functions. Urine color can clue in health habits, diets and serious Sekula conditions. “Urine color can be a significant indictor of an underlying issue. If there is concern, raise the issue with your physician,” said Dr. Jeffrey Sekula of Associated Medical Professionals of New York. Red or bloody urine should always prompt a medical evaluation. Infections, stones or even cancer could be the cause. Dark yellow or clear urine will indicate hydration status, but could be due to abnormal kidney function seen in many diseases. Cloudy urination could indicate infection, but also could be caused by a substance in the diet. If color is accompanied by a smell or smelly urine stands alone, most of the time that means an infection. Most infections can be treated with an antibiotic. Since most individuals maintain a

healthy flow of urine, most are born with normal voiding function. Any liquid ingested above individual metabolic needs will be eliminated as urine. So, if you drink an extensive amount of water, the urge to urinate will come upon you. “A normal person voids about one and a half to two liters a day, which is dependant on the volume of consumed fluids,” said Sekula. Problems with urination that are concerning include pain, blood, getting urine out and trouble keeping urine in. Health issues with urine can also be noted through a urine evaluation. Many urinary tests are routinely used for a variety of conditions. Diabetics often have glucose in their urine, kidney disease can manifest itself as protein or cellular casts,

infection can be suggested, and even pregnancy can be tested in urine. “People need to realize that problems with urination are common with aging but are often manageable. Addressing seriously bothersome symptoms can greatly improve quality of life,” said Sekula. If symptoms are bad enough, you owe it to yourself to have an evaluation by a medical professional. Although not every issue is serious, it is often difficult to determine what any one symptom means without careful analysis of the overall situation. Additionally, even people with minor issues can have significant symptom relief through use of behavior modification, medications or even surgery when appropriate.

Sharp rise in overdoses among U.S. women


he rate of fatal overdoses of prescription painkillers and other drugs among U.S. women quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, federal officials reported in July. Long thought of as primarily a male problem, drug addiction is increasingly affecting women, and the new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 42 women in the United States die each day from prescription drug overdoses. “Prescription drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed in women,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden said. “Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying from overdoses at rates we have never seen before.” The CDC said that nearly 48,000 women died of overdoses from any form of prescribed drug between 1999 and 2010. The annual death rate for women from drug overdoses now surpasses that of car crash deaths, the agency said. Emergency room visits for abuse or overdose have also increased dramatically, Frieden added. Much of this increase is due to the widespread abuse of prescription opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin or Vicodin, which have been more frequently prescribed in the past decade. “The increase in opioid overdoses and opioid overdose deaths is directly proportional to the increase in prescribing,” Frieden said. These drugs should be reserved for treating severe pain, as occurs with debilitating illnesses such as cancer. “But in many other situations, the risks [to patients] far outweigh the benefits,” he said. “Prescribing an opioid may be condemning a patient to lifelong addiction and life-threatening complications.” Although men are still more likely to die from painkiller overdoses, since 1999 the percentage increase in deaths was greater among women — 400 percent in women compared with 265 percent in men, the CDC said.

Columnist baffled by botched healthcare call Continued from Page 6 I knew without a doubt they were wrong and would fight it all the way. I was already sick with a nasty cold that was going around and now they are telling me I was on some type of street drug that I hadn’t even heard of, PCP. Funny how rude medical staff becomes when they “assume” a person is on drugs. What I hadn’t realized until the next day was that they failed to write down any of the medications I had been on including Nyquil cold medication which causes a false-positive drug screen for the exact drug. My battle had barely just begun. It wasn’t until several weeks later that my son began describing the behaviors I displayed when these “passing out” episodes happened. Then it hit me just as he fell on the floor, began Page 8

mocking my body jerking and quivering while my eyes stared at the ceiling. I was having seizures. How did I not see this? For weeks I had this awful sore I was mistaking for an ulcer, on the right side of my tongue and it would not go away no matter what I put on it. I couldn’t eat because it kept growing and growing. I had been biting my tongue and didn’t know it while seizing. I also had places on my head that were very sore that I couldn’t understand why. It all began to make sense now. Seizures, I had been having seizures for a while, and living alone, I had no clue it was even happening. I immediately went to the neurologist that I had seen earlier in the year due to a massive concussion I received when I took a nasty spill on ice.

The right call

It was a hard hit, one that I just knew I

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

was going to lay there and never get up from. The neurologist suspected I was suffering from post-concussion syndrome, causing seizures. Then she dug a little deeper. Along with the concussion, two prescriptions I had been on for a couple of years lower the seizure threshold, which combined with the concussion was causing me to have seizures. I was blown away at how the exact same hospital I was taken to when I got the head trauma misdiagnosed this, not once but twice. All the signs and symptoms were there. Had the EMTs written down the signs I displayed, the ER should have known immediately what was happening, along with the cold medicine I had been taking causing false positive drug screen results. Needless to say for the next cou-

ple of months I turned into a detective. I was placed on light seizure medications and removed off the two medicines that were lowering the threshold and luckily I haven’t had a seizure in seven months. I have gone through more than my share of legal battles over this misdiagnosis and lack of concern by the medical personnel that failed to treat me for what really was taking place with me. But hopefully my experience can help someone else realize what seizures are and that you don’t always know you’ve even suffered from them. Luckily mine were rectified and I am living a seizure-free life. Others have not been so lucky. • Malissa A. Stinger is a glutenfree chef and cooking instructor who resides in Camden.

Golden Years

1 is the loneliest number The dangers of too much alone time

From working behind the scenes doing computer entries, to one-to-one contact with others like driving someone to the doctor or mentoring a child, or putting yourself out there by manning a booth at a health fair or helping following a community disaster, there is a wide range of opportunities where you can be involved with others on a regular basis. “We can help you find a volunteer position,” said Kari Johnson, director of volunteer services, Parkway Senior Center. “We’ll match you with a local agency. Our mission is to assist agencies in recruiting volunteers.”

By Barbara Pierce


ou’re OK being alone; you don’t even feel lonely. You’re absolutely fine with mostly just yourself for company? Think again. Researchers have found that older people with fewer human contacts are more likely to die—even if they’re happy in their solitude—than are people with richer social lives. So says a report in Science Now. The more socially isolated you are, the greater your risk of dying. Social isolation kills. Kills faster than cigarettes. Faster than Dunkin Donuts. Faster than being a couch potato. The most socially isolated people had a 26 percent greater risk of dying even when sex, age, and other factors linked to survival were accounted for, researchers from the University College London reported. Researchers tweaked their model to determine whether the connection to death was due to the fact that isolated people are often lonely. It wasn’t. They weren’t lonely. Social isolation is an objective condition in which people have little interaction with others. Loneliness, on the other hand, is an emotional state felt by people who are dissatisfied with their social connections. Loneliness on its own didn’t make people more vulnerable to death. Social isolation did. Lots of us are perfectly happy being alone much of the time. We are comfortable with ourselves for company, good at entertaining ourselves; we don’t feel a need to be around others. It doesn’t seem fair that we may die sooner because of these characteristics. Social isolation was defined as having fewer than three close confidants, not participating in community groups or clubs, and having no religious affiliation. Researchers suspect that older people who have few social ties may not be getting the care they need. No one is urging them to eat right or take their medicine, and in a crisis no one is there to help.

Have ties, live longer

Have relationships with others,

Volunteering helps

you will live longer. Even casual acquaintances have a protective effect. They recommend we all connect with others in a social setting at least once a week. How can we reinvent ourselves so that we can have regular contact with others? There are churches, one time-honored way to get people who care about you in your life. If a traditional Protestant or Catholic

church or Jewish synagogue is not your cup of tea, consider Unitarian Universalists, Humanists, Buddhists, New Age, Wiccan, or many others out of the mainstream. My favorite choice when I am looking for ways to get involved with others is to volunteer. There is a wide range of choices for doing volunteer work in the Mohawk Valley; there is something for everyone.

Distracted walking: Injuries soar for


ore than 1,500 pedestrians were estimated to be treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking, according to a new nationwide study. The number of such injuries has more than doubled since 2005, even though the total number of pedestrian injuries dropped during that time. And researchers believe

that the number of injured pedestrians is actually much higher than these results suggest. “If current trends continue, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at The Ohio State University. “The role of cell phones in distracted

driving injuries and deaths gets a lot of attention and rightly so, but we need to also consider the danger cell phone use poses to pedestrians.” The study found that young people aged 16 to 25 were most likely to be injured as distracted pedestrians, and most were hurt while talking rather than texting. The problem with distracted pedestrians is likely to get worse, he

August 2013 •

To learn of volunteer opportunities through the Parkway Senior Center’s Mohawk Valley Regional Volunteer Center, see or call 315-223-3973. For more volunteer opportunities, you can also visit the New Yorkers Volunteer website at Whatever your interest, there is probably a group of people with the same interests: historical societies, political groups, support groups for common ailments, people who dance, hike, or play tennis. Try Astronomical Society solar observing, jewelry making, or gardening. A group called “Crazy About Life Adventurers “explores what life has to offer,” from opera to hang gliding. There are also libraries, book clubs, and walking clubs. Schools are a wonderful place to get other people in your life. The Mohawk Valley Institute of Learning in Retirement in the SUNY Institute of Technology has a large variety of classes. Herkimer County Community College offers non-credit classes free to Herkimer County residents over the age of 70. Utica College invites seniors over 65 to attend classes at no cost. And there are many more activities. Just start looking. You will find them. Researchers say our goal should be to have enough people in our life so that if something goes wrong, we can be supported. So we will be missed if we don’t show up.

said. “As more people get cell phones and spend more time using them, the number of injuries is likely to increase as well. Now people are playing games and using social media on their phones too,” he said. “Parents already teach their children to look both ways when crossing the street. They should also teach them to put away their cell phone when walking, particularly when crossing a street.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

Flooded in grief ARC mental health counselors lend helping heart as disaster strikes By Patricia J. Malin


arol Lernihan of Cooperstown is used to carrying a lot on her plate. She and her husband, John, run a small medical supply store in Oneonta, plus a bed and breakfast in Cooperstown. She works part-time as a nurse at Otsego Upper Catskills BOCES and is a former junior high school teacher. Though the store in Oneonta received a little flooding following recent heavy rainfall in Otsego County, Lernihan, 65, took it in stride. She was preparing for her annual trip to a summer camp in Vermont, where she also works as a nurse. However, in early July, when the American Red Cross called and asked for her help, she dropped everything and drove to Utica. She considered her problems as secondary in light of what had happened to homeowners in Herkimer, Montgomery and Madison counties, those who had lost entire homes during the devastating floods. So she cheerfully donned her volunteer hat. Lernihan was one of approximately 175 active Red Cross volunteers from around the region, the northeastern United States and even the nation who put their lives on hold for two weeks—much like the National Guard, which was also dispatched—to assist in feeding, sheltering, relocating, and especially counseling victims of natural disasters. In late June and early July, several days of torrential rainfall resulted in significant flooding in Herkimer, Oneida, Madison and Schoharie counties. Hundreds of families and about 2,500 homes were impacted. By mid-July, the damage estimates for the region were $80 million and were expected to climb higher. The American Red Cross chapter in Herkimer County was soon overwhelmed, from a logistics standpoint, as it tried to help the victims. It turned to its superiors, the Red Cross of Central New York, based in Syracuse. Director Tina Hardy decided it was best to temporarily move its headquarters and staff to downtown Utica to better deal with the emergency response and recovery efforts.

Springing into action

“When the local chapter responded (initially) to set up shelters, they realized the scope of the disaster and called for additional relief supplies,” said Hardy. “When people are beginning to get back on their feet, we can then turn it back to the local chapter, but right now the need is still there.” Offices were set up at 177 Genesee St. in the Clark City Center. On July 8, a group of local elected officials toured the headquarters. Sen. Joe Griffo (RRome), Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) and Assemblyman Marc Butler (R118th) were joined by representatives from the offices of Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-119th) and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-101st District) to learn more about the relief efforts.

After the tour, the officials headed out to Oneida and to Ilion to survey the damage and the cleanup process. Personnel gathered in Utica to set up units and teams of volunteers to help victims specifically with housing/ shelter, food, clothing, transportation, damage assessment, cleanup, casework and medical services. The medical unit includes mental health counseling, which was why Lernihan responded. The ARC volunteers generally work 12 hours shifts, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., for a two-week stretch. En route to Utica from their homes, Lernihan, a registered nurse, and fellow mental health counselor Paul Wenham, a self-employed counselor from Camden, could see the destruction firsthand. Sam Cameron, a psychology professor from Arcadia University in Philadelphia, Pa., joined them in the office. The trio went out on the road daily in mobile ARC vans to tour the area and offer emotional support for the victims. “We went on outreach, door-todoor in Oneida and Oneida Castle,” said Lernihan, who started with ARC in 2005. “People could also come into our clinic and were (encouraged) to talk about what happened to them.” From Oneida, she and the team traveled to Mohawk and dispensed services from the mobile van. She noted that the YMCA and local churches provided additional support, including beds, hot showers and meals, but the Red Cross team offered help on the medical front. “We were literally going door-to-door in Oriskany Falls, Deansboro, Kirkland, Vernon, Westmoreland, Oneida and Oneida Castle,” she added.

Local volunteers Carol Lernihan of Cooperstown and Paul Wenham of Camden assist American Red Cross efforts during the recent flooding in Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties.

Resiliency, humor

Wenham, 48, a mental health consultant who has previously worked with college and high school students in the area, was nearing the end of his first week of “national deployment” with ARC. “People say they are so happy to see us, so grateful,” he said. He was impressed with the population’s resilience and sense of humor. “A farmer told me he didn’t need help. He said, ‘This was just another day’ to him and other people needed help more than he did. Some people have an ability to roll with the punches. Another woman said she was delighted to see us and remarked, ‘We have plenty of water for you.’” Cameron, the professor, said he had been on at least 20 ARC operations since 2005. “I like helping people,” he said. He described his job as providing mental health counseling to people under emotional and physical stress. “I spoke with a grandmother in Herkimer and helped her find resources for her 4-year-old granddaughter with special needs,” he explained. “We also do condolence visits. We went to Fort Plain (where an elderly woman died in the flood). We send a team that includes a nurse and mental health worker. We also provide financial support for burial costs and funeral expenses.” August 2013 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Boilermaker Running Ahead of Father Time Two senior runners keep grinding away at Boilermaker event By Patricia J. Malin


nly if the sky were falling! There was no other way to prevent Paul Ohlbaum and Wayne Decker from participating in the 36th annual Boilermaker Road Race in Utica recently. Call it an addiction, stubbornness, foolishness, a proud history, tradition or whatever term comes to mind, but Ohlbaum, 78, of New Hartford, and Decker, 77, of Whitesboro have maintained a perfect streak of competing in every Boilermaker since its inception in 1978. Ohlbaum, a retired ophthalmologist, describes himself simply as one of just 13 “perennials” who have competed in every Boilermaker. Consider these hardy old timers, then, as something rare, like roses blooming in a field of weeds. It’s true, there is an aura surrounding the Boilermaker. It is one of the largest and most competitive 15-kilometer races in the world. It is so popular that the race committee capped the entries at 14,000 to avoid overcrowding. The 5K race is limited to 4,000 participants. Despite hot and humid weather, Decker finished third in the 75-79 age group this year in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 57 seconds. Merv Hodgson, 75, Maitland, Ontario, Canada, won the title in a remarkable 1:29:01. Second was Samuel F. Sammarco, 76, Camillus, in 1:41:57. Paul Ohlbaum, the eldest of the perennials, finished in 2:28:10. In 2012, Sammarco was second (1:39.01), Decker was sixth (1:53.45) and Ohlbaum 12th (2:24:12). Ohlbaum suffered a number of calamities in the past that could have derailed his running career, but thus far he’s proven indestructible. “I had bladder cancer,” he said, casually. “I had surgery and treatment and it slowed me down. But I think running increases your resistance to disease. Last winter (February), I broke my ankle, but I was back running six weeks later.” He couldn’t remember when he was treated for cancer, but even that didn’t interfere with his plans to run the Boilermaker. “That was the year I placed dead last (clock time), and the ‘meat wagon’ was behind me. But I was surprised when I saw my name in the paper, I was next-to-last (chip time).” Eleven days after the Boilermaker, Ohlbaum turned 79 and he intends to keep going. History is on his side. He has also competed in the Utica Roadrunner Club’s Falling Leaves 14K for the last 38 Septembers. Nor is retirement on Decker’s mind. He credited his longevity to his career as a fulltime referee. He has Page 12

refereed soccer for 23 years and boys’ varsity basketball for 36 years. He also keeps in shape by swimming weekly at the Utica College pool. There is no secret to Decker’s persistence to run the Boilermaker. “First, I have to get out of bed,” he quipped. “One year I didn’t want to go, but my wife pushed me out the door.” He said he has noticed the expression on the faces of his much younger rivals as he steps to the starting line. “Their eyes pop out when I tell them how old I am,” he said. The 13 perennials who have run every Boilermaker 15K since its inception include Sheila Burth, 49, of New Hartford, the lone female in this prestigious group (2:07:57). Daniel DeFrees of Chittenango led the perennials this year (1:20:30), followed by Edward Newman (Webster), 1:26:14; Robert Bluey (Yorkville), 1:35:39; Richard Watkajtys (New Hartford), 1:44:32; Lawrence DiCesare (Sauquoit), 1:56:05; Paul Huening (Utica), 1:56:11; Donald Harvey (Utica), 1:56:46; Joseph Wilczynski (Marcy), 2:01.47, Decker, 2:05:57; Gordon Custodero (New Hartford), 2:10:38; Thomas Pasek (Utica), 2:17:11, and Ohlbaum, 2:28:10. Talk about determination: Not even an operation could deter 81-year-old Ted Sullivan of Williamsville. Sullivan was the oldest 15K runner in the 2013 Boilermaker. In 2012, he finished second (2:04:37) to his 84-year-old brother, Richard (2:00:57), of Buffalo in the 80plus age group. Both of the Sullivans had health setbacks this year. In early June, Ted needed a stent to alleviate a 90 percent blockage in an artery leading to his heart. He said his doctor knew him well enough not to discourage him from running the Boilermaker for the 10th consecutive year. “We all signed up (months ago) and of course I didn’t know I was going to have this happen,” he explained. “But these operations are not like open heart surgery. It’s not invasive.” The Sullivan brothers were in their 40s when they first took up road racing. They are now part of a running team from Buffalo that competes regularly throughout the Upstate region. Richard had a heart valve replaced, so he considered competing in the 5K, but did not enter this year’s Boilermaker. However, Ted carried on and finished second in his age division (2:13:43). Bill Rodgers of Sherburne, Mass., better known as the marathon man, is a near perennial when it comes to the Boilermaker. A trailblazer in the world of running, an Olympian and a former marathon record-holder, Rodgers, 65, is an unabashed fan of the Boilermaker. He ran his 30th consecutive Boilermaker this year and finished third

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

Wayne Decker, 77, of Whitesboro, left, and Paul Ohlbaum, 78, of New Hartford go for a morning jog in preparation for their 36th consecutive Boilermaker Road Race. in the 65-69-age division (1:15:33). Jim Noone, 69, Fairfax, Va., won the division in 1:06:49, followed by Bruce Gladstone, 65, Westfield, N.J. (1:15:01). Rodgers fondly recalled winning the 1983 Boilermaker in an effortless 44:38 in his inaugural appearance here. In comparison, this year’s winner, Julius Keter, a 23-year-old from Kenya, crossed the line in 43:55 and won $7,000. His countryman, Wilson Kiprotich, 30, was second in 43:58. Rodgers’s victory, while not significant in terms of his time, propelled the race into the spotlight for the first time and has since attracted a steady stream of elite runners. Terri Rejimbal, 45, of Orlando, Fla.,

rubbed elbows with Rodgers in the media center following the race. She placed fifth in the women’s masters division in 1:00:55. She talked about how running has had a dramatic impact on her life. Rejimbal took up running in her teen years and became an admirer of Kathrine Switzer, who is also a Boilermaker regular, though on the broadcasting side. “She empowered me,” said Rejimbal. “The more I ran, the longer I was out of the house and away from abuse.” She explained that she was subject to mental and physical abuse at one time, but running gave her the self-confidence she needed to eventually break free of those conditions.

High rates of burnout among anesthesia residents


esidents in anesthesiology training programs have high rates of burnout and depression, reports a survey study in the July issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). The findings raise concerns that, “In addition to effects on the health of anesthesiology trainees, burnout and depression may also affect patient care and safety,” write physician Gildasio S. de Oliveira, Jr, and colleagues of Northwestern University, Chicago. The researchers performed an Internet survey of U.S. anesthesiology residents nationwide. Confidential responses from 1,508 residents were analyzed to assess the frequency of burnout and depression, and whether

trainees at high risk of these conditions would report more medical errors. Forty-one percent of residents were considered at risk of burnout, based on high scores for emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and/or low scores for personal accomplishment. In addition, 22 percent of residents had possible depression, based on a standard screening test. Seventeen percent of trainees were at risk of both burnout and depression. Compared to people of similar age, anesthesiology residents were nearly twice as likely to have screened positive for depression. They were also twice as likely to report suicidal thoughts.

Boilermaker Real Heroes of the Boilermaker Physically challenged find ways to compete at grueling road race By Patricia J. Malin


ne can’t help but notice that 10-year-old Jason Robinson is paralyzed and has been using a wheelchair his entire life. What’s not visible to the eye is his unquenchable drive to be an athlete. He made history recently by becoming the youngest participant to ever complete the Boilermaker 15K road race. No asterisk is needed to show that he pushed himself 9.3 grueling miles and finished in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds. After crossing the finish line at the F.X. Matt Brewery in Utica, he was greeted by his parents, Erin and James Robinson, and virtual hugs from hundreds of admiring spectators. His mother ran the 5K race earlier. The 36th annual Boilermaker will not be remembered for its hot and humid conditions as much as for stirring performances from athletes with a range of so-called disabilities. “I felt good,” Robinson said. “I’m a little tired.” Fatigue was evident after enduring an emotional finish marked by media interviews and high-five greetings from everyone caught up in his celebrity. “I knew I could finish. The fans kept me going,” he added. Two local women, Katie Maneen of Frankfort and Alli Morgan of Whitesboro, competed for the first time as paraplegic runners. Morgan, 22, completed the 5K race in 51:25. Maneen, also 22, ran the 15K and posted a finish of 1:52:32. Two legally blind runners also participated in the 15K with escorts. Shawn Cheshire, 37, of Camillus had a 1:41:00 net time. Cheshire is an Army veteran who is vying for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic National Biathlon team. Erin Scala, 27, of Baldwinsville finished in 1:45:44. There were 24 participants in this year’s wheelchair division, all men predominantly from the Utica-Syracuse area. Robinson was by far the youngest and finished 20th. The winner was 28-year-old Josh Cassidy of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 34:11. He holds the world’s wheelchair record in a marathon (1:25:12 in the 2012 Boston Marathon; ninth this year). Robinson is completely at ease explaining what caused his paralysis. He has spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal cord is left open or not completely formed. He has been a Boilermaker fan longer than he can actually remember. It started at age 4 when his parents set up seats along the Parkway near Valley View golf course. “He played T-ball with able-bodied kids,” said his mother. He also partici-

pates in sled hockey and wheelchair basketball with the Move Along Flyers, a group of wheelchair athletes in Syracuse. But his dream was to compete in the Boilermaker. Last January, he broached the idea of the Boilermaker with his parents. His classmates at Westmoreland Central School, where he is a fifth-grader, then organized a fundraising drive and raised $25,000 so he could purchase a racing wheelchair. In April, he applied for WKTV’s “Go the Distance” program for novice runners. He trained for the Boilermaker for 13 weeks, gradually building up his conditioning, timing and confidence, while getting expert advice. He completed the entire Boilermaker course only a week before the actual race. Thanks to that custom-fitted chair, Robinson was on the course this time, looking out at family and friends when he reached the Parkway, almost halfway through the race.

Those shining STARS

Robinson is a member of the STARS (Success Through Adaptive Recreation and Sports) program at the Sitrin Medical Rehabilitation Center of New Hartford, which also sponsors the annual Boilermaker wheelchair division. He is one of many “stars” in the program that allows wheelchair athletes to compete in basketball, target shooting, curling and adaptive paddling. Hermin Garic, 23, of Utica was expected to use his hometown advantage to challenge Cassidy, but fell a little short, finishing second in 38:08. Garic admitted he couldn’t keep pace with the newcomer, but the “hometown crowd” kept his hopes up. “I’m not happy I finished slower than last year,” Garic said. “But I’m not disappointed with second place by any means.” The rainy weather over the past few months had put a crimp in his training, he explained. He is now setting his sights on the Falmouth Road Race in Cape Cod in August. Marc DePerno, director of the Sitrin STARS program, is certain that Garic is ready to tackle the business of professional wheelchair racing. “He’s ready to spring outside Utica,” said DePerno. “He will be going to Falmouth and then the New York City Marathon, and he hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon.” During a pre-race reception at Sitrin Rehab, Garic was presented with the first Edward Bradley Memorial Award, given to an individual who is a promoter of athletics for local individuals with disabilities. Bradley was a Boilermaker wheelchair racer and volunteer who died just one day after the 2012 Boilermaker at the age of 49.

Katie Maneen, a paraplegic runner, congratulates 10-year-old wheelchair athlete Jason Robinson, who became the youngest finisher of the Boilermaker 15K Road Race. He had suffered a stroke in June and then had a brain injury while doing rehab. “We want to keep (Bradley’s) spirit alive,” said DePerno. “Ed overcame a disability and did amazing things in life. Not only did he race in the Boilermaker, but he gave back to his community in many ways.” DePerno said Bradley was instrumental in lending support to Sitrin’s adaptive sports program and the Boilermaker wheelchair division when it started more than a decade ago. Bradley competed in 15 Boilermakers in his racing career, as well as many other wheelchair races throughout the region. His parents, Dr. Edward and Mary Lyons Bradley, presented the plaque to Garic. A native of war-torn Bosnia, where he suffered a spinal cord injury in a bomb blast, Garic came to Utica as a child in the 1990s. He recalled how Bradley took him under his wing and joked about beating his young teammate in the Boilermaker. “He used to tell me he finally found someone slower than him,” Garic said, laughing. However, the result was usually the opposite. Other local wheelchair finishers were: 15. Michael J. Olsen, 29, Vernon, 54:34; 17. Cody Arnold, 18, Syracuse, 56:23; 20. Robinson, 1:13:48; 21. Eric S. Komar, 28, Bridgeport, 1:16:01; 22. Lay Aung, 22, New Hartford, 1:23:25; 24. Devon Henry, 20, Herkimer, 1:50:17.

Meeting the challenge

Aung, who was born in Burma, was this year’s Boilermaker wheelchair challenger. Aung had normal physical development until the age of two when he lost his ability to walk. He came to

August 2013 •

Utica in 2010 after living in a refugee camp in Thailand for 15 years. After he arrived in the U.S., he was diagnosed with polio. As the wheelchair challenger, Aung took on the Boilermaker in a standard wheelchair. He completed the course in less than two hours and 15 minutes and will be awarded a custom-fitted racing wheelchair from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in October. Morgan planned to run the Boilermaker 5K on crutches since she did not have a prosthetic leg designed for running. However, through a grant program, Sitrin helped Morgan obtain an Ottobock running leg. At Whitesboro High School, Morgan was an able-bodied athlete in field hockey and softball. Then as a sophomore in 2005, a seemingly routine ACL tear while playing field hockey snowballed into a nightmare. Following two operations on her knee, she contracted an infection. The infection worsened and it couldn’t heal. She was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos type III, a connective tissue disorder. Last summer, after enduring 46 painful surgeries, Morgan and her family decided she should have her leg amputated above the knee. Then after getting her prosthetic leg, she had to learn to walk again. She received her running prosthesis just a month before the Boilermaker and returned to running for the first time in eight years. Morgan, a student at Brown University, raised more than $700 for Adaptive Sports and Military Rehabilitation at Sitrin through the Boilermaker’s new charity bib program. She is now training for the paralympics in biathlon.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Diet & Fitness

Let’s get moving!

Feeling blue? Get off that couch and get active! By Kristen Raab


xercise is one of the best means for relieving stress. Not only does it help relieve stress through movement, it also directly affects hormones. If hormones are unregulated, mood swings, unhappiness, depression, anxiety and increased body fat, along with other unfortunate side effects, may be experienced. Exercise is a great medicine that automatically improves blood flow, cardiac output, lymph function, hormone regulation and so much more. “The human body is interconnected, meaning all of our systems affect each other. If one [system] is out of whack, the others will suffer accordingly,” said Steve Krebs, owner and head coach of Next Level Fitness Center in Marcy. Anxiety and depression are serious conditions that could require therapy, medicine or both. Simply moving— while not a cure—can make treatment more effective. In an effort to control unwanted symptoms, those who take action have proven to benefit from regular exercise and proper nutrition. Any kind of exercise has psychological and physical benefits that encourage one to live a healthy lifestyle. “Most forms of exercise, if done correctly, will help improve energy levels, body composition and confidence,” said Krebs. Exercise enhances the action of endorphins, feel-good brain chemicals that circulate throughout the body. Exercise, such as yoga and tai chi, are particularly good mind-body workouts for improving mood. Not a fan of exercise? Or don’t know where to begin? Just start moving. Anything that gets you off the couch and mobile can boost your mood. Walking the dog, gardening or other activities you enjoy can be a great start. Another helpful hint to exercise and health, which is often overlooked, is breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, is a technique everyone should employ. Breathing is important

for exercise, meditation and overall health. The body needs increased amounts of oxygen when working out. If you cannot breathe properly, you cannot train correctly nor relax when being active. Side effects like light-headedness, nausea, and increased fatigue can result from improper breathing. Stress, depression, anxiety and unstable emotional feelings can easily disappear by simply working it out through movement. Starting with light walks to get endorphins going may jump start your stress-free life, but fitness assessments are also available to get an idea how to begin. According to Krebs, your goal should be to exercise in some capacity every day. You will be guaranteed to feel better, look better and live a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Exercise Rx: Just start moving

You don’t have to jump into a challenging workout program to get depression relief.

Exercise Rx: Twist things up How to do it: • Lie on a mat or on the floor • Bring knees into chest. • Twist both legs slowly to the right. • Place right hand on right thigh and press down. For more of a challenge, straighten the bottom of the left leg. • Keep both shoulders on the floor, and look toward your right hand. • Breathe deeply in this position for one minute then switch sides. Exercise Rx: Follow the sun How to do it: • Stand with feet at least four inches wider than shoulder-distance apart. • Turn toes and knees slightly outward. • Reach both arms overhead until palms face each other. Inhale deeply. • Exhale slowly through the nose while bending knees and hips about six inches. Bring arms down until palms nearly touch in front of your belly.

Upcoming flu season: what you need to know


he last flu season arrived four weeks early, was more intense than expected and resulted in the deaths of more than 110 children in the United States. In an effort to get ahead of the upcoming flu season, experts at Montefiore Medical Center are raising awareness about the importance of the flu vaccine, which remains the best option to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus. The flu season can start as early as late September and usually runs for about 12 to 15 weeks. Page 14

Infectious disease specialists already have identified the flu viruses that are the most likely to cause illness this season, and vaccines have been formulated. Experts believe about 90 percent of the viruses found during surveillance are well-matched to the current vaccines. However, there are several important factors Americans should know about the 2013-2014 vaccine: • The standard “three-strain” vaccine will be offered to healthy children

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

and adults. This vaccine, which will be widely available, includes two strains of the more common A virus and one of the B virus. By comparison, last year’s “three-strain” flu vaccine reduced the risk of flu-associated medical visits from Influenza A viruses by one half and from Influenza B viruses by two-thirds for most of the population. • The new “four-strain,” or quadrivalent, vaccine was designed this year to include two strains of the A and B

• Empty all air from your lungs, then inhale again as you stand and start over. Exercise Rx: Invert your bad mood How to do it: • Bring knees into chest. • Scoot to the wall so your butt is against it • Straighten legs and lean them up the wall. • Place hands at your sides • Close your eyes and hold this position for three to eight minutes. Exercise Rx: Plow ahead How to do it: • Lie on your back with arms at your sides • Lift your legs overhead, using belly strength by contracting abdominal muscles. Bring straight legs toward your head, letting hips and lower back rise from the floor, until toes touch (or approach) the floor behind your head. If you can’t touch toes to the floor, don’t force it; just bend knees around your ears. • Close your eyes, breathe deeply, lengthening your exhales, and keep your neck and head still. Support your mid-back with both hands, keeping weight on wrists and elbows. Hold this pose for two to three minutes. • If you can, lift legs vertically upright and move into a shoulder stand, with your weight on your upper arms and shoulders. For more support, do a shoulder stand against a wall. Exercise Rx: Calm down with meditation How to do it: • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor and close your eyes. • Breathe through your nose, lengthening breaths until you can count to four or six on each inhale and exhale. • Visualize a calming object or peaceful, quiet place. • When distracting thoughts surface, acknowledge them and let them pass—just focus on your breathing. • Continue for 10 to 20 minutes; set a clock radio with soft music to notify you when your time is up. • Source:

virus in response to the fact that there have been two predominant B virus strains circulating the past two years rather than the usual single strain. Influenza B infection is usually much less severe than influenza A, but the extra coverage will be important for immune-compromised patients who are at risk of severe infection and complications from both strains. Also new this year is a New York state regulation requiring healthcare workers who do not get the flu shot to wear a face mask when interacting with patients.

Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

The Nothing Box

At last, an explanation of how male and female brains differ


ost of us are driven to have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Most of us prefer to live with a person of the opposite sex. Most of us have many frustrations and challenges in these relationships. Sometimes—at least it seems to me—that the only really compatible relationship one can have with someone of the opposite sex is if he lives with a golden retriever or she lives with a calico cat. Everyone knows that men and women’s brains are wired differently. After all, we agreed Pierce with the book that was popular several years ago: “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Jupiter” by Dr. John Gray. Yes, we agreed it often feels like we are from different planets. There is no understanding the weird ways of the other. But, if only we could remember those details about how we are so alien from each other. That wisdom could help us on a day-to-day basis when we so often get frustrated, just want to kick his butt instead of pat it, and he no doubt feels the same way about ours. Most of us don’t really understand how male brains and female brains are wired so differently and how that affects our day-to-day interaction. Maybe we’d be less frustrated and annoyed with each other if we understood these things better. I’ve just discovered the answer!

There’s an explanation

In a hugely funny, amazingly true, easy-to- understand explanation. A friend just sent me a YouTube video called “The Nothing Box.” I loved it and it explains so much! It is probably the best explanation of the differences between men and women that I’ve ever heard. Mark Gungor, a pastor who conducts marriage seminars and who is one of the most sought-after speakers on marriage and family in the country, does the video presentation. “Men’s brains are very unique,” begins Gungor. “Men’s brains are made up of little boxes. We have a box for everything: for the car, the money, our job, you, mother in the basement. We’ve got boxes everywhere. “And the rule is: the boxes don’t touch.” “When a man discusses a particular subject, we go to that particular box. We pull that box out, open it. We discuss what is in that box. Then we close the box and put is away, being very careful not to touch any other box.”

Sounds like most men I know. Their minds are focused on one topic; you can’t throw in another topic until they finish that one. They don’t like to be distracted. I do. Continues Gungor: “Now, women’s brains are very, very different from men’s brains. Women’s brains are made up of a big ball of wire. And everything is connected to everything else: money, job, car, you and me. Everything is connected. It’s a big super highway.” It’s all driven by energy; energy that we call emotion, he explains.

SEMC tourney raises funds for equipment The St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation held its 18th annual golf tournament recently at the Yahnundasis Golf Club, New Hartford. A total of 212 golfers helped to raise more than $125,000 to purchase endobronchial ultrasound equipment for St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Above, members of the presenting sponsor, St. Elizabeth Health Support Services Team, include, from left, Tim Scanlon, Frank Smith, Mike Herron, and Rick Wasniewski.

Women remember everything

It’s one of the reasons why we women tend to remember everything. If you take an event and connect it to an emotion, it burns in your memory and you can remember it forever. “Same thing happens for men,” he adds. “It just doesn’t happen very often. Because quite frankly, we just don’t care. Women tend to care about everything.” Then he concludes with this: “Men have one box with nothing in it. We call it the nothing box. Of all the boxes a man has in his brain, the nothing box is our favorite; if a man has a chance, he’ll go to his nothing box every time.” That’s why a man can do something seemingly mindless for hours on end, like fish, or sit in front of the TV. “Women can’t do it; their minds never stop. Nothing drives a woman more crazy or makes her more irritated than to witness a man doing nothing.” This is just something to remember as you navigate the hazards of male-female differences. Hopefully something that will help you better understand the opposite sex. Better understand your frustrations and challenges. To watch the video, go to watch?v=L29KmQxEA3E. Or, it’s easier to just Google “The Nothing Box” by Mark Gungor. • Barbara Pierce is a retired licensed clinical social worker with many years’ experience in helping people. If you would like to purchase a copy of her book “If I’m so Fantastic, Why am I Still Single?” contact her at, or contact her if you have any concerns you would like her to address.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Continued from Page 2 Herkimer: Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 • Oneida Northside Medical Building: Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26 • Mary Rose Center, Oneida: Every Wednesday evening • Waterville Town Hall: As requested • Community Action Partnership of Madison County, Morrisville: As requested • Community Action Partnership of Madison County, Canastota: As requested Call 315-732-4657 or toll free at 1877-267-6193 for an appointment. The staff will be offering education and information to families and health and human service providers at the Community Baby Shower and Boot Camp for New Dads, to be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare, Allen Calder Wing. Call 315-732-4657 or toll free at 1877-267-6193 to find out how to participate in this event.

Aug. 1

‘Desserts At Dusk’ fundraiser scheduled Friends of the Presbyterian Homes have announced their annual “Desserts at Dusk” event to benefit the Presbyterian Home for Central New York and its Parkinson’s unit. “Desserts at Dusk” will take place from 7-9 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Hart’s Hill Inn, Clinton Street, Whitesboro. Area bakeries and restaurants, along with Presbyterian Homes’ staff, donate the desserts. Tickets are $25 each, and can be purchased in advance at the Presbyterian Home for Central New York’s volunteer office or gift shop, or at the door the evening of the event. For more information, contact Angela Ramp, director of volunteer services, at 272-2266.

Aug. 3

Zumba to support Kelberman Center services A Zumbathon to support the Kelberman Center will be held from 10 to noon Aug. 3 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. The event is $25 per person and children under 10 are free. Contact Laura at 315-797-6241 or with Zumbathon questions.

Aug. 4

Crafters wanted for summer bazaar St. Joseph Nursing Home, 2535 Genesee St., Utica, will celebrate its ninth annual summer bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 4. Page 16

The home has openings for vendors such as artists and crafters to participate in this event that includes a chicken barbecue, refreshments, and games for children. Proceeds from the event will be used to support the programs and activities for the residents of St. Joseph Nursing Home. For a registration form and more information, contact Kathy Poupart at 315-797-1230 or email at

Aug. 6

Are you ready for a ‘Fresh Start?’ The Tri-County Quits Tobacco Cessation Program is offering a three-part Fresh Start class to help participants stop smoking. The Fresh Start program is a group-based tobacco cessation support program offered by the American Cancer Society. The classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6, 13 and 20 at The Regional Cancer Center at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. The Fresh Start program is designed to help individuals quit smoking by providing essential information, skills for coping with cravings and group support. For more information or to register, call the Tri-County Quits Tobacco Cessation Program at 315-624-5639.

Aug. 7

Annual rosary walk scheduled The 8th annual rosary walk will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 7 at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. Participants pray the rosary along an outdoor trail. For those unable to walk, there will also be a rosary prayed on the center lawn with seating provided. For details and registration, call Tanya at The Good News Center at 315-735-6210 or visit—Events Calendar.

Aug. 7

Hospice butterfly release celebration set The Herkimer County Hospice Foundation, in conjunction with the Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. Development Council, will be holding their annual butterfly release at 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at Herkimer County Community College. Rain date is Aug. 15. The celebration is an opportunity to honor or memorialize loved ones by sponsoring a butterfly in their name. Their release signifies freedom and happiness. Proceeds from the butterfly release will support the Herkimer County Hospice Foundation and benefit hospice patients residing in Herkimer County. Sponsorship is $25 per butterfly

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

or five for $100. Butterflies must be reserved by Aug. 7. If you are unable to attend the butterfly release celebration, event organizers will release butterflies for you. For more information, visit www., or to sponsor butterflies, contact the hospice community support services office at 315-7356484 ext. 238.

Aug. 10

UCP plans ‘Wheels for Wheels’ benefit The Wigwam Tavern in Forestport will host the Wheels for Wheels motorcycle event from Aug. 4-10 to benefit children’s services at Upstate Cerebral Palsy. Participants will receive cards with over 25 destinations that they must visit before Aug. 10. By 2 p.m. Aug. 10, all participants must hand in their cards at the post party that will include food, door prizes, bear carving and more. For more information, call Upstate Cerebral Palsy at 315-724-6907 ext. 2279.

Aug. 14

‘Permission to Grieve’ retreat scheduled The spiritual care office at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica is offering “Permission to Grieve,” an overnight retreat for individuals who have experienced or are struggling with the loss of a loved one. This event is being held at St. Margaret’s House, 47 Jordan Road, New Hartford, Aug. 16-17. Check-in is from 5-6 p.m. Aug. 16 and the retreat will conclude by 4 p.m. Aug. 17. Workshops focus on exploring ones’ feelings and emotions of grief as they relate to individual experiences. The cost to attend is $80 and includes overnight accommodations and meals. The registration fee can be paid with cash or check at check-in. Pre-registration by Aug. 14 is required as space is limited. For questions or to register, call the spiritual care office at 315-624-6218 or email

Aug. 19

Free diabetes education class on scheduled On Aug. 19, people with diabetes and pre-diabetes as well as their family members are invited to attend “Managing Your Diabetes,” a free class to help those with diabetes gain better control over the disease. The class will begin at 2 p.m. at Frank J. Basloe Public Library at 245 N. Main St., Herkimer. The class is presented by Journey for Control, a comprehensive diabetes program from Merck. Call the Journey for Control program at 1-877-JFC-4545 (1-877-5324545) to register. The Central New York diabetes education program is a cooperative effort of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica.

Sept. 7

Mohawk Valley Christopher Donalty CURE benefit set The Mohawk Valley Friends of

Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy will host a benefit on Sept. 7. The Christopher Donalty CURE Benefit is among the most successful fundraisers for epilepsy research in the nation, with the previous five biennial events since 2003 raising $1.16 million for research on a cure for this debilitating disease. It was begun in memory of Christopher Donalty, who died on Feb. 21, 2002 of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Christopher, the son of Barry and Jeanne Donalty, was born and raised in Utica, graduated tenth in his class from Proctor High School in 1998, and was a star baseball player for both the Proctor Raiders and Utica Post’s American Legion team. He was 21 years old and a candidate for a degree in business administration from Stetson University at the time of his death. The benefit will be held at Hart’s Hill Inn, 135 Clinton St., Whitesboro, with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 each and are available by calling 315-724-2560. All seating is by reservation only. For more information on CURE, visit or at

Sept. 8

Perinatal Network to hold scavenger hunt race The Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network recently announced the first annual “Run, Sherlock, Run!” “Run, Sherlock, Run!” is the first annual scavenger hunt race in the Mohawk Valley. It will be held Sept. 8 and will start from Hanna Park. Clues will be provided to teams of runners, directing them to 10 secret checkpoints in downtown Utica. Prizes will be awarded to the topthree teams finding all checkpoints in the shortest time, and a post-race party will be offered to participants. Teams of two, three or four runners can register at a cost of $30 per person through or by mail at Perinatal Network, 1000 Cornelia St., 2nd Floor, Utica, N.Y. 13502. Participation is capped at 300 runners. All proceeds will benefit Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network, Inc. For more information about getting involved in “Run, Sherlock, Run!” visit or call 7324657. Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available.

Sept. 14

Upstate Cerebral Palsy Family Expo on tap The public is invited to join Upstate Cerebral Palsy at its family expo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Armory Drive campus, 1601 Armory Drive, Utica. The expo is a free event that brings families together to learn about the many opportunities available at the agency and within the community for products, programs and services. Vendors or families who would like additional information should contact Bill Mullin at 315-798-4006 ext. 400 or Upstate Cerebral Palsy is the premier provider of direct-care services and programs for individuals who are physically, developmentally, or mentally challenged and their families.


H ealth News

Your Doctor

Walmart stores raise funds for CMN Hospital

By Lou Sorendo

Obesity trend balloons in U.S. Continued from Page 4 physician is one who has excellent interpersonal skills, is compassionate about his work, honest, trustworthy, friendly, has a good work ethic, and shows enthusiasm to learn and be the patient’s advocate. Q.: What are your long-term goals in medicine? Do you enjoy the educational or administrative parts of it? A.: My long-term goals are to enhance the residency program in the area of continuous quality improvement and be focused on continuing to positively impact our region’s health status through collaborative programs with communities, medical practices and hospitals. Q.: In general terms, how does the practice of medicine differ in India when compared to the United States? Is the population more diverse in the U.S.? A.: Practice of medicine in India is more clinical and textbook based. We used to spend more time with patients than documentation. It is self-pay or socialized medicine, and there is less medical liability. India has a huge patient population, more communicable diseases, paper charts, and no electronic health records. Meanwhile, the U.S. features more investigational and evidence-based medicine. Equal or more time is spent in documentation than with patients, and there are increasing insurance and medical care costs. The U.S. has more medical liability, less communicable diseases, and has electronic health records. Though the practice of medicine is different, the essence of medicine is the same, which is service and healing.

The patient population is more diverse in India. The refugee and immigrant population in this area adds diversity to the patient population. Q.: What do you see as the most threatening health problem occurring in the U.S. today? A.: I see childhood obesity as the most threatening health problem occurring in the U.S. today. One out of six children and those aged 2-19 are obese and one out of three are overweight or obese. This increase in rates will likely change the way doctors and health insurance providers treat obesity. Obesity-related costs place a huge burden on the U.S. economy and most people still do not practice healthy behaviors that can prevent obesity. Q.: What can be done about the obesity problem in America today? Should people be taking more responsibility for their own health? A.: Obesity rates are soaring in the U.S. No one person or organization can address obesity on its own. Without a coordinated effort, the chance of success is near zero. To address this issue, it has to be a collective and collaborative effort among primary care physicians, patients, parents, schools, health departments, insurance companies and health care leaders. They as a team should create engaging and empowering health education programs, understand significant health care costs of obesity, build programs that begin to address obesity before birth and promote family involvement. We as family physicians should educate and emphasize the importance of being on a healthy, balanced diet and getting moderate intensity exercise regularly from childhood on to prevent obesity.

Illegal immigrants have minimal impact on health spending


study by a University of Nebraska Medical Center researcher revealed that unauthorized immigrants have lower health care expenditures compared to legal residents, naturalized citizens and U.S. natives. The study, which analyzed health expenditure data from the medical expenditure panel survey taken between 2000 and 2009, was conducted by Jim Stimpson, director of the Center for Health Policy at UNMC. Results were published in the June issue of the health policy journal, Health Affairs. It was found that U.S. natives spent

$1 trillion on health care. By contrast all immigrants — unauthorized, legal and illegal — spent one-tenth that amount or $96.7 billion. Unauthorized immigrants accounted for $15.4 billion of that total, or 15.9 percent. It also was found that an estimated 5.9 percent of unauthorized immigrants received care that providers are not reimbursed for, compared to 2.8 percent of U.S. natives in the same category. Stimpson speculated that this may be because unauthorized immigrants are much more likely to lack health insurance when compared to U.S. natives.

Walmart associates, customers and members from locations throughout the Mohawk Valley completed their annual six-week fundraising campaign recently that raised nearly $41,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica. The fundraising campaign ran in all Walmart locations throughout the Mohawk Valley. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates accepted donations in-store for CMN. The funds benefit women’s and children’s services at FSLH. In 2012, Walmart associates, customers and members raised more than $60 million for CMN hospitals in the United States and Canada. Since Walmart partnered with CMN Hospitals in 1987, it has raised more than $650 million for children’s hospitals. Every minute in the United States, $6,500 charitable dollars support CMN Hospitals.

FSLH makes staff announcements The Regional Cancer Center at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica recently made the following staff announcements. • Olga Pavlyukovets has been named nurse practitioner/palliative care consultant for The Regional Cancer Center at FSLH. In her new role, Pavlyukovets provides palliative health care to patients and families focusing on the prevention, reduction or soothing of the symptoms of Pavlyukovets serious illness or disorder, patient/ family education and counseling. Pavlyukovets’ previous position with FSLH was as a family nurse practitioner with the Adirondack Community Physicians Waterville medical office. She has also worked as a staff RN and charge nurse on the acute inpatient rehabilitation unit at FSLH. Pavlyukovets received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the family nurse practitioner accelerated program from SUNYIT Utica/Rome in Marcy. • Evelyn P. Kropp has been named palliative care navigator for The Regional Cancer Center at FSLH. In her new role, Kropp is responsible for navigating patients and all levels of health care providers through the palliative care and end of life process. Her Kropp duties include pain and symptom management, explanation and implementation of advance directives, and support for patients/

August 2013 •

residents, family and staff. Kropp’s previous position with FSLH was as a clinical information specialist. Prior to joining FSLH, she worked for a healthcare facility in Cooperstown in a number of positions, including as a radiation oncology nurse and patient navigator in a cancer treatment center. Kropp earned her degree in nursing from Ellis Hospital School of Nursing in Schenectady and her Bachelor of Professional Studies in health services management from SUNYIT Utica/ Rome. • Suzanne M. Simmons has been named administrative assistant for The Regional Cancer Center at FSLH. In her new role, Simmons supports the executive director for the cancer program and serves as a liaison for accrediting agencies, community members, organizations and local businesses. She also Simmons supports cancer-related events and fund raising activities. Simmons’ previous positions with FSLH were as an administrative assistant to the director of nursing for quality and programs and the director of nursing for surgical services. Prior to joining FSLH, Simmons worked as a marketing coordinator and executive assistant to the president for Fastrac Markets in Rome. She has more than 25 years of executive level administrative assistance and completed FSLH’S Aspiring Leaders Program in 2010. Simmons earned her Bachelor of Science in English from SUNY Brockport.

Mohawk Valley Cardiology moves to new location The offices of Mohawk Valley Cardiology have relocated to the first floor of the Faxton Campus of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. Patients may use the Bennett street entrance. The providers of Mohawk Valley Cardiology are Ramzi F. Nassif, Nader Elgharib, Brandon Tibbitts, and Paul Mantelli.

Aquatic classes set at FSLH wellness center A new session of youth aquatics classes begins Aug. 10 at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare’s Wellness Center at the Faxton Campus, Utica. The wellness center offers “Mommy and Me” classes for children aged 6 months to 2 years at 10 a.m. “Mommy and Me” classes for children aged 3 and 4 takes place at 11 a.m. The “Kidzercise” class for children aged 5-12 is at noon. Each six-week session costs $50. Scholarships are available through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at FSLH for families who qualify. The FSLH Wellness Center also offers adult aquatic classes as well as

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H ealth News Continued from Page 17 open swim five days a week. Class offerings include low intensity, medium, arthritis and cardio aquatic sessions. All classes take place at the Regional Rehabilitation Center pool located at the Faxton Campus of FSLH, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. For more information or to register, call 315-624-5484 or email

MV Heart Institute has new look online The Mohawk Valley Heart Institute in Utica has created a new website at designed by the MVHI marketing team and Trainor Associates. The site features a section on affiliated physicians and their profiles, plus software for a free, seven-minute survey to assess risk for heart disease. There are testimonials from patients who have responded to satisfaction surveys and descriptions of the various services MVHI offers. In addition, it contains information on surgical procedures, including minimally invasive surgery, electrophysiology, catheterization and cardiac rehabilitation. MVHI is also active on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube social media sites. MVHI celebrated 15 years of patient care in the Mohawk Valley last fall. It is a collaboration of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Call 734-3329 or 866-505-MVHI with questions.

Midstate EMS Education Center relocates The Midstate Emergency Medical Services Education Center recently moved to a new location at 1705 Burrstone Road, New Hartford. Previously located on Sunset Avenue in Utica, Midstate EMS continues to offer the same training and courses such as advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, pre-hospital trauma life support and defensive driving, as well as provides support to the local EMS community. Midstate EMS opened in 1996 and developed a wide variety of courses to support future emergency personnel. Emergency medical technicians work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to provide emergency medical care through Oneida, Madison and Herkimer counties. Each year, more than 40,000 emergency calls are made in the counties and another 40,000 transports occur between healthcare facilities. There are 1,500 basic providers as well as 500 advanced level providers who have received specialized training who serve the three counties. For more information on Midstate EMS and class offerings, visit www. or call 315-738-8351. Page 18

Presbyterian Homes names home healthcare director Presbyterian Homes & Services, Inc. in New Hartford has appointed Maureen Ghent as director of The Presbyterian Residential Community’s licensed home health care program. Ghent has been employed at The Presbyterian Residential Community as director of patient services since August 2003. Ghent Ghent now manages licensed home health care services for those in need of nursing staff, home health aides, personal care aides or companion care throughout Oneida County. Prior to joining Presbyterian Homes & Services, she was employed by Family Home Care in Sherburne as an RN supervisor. “Home health care is growing rapidly as seniors are able to stay in their homes longer but still need certain levels of assistance,” said Michael Sweeney, chief executive officer of Presbyterian Homes & Services. “We are pleased to offer this service, and have Maureen leading the way.”

Presbyterian Homes hires building services director Presbyterian Homes & Services, Inc. in New Hartford has hired Garth Livermore as director of building services. In this capacity, Livermore oversees building services for the entire campus. Livermore’s experience includes time as a journeyman and master carpenter, as well as more than 15 years as a lead foreman and superintendent for commercial, Livermore residential and agricultural projects. He has also worked as a freelance carpenter, construction manager and nationwide consultant. The Presbyterian Homes & Services campus spans four different divisions and covers 64 acres.

Presbyterian Homes’ employee cops top honor Presbyterian Homes & Services, Inc. CFO Russell Clark has been named the Central New York Financial Executive of the Year by the Bonadio Group. The award is given to a financial professional for outstanding performance in his or her role as corporate financial steward.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • August 2013

FSLH’s Aspiring Leaders Program awarded The Central New York Chapter of the American Society for Training & Development recently announced Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare’s Aspiring Leaders Program as the winner of the CNY BEST Learning and Performance Not for Profit Organization award. The award was presented at the sixth annual CNY BEST Awards Ceremony held in Syracuse. The CNY BEST Learning and Performance Awards recognize excellence in learning and performance practices in the CNY area. FSLH’s Aspiring Leaders Program was recognized for linking learning for its internal and external stakeholders to the organization’s strategic growth and success. Celebrating the occasion are, from left, Ingrid Gonzalez-McCurdy, CNY ASTD president; Paul Rubsamen, FSLH’s director of organizational development and chief learning officer; and Diana Wolgemuth, CNY ASTD vice president of CNY BEST. Clark has been with Presbyterian Homes & Services for 24 years. “Russell is a tremendous professional, and a great friend,” said Michael Sweeney, Presbyterian Homes & Services CEO. “The company has grown substantially during his time here, adding Presbyterian Residential Community, a 96-unit adult home, and Preswick Glen, Clark a 124-unit independent housing facility. He’s been instrumental in managing the finances of every part of our family of services during extremely challenging economic times. His personal integrity and industry knowledge has been critical to our success, and he is deservedly held in high esteem by the board of directors and the greater financial community.” Clark is a graduate of Siena College in Loudonville, and worked for Little Falls Hospital before joining Presbyterian Homes & Services in 1989. He is a resident of Herkimer, and a member of the New York Associate of Homes and Services for the Aging and the Healthcare Financial Management Associa-

tion. Clark is also an avid runner, and volunteers at the Great American Irish Festival, St. Francis DeSales Church in Herkimer, and the Rescue Mission in Utica.

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.

St. E’s Family Medicine Residency graduates docs Eight family medicine doctors graduated recently from the St. Eliza-

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H ealth News Continued from Page 18 beth Medical Center’s family medicine residency, bringing the total number of physicians completing the nationally accredited, three-year postdoctoral training program to 237. In addition, Cory Wagner was expected to complete his GYN surgical fellowship with Dr. Prabhat Ahluwalia in July. A graduation ceremony and dinner were held at the Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre in Utica. Several awards were presented, honoring graduates, residents and faculty members. • Nabin Adhikari: A graduate of Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal. Adhikari has accepted a hospitalist fellowship position at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. • Jyoti Bharti: A graduate of American University of Antigua. Bharti has accepted a geriatric fellowship position with the University of Nevada in Reno, Nev. • Kareem Hamad: A graduate of University of Alexandria, Egypt. Hamad will be working as a hospitalist at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. • Vinit Jalandhara: A graduate of B.J. Medical College, India. Jalandhara will be working as an outpatient physician at Centra Prime Care in Danville, Va. • Safwat Nasrat: A graduate of the University of Asyut, Egypt. Nasrat plans to relocate to Altoona, Pa., where he will join the hospitalist team at Altoona Medical Center. • Ruchi Parikh: A graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies. Parikh will be practicing both inpatient and outpatient medicine at Belvidere OSF Medical Group in Belvidere, Ill. • Molly Schug: A graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Schug will be practicing outpatient medicine at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. • Anuj Tewari: A graduate of American University of Antigua. Tewari anticipates that he will be working as a hospitalist in Nevada.

St. E’s Foundation welcomes new coordinator The St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation has welcomed Bianca Filletti to the role of special events coordinator. Filletti will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of foundation events, including cultivating sponsor relationships and event planning. Filletti has a degree in business administration and is a graduate of SUNY Institute Filletti of Technology. She has experience in marketing, sales and customer service. “Bianca is a great addition to the SEMC Foundation team. Her outgoing personality and expertise will allow the foundation to grow its events,” said

Andrea LaGatta, director of development. The St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation provides support—financial, philosophical and social—so that the medical center may continue to provide for the medical needs of the community, regardless of race, national origin, creed or ability to pay. For information on SEMC Foundation events, contact Filletti at 315-7344287, or visit www.

St. E’s welcomes 10 new doctors St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica recently welcomed 10 doctors to the area. 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 Women’s Health Center. They will also train at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica and at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. With the addition of the 10 new residents joining the program, this brings the total number of doctors in the program to 30 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: • Manuel Bulauitan: He was born in New York City and graduated in June 2011 from Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica. Bulauitan’s hobbies and interests include staying active and playing sports. He played NCAA Division I tennis at Boston University and also participated on basketball and football intramural sports teams in both college and medical school. He also enjoys scuba diving. • Shathabish Kariyanna: He was born in Shimoga, India and graduated in March 2006 from Bangalore Medical College. Kariyanna’s hobbies and interests include soccer, golf, cooking and watching movies. • Seneque Milien: He was born in La Torue, Haiti and graduated from Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica. Milien’s hobbies include listening to and playing music, playing sports (especially soccer), moderate weight lifting, reading, traveling and cooking. • Vimmi Panchal: She was born in

LFH offers students learning opportunity Little Falls Hospital provides students a unique learning experience in their desired healthcare field during the summer months. Department managers look for students each summer to assist them while the youth gain valuable experience for their future. The four students are, from left, Kathryn Dolly, Miller Tooley, Rachel Parisi and Shelby Reardon. The program is run through the Herkimer County Youth Bureau. Anyone interested in the summer program for next year should contact Kathy Stalteri at 867-1213 for an application. The summer youth Program students will work a total 112 hours. They begin working in June and will complete their time in August.

Nadiad, India and graduated in May from American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Antigua. Panchal’s hobbies and interests include spending time with family, traveling, threading eyebrows, bridal make up, hair styling, henna art and dancing. She also enjoys biking and playing badminton. • Mary Philips: She was born in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and graduated in May 2011 from International American University, Saint Lucia. Philips’ hobbies and interests include 5k running events, studying the Catholic Bible for personal knowledge, reading literary works of Malayalam, performing and choreographing Bharatanatyam (classical South Indian dance), Indian folk dance, hip-hop and modern dance. • Mohammed Rizvi: He was born in Karachi, Pakistan and graduated in March 2010 from Medical University of the Americas, Saint Kitts and Nevis. Rizvi’s hobbies and interests include basketball, weightlifting, drawing, music and volunteering. • Donish Siddiqi: He was born in Hicksville and graduated in May from American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Antigua. Siddiqi is a life-long percussionist and amateur guitarist. He also enjoys hiking, camping, watching and playing sports. • Troy Slover: He was born in Santa Maria, Calif. and graduated from Spartan Health Sciences University, Saint Lucia. Slover’s hobbies and interests include working out, playing guitar, writing music, art, history, traveling

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and playing sports (especially soccer). • Martin Tolentino: He was born in Manila, Philippines and graduated in April 2001 from University of the EastRamon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Philippines. Tolentino’s hobbies and interests include painting, playing the guitar and fishing. • Andy Tran: He was born in Ba Ria, Vietnam and graduated in March 2011 from Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica. Tran’s hobbies and interests include exploring the world, working out, reading classic fiction and learning foreign languages.

New occupational therapist joins rehab team Patricia Calcara recently joined the staff of PORT RehabCare at St. Joseph Nursing Home in Utica as a registered occupational therapist. She is a graduate of Ithaca College with Master of Science degree in occupational therapy and a minor in gerontology. Calcara has eight years of longterm care experience with PORT RehabCare. She had an article on occupations published in the ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners biweekly publication, and her thesis on handwriting helped in the revision of the test on handwriting skills. Calcara hopes to advance the therapy program at St. Joseph’s and instill a new set of skills in residents that ensures their independence and safety. She lives in Oneida with her husband, Jason, and their two children.

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New diabetes prevention program offered


he Central New York Diabetes Education Program is offering a new diabetes prevention program that focuses on treating pre-diabetes to prevent Type 2 diabetes. The program will begin in September and will be held at CNY Diabetes located on the fourth floor of the Faxton Campus, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica. Type 2 diabetes threatens one in three Americans and 90 percent of these individuals don’t even know they’re at risk. At the pre-diabetes stage, blood sugar levels are elevated but not so high they can’t be lowered. Lifestyle changes are the key. By taking practical, everyday steps, patients may reverse pre-diabetes and avoid Type 2 diabetes and associated dangers such as heart attack, stroke, blindness and amputation. The CNY DPP is a scientifically proven program to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. To qualify, you must be at high risk for diabetes by scoring a nine or greater on a risk assessment test or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes by your doctor. For more information, contact CNY Diabetes at 315-624-4520 or The CNY DPP is the result of a major, multi-center clinical study to validate if modest weight loss, improved meal planning and increased physical activity could delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes in people who were in a pre-diabetes state. After three years of studying more than 3,000 people, researchers found that the risk of developing diabetes decreased by 58 percent in people who participated in the lifestyle intervention changes. The Central New York Diabetes Education Program is a cooperative effort of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica.

Free stroke support group to meet


axton St. Luke’s Healthcare will host a free stroke support group at 6 p.m. Aug. 7 in the Soggs Room at St. Luke’s Home in the Center for Rehabilitation and Continuing Care Services, 1650 Champlin Ave., Utica. For more information, call 315-6246847. Page 20

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