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in good Born At Home

Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

March 2012 • Issue 73

Diet choices fight cancer

Births taking place outside of the traditional hospital setting increased 29 percent between 2004 and 2009.

No, The Doctor Is Not In Today A new study shows that shortage of physicians in Upstate New York is getting a lot worse.


Natural foods, fluids provide arsenal in war against disease. See Page 5


of the Worst Foods to Eat While Driving

Special food and nutrition issue

Dr. Judith Baumhauer A national leader in the field of orthopedics, professor and surgeon talks about her specialty

New Study: Spanking Produces Troubled Kids


study conducted by SmartDrive Systems, a leader in fleet safety training and techniques, compiled data from more than 34 million risky driving incidents and ranks food and beverages consumed while driving as a higher distraction than talking on a mobile phone. What are the worse foods you can have while driving? See story on page 7. March 2012 •

It’s time to detoxify yourself! See Page 6 Get ‘In Good Health’ at home. See coupon inside

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Got a health-related activity or event that you would like publicized? Call Lou Sorendo at 315-749-7070 or email March 1

Senior sign language class offered A senior sign language class will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesdays from March 7 to April 4 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 8595 Westmoreland Road, Whitesboro. This class is designed for older adults (55 years and older) to learn the basics of sign language. A second class for those who have

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

taken the first class will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursdays from March 8 to April 5 at Trinity UMC. Call Nancy at 736-6872 or email for registration information by March 1.

March 1

Nutrition topic of Rome Hospital’s Health Night Rome Memorial Hospital’s registered dietitian Sharon Davis will do a presentation about food, nutrition and steps to good health at 7 p.m. March 1 in the hospital’s classroom. In recognition of National Nutrition Month, Davis’ health night discussion will help participants “get your plate in shape” by focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits. Health night is a free monthly lecture series. Advance registration is not required. Refreshments will be served.

March 2

HealthNet schedules recognition luncheon Herkimer County HealthNet will recognize municipalities and organizations at its inaugural Creating Healthy Places Recognition Luncheon set for noon March 2 at Francesca’s Banquets & Catering, Ilion. The luncheon is $15 a person, which also includes a chance to win a men’s or ladies Raleigh Venture Comfort Bicycle which has a value of $350. For those who are interested in attending, call Alison J. Swartz, Creating Healthy Places grant coordinator, at 315-867-1499.

March 3

Finalists chosen to compete for AHA honor Five local finalists have been chosen from the nominations collected this winter to compete for the American Heart Association Lifestyle Change Award sponsored by Olivari Mediterranean Olive Oil. Rhonda Brooker, Tory Hauck, Marybeth McCall, Carrie Mineo, and Jeffrey Moyer are the finalists. The winner will be named after America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk March 3 at Utica College. This year, the winner will be determined by votes cast on the Olivari Mediterranean Facebook page at www. Olivari Mediterranean Olive Oil is bottled locally in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome.

March 2-4

Retrouvaille rebuilding hurt marriages A Retrouvaille weekend experience helps couples find a new way of looking at themselves and one another. Retrouvaille has helped marriages survive addiction, adultery, anger and indifference. Since 2006, The Good News Center has offered this program, which is led by couples who themselves have been through the program. It will be held March 2-4 at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. This weekend experience lasts from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Overnight accommodations and meals are included. For more information, visit, or for confidential inquiries, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 315-735-6210 ext. 228, andrea@the

March 4

Are you ready to consider The Third Option? The Third Option meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every other Sunday at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The next meeting is March 4. The Third Option is a support group for married couples. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 315-7356210 ext. 228, andrea@the

Continued on Page 15

The doctor is not in the house Herkimer County among areas hit hardest by physician shortages


ospitals across the state are facing a serious physician shortage that is expected to worsen as the pace of physician departures and retirements accelerates, and hospitals are having problems recruiting new doctors, according to a new report by the Healthcare Association of New York State. “The 2011 Physician Advocacy Survey,” which focused on the physician shortage outside of New York City, found 34 percent of hospitals had to reduce or eliminate services in the past two years due to a lack of doctors. Sixty-six percent reported there were times when the shortage left their emergency department without coverage for certain specialties, such as orthopedics and neurology, requiring a transfer to another hospital for treatment. The shortage is particularly acute in rural areas, with the added recruitment challenges of geographic location, weather, and professional isolation. More than half of the rural counties in New York state reported a decrease in one or more categories of crucially needed physicians, and six rural counties—Chemung, Chenango, Greene, Herkimer, Seneca, and Ulster—saw a decline in the number of primary care physicians. “Every patient deserves a doctor,” said HANYS’ President Daniel Sisto. “We must have policies in place to motivate and recruit physicians to practice in New York state, particularly in the communities that need them the most.”

Steep decline noted

In 2010, nearly 2,300 physicians left or retired from hospitals, compared to 1,600 in 2009, and an estimated 510 are expected to retire in 2011. With the average age of practicing physicians at

52, and 16 percent over the age of 65, the pace of retirements is expected to accelerate in coming years, exacerbating the shortage. Sisto noted the importance of preventing cuts to successful training and recruitment programs such as Medicare Graduate Medical Education and Doctors Across New York, a state-funded initiative to help train and place doctors in underserved areas. He also emphasized the need for programs such as DANY to be implemented in an easier-to-access manner so that funds can be utilized effectively, as well as for New York state to seriously address the workforce recommendations of the Medicaid redesign team. Statewide, hospitals reported that they had the most difficulty recruiting psychiatrists, urologists, orthopedics, internal medicine sub-specialists, obstetrics/gynecology and primary care doctors. The survey found key recruitment barriers continue to be the lack of competitive salary, lack of candidates, geographic location, and lack of opportunity for spouse. National reports estimate the average medical student debt at around $160,000. The report also showed some areas of the state are experiencing a much greater shortage than others. In the Rochester area, 59 percent of hospitals reported they had to reduce or eliminate services in 2010, compared to a statewide average of 26 percent. In Western New York, 82 percent responded there were times their emergency department did not have specialty coverage, requiring patient transfers, compared to 66 percent statewide. A total of 109 member hospitals outside of New York City responded to the survey, with 90 percent of the state’s rural hospitals responding.


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Annual Children’s Miracle Network Bowl-A-Thon raises nearly $13,000


he Children’s Miracle Network recently held its 21st annual Bowling for Miracles Bowl-A-Thon, raising nearly $13,000 for women’s and children’s services at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica. The event was held at Pin-O-Rama Recreation Center in Utica, where 59 teams took to the lanes in support of CMN. In all, more than 240 bowlers participated in the event, which was organized by the FSLH Foundation in partnership with WKTV NewsChannel 2 and Lite 98.7. Proceeds from CMN events like the annual bowl-a-thon make it possible for children like Emily Davies of Forestport to receive specialized care close to home. When this CMN Miracle Child felt a severe, throbbing pain in her leg

in early 2011, she and her parents never expected to find out that the cause was osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. In order to get better, Emily needed surgery and time to heal. She spent nearly two weeks on the pediatric floor at FSLH. She enjoyed time with the hospital’s child life specialist who built a one-on-one relationship with her to help her work through her fears of hospitalization. “Emily’s story is a wonderful example of how funds raised through CMN events like bowl-a-thon make a difference in the level of care we are able to provide,” said Michele Adams, CMN coordinator. “Whether you participate in the event or just make a donation, every gift helps to change lives.”


IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Dr. Judith Baumhauer A national leader in the field of orthopedics, URMC professor and surgeon talks about research, breaking glass ceilings, volunteering in Vietnam and how her specialty is evolving over time Q: You’re an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the ankle and foot. Can you give me some examples of procedures you perform? A: If your ankle is arthritic and causing you pain, I can help you out. If you broke your ankle, I can fix that for you. If your ankle is so arthritic that it needs to be replaced, I can do that for you. I can realign and reconstruct foot and ankle problems. Q: What kind of research have you been involved in? A: We have a movement analysis lab that we have in collaboration with the Ithaca College’s physical therapy group. We’ve done research looking at how different types of braces influence the ability to do functional activities. We looked at over-the-counter products to see if they’re any better than the custom-made ones that cost 10, 20 times more. We’ve also done work looking at clinical outcomes, comparing different types of surgery. A great example is bunions, which have many operation choices depending on how old you are, how bad the deformity is, what the range of motion is. We looked at the outcomes of the different procedures. Q: The estimated cost savings for patients and insurers using over-thecounter products for ankle arthritis is nearly $300,000. Why is the cost for custom products so high? A: We’ve chosen to sort of challenge dogma by not going immediately to custom braces for ankle or even arthritic foot problems. In this day and age where patients are shouldering a lot of costs, I always think of it as money coming out of my pocket if I were the patient. I would be thankful if someone found a less costly alternative for me.

craftsmanship. An over-the-counter product is prefabricated. It’s like ordering a tailored suit. Some people are shaped differently and might need the custom product. Most people can probably buy the shirt that comes in the department store and be just fine. Q: You’ve shattered a few glass ceilings in your time. You were the first female president of the Eastern Orthopaedic Association, are the first female president of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and the first female director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Were these positions you had to fight for or did one thing kind of lead to another? A: Nothing just happens. I think there’s a lot of hard work and credibility that I built up over the years that allowed me to navigate my way into a leadership role in a society that hadn’t had female leadership before. I think there are people who can

Q: Ten to 20 times more expensive is pretty enormous difference. Why is it so much? A: I think it’s the Page 4

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

help you along, but you have to put in a lot of hard work in order to advance. I sort of have a personality type that uses my sense of humor and ability to get along with others. There’s always a bit of luck, but hard work and people pulling for you make the difference. Q: Tell me about your work in Asia. A: The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society has a mission to provide humanitarian service in Vietnam. They’ve been doing that for about 11 years now. I went to Vietnam for about three weeks to donate my time and efforts. The Vietnamese government allowed us to have clinics for people who otherwise would not have the money or resources to get care. They rode in however they could get to us, sometimes by horse or wagon. We had people who would meet us for these relatively large clinics and, out of those clinics, the individuals who we thought we could help with the resources we had available, we took to the operating room. I operated on more than 40 people myself. It was really interesting, culturally. The older people didn’t really seek out help. They saved it for the younger people. Most of the people were probably 35 or younger. Q: Was that a big reversal from your patient profiles back home? A: You might say that. They believe opportunities are for the young. Remember, the young take care of the old. They live in extended households, so their responsibilities include taking care of their elders. These people would come in and they did not have

tiny problems. They didn’t have hammertoes and bunions. They had their foot stuck down like it was en pointe in ballet. When you queried them to ask them why that was, most of them said it was from “the high fever,” and I think most of that was polio. So something that’s eradicated in our country is still an issue there. So we’d release some tight tissues and tendons and do tendon transfers to allow them to go from a gimping sort of walking to walking like a regular person. When you finished up, you knew it was something that was going to make a big impact in their lives. A lot of people, when they come back from medical missions, say that they got more out of it than they gave. I’m certainly one of those people. It taught me to do something with nothing. Q: Can you talk about your academic role at the University of Rochester Medical Center? A: I provide mentorship and help run the orthopedic residency. I try to provide an environment that it is conducive to advancing research and teaching. Q: How is your specialty changing and evolving? A: I might be a little biased, but I think foot and ankle may be the last orthopedic frontier. It’s just sort of come into its own. While we had ankle replacements for a long time, we finally have ankle replacements that have a longevity worthy of my patients. We have an understanding of complex medical conditions like diabetes and how they affect the foot. Those kinds of things have really advanced.

Lifelines Name: Judy Baumhauer, M.D. Hometown: Kingston, NY Education: University of Vermont (medical/residency); University of Rochester Medical Center (fellowship); Springfield College (undergrad); Middlebury College (master’s) Current: She directs the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Foot and Ankle Institute, which sees about 17,000 patient visits a year. Hospital Associations: University of Rochester Medical Center, Highland Hospital Affiliations: president of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society; president-elect of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery; member—American Board of Medical Specialties Family: Husband and three daughters Hobbies: Running, crafts with daughters, skiing, hiking, swimming Awards: Recently named the winner of the 26th annual Athena Award at a special luncheon at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Food & Nutrition The Balanced Body

By Deb Dittner

Preventing Cancer … Naturally Prevention techniques available through natural sources


ancer. The “C” word that causes mental stress and anguish for the patient and the family. It is not a single disease process and can have numerous causes. This often causes confusion and not knowing where to turn for answers. When one receives the diagnosis of cancer, it often leads to hour upon hour of research through books, medical and lay articles/journals, specific cancer research programs and support groups. Often this research only leads to more questions. When looking at what can help to prevent any particular type of cancer, we need to research the possibilities that may help in the protection of cancer in the first place. Of course, there are no guarantees on staying cancer-free. But if we can decrease the odds of developing cancer through not smoking, daily movement, whole foods nutrition, restricting exposure to pollutants/irritants, decreasing stress, limiting alcohol intake, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, we can definitely be a step ahead of the game. Incorporating a holistic or alternative approach either in prevention or treatment is highly recommended. The task that whole foods play is increasing in evidence. Let’s look at the types of fresh foods that can help in lowering one’s chances of developing cancer: • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, broccoli sprouts, and cabbage are rich in antioxidants helping the liver to break down and destroy cancer-causing toxins in the body. • Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, chard and collard greens are also rich in antioxidants guarding the cells from the kind of destruction that can encourage cancerous mutations. • Onions and garlic are rich in

antioxidants, decreasing the growth of tumor cells and preventing cell mutation. • Cold-water fish such as salmon and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, which provide anti-inflammatory support. Research has shown that eating cold-water fish at least once or twice a week, or taking a daily supplement, may be beneficial. • Tomatoes, watermelon and guava are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant providing the rich, red/orange color. Research has shown that tomatoes reduce the Dittner risk for prostate cancer and may reduce the risk for lung and stomach cancers. Lycopene can also be taken in supplement form. helping to prevent cell damage. As mentioned above, supplements can also play a role in cancer prevention. Let’s discuss some additional supplements that may also be beneficial: • Vitamin D is best received from safe exposure to the sun. Vitamin D levels may be monitored by your healthcare provider so that a therapeutic range can be maintained throughout the year. Research has shown that low levels of Vitamin D may increase the chances of developing certain cancers such as breast. Vitamin D helps to boost the immune system and helps to prevent precancerous cells from proliferating.

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

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Local News, Inc. Distribution: 35,000 copies. To request home delivery ($15 per year), call (315) 749-7070.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2012 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: 4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 • Phone: 315-749-7070 Email: Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Amylynn Pastorella, Patricia Malin, Barbara Pierce, Kristen Raab Advertising: Richard Annal, Marsha Preston 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.

• Melatonin has been found to boost the immune and aids in sleeping. This hormone is naturally produced by the pineal gland in the evening. • Omega-3 fatty acids (see coldwater fish above). A fish oil supplement consisting of one gram of EPA and DHA is recommended. • Selenium is an antioxidant enzyme helping the liver to break down toxins. Selenium may help in the prevention of colon, lung and prostate cancers. • Fluids help in keeping your body hydrated and flush out toxins. Numerous chemicals can be found in tap water and considered to be carcinogenic. These chemicals include arsenic, chromium and chemical byproducts that develop when water is disinfected. Filtering the water with a carbon tapmounted filter or pitcher is helpful in reducing the degree of contaminants in the water. A reverse osmosis filter is recommended with water polluted with chromium or arsenic. Green tea has also been shown by some research to cut down the risk of developing certain cancers such as prostate, breast and pancreatic. Green tea is lower in caffeine than coffee and can also be taken in supplement form. Pomegranate juice is high in antioxidants and may help in the prevention of colon and prostate cancers. • Movement will definitely increase your chances of survival. Getting 30 minutes of activity most days of the week will help to bring down insulin levels. Helpful in diabetes, movement (walking, yoga, swimming, etc.) is one of the most potent ways to decrease your cancer risks. • Stress is rampant! Stress plays a large role in our emotions that in turn

Somatique Massage and Wellness

creates disease. Breathing techniques ( have been shown to relieve stress and anxiety. The practice of emotional freedom technique is another good method ( for the release of emotions. Yoga is not only a form of movement but also aids in centering the body and creating calm. Massage is a useful calming and restorative therapy. Light massage is typically used in cancer patients, making sure not to work over the area of trauma/disease. Massage therapists and other practitioners will use therapeutic-grade essential oils ( both in the prevention and treatment of cancer. • Therapeutic-grade essential oils work best during the early stages of cancer. Research has shown that frankincense, the father of all essential oils, is the number-one inhibitor of cancer. • Deb Dittner is a family nurse practitioner, Reiki master teacher and a holistic health counselor who works with men and women struggling with weight, hormones, and energy issues. For more information, call 518-596-8565 or visit www. to receive your free health report.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Food & Nutrition Detoxify your body Transform your health: Decrease toxins that bombard you By Barbara Pierce


n mid-January, over 100 persons listened as experts shared information on how to transform their health. The Little Falls seminar was a presentation by Julie Perlanski of the St. Elizabeth Medical Group in Little Falls, and Kim Thompson, functional nutritionist, owner and operator of Healthy Transformations in New Hartford. The audience learned of the many harmful toxins that surround us, that bombard us every day. Toxins are responsible for many chronic diseases. “Essentially, toxicity is linked to almost every chronic disease,” said Thompson. Toxicity is linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, Parkinson’s, cancers, and autoimmune disorders (such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis), and many other serious diseases, some the leading causes of death and disability. We are surrounded by harmful toxins every day, explained Thompson. “First are the pesticides that litter our food chain. This is why eating organic is becoming increasingly popular and important. “Food additives are a large contributor of toxins. The average American eats 14 pounds of food additives and chemicals each year. “Next, the toxins called ‘industrial compounds,’ things like plasticizers (additives to plastic), heavy metals, and various solvents and detergents, including your laundry soap and cleaning supplies. “We are also exposed to synthetic medications, also known as prescription and over-the-counter drugs. “The average woman is exposed to almost 200 toxins before she leaves the house, just in cosmetic and beauty products.

Toxic environment

“To top off the list, there is a new category of toxins called ‘obesogens.’ They are aptly named as they are considered to be one of the reasons for the increase in obesity.” These are man-made chemically engineered toxic ingredients that are added to many of the products we use regularly. They are especially dangerous to us, as our bodies are not designed to break down these chemically engineered ingredients. Thompson said that our body works continuously to remove toxins. This process is called metabolic detoxification. The liver is the primary organ at work to detoxify us. “We are seeing an increasing need to assist the

body in the process as our environment, and therefore our body, is burdened with so many toxins. Our liver is like the ‘filter’ of the outside world,” she said. Thompson likened this process to the “I Love Lucy” episode when Lucy and Ethyl are working on a conveyor belt wrapping chocolates. “Think of the conveyor belt as your liver and the chocolates are the toxins,” she said. “For a while, Lucy and Ethyl are able to keep up with the flow of chocolate coming out, but then the chocolates come faster and faster. They start shoving chocolates in their dresses, in their mouths, in their hats, anything to keep up with the conveyor belt. “This is what happens with a toxic burden. The liver cannot keep up with the flow of toxins coming in, so it ‘sends’ them off to parts of the body that should not be handling toxins. For example, fat cells are a great storage spot for toxins.”

Eat fruits and veggies

To decrease our toxic burden, Thompson recommends to first, consume fresh fruits and vegetables. These help our body detoxify by helping our liver do its job. Spend a little extra to get organic. Regarding meats, look for hormone free, grass-fed animals, adds Thomp-

Binge drinking escalates in U.S. It’s bottoms up for many Americans despite health hazards


ore than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink an average of four times a month and the most drinks they consume on average is eight, according to a new “Vital Signs” report form the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While binge drinking is more common among young adults aged 18–34, of those 65 and older who report binge drinking, they do so more often — an average of five to six times a month. Binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, but the largest number of drinks consumed per ocPage 6

casion is significantly higher among binge drinkers with household incomes of less than $25,000 — an average of eight to nine drinks, the report said. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on an occasion. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes more than 80,000 deaths in the United States each year, making it the third leading preventable cause of death, and was responsible for more than $223.5 billion in economic costs in 2006. Over half of these deaths result from injuries

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

that disproportionately involve young people. “Binge drinking causes a wide range of health, social and economic problems and this report confirms the problem is really widespread,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. “We need to work together to implement proven measures to reduce binge drinking at national, state and community levels.” For more information about binge drinking, visit the CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health website at www.cdc. gov/alcohol/index.htm.

son. And choose wild-caught fish, rather than farm raised. Become “greener” when choosing household products; there are many free of chemicals and toxins. Think of the basics, like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda for cleaning. There are chemical-free “soap nuts” for laundry. In beauty products use those that minimize chemicals. And drink lots of water to help eliminate toxins. Metabolic detoxification, maximizing the body’s abilities to rid itself of toxins, is recommended by Thompson. “True metabolic detoxification occurs in the presence of whole foods, rich in nutrients, to allow the liver to filter out toxins, and effectively eliminate them from the body. Such a program should be completed under the supervision of a health care provider familiar with the program,” she said. “As a community, we must take action to become more educated and involved in what we are feeding ourselves and our children,” stressed Thompson. “Our current standard American diet (whose acronym is SAD) is killing us and our children. We can’t sit back and hope that change will come. We need to make change happen.” Many of those who attended were eager to learn more. They are participating in a 28-day group detoxification program. During the 28 days, they are meeting three times with Thompson to learn more about how to detoxify their bodies the natural way. For more information, contact Thompson, 315-737-8270 or www. Family practitioner Perlanski is a founding member of Collaborative Healing, a group of practitioners who combine conventional and alternative medicine. She can be reached at 315823-1113, or www.collaborative



n a story that appeared on Page 12 of the February edition of Mohawk Valley In Good Health, there were two incorrections. Kovatchitch is not a doctor. In addition, The Sisters of St. Francis are the sponsors of St. Elizabeth Medical Center. However, they no longer teach at the college of nursing.

Any newsworthy news item you want to share? Call 749.7070 today!


Food & Nutrition most dangerous foods to eat behind the wheel

By Gina Roberts-Grey


ehind the wheel seems like a great place to calm a grumbling stomach or squeeze lunch into your already crammed schedule. But eating while driving could have your rearview mirror filled with a cop’s flashing lights or worse. Eating while driving can cause accidents, injuries and even death. Is the craving for drive-thru junk food or ice cream really worth all that? A study conducted by SmartDrive Systems, a leader in fleet safety training and techniques, compiled data from more than 34 million risky driving incidents and ranks food and beverages consumed while driving as a higher distraction than talking on a mobile phone. And experts agree. Talking or texting while driving is extremely distracting. But experts say eating is really just as bad when you’re behind the wheel. Marcel Just, a leading neuroscientist and expert on multitasking at Carnegie Mellon University says eating while driving can be just as distracting as texting while driving. “It takes your mind off of driving and forces you to try to succinctly perform too many things at once; eat without choking or spilling, etc., and drive following all the rules of the road.” Just says that’s just too much for one brain to do all at once. And if you’re unable to follow those rules of the road, food-related distraction can send your car insurance rates skyrocketing. “Traffic violations and crashes resulting in claims being filed with your car insurance company become part of your ‘insurance history report’,” says Jack Smith a member of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York. “If you get a ticket because you were eating and didn’t notice the speed limit, that $5 burger could become an awfully expensive lunch.” Any food can get you into trouble because eating is distracting. But experts say these take the cake at being the most dangerous to eat behind the wheel.

Potato chips This triple-threat has experts seeing red — as in the color of lights atop police cars and ambulances. That’s because the salt turns your attention toward looking for something to drink and the grease has you looking for a napkin instead of a car turning in front of you. “An alert driver needs 1.5 seconds to react to something that happens while they are driving. A distracted driver who is splitting attention between eating and driving needs

three seconds to react,” says Stephanie Schwartz, a driving instructor and owner of Road Runner Traffic School, in Phoenix. Oh yeah, then there’s the choking hazard. Paul Bryson, a specialist at the Cleveland Clinic Head & Neck Institute, says eating chips behind the wheel poses a significant choking risk. “The jagged edges make them tough to swallow if you accidentally swallow one without chewing it thoroughly.” And while you’re trying to dislodge a chip from your throat, you could bash into another car, tree, mailbox, or a host of other objects in your path.

Ice cream in a cup Ice cream cones get all the credit for being distracting because they drip all over and distract you with the need to lick or find a napkin. After all, who wants an ice cream blob on the front of their shirt? But cone’s counterpart, the ice cream cup, is an even bigger danger. Sure, cups eliminate the drip factor making them cleaner. But they require two hands to eat. That is, unless you’ve managed to master holding the cup and spoon in one hand. Even so, onehanded driving doesn’t ensure proper control should something (or someone) suddenly appear in front of you. “You need two hands on the wheel to maintain the best control of the vehicle,” says Schwartz. And don’t even think about trying to hold the cup in your lap or steer with your knees. “You’re asking to lose control and risking your life,” she adds. All for a scoop of chocolate swirl.

Pizza Debra Jaliman, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, says you should never ever eat pizza while driving. “Within seconds the hot, greasy cheese dripping down your face can cause a first or second degree burn on the face,” she says. The most common place to be burned is the corner of your mouth, where Jaliman says your skin is more delicate and thin than on the rest of your face. “The pain will be distracting and so will the urge to look for a napkin or something to cool your skin,” she says. “Even if you’re not burned, a slice of pizza is distracting. The grease makes it hard to properly hang onto the wheel, operate a turn signal, etc., so you’re going to turn your attention to finding a napkin and won’t pay full attention to the road,” says Schwartz. “And eating a slice that has toppings that tend to fall off (like mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc.) often requires two hands to eat, so you can’t safely steer your car stuffing your face with a slice.”

Burgers with the fixins This staple in American’s diets is pure ooey gooey goodness. And as a bonus, you can get one in about 60 seconds courtesy of drive thrus. Yum! Schwartz says you shouldn’t keep on trucking after buzzing through a drive-thru. “Stop, park and then eat,” she urges. March 2012 •

That’s because burgers (even without the cheese) are drippy and greasy. And to keep all those fixin’s off your lap, car seat, or running down your chin, you need two hands to eat them. A plate helps, too! By the time you stow your burger someplace it won’t leave a stain (like in the wrapper you fished out of the passenger seat) in order to get even one hand firmly on the wheel, it could be too late. “You will have hit the car that cut you off or the dog that ran out in the road,” she says. By the way, hot dogs, sub sandwiches and other foods loaded with condiments are just as dangerous!

Soda without a straw To be fair, any drink that doesn’t have a straw (like bottled water and tea) can be dangerous, but soda is one bottle often snagged off store shelves. “It’s hard to unscrew a soda bottle cap with one hand, and since you should always have at least—preferably two hands—on the wheel. It’s nearly impossible to open bottles,” says Bob Surrusco, general manager of the Safe America Foundation and the SAF Teen Driving Institute, in Marietta, Georgia. It’s also tough to recap them in order to keep the beverage from sloshing out if you happen to come to a fast stop or make a hard turn. “When something spills, the driver’s first instinct is to quickly clean it up. That can take the driver’s attention away from the road, which increases the odds of getting into a car accident,” says Surrusco.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Food & Nutrition Food myth busters Some myths just don’t hold up against expert analysis By Kristen Raab


ews about whether a particular food is healthy or harmful floods the airways on a daily

basis. This leads to difficulty in making healthy food choices and navigating the aisles of the grocery store. Some of the more common food myths can be debunked with the expertise of Patricia Salzer, health and wellness consultant for Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield. • Myth 1: Fat-free food will lead to a fat-free you. Salzer explains that “foods may Salzer be free of fat but have additional sugar in them and therefore may even have more calories.” It is important to look at labels to see how many calories the food has per serving. Shoppers must also be savvy when it comes to advertising tricks such as boasting that a product is fatfree when the statement is unnecessary. For example, if the orange juice carton is labeled with a big, bold “fat free,” it might be tempting to purchase even though oranges are naturally fat

free. In addition, the sugar content is not related to the fat content. Consumers should also note that fat is not the enemy. Salzer says to consume “some of the liquid oils that are good for us. This includes olive oil, canola oil, sesame and peanut oil.” • Myth 2: Chocolate will expand your waistline. Chocolate can be high in calories, so it is important to consume it in moderation. “Avoid the side dish of guilt that may accompany it when you consider the health promotion substances found in chocolate,” Salzer says. Pick dark chocolate over milk chocolate for the most health benefits. • Myth 3: The incredible, edible egg is full of cholesterol and calories. Actually, the says that eggs can be used as a tool for weight management. One egg has around 70 calories. “Eggs are the food with the most complete protein and are allowed on a heart-healthy diet,” Salzer explains. Therefore, “an egg a day is OK.” Eat them for brain health (choline) and eye health (lutein and zeaxanthin) among other health benefits. • Myth 4: Boiling vegetables is a nutrient zapper. There is a solution to this problem. Salzer recommends using the least amount of water possible. This will help you to “maintain the water soluble vitamins in vegetables.” Salzer also suggests saving the water to use as soup stock. • Myth 5: If it is not fresh, it is not

the best. In this case, frozen and fresh are both good options. Fresh produce is a wonderful option, but it is not always available, or it might not be possible to use it before it must be thrown away. Frozen varieties are great “without extra high-calorie and high-sodium sauces,” Salzer says. • Myth 6: Say goodbye to carbohydrates if you want to lose weight. Carbs have really received a bad name, particularly since the Atkins diet became popular. Here’s the truth: You

can eat carbohydrates and lose weight at the same time. “To lose weight, you need to cut excess calories and increase calories expended,” Salzer noted. These calories can be from various sources such as carbs, protein or fat. Salzer’s advice is to combine exercise, strength training and healthy eating to maintain a healthy weight. • Myth 7: To be healthy, step away from that cup of coffee. There are health benefits from coffee. Some studies now suggest that coffee may help reduce the risk for certain cancers. Other studies indicate that coffee may play a positive role in lowering the risk of depression. In general, Salzer says it is fine to “enjoy that cup or two. After 24 ounces, though, consider decaffeinated beverages.” Caffeine is a stimulant and many people are affected by it, she said. “It may interfere with sleep. So enjoy some caffeine and if you want more coffee, switch to decaf or halfcaf,” Salzer said. • Myth 8: Leave the nuts to the squirrels. Eat nuts in moderation for the most health benefits. “Fat from nuts is healthy for your heart,” Salzer said. She suggests counting out a serving size and putting it into a snack size bag. This will keep you from mindlessly munching. Nuts help keep you full, and you can have a decent amount. There are 23 almonds in one serving. Enjoy!

Breads top list of saltiest foods M

ost of the salt in American diets doesn’t come from the salt shaker; it comes from the foods they purchase and restaurant meals. Surprisingly, bread and rolls are the No.1 source of salt in Americans’ diet, accounting for more than twice as much sodium as potato chips. According to a report released in February by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the salty junk foods you would expect to see Page 8

on the top of the list, such as chips, pretzels and popcorn, occupy the No. 10 spot. The CDC said that bread and rolls are not really saltier than many other foods, but people tend to eat a lot of them. According to the CDC, breads and rolls account for about 7 percent of the salt the average American eats daily. Taking the No. 2 spot were cold cuts and cured meats, followed by pizza; fresh and processed poultry; soups; fast food hamburgers and sandwiches;

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

and cheese. Rounding out the list, accounting for about 3 percent each, are spaghetti and other pasta dishes; meatloaf and other meat dishes, and snacks such as potato chips and pretzels. Dietary recommendations for most Americans are no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, which is the equivalent to about a teaspoon of salt. Certain people, such as those with high blood pressure, should consume even less. The average sodium intake in the United States is around 3,000 milligrams. Just one in 10 Americans meet

the teaspoon guideline. Excess salt intake has been linked to a host of health problems. Salt reduction has become a recent focus of public health campaigns, and some major food makers have taken steps or announced plans to gradually reduce the amount of sodium in their products. Health experts say that consumers should read labels carefully and look at sodium content. Preparing food at home and eating more fruits and vegetables are other ways to reduce sodium intake.

Pet Health Pet project Get comfortable with the right veterinarian and make appropriate recommendations to limit that.” Pet owners on a limited budget sometimes wait to bring the pet in, hoping that whatever is wrong will go away in a day or two. “There are times when it is really important to bring a pet to see the veterinarian right away,” suggested Monti. “If a pet stops eating suddenly, becomes less active, drinks or urinates more than normal, or has any obvious injury, we should see them right away. These signs can often signal illness that cannot be detected without diagnostic testing.”

By Barbara Pierce


o insure a long and healthy life for your pet, one of the most important things you can do is to establish a good relationship with a veterinarian. A vet in whom you have confidence and with whom you can have a good relationship will be important throughout your pet’s life. When you choose your family’s vet, use the same care you would use to select a physician for yourself. Your vet will be your pet’s pediatrician, dentist, dermatologist, internist, surgeon, eye doctor, geriatric specialist, and maybe more. Choose your vet in advance, when your new pet first becomes a part of your family. Do not wait for an emergency to locate a vet. “Ideally, we prefer to see a pet for the first time when they are well,” said Frank Monti, owner and director of the New Hartford Animal Hospital and Care Center. “Establishing a doctor/ patient relationship when the pet is young gives the owner a good foundation to keep their pet healthy and happy.” “In addition to that, when a pet becomes comfortable with us at an early age, they tend to enjoy their visits rather than becoming frightened by coming to the doctor,” Monti added. To develop a good relationship with your vet, arrive five to 10 minutes before your appointment time to fill out appropriate paperwork and be ready to see the doctor at the scheduled time, advises Monti. “Your vet will want to know a

Come prepared

When a pet is ill, come with a full history of the current medical problem, the more Frank Monti, owner and director of the New Hartford Animal detailed the better. For example, note Hospital and Care Center, attends to a canine patient. when you first noticed the symptoms, and a description of thorough history of your pet’s lifestyle, the symptoms. If he vomited, what diet, illnesses or injuries, and behavior,” did it look like? If he defecated or did Monti said. “We also need to know what not, what did it look like? risk factors the pet has, such as if the Any changes from your pet’s pet goes outdoors, goes to dog parks, normal behavior are important. Be travels with their family, or even visits open about what has been going on. the groomer or pet stores. We look for If your dog is supposed to be on a areas of exposure to illness or disease special diet and he snatches food from

off counters, or eats from the cat’s litter pan, that is important. Don’t rely on your memory; write down what is going on with your pet, so that you will not forget anything. And write down the questions that you have for the vet. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you understand what the vet thinks is wrong with your pet, how serious the problem is, and what is needed. What are the medications he is prescribing and what are the possible side effects? Also, make sure you understand how much time, effort, and money you will have to spend correcting it, recommends online. If you’re unhappy with your vet because of inadequate or excessive treatment, high bills, or any other reason, get a second opinion. “Veterinary care can become costly,” added Monti. “Each veterinarian will have their own payment policies,” Monti said. In addition to the more common methods of payment, New Hartford Animal Hospital offers “Care Credit,” which is a way to afford treatment plans with affordable monthly payments. For more information, you can visit Follow your vets’ recommendations, exactly. Don’t think you know best. Get those pills down him or her every four hours on schedule. If you must, crush the pill and put it in soft food like peanut butter or yogurt. For more about New Hartford Animal Hospital, go to

Your pet on meds? Make sure you understand them


o prevent or treat an illness in your pet, your veterinarian may prescribe a medication. Understanding important information about the medication and how to treat your pet can help your animal’s recovery or continued good health. “Just as you would talk to your doctor about a medicine prescribed for you or your children, you should talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s medications,” says Bernadette Dunham, director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “And if you have any questions after you leave the animal clinic, don’t be afraid to contact and follow-up with your veterinarian.” Here are 10 questions you should ask your vet when medication is prescribed. 1. Why has my pet been prescribed this medication and how long do I need to give it?

Your veterinarian can tell you what the medication is expected to do for your pet and how many days to give it. 2. How do I give the medication to my pet? Should it be given with food? Your pet may have fewer side effects, like an upset stomach, from some drugs if they are taken with food. Other medications are best to give on an empty stomach. 3. How often should the medication be given and how much should I give each time? If it is a liquid, should I shake it first? Giving the right dose at the right time of the day will help your pet get better more quickly. 4. How do I store the medication? Some medications should be stored in a cool, dry place. Others may require refrigeration. 5. What should I do if my pet vomits or spits out the medication? Your veterinarian may want to hear

from you if your pet vomits. You may be told to stop giving the drug or to switch your pet to another drug. 6. If I forget to give the medication, should I give it as soon as I remember or wait until the next scheduled dose? What if I accidentally give too much? Giving your pet too much of certain medications can cause serious side effects. You’ll want to know if giving too much is a cause for concern and a trip to the animal emergency room. 7. Should I finish giving all of the medication, even if my pet seems to be back to normal? Some medications, such as antibiotics, should be given for a certain length of time, even if your pet is feeling better. 8. Could this medication interact with other medications my pet is taking?

March 2012 •

Always tell your veterinarian what other medications your pet is taking, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, and herbs or other dietary supplements. You may want to write these down and take the list with you to the vet’s office. 9. What reactions should I watch for, and what should I do if I see any side effects? Your veterinarian can tell you if a reaction is normal or if it signals a serious problem. You may be asked to call your vet immediately if certain side effects occur. FDA encourages veterinarians and animal owners to report serious side effects from medications to FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine at 1-800-FDAVETS.. Your vet may want to examine your pet or perform laboratory tests to make sure the medication is working as it should.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9


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


By Anne Palumbo

The skinny on healthy eating

Praise for the Potato


h, the poor potato. It gets such a bad rap. Long feared by many as unhealthy — too starchy! too caloric! — it has fallen by the plate-side. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tossed perfectly good potatoes down the drain after a dinner party. But I won’t give up on the humble spud and here’s why: potatoes are good for you! Sure, they have more carbs than your average vegetable, but the carbs in potatoes are the “good” ones that nature makes, the ones with heart-healthy fiber and other valuable nutrients. Good carbs — vs. the “bad” ones found in refined foods that zip through us lickety-split — are harder to digest and thus get absorbed more slowly into our systems. The benefits? Our blood sugar levels remain more stable, we feel fuller longer, and our energy is longer lasting. Potatoes are impressively high in vitamin C, with one medium potato providing more than a fourth of our daily needs. Although no studies confirm that vitamin C prevents colds, it

may shorten the length of a cold. Beyond its immune-boosting capabilities, vitamin C helps the body maintain healthy tissues and is essential for healing wounds. This tasty tuber is also an excellent source of potassium, especially when consumed with the skin. A powerhouse mineral, potassium is crucial for key body functions and also helps to control blood pressure. According to findings from a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, increasing your potassium intake may be the key to a longer life. Still worried about the calories? Potatoes themselves are not all that caloric, averaging around 130 calories per spud. What’s more, they’re sodium-, fat- and cholesterol-free. Add a table-

spoon of butter, however, and you not only add about 100 calories, but you add fat and cholesterol, too.

Helpful tips Select firm potatoes (individually, when possible) that do not have sprouts or green coloration, since this color indicates that they may contain high levels of a toxin, solanine, which can cause nausea, headaches and other health problems. Store potatoes in a cool, dark place, away from onions, as the gases that they each emit will cause mutual degradation. Don’t refrigerate raw potatoes because it turns the starch to sugar and ruins the flavor. Stored properly, most potatoes last about a month.

Healthy Oven-Roasted “Fries” Adapted from Emeril Lagasse 2 large potatoes, scrubbed (recommend red- or yellow-skinned potatoes) 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 large egg white Seasoning blend of ¼ teaspoon each: salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, paprika Adjust oven rack to lower middle position; preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then grease with the veg-

etable oil. Scrub and dry potatoes, leaving skin on. Slice lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices, then turn each slice flat and slice again lengthwise into even fries, ½-inch thick. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg white to a light froth and then mix in seasoning blend (or seasonings of choice). Add the potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Spread the coated potatoes on the prepared baking sheet, not touching. Bake for 15 minutes. With a spatula, turn the fries over and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until they are brown and crispy. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle columnist, food guru, and seasoned cook, who has perfected the art of preparing nutritious, calorie-conscious dishes. She is hungry for your questions and comments about SmartBites, so be in touch with Anne at

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Men’s Health Walk This Way Roger Smith puts heart into fundraising for America’s Greatest Heart Run/Walk By Patricia J. Malin

lized his condition. “I’m no worse, no better than I was in 2000,” he observed. “With a heart transplant, patients are supposed to live another 10 years, but I’ve lasted 12 years with medicine.”


merica’s Greatest Heart Run/ Walk, held on the first Saturday in March, is a red-letter day for Roger Smith of Constableville. Actually, it’s more of a green day, as in greenbacks. Smith is one of the most consistent fundraisers in Lewis County for the event that was started 38 years ago by the Utica chapter of the American Heart Association. “I’ve probably averaged about $4,000 a year,” Smith said. One year, he raised $7,000. The Heart Run/Walk will be held March 3 at Utica College and the chapter hopes to raise about $1.2 million. Smith’s dedication to funding for heart research started in the spring of 2000 when he began feeling ill. At the time, he didn’t know exactly what was happening to his body. He sought several doctors over a six-month period, he said, looking for answers to his general overall discomfort without anyone detecting a silent heart problem. He suffered mainly from stomach pains, he explained, but physicians could only tell him that it wasn’t due to “gas” or an infected gallbladder. A friend recommended that he consult a cardiologist. The doctor gave Smith a stress test (electrocardiogram), but it did not disclose any abnormalities. “My doctor told me to go home,” Smith recalled. Then in November 2000, he suf-

fered a heart attack at work. It lasted seven hours, though, before he realized what was happening and got treated. By the time he arrived at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica, his heart was irreparably damaged. “I was told that after four hours, your heart loses a lot of muscle,” he said. He was placed on the national registry for a heart transplant. Just then, Smith became an advocate for the American Heart Association. In 2001, he and his wife, Bonnie, participated in the three-mile heart walk for the first time with “Team Charlie,” consisting of participants from Boonville in northern Oneida County and from towns in neighboring Lewis County. Though Smith waited several years for a heart transplant that never came, he isn’t disappointed. In the last decade, he has recognized some remarkable advances in heart research. He is on prescription medicine now that seems to have stabi-

Major transformation

Since Smith’s heart attack, he has watched as the former St. Elizabeth Hospital has developed into a medical center, complete with the Mohawk Valley Heart Institute. It is staffed with more experienced cardiologists who use such advanced devices as echocardiogram machines that can detect heart problems a lot sooner than they could in 2000. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart and muscles and gives a much more detailed image than an X-ray. As far as Smith is concerned, every penny he has raised for the AHA has come back to benefit him and his community. “(Research) has definitely impacted me,” he noted. “Back in 2000, a lot of doctors could only guess at what was wrong.” This year, Team Charlie will be bolstered by the addition of two of Smith’s grandchildren, 10-year-old Connor

Ernst and 2-year-old Grace Smith. Smith, who used to run the F.J. Smith & Sons construction business, said he is deeply indebted to his friends who have supported his fundraising efforts. Thanks to Bonnie’s hard work, every supporter gets rewarded by having his or her name lettered on an oversized T-shirt that Smith wears during his three-mile walk. This year, he said he plans to be decked out in blazing orange shirts. Bonnie acts as the treasurer for her husband’s fundraising campaign, faithfully recording every contribution. Then in the hours before the heart walk, she scurries to print everyone’s name on Roger’s T-shirt before she joins Team Charlie on its early morning bus trip to Utica. She is the unofficial Smith photographer, too, and has filled an album showing the heart run/walk T-shirts worn over the last 11 years. Subway is the national sponsor for America’s Greatest Heart Run/Walk. AmeriCU credit union, based in Rome, is the local signature sponsor. Four-star sponsors are Bassett Healthcare Network, Carbone Auto Group, MetLife & MetLife Foundation, NYCM Insurance, Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig Inc. Insurance and Slocum-Dickson Medical Group PLLC. Last year, more than 1 million people nationwide walked and raised more than $100 million to fund lifesaving research and education efforts in the heart walk.

Most diabetic patients in NYS not receiving necessary tests O nly 37.7 percent of diabetics in New York state received all three recommended medical tests in 2009, with 12.8 percent not receiving any, despite being more likely to see their doctors on a regular basis than the rest of the population, according to a new report by the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and funded by the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth). The report, “Managing Diabetes Care: Moving an Underlying Chronic Condition to the Forefront,” outlines the missed opportunities to educate diabetes patients within hospital and primary care settings, and highlights the successful strategies of integrated patient care. “A diabetes patient will see his or her primary care physician to address an acute symptom, not to address chronic disease prevention,” said HANYS President Daniel Sisto. “It is Page 12

increasingly clear that the coordination of services for chronically ill patients, such as diabetics, is crucial and that providers and patients must work together for successful outcomes.” Hospitals across the state have been implementing comprehensive disease management programs, such as participation in the patient-centered medical home model, which allows for coordination between different care sites and all members of the care team. Also, some hospitals have begun using electronic medical record systems and disease registries that remind providers about the need for best practice standards, such as standard diabetic blood tests and eye exams. “Hospital admissions and readmissions are key cost drivers for the care of patients with diabetes,” said James R. Knickman, president and chief executive officer of NYSHealth.

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

“Improving diabetes care management for patients across the health care system can lead to lower readmission rates, better patient outcomes, and a reduction in health care costs.” Patients with diabetes were 2.4 times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital for any reason than patients without diabetes. The report found that diabetics

need a transition plan between the hospital and primary care provider to ensure the stability and management of diabetes after being discharged. While the benefits of more fully integrating diabetes care into primary practices is well established, in many hospitals, such programs are not part of routine discharge plans.

Newport woman wins 2012 Harley-Davidson


ean Youngs, of Newport, is the winner of Sitrin’s 16th annual HarleyDavidson fundraiser. Youngs rode away aboard a 2012 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic, valued at more than $20,499. This year’s fundraiser was a sellout. A total of 4,250 tickets were sold at $10 each. Proceeds from the fundraiser ben-

efit the Sitrin Medical Rehabilitation Center in New Hartford, a nonprofit corporation, which provides a variety of comprehensive medical rehabilitation services for children and adults, including the STARS adaptive sports program for people with physical disabilities.

Men’s Health Let the warrior rule What men really want from their partners By Barbara Pierce


s women, we spend our lives trying to figure out what men want from us. We second-guess him, trying to please him, trying to read his mind. But here, direct from a happily married man, is the straight scoop on what men really want from us: “What men want from their partners is simple,” said David Muraco of Utica. Muraco is a professional life coach and a motivational speaker. “Men want to be the ‘warrior.’” Back during ancient days when people lived in caves, men were the hunters. The man fought for everything he needed for himself and his partner and children. He hunted for food to bring home and for shelter for his family, Muraco explained. He fought their enemies; he fought off wild animals. The woman knew that he would protect her and their children from harm. And the man knew that his partner “had his back,” which meant if anything ever got past him, his partner would do whatever she could to protect him and their family as well. Though centuries have passed, and our society has greatly evolved, the innate nature of men and women survives. Now, more and more women have careers, run businesses, and sometimes earn more than their partner. Women are becoming more and more like the warrior, Muraco said. And, if women are becoming more and more like the warrior, then the man becomes less and less of a warrior. “Men want to feel like they matter,” emphasized Muraco. They still want to feel like they can provide for their family. They still want to feel like they can protect their family from harm. “That does not mean the woman needs to make less money than the

man. It does mean that he wants to be reminded that he is the warrior.”

Does she have your back?

Muraco, who has much experience in working with both men and women, adds: “I have been working with people long enough to know that a man will do anything he can to protect his partner

if he feels she has his back.” He wants to be the one she comes to for help, when she can’t get the lid off the pickle jar, or fix the broken door. “If you love him, you must let him be the warrior,” he advises women. “Let him be your warrior. Let him be your protector. Let him know you have his back. Be his rock at home, which is what a man wants most from his partner. And I promise you great things are coming,” Muraco concluded. Muraco’s perspective is supported by research. Women were asked what made them choose their partner. Why did they decide on this particular man to be their partner? Their answers were not what you would expect. The majority of women choose their partner because he took care of them by providing for them. They gave reasons like: “When I was sick, he brought over a couple of bags of food for me and my kids.” “He loves to cook for me.” “I feel down in my unconscious mind that he would protect me if anything bad came along.” “I feel safe when I’m with him.”

Just as men carry the warrior deep within them, women carry the desire deep within them to have a man who will care for and protect them and their children.

‘Knight in shining armor’

Muraco’s perspective is supported by other men. An Internet survey of what other men define as what they want from their partner found this: “Men like to feel needed, like they’re her knight in shining armor,” said one. “What do men want? A lot of men don’t even know the answer,” said Dennis Prager of the National Review. “I believe the answer is simple: He most wants to be admired by the woman he loves. One proof is that one of the most devastating things a woman can do to her man is to show contempt … which calls his manhood into question.” “Men want you to support them in their work and boost their confidence,” said Scott Andrews, personal coach and founder of “Women who understand men don’t ever put them down. Instead, they boost him up. They are a cheerleader and a prime supporter.” “What men say they want in a woman, and who they end up marrying are often quite different. A man basically wants a woman who makes him feel good,” he added. “I want a woman who will listen to me and not criticize or humiliate me, or use it against me in the future,” said my husband, who claims that all of his previous partners did this. He would say that I have his back, in Muraco’s terms. And I would say that I chose him because I knew he could keep me safe. (Even though I am quite capable of keeping myself safe.) And he even loves to cook for me.

Home births rise nearly 30 percent Personal preference, lower cost the reasons


here’s no place like home—when it comes to giving birth. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of home births in the United States has risen dramatically since 2004. Births taking place outside of the traditional hospital setting increased 29 percent between 2004 and 2009, from 0.56 percent of all births, to 0.72 percent, or almost 30,000 births. For non-Hispanic white women, the increase was most pronounced, with a 36 percent increase. The rise in home births is believed

to be attributed to personal preference, although some experts point to the lower costs of giving birth at home. Highlights in the report include: • Among white women, home births increased 36 percent, from 0.80 percent in 2004 to 1.09 percent in 2009 • For white women, home births account for one in every 90 births • In other racial and ethic groups, home births are less common • Home births are more common among women aged 35 and over, and among women who have had other children. Births that occur in the home more

March 2012 •

often involve lower risk pregnancies, with fewer among teenagers or unmarried women, and fewer preterm, low birth weight or multiple births. In 2009, home births varied from a low of 0.2 percent in Louisiana and the District of Columbia, to a high of 2 percent in Oregon and 2.6 percent in Montana. Some of the benefits of home birth are privacy, comfort and more personalized continuing care. The biggest objection to home births are concerns about safety for both the mother and the infant.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

Making that first impression

By Jim Miller

Organ donation: You don’t get second chance You’re never Y too old Never too late to give gift of life Dear Savvy Senior Is there an age limit on being an organ donor? At age 73, I’m interested in being a donor when I die, but am wondering if they would still want my organs. What can you tell me, and what do I need to do to sign up? Willing But Old Dear Willing, There’s no defined cutoff age for being an organ donor. In fact, there are many people well up into their 80s who donate. The decision to use your organs is based on health, not age, so don’t disqualify yourself prematurely. Let the doctors decide at your time of death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation. Donating facts

In the United States alone, more than 112,000 people are on the waiting list for organ transplants. But because the demand is so much greater than the supply, those on the list routinely wait three to seven years for an organ, and more than 6,500 of them die each year. Organs that can be donated include the kidneys (which are in the greatest demand with more than 90,000 on the waiting list), liver, lungs, heart, pancreas and intestines. Tissue is also needed to replace bone, tendons and ligaments. Corneas are needed to restore sight. Skin grafts help burn patients heal and often mean the difference between life and death. And heart valves repair cardiac defects and damage.

How to donate

If you would like to become a donor, there are several steps you should take to ensure your wishes are carried out, including: Page 14


Add your name to your state or regional organ and tissue donor registry. You can do this online at either or Both sites provide links to all state registries. If you don’t have Internet access, you can call your local organ procurement organization and ask them to mail you a donor card, which you can fill out and return. To get the phone number of your local organization, call Donate Life America at 800-355-7427.

Identify yourself

Designate your decision to become an organ donor on your driver’s license, which you can do when you go in to renew it. If, however, you don’t drive anymore or if your renewal isn’t due for a while, consider getting a state ID card — this also lets you indicate you want to be a donor. You can get an ID card for a few dollars at your nearby driver’s license office.

Tell your family

Even if you are a registered donor, in many states family members have the ultimate say whether your organs may be donated after you die. So clarify your wishes to your family. It’s also a good idea to tell your doctors and include it in your advance directives. These are legal documents that include a living will and medical power of attorney that spell out your wishes regarding your end-of-life medical treatment when you can no longer make decisions for yourself. If you don’t have an advance directive, go to caringinfo. org or call 800-658-8898 where you can get free state-specific forms with instructions to help you make one.

More info

For more information on organ and tissue donation and transplantation, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Donate the Gift of Life website at Also see the United Network for Organ Sharing at, and transplantliving. org which offers information on being a living donor. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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

ou have just seven seconds to make a good impression on someone you are meeting for the first time. Seven seconds. About the time it took you to read these words. We don’t even realize how very quickly we judge others. Our subconscious mind makes snap judgments. It’s how we are genetically wired. First impressions do matter. They matter a great deal. They matter a great deal because of the fact that we continue to believe our initial impressions. That first impression that our unconscious mind made in a few seconds stays with us, even when our conscious mind gets subsequent information that shows we were wrong. Pierce Say you meet a person for the first time. You met him or her online. Now you are meeting in person for the first time. She walks through the door, looking great and you like the sound of her positive energy as she greets you. Your subconscious is saying “Awesome! This is the woman for me!” You both order lattes. You don’t notice how rudely she treats the waitress, and how picky she is about how she wants her latte. Or that she sends it back twice. You don’t notice the whiney tone of her voice as she complains about her mother who expected her to change plans to drive her to chemotherapy. You really don’t notice all these huge red flags, because your first impression that she is the “hot” girl of your dreams is not letting you process the information that shows you were wrong. However, if, when she walked through the door for the first time, you saw an ordinary looking person, acting reserved, and your first impression was negative, that negative impression will stay with you. No matter how great she might be when you get to know her, you probably won’t even get to know her because it takes so much to overcome an initial negative impression.

Filtration process

A first impression is like a filter. Based on your initial impression, you form an impression about how you expect this person to behave in the future. Then you see him or her through that filter. You seek information that is consistent with your first impression, and ignore behavior that does not fit this impression. That is definitely unfair, but that is the way it is. Here’s how it plays out: Studies have shown that more than 50 percent of the impression is based on appearance alone. Not just how you look, but your posture, gestures, facial expres-

sion, clothing, and hair. Nearly 40 percent of the impression is based on sound, the tone of your voice, how your voice sounds, and the mood you project. That means less than 10 percent of a first impression is based on what you actually say. In their book, “First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You,” Ann Demarais and Valerie White give some tips to help you make a great first impression within those first seven seconds: • Be approachable and open in your body language. Smile, make eye contact, and shake hands confidently. If you are reserved, fake warmth. Kick your outgoing behavior up a notch. Project confidence and a positive mood. Force a smile; force your energy level up. Being reserved can send the message that you are not interested in the other person. • If you touch someone lightly, he may be more warmly predisposed to you. • Show interest in the other person. Trying to talk to a person who is stifling a yawn or looking at his watch is off-putting. And we all like those who flatter us. We tend to believe in their sincerity though we know intellectually they are not sincere. Sucking up at work does work. • If you are totally not interested in what the other person wants to talk about, pick up on his/her clues so that you can lead the conversation in a fresh direction. • People who reveal something about themselves at an initial meeting are perceived in a more positive light than those who don’t share personal information. • In a study called “Charm versus Cheekbones,” it became clear that while both are appealing, charisma— confidence, openness to experience, and interest in others—wins out over physical attractiveness alone. If you are starting a new job, start out with a bang. Work hard, be the best employee ever, for at least the first few weeks, or however long it takes for your boss and everyone else to classify you as a top employee. Then you can slack off, because all the negative things you subsequently do won’t fit with their initial impression of you. They will stick with their initial impression that you are wonderful.

• Barbara Pierce, a published writer and a retired psychotherapist, writes memoirs for others, and helps people write their stories. Contact her at

major local emergency. It will occur at 8:30 a.m. March 22. According to Ronald Simons, emergency preparedness coordinator at Little Falls Hospital, it is important that the hospital regularly conducts and participates in drills in order to test response capabilities. For more information, call 315-8235326.



Continued from Page 2

March 4

Separated, divorced support group to meet The Separated & Divorced Support Group meets at 5 p.m. the first and third Sunday of each month at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The next meeting is scheduled for March 4. Meetings are free and open to all. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 315-7356210, or visit

March 6

Abraham House offers volunteer training class Abraham House, 1203 Kemble St., Utica, will be offering a two-session volunteer training class from 6-7:30 p.m. March 6 and March 20 at the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, 2215 Genesee St., Utica. No prior healthcare experience is needed. Abraham House is looking for volunteers to care for guests as well as for “buddies” to assist caregivers with household needs. Abraham House provides a secure and loving home without charge to the terminally ill in the community. For more information, call Abraham House at 733-8210 to register or register online at

March 10

‘Ready, Set … I Do!’ features workshop series “Ready, Set … I Do!” will feature a three-day workshop series on March 10, 17 and 24 at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The cost is $130 per couple, which includes materials and meals. “Couples will learn relationship building tools while gaining insight into themselves and each other in an open, honest and humorous manner,” a spokesperson said. For more information, contact Tanya, program coordinator at 315-735-6210 ext. 234, or visit

March 11

Workshop designed to build healthy minds The Happy Mind Workshop will be presented from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 11 at Chiropractic Family Care, 312 Oriskany Blvd., Whitesboro. The workshop is based on the book, “The Happy Mind: Seven Principles to Clear Your Head and Lift Your Heart,” written by Dr. William Yoder. “The workshop gives you the practical tools and personal experiences to

March 11

Cancer topic of FSLH Senior Sunday event Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica will host a “Senior Sunday: Lunch and Learn Lecture” March 11. The topic is “Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Check-Ups for Seniors” and will be presented by Karen Miller, oncology-certified nurse and community outreach coordinator for The Regional Cancer Center at FSLH. The lecture will be held at noon in the Soggs Room at St. Luke’s Home, 1650 Champlin Ave., Utica. Seating is limited. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 315-624-HOME (4663). A voluntary donation of $5 per person would be appreciated to supplement the cost of the luncheon.

The Good News Center features women’s retreat

“Women at the Well” meet from 6:30-8 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The next meeting will be March 27. Women of all ages are invited to come to enrich their awareness of God

“A Promise, a Dream and a Prayer” women’s retreat will be held from 5:30 p.m. March 30 to 4 p.m. March 31 at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. Cost is $75, which includes lodging and meals. For details and to register, call The Good News Center at 315-735-6210 or visit

Committee gets Community Foundation grant


he Creative Aging and the Arts Committee of the Northeast Forum on Spirituality and Aging at LutheranCare in Clinton, in collaboration with the Oneida County Office for the Aging, received a grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties to fund the development of “Everyone Has a Story: Telling the Life Stories of Seniors”. The grant for $8,991 will be used to fund production of a video for the Age.

Big Brothers Big Sisters event celebrates 30 years

March 15

Dietitian makes special tours at Price Chopper Crystal Wilkins, a registered dietitian at Price Chopper, visits Utica-area stores and gives a free tour of the store while discussing nutrition. Participants are asked to meet at the pharmacy at Price Chopper, 1917 Genesee St., Utica. Her schedule is as follows: • March 15, 6 p.m. • March 22, 10 a.m. • March 23, 4 p.m. • March 30, 11 a.m.

March 22

LFH to conduct disaster triage drill Little Falls Hospital and the New York State Department of Health, as part of a region-wide exercise, will be coordinating a disaster triage drill to test the hospital’s ability to deal with a

Net digital cable network as well as a workshop designed to train staff and identify seniors in the collection of life stories. The collection and production are scheduled to take place in May and are facilitated by Eileen Kent, “Stories of a Lifetime” professional. For more information on NEFOSA, contact Pastor Brian McCaffrey at LutheranCare, 315-235-7125, or visit

The Social Ask Security Office

March 11/25

The 30th anniversary of the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake, to benefit the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program, will be held on March 11 at King Pin Lanes in Rome and State Bowling Center in Ilion and on March 25 at AMF Pin-ORama in Utica. The Rome and Utica venues will host games at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the Ilion venue will host at 2 p.m. For more information or to request registration forms, contact Upstate Cerebral Palsy at 315-724-6907 ext. 2276. To register online, visit upstatecp. org under “Get Involved.”

March 30-31

March 27

‘Women at the Well’ a spiritual experience

undo your inner blockages to happiness,” Yoder said. Cost is $95. For more information, call 315-7363324 or visit

in their life and become more attentive to the ways He nourishes them each day. For details and to register, call The Good News Center at 315-735-6210 or visit

Column provided by the local Social Security Office


Medicare Part B deadline approaching

f you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B medical insurance when you first became eligible for Medicare, you now have an opportunity to apply — but time is running out. The deadline for applying during the general enrollment period is March 31. If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait until 2013 to apply. Medicare Part B covers some medical expenses not covered by Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), such as doctors’ fees, outpatient hospital visits and other medical supplies and services. When you first become eligible for hospital insurance (Part A), you have a seven-month period in which to sign up for medical insurance (Part B). After that, you may have to pay a higher premium — unless you were covered through your current employer’s group health plan or a group health plan based on a spouse’s current employment. You are given another opportunity to enroll in Part B during the general enrollment period, from Jan. 1 to March 31 of each year. But each 12-month period that you are eligible for Medicare Part B and do not sign up, the amount of your monthly premium increases by 10 percent. There are special situations in March 2012 •

which you can apply for Medicare Part B outside the general enrollment period. For example, you should contact Social Security about applying for Medicare if: • you are a disabled widow or widower between age 50 and age 65, but have not applied for disability benefits because you are already getting another kind of Social Security benefit; • you worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program and became disabled before age 65; • you, your spouse, or your dependent child has permanent kidney failure; • you had Medicare medical insurance (Part B) in the past but dropped the coverage; or • you turned down Medicare medical insurance (Part B) when you became entitled to hospital insurance (Part A). You can learn more about Medicare by reading our electronic booklet, Medicare at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/10043.html. Or visit the Medicare website at www.medicare. gov. You may also call Medicare at 1800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

H ealth News FSLH medical staff makes announcements Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica recently welcomed the following physicians to the laborist program. This program provides care to women followed in the FSLH OB Care Center. • M. Robert Neulander earned his bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne College and his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University, both in Syracuse, where he also completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology. He completed his fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook. He is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Neulander serves as medical director of the OBCC. Neulander is an attending and senior physician at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital in Syracuse and SUNYUpstate. He also holds clinical assistant professorship and faculty positions at SUNY-Upstate, LeMoyne College and SUNY Stony Brook. He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Laparoscopists and is a member of the American Medical Association, the State of New York Medical Society, the North American Menopause Society, the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine and the American College of Colposcopy and Clinical Pathology. • Kwaku Amankwah received his bachelor’s degree and medical degree from Stony Brook University. He completed an internship in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Piscataway, N.J., and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Drexel University College of Medicine at St. Peter’s University

Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. Amankwah is an OB-GYN with Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford and is board certified by the American Board Amankwah of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the American Medical Association. • Sheila Elaine Brown received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and her medical degree from Wake Forest School of Medicine in Brown Winston-Salem, N.C. She completed an internship in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, Ariz., and her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. Brown was most recently employed at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., and has been employed as a physician at several hospitals

KIDS Corner Study: Spanking produces troubled kids


dding more fuel to the controversial topic of children and spanking, two Canadian child development experts have published a new analysis warning that physical punishment poses serious risks to a child’s long-term development. In the paper, published online Feb. 6 in CMAJ, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the authors analyzed Page 16

two decades of research and concluded that “virtually without exception, these studies found that physical punishment was associated with higher levels of aggression against parents, siblings, peers and spouses.” While studies show that spanking has declined in the United States since the 1970s, many parents still believe it’s an acceptable form of punishment.

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

and medical centers located in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Missouri. She is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. • Tanya D. Mays received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York and received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. She completed Mays her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Mays has been named a “Top Doctor in Obstetrics and Gynecology” by Castle Connolly each year since 2006 and is also a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. • Susan Sterlacci received her bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY Binghamton and her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, where she also completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology. Sterlacci She is board certified by the

A 2010 University of North Carolina study revealed that nearly 80 percent of preschool children in the United States are spanked. “Our paper is a prompt to medical professionals to apply the compelling findings of research on physical punishment in their guidance of parents,” said co-author Joan Durrant, a child clinical psychologist and professor of family social sciences at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. In addition to the substantial evidence that children who are spanked are more aggressive, the authors note that physical punishment is linked to various mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse. What’s more, recent neuroimaging studies have shown that physical punishment may alter parts of the brain that are linked to performance on IQ tests and increase vulnerability to drug or alcohol dependence, they write. Many parents are skeptical of published findings on spanking, and question whether the aggressive behavior prompts the spanking, rather than the other way around. But the paper’s co-

American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Sterlacci has worked as an OBGYN at numerous hospitals and medical offices in New York, Arizona and Virginia, and was most recently employed with the OB Hospitalist Group. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Medical Women’s Association and the American Association of Gynecological Laparoscopists.

FSLH makes staff announcements Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica recently made the following staff announcements: • Sharon Palmer has been named director of project management and support services for Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare. In her new role, Palmer continues to be responsible for the coordination of all construction projects for the organizaPalmer tion by working closely with facilities management. She retains responsibility for space allocation and wayfinding and also has oversight of the security department. Palmer received her associate’s degree from Mohawk Valley Community College and her bachelor’s degree in health services management from

Continued on Page 17

author says researchers have been able to tease this relationship apart. “It is the case that children who are more aggressive do tend to get hit more, but the punishment does not reduce those children’s aggression; rather, it exacerbates it,” said Ron Ensom, who worked as a social worker at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, in Ottawa, when the paper was written. “When parents of aggressive children are instructed in how to reduce their use of spanking, and they do indeed reduce it, the level of their children’s aggression declines,” Ensom said. “And when children who all have the same level of aggression when the study begins are followed over a period of years, those who are spanked tend to get more aggressive over time, while those who are not spanked tend to get less aggressive.” The authors urged physicians to help parents learn nonviolent, effective approaches to discipline, but one child psychologist in the United States said the paper fell short in providing examples of such approaches.

H ealth News Continued from Page 16 SUNYIT Utica-Rome, where she also earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration. She has worked for FSLH for more than 28 years and prior to her new position was assistant director of facilities management. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Central New York Society for Healthcare Engineering. • Casey Napoli has been named director of human resources for long-term care at FSLH. Napoli’s time will be divided between St. Luke’s Home and FSLH. While at FSLH, she will focus on employee and labor Napoli relations at the Faxton Campus, dialysis satellites and the Adirondack Community Physician medical offices. Prior to her new position, she divided her time between human resources and volunteer services. She has been employed at FSLH since 2001. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies/business from Utica College. • Regina Rybka-Lagattuta has been named assistant vice president of human resources for FSLH. In this position, she directs all aspects of the administration and operation of the human resources department. RybkaRybka-Lagattuta Lagattuta comes to FSLH with more than 20 years of experience in human resources management. Her experience includes 16 years with The Penn Traffic Company, Syracuse, working in operations and human resources. Most recently, she was the director of human resources and training at Sysco Syracuse, LLC, in Warners. She received her associate’s degree in business administration from SUNY Canton and her bachelor’s degree in economics from SUNY Potsdam.

FSLH welcomes surgeons to physicians’ group Orthopedic surgeons Leroy Cooley, Kenneth Ortega, Margaret Albanese, Madana Vallem and Maureen Quattrone have joined Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare’s Adirondack Community Physicians medical group, 1903 Sunset Ave., Utica. In addition to these orthopedic

specialists, ACP employs four general surgeons and 38 primary care providers located throughout the community. • Cooley graduated with a joint major in biology and chemistry from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and completed Cooley an internship in general surgery at the University of Pittsburgh-affiliated hospitals. He completed his residency in orthopedics at Albany Medical Center and a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Cooley is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. • Ortega is chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at FSLH, is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and is an elected member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America. He has a special interest in sports Ortega injuries and related arthroscopic surgery of the knee and shoulder such as anterior cruciate tears and rotator cuff problems. This is in addition to expertise and interest in joint replacement surgery of the knee, shoulder and hip. An Army veteran, Ortega served in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. • Albanese graduated from Pennsylvania State University and received her degree in medicine from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She completed her internship in general surgery and residency in orthopedics Albanese at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. Her residency included one year of pediatric orthopedics at A.I. DuPont Institute in Wilmington, Del. She also completed a fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at The Children’s Hospital

From left, Kelly Scheinman, director of renal services at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, joins Dr. Charles Eldredge, medical director of renal dialysis at FSLH, and Howard Sears.

FSLH expands its Rome Dialysis Center hanks to gifts from donors, Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare’s Rome Dialysis Center has been expanded. A ribbon cutting held recently celebrated the donors whose gifts made the expansion possible and included Howard Sears, The Rome Community Foundation, Hannaford Charitable Foundation and the Dorothy G. Griffin Charitable Foundation. The facility now has 16 patient treatment stations, double the previous number, with radiant heating and heated chairs for patient comfort as well as a state-of-the-art water filtration system. As the president of H. P. Sears Oil Company, Sears had an immediate interest in the water filtration system. Water filtration is a critical necessity in dialysis units where large amounts of water are used during treatment. “I know tugboats and terminals so I appreciate a shipshape situation when


I see one,” he said. “I was impressed with the quality and craftsmanship of the filtration system and because it was in a medical facility, it was even better.” Sears’ wife, Suzanne, received dialysis treatments at FSLH for eight years. They were thankful that she was able to receive treatment close to home at the Rome Dialysis Center and showed their appreciation by supporting the expansion. Suzanne passed away in 2010 before the expansion was complete, but Howard has witnessed the difference their contribution made in the care of other dialysis patients in their community. “It’s fitting that Howard chose such an instrumental piece of the project to support,” said Eileen M. Pronobis, executive director of the FSLH Foundation. “I’ve never supported something with so much significance as the dialysis expansion,” he said. “It gave me my wife for an extra eight years.”

of Philadelphia. • Vallem earned his medical degree from Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India, where he also completed his residency in orthopedics at Gandhi Medical College. He completed a fellowship in orthopedic hand surgery at Beth Vallem Israel Medical Center in New York City, an adult joint reconstruction fellowship (primary and revision total hip and knee replacement surgeries) at University of Virginia

Medical Center in Charlottesville, Va., and an orthopedic trauma fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. • Quattrone earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and athletic Quattrone training from Canisius College in Buffalo. She also attended D’Youville College in Buffalo and has a bachelor’s degree from the physician’s assistant

March 2012 •

Continued on Page 18

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

H ealth News Continued from Page 17 program. She is certified by the American Academy of Physician Assistants and is a member of the New York State Registered Physician Assistants. She has provided orthopedic care in Utica since 2003.

St. Johnsville names topflight employee Tennille Fox has been elected employee of the quarter for JanuaryMarch 2012 at St. Johnsville Rehab & Nursing Center. Fox’s name was submitted by Renee Digman, who said, “I believe that Tennille Fox would be Fox an excellent candidate for employee of the quarter. She is very nurturing and compassionate to her residents. Tennille goes above and beyond for her residents. This kind of compassion makes her a wonderful nurse and a valid asset to our team.”

Goal: increase access to mental health services Herkimer County HealthNet has provided funds to Bassett Healthcare Network to develop and submit grant applications to local foundation sources to expand the supply of mental health professionals locally in Herkimer County. The proposed project would recruit a full-time mental health practitioner to the Bassett Healthcare Network’s Herkimer Health Center. The practitioner will train and support the health center’s primary care team in performing initial screenings for mental or behavioral health issues, provide more comprehensive screenings and provide direct care services in the health center. They will also make referrals to prescribers and psychiatrists as needed.

New officers elected at Herkimer County HealthNet Herkimer County HealthNet, Inc.’s new officers took office at its January quarterly meeting. The officers are: • Kathleen Eisenhut, assistant administrator at Valley Health Services, will serve as president of the board. • Kate Reese, director of community relations and development of Little Falls Hospital, will serve as vice president. • Marietta Taylor, administrative director, psychiatry for Bassett Healthcare Network, will serve as HCHN’s treasurer. • Linda Robbins, assistant director, Cornell Cooperative Extension of HerPage 18

kimer County, will serve as HCHN’s secretary. For more information of Herkimer County HealthNet’s Board of Directors and activities, visit

St. E’s has new approach for hip replacement St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica now offers anterior total hip replacement. This alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery provides patients the potential for less pain, a faster recovery and improved mobility, according to a hospital spokesperson. Unlike traditional hip replacement surgery, this technique allows the surgeon to work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thighbone. Additional benefits to patients are fewer restrictions during recovery, reduced scarring and stability of the implant sooner after surgery. Although every patient responds differently, the procedure helps many patients bend their hip and bear their full weight immediately, or soon after surgery, the spokesperson noted. St. E’s is the only site in the Central New York region to offer this advanced technique. St. E’s was also named a Blue Distinction Center for knee and hip replacement from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in March 2011 for demonstrating better overall quality of care and patient results in knee and hip replacement surgery. For more information, visit www.

Center named in memory of former president/CEO The Family Medicine Center will be renamed in honor of the late Sister Rose Vincent Gleason, former president/CEO of St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. “In order to recognize Sister Rose Vincent’s longstanding commitment to the underserved and to education, the Family Medicine Center, 120 Hobart St., Utica, will be known as the Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center,” announced Richard Ketcham, president/CEO of St. Elizabeth Medical Center. “There were over 30,000 patient visits at the center last year.” Ketcham made the announcement at a recent memorial mass in honor of Sister Rose Vincent. During her tenure as president/ CEO, Sister Rose Vincent had a major impact not only on St. Elizabeth Medical Center, but also on the healthcare community as a whole. Education was important to sister and, as a result, the St. Elizabeth Family Residency Program was initiated.

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

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

Ace’s Angle

By Amylynn Pastorella

Sleep disorders nightmarish H

ow well do you think you sleep? Do you have complications when it comes to catching some zzzz’s? My friend Mike suffers from sleep apnea. How he discovered this was from the sound he makes when he snores and through the complaints of his girlfriend. He snores like a bear. His girlfriend was telling me how he keeps her up at night because he snores so Pastorella loud and when he snores, she get nervous because he stops breathing in between snores. This is a symptom of sleep apnea. So, he went to a sleep specialist who gave him a sleeping mask to wear which keeps his breathing pathway open for a better night’s sleep. This led me to research this topic further. During a recent conversation with Steven Levine, medical director of the Mohawk Valley Sleep Disorder Center, I wanted to pass along some insight he provided about sleep and sleep disorders. Sleep disorders are common among both men and women. Disorders such as sleep apnea, insufficient sleep and insomnia can affect anyone, although some disorders may be seen more in one gender than the other. A main symptom of these can be sleepless nights. Some of these disor-

ders can also stem from other medical conditions. Levine called this an “overlap” of sleep disorders and other medical problems.

You could be depressed

For example, someone could think they are not sleeping well and when interviewed with a board-certified specialist, they could find out the reason they are not sleeping is because they are depressed. To solve their lack of sleep, they should be treated for depression rather than a sleep disorder. Post-menopausal women could suddenly start sleeping less or feel sleepy, and they might think they have a sleep disorder, but really, their menopause is causing them not to sleep like they used to. Another point Levine made in our conversation was the expectation of sleeping. When asked how many hours of sleep should a person get, he didn’t want to give me a number. The reason being is that we, as humans, would focus so much on getting that designated amount of sleep, we actually might lose sleep because of it. I am guilty of this. The advice Levine gave on this was the amount of hours of sleep a person should have is enough where they feel refreshed. Very often people underestimate how much they sleep, leaving a misconception of their sleep state.

• Do you have a health-related question for Amy “Ace” Pastorella? Send your questions to or mail to In Good Health, 4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502.

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.

Excellus medical director named to national panel Frank J. Dubeck, chief medical of-


ficer and vice president for medical policy and clinical editing, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, has been selected to serve on the executive committee of the editorial panel of the American Medical Association’s

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Health in good

H ealth News Continued from Page 18 Current Procedural Terminology Codebook, representing health insurers and other third party payers. CPT codes are the vocabulary physicians use to report their services to insurance companies. The editorial panel reviews code changes to improve claim-processing efficiency and to accommodate breakthroughs in medical practice. Dubeck has been the representative for the National BlueCross BlueShield Association on the panel since 2009. A nationally recognized expert on clinical coding and editing, Dubeck has been chief medical officer for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region since 1998.

Excellus names regional sales director Thomas P. Tiernan has been promoted to regional director of sales at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Tiernan will oversee Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s mid-market segment sales, strategy and retention in the company’s Central New York and Utica regions. TierTiernan nan has been with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for 12 years and most recently served as regional manager of sales for the Watertown market. Before joining Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in 2000, Tiernan was an account executive with Key Bank Insurance in Watertown for two years. He also spent 16 years as a district agent and regional sales manager with Prudential Insurance, also in Watertown.

Local prescription drug plan earns top marks The prescription drug plan Simply Prescriptions is the only standalone Medicare Part D plan in New York state to earn the highest quality rating from the federal agency that administers the Medicare program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rated the quality of standalone Medicare Part D plans on a scale of one to five, with five stars representing the highest quality. Only Simply Prescriptions and three other standalone Medicare Part D plans nationwide earned a five-star rating for 2012. Simply Prescriptions is a division of Excellus Health Plan, Inc., the largest nonprofit health insurer in Upstate New York. The plan provides drug coverage for Medicare-eligible individuals in New York state who are eligible for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and/or enrolled in Medicare Part B (physician and medical coverage). Usually, Medicare beneficiaries can only switch Part D plans during the fall open enrollment period, but eligible beneficiaries can switch to a five-star



drug plan at any time during the year. CMS rated standalone Part D plans on a variety of measures, including customer service, member complaints, responsiveness and management of chronic conditions. The ratings were posted to the Medicare website to help beneficiaries select the best drug plan. Beneficiaries will see the star ratings when using Medicare’s plan finder at For more information, go to

Advertise your services or products and reach your potential customers throughout the Mohawk Valley for as little as $80 a month. Call 749-7070 for more information.

Abraham House receives grant from Excellus Abraham House received a $2,500 grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield through its community health award. Funds will be used to enhance Abraham House’s volunteer training program. “Abraham House is grateful for this kind of community support because volunteers are the heart of Abraham House. Volunteers help to provide a secure and loving home without charge to the terminally ill in our community,” a spokesperson for Abraham House said. Abraham House is located at 1203 Kemble St., Utica. For more information, call 733-8210.

Cultural Resources Council gives grant to program The FineArc Program of The Arc Oneida-Lewis Chapter, NYSARC has been awarded a 2012 community arts grant from the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse for $500. Beth O’Brien, director of FineArc, said the money will be used to hold a juried exhibition in the fall. Area agencies will be invited to participate in the event and prizes will be awarded. The exhibition will be held at the Players of Utica Theater where FineArc is housed two days a week. The event will be open to the community and will include a semi-formal catered reception with entertainmen. For more information about FineArc, call 315-272-1532 or visit www. The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter, NYSARC is a nonprofit human services agency which provides advocacy and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Oneida and Lewis counties.

WRITERS WANTED Looking for writers to cover the Mohawk Valley health scene

Call 749.7070 or send cover letter/resume to

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Join Upstate’s Nursing Teams!

As the region’s only Level-One Trauma Center, we are a fastpaced academic medical center with modern technology and up-to-date interventions in caring for the critically ill or injured. Serving 17 counties, we support a population transported by ground or air from throughout the central New York region. We currently have part-time, full-time and per diem positions available in our Operating Room and Emergency Department for: RNs and Nursing Assistants. Shadowing opportunities are available. • Tuition Assistance • Membership in the NYS Employees' Retirement System • Excellent Wages and Benefits

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Upstate University Hospital Upstate University Hospital at Community General Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital I Syracuse I State University of New York March 2012 •

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

In Good Health  
In Good Health  

The health and wellness newspaper for Utica, Rome and the Mohawk Valley