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in good Relationship on the rocks? Consider bringing it back to life

Women’s Health Depression compromises quality of life Hair dye could be a killer

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Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

October 2011 • Issue 68

New Challenges for Smaller Hospitals Study: Hospitals in Mohawk Valley may have to change in order to survive. See Page 7.

Are you ready?

4 Great Reasons to Eat Garlic

Certain foods, beverages can tarnish that beautiful smile

Should you marry or just live together? Get ‘In Good Health’ at home. See coupon inside

‘Freezing Away Fat’ Comes to CNY October 2011 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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CALENDAR of

HEALTH EVENTS

Got a health-related activity or event that you would like publicized? Call Lou Sorendo at 315.749.7070 or email lou@cnymail.com. Sundays

Oct. 6

The Separated & Divorced Support Group meets at 5 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of each month at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. The group meets in an environment designed to help you learn skills and practical information that will guide you in rebuilding after your separation or divorce. The group is free and open to all. For more information, contact Andrea, program coordinator, at 315-735-6210, andrea@thegoodnewscenter.org, or visit www.thegoodnewscenter.org.

St. Elizabeth College of Nursing in Utica will hold an open house at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 in the multipurpose room at the college. The college offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing, and fully integrated theoretical learning with clinical experience within a caring environment. The nursing courses include patient care that is planned and supervised by a faculty member with expertise in a particular nursing area. SECON offers an evening/weekend nursing program in addition to the weekday program. It is designed to meet the needs of the adult learner who is unable to attend class during the weekday hours. To reserve a seat at the open house, go online at www.secon.edu. For more information, call (315) 798-8347.

Separated & Divorced Support Group to meet

Oct. 5

Table tennis comes to the Rome Family YMCA The Rome Family YMCA will be offering table tennis beginning Oct. 5. Beginners’ class is from 5-6 p.m. and intermediate class is from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The non-member rate is $60 and the Y member rate is $30 per eightweek session. No pre-registration is required. Class size is limited to 10 participants. For more information on all the programs and services available at the Rome Family YMCA, visit www. ymcatrivalley.org or call 336-3500.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

St. E’s College of Nursing to hold open house

Oct. 6

‘Nurse Navigator’ program highlight of health night The Breast Center at Rome Memorial Hospital uses some of the same technology available at major medical centers to detect breast disease. What

Continued on Page 16


Women’s Health Dye-ing to be beautiful? Question marks abound concerning hair dye safety not found this to be true. A 2011 International Journal of Cancer study found that one’s genes may increase a person’s risk of getting bladder cancer from using hair dye. The speed at which arylamines from ammonia are flushed out of the skin is what matters in terms of health. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) may be as scary as it sounds. PPD, along with coal-tar, are two of the chemicals used to create dark, permanent color. They have also been shown to cause cancer in lab animals. Check out cancer.gov for the entire hair dye fact sheet.

By Kristen Raab

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omen visit salons or buy boxed hair color on a regular basis to change their look or to cover up the gray. Dyed hair is so common that a 2005 study estimated more than one-third of women 18 and older dye their hair. As more brands emerge in stores and beauty shops such as ULTA in New Hartford continue to open up, the number of women dying their hair is likely to increase. However, can hair dye harm us? The FDA lists the following as problems people have experienced with hair dye: • hair loss • burning • redness • itchy or raw skin • swelling in the face • trouble breathing In addition to these possible problems, there may be a risk for more serious diseases to develop. The National Cancer Institute

Minic

Root of the matter

Alexandra Minic of Utica has been dying her hair since she was 18. She dyes it every three months. “The reason I dye my hair is that it gives me a different look, and I like change,” she said. Minic also says it makes her feel better, likening it to getting new clothes or a pair of shoes. Minic isn’t concerned about the safety of dying her hair because she’s done it for so long, and uses products

says there are more than 5,000 chemicals used in hair dye, and some of these chemicals have caused cancer in animals. While studies are conflicting, some research shows an increase in cancer among frequent hair dye users, particularly if the user began dying his or her hair before 1980. Some studies have suggested that the use of permanent hair dye increases one’s risk for bladder cancer, whereas others have

without ammonia. She also points out that even if there were many studies that found dangers in hair dye, many people would continue to dye their hair, just as they continue to smoke cigarettes despite all of the known dangers. For Minic, strong proof is necessary: “Unless they can prove why I shouldn’t dye my hair, I won’t stop.” Here are some tips to minimize risk: • Wear gloves when dying one’s own hair or that of a friend. • Stick to the time recommendations on the box. • Keep hair color off the scalp to limit the amount that gets into the body. • Avoid dyes with PPD, resorcinol and triethanolamine. Use henna or other natural dyes. As Minic said, people will continue to use products that make them feel attractive. Following safety precautions may reduce potential health risks. The price of beauty should not be so high that it puts you in danger.

Ending PMS through nutrition Tired of PMS symptoms? Here’s the remedy! By Kristen Raab

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rampy? Bloated? Moody? There are many reasons you might be having these unpleasant feelings with premenstrual syndrome being one of the most common causes of such symptoms for women. It seems as if there is no solution at times. Nutri-facts.org references a United States study that suggests increasing the amount of B1 and B2 in one’s diet can reduce PMS symptoms. The study found that adding more B vitamins could diminish symptoms by about 35 percent. Vitamin B1 will likely be listed on a food label as thiamin whereas B2 will be called riboflavin. Additionally, calcium and vitamin D may have the potential to decrease the risk of getting PMS. Thiamin is found in whole grains, beans, nuts and red meat, while riboflavin is in milk, eggs, green veggies, and red meat. For some women, premenstrual syndrome is so severe that it interferes with daily life.

Expert view

Pat Palmisano, a registered dietician with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, recommends a combination of a healthy diet that includes the right vitamins and nutrients, exercise, and activities that reduce stress to combat PMS. Palmisano adds B6, calcium and magnesium to the list of essential components for fighting the symptoms. Deficiencies in any of these could lead

to pain, bloating, headaches and other discomforts. Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine and it affects the endocrine system. Palmisano said it helps the body use magnesium. “It might help improve PMS depression and the physical symptoms,” she says. Palmisano cautions that the limit is 100 mg/day so that toxic effects on the nervous symptoms do not occur. Some of the foods containing B6 include cereal, beans, vegetables, liver, meat and eggs. Women need to monitor their calcium intake, particularly during premenstruation. Palmisano recommends including milk, kale chips, broccoli, soy products that are processed with calcium and other calcium-rich foods into one’s diets. Calcium affects the endocrine system, which is why it may help during pre-menstruation. Additionally, she says taking a daily vitamin D supplement (400 ius) during this time might help with breast tenderness. Lastly, there is some evidence that evening primrose oil, an essential fatty acid, may offer relief.

A cup of coffee in the morning is fine, but any more than that could lead to insomnia, tension, anxiety, cravings, pain and bloating. One of Palmisano’s suggestions is to have a cup of coffee in the morning, but later to have decaf or half-caf. Additionally, she recommends gaining energy from exercise instead of being dependent on caffeine. Regular exercise can help relieve stress, which contributes to PMS symptoms. It can also reduce depression and help relieve the pain experienced during PMS. Palmisano says, “It’s one of the

best things we can do for us.” It might be difficult to do a vigorous activity during such an uncomfortable time, but walking, yoga and other low-impact options are helpful. Make yourself do it. As Palmisano says, “I never regret that I did workout, but I regret if I do not.” Seeking out specific foods known to include the proper vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is a great idea. However, Palmisano offers this simple advice: “A balanced, healthy diet is a good way to make sure we get enough.”

What not to consume

What should be avoided? A few cups of coffee might make an individual feel more energized, especially during a premenstrual slump. However, it’s important not to consume caffeinated beverages in excess. Palmisano said caffeine, and the refined sugar that is often mixed into coffees or present in soft drinks, are “linked to physical and emotional symptoms.” October 2011 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Excellus BCBS listed among best plans in nation

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xcellus BlueCross BlueShield has the top-rated HMO/POS plan in New York state, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance health insurance plan ranking for 2011-2012. Excellus BCBS is the only health plan in New York state to have a commercial product ranked in the top 20 nationally. The health plan also maintained its strong rankings in other product lines. NCQA’s Medicare health insurance plan ranking for 2011-2012 listed Excellus BCBS Medicare plans at 26th in the nation, while the NCQA Medicaid health insurance plan ranking for 20112012 listed Excellus BCBS at 15th. “This clearly shows the value of having nonprofit health plans in upstate New York,” said Christopher Booth, president and chief operating officer of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “Regardless of age or income, the health care consumer wins when the emphasis is on quality rather than on guaranteeing a return on investment for shareholders.” NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. The national rankings reflect a health plan’s performance based on: • Success in preventive care and treating illness (60 percent of overall score) • Results of consumer satisfaction surveys (25 percent of overall score) • NCQA accreditation standards score (15 percent of overall score)

Hospital deaths from heart failure cut by half

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he death rate of hospital patients who were admitted primarily for heart failure fell roughly by half between 2000 and 2007 — from 55 deaths to 28 deaths per 1,000 admissions, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The federal agency also found that between 2000 and 2007, for heart failure deaths of hospitalized patients: • People age 85 and over experienced the largest drop from 87 to 48 deaths per 1,000 admissions. • For seniors age 65 and older, the rate fell from 64 to 34 deaths per 1,000 admissions. • The rate for people ages 45 to 64 dropped from 28 to 15 deaths per 1,000 admissions, while the rate for people ages 18 to 44 fell from 19 to 12 deaths per 1,000 admissions. Page 4

Meet

Your Doctor

By Patricia J. Malin

Dr. Reginald Knight Dr. Reginald Knight is an orthopedic specialist who is the director of the Bassett Spine Care Institute in Cooperstown. Knight has a particular interest in scoliosis, a degenerative disease that causes curvature of the spine. He spoke with In Good Health senior correspondent Patricia J. Malin about his career. Q.: Why did you decide to practice at Bassett and in the Mohawk Valley? A.: My decision to relocate to Bassett Healthcare serving the Mohawk Valley and Central New York was multi-factorial. A combination of professional and family considerations made this decision the right one for all involved. Bassett Healthcare has an excellent reputation for patient care, academics, research and community service. These are all qualities I found desirable in a medical practice. Q.: What prompted you to become an orthopedist? A.: Upon entering medical school, becoming a surgeon was the last consideration. Keeping an open mind throughout medical school led me to consider and ultimately choose a surgical career in orthopedics. The combination of clinical challenges, emerging technologies and the opportunity to care for children were important factors. Q.: What specific ailments or disorders do you treat? A.: My practice is fairly broad with respect to ailments or disorders treated. Most patients are elderly with degenerative changes of the spine. However, in keeping with my love of pediatrics, I continue to maintain an interest in ailments of the pediatric spine: scoliosis and spondylolithesis. From a practical standpoint, we are prepared to manage all ailments of the adult or pediatric spine. If expertise is not available within the Bassett Healthcare Network, we have no problem orchestrating the appropriate referral to neighboring systems in the patient’s best interest. Q.: Why did you decide to specialize in scoliosis? A.: Scoliosis became an early interest in my professional career. I was fortunate to train under some of the early thought leaders in scoliosis. Scoliosis is a complex disorder that requires the clinician to think of solutions specific to that individual patient both physiologically and bio-mechanically. Q.: What is the most challenging aspect of your job? A.: Healthcare today is fraught with multiple challenges. My present role as a clinician is continually being questioned on the basis of the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of care. Insurance companies and govern-

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

mental agencies are tasked to reduce healthcare costs, but are unwilling to notify the public those they are covering of the negative consequences of (for example) limited services. Notifying patients about restricted service benefits is often left in the lap of providers who have no say in benefits, but are asked to modify medical decisions based on those benefits. Insurance should be that, insurance. Patients should know what their personal responsibilities are and have the freedom to seek out care far and near that fits their personal needs and ability to

afford. Q.: What is the most fulfilling (positive) aspect of your job? A.: This is an easy question. After over 30 years in practice, I can truly say interaction with my patients remains the most fulfilling aspect of my profession. Q.: What are the newest developments in your field? A.: Orthopedics in general and spine in specific are developing multiple technologies. Spine (treatment) is now moving forward with advances in minimally invasive techniques. Attempts to limit patient pain and suffering while maintaining excellent outcomes is a movement throughout all medical specialties. Q.: What challenges do you foresee in the future regarding healthcare? A.: Challenges for the future of healthcare are numerous. At the top of any list would have to be the cost of care. How does society continue to provide care for the uninsured and underinsured? How do we appropriately provide new technologies that improve patient care in a timely fashion? How do we maintain an individual’s ability to seek out care he or she feels is worth the effort and holds benefits to them personally? While systematic control of healthcare has its advantages, many of today’s advances in healthcare occurred outside the “box” and required clinicians to think critically about patient, pathology and potential treatments.

Lifelines Name: Reginald Q. Knight Age: 59 Birthplace: Bronx Residence: Cooperstown Education: State University of New York College at Oneonta, BA; State University of New York at Upstate Medical Center, MD; Capella University, MHA. Family: Wife, Shelley; daughters, Keisha and Kalli Hobbies: Shodan USA GoJu Ryu Karate; Sandan United Karate Federation-Shito Ryu; photography, golf, gardening-Bonsai and orchids


Women’s Health Marriage or cohabitation? What’s in a woman’s best interest? By Barbara Pierce

I’ve been married, and I’ve had a long-term live-in relationship that lasted 12 years,” said Joan Postner. “It’s six of one or half a dozen of the other.” But is it? Does it really make no difference if a couple marries or lives together? The number of couples living together, not married, has greatly increased over the past few decades: 12 to 14 times. Living together, or cohabitation, has replaced marriage as the first living together experience for young men and women, says SmartMarriages.com, a coalition for marriage, family, and couples education. The average age that people get married is edging up. The number of persons who are getting married is steadily dropping. Living together before marriage is one of America’s most significant and unexpected family trends. What is interesting is that this trend has not inspired public comment or criticism, like having a child out of wedlock did in past years. It’s hard to believe that only 30 years ago, it was against the law for unmarried couples to live together. What makes cohabitation so significant is not only its prevalence but also its widespread popular acceptance. In recent surveys, 60 percent of high school seniors indicated that they “agreed” or “mostly agreed” with the statement, “It is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along.” Cohabitation is becoming more like marriage. Some marriage-like rights of cohabiters have gradually been established through the courts; for example, the division of property. Today’s young people are the first generation to come of age during the divorce revolution. To them, living together seems like a good way to achieve some of the benefits of mar-

riage and avoid the risk of divorce. Couples who live together can share expenses and learn more about each other. They can find out if their partner has what it takes to be married. If things don’t work out, breaking up is easy to do, they believe. “I don’t necessary think that being married or not makes a difference in a relationship,” said Mark Lundquist of Mohawk Valley Counseling Services of Ilion. “It’s how they care for one another that is important.” In his couples counseling, he has found that it is the commitment the couple make to one another that is important, not the legal ties of marriage. “You would think that being married means an extra commitment, but I don’t see it,” he summarizes.

Sense of permanency

Marriage is not the same as living together, say the authors of the book, “The Case for Marriage,” sociology professor Linda Waite and her associate, Maggie Gallagher. They argue that the promise of permanency is what makes marriage more of a beneficial relationship than simply living together. Their arguments: Married people earn more than single. Married people are healthier and live longer than singles. Single men commit

suicide twice as often as married men. Single men drink twice as much as single men. Married people report they are very happy with their lives. Married people have sex more often than singles. However, their comparisons do not state they are comparing married people to live alone singles, or to singles in a cohabiting relationship. “Children are the real issue,” says Lundquist. “I see that parents work hard not to break up a relationship where there are children. That’s a big motivation for both to stay together; they realize that breaking up is hard on the children.” Children whose parents live in a cohabiting relationship don’t fare as well as children of married parents in most areas. According to researchers, they lag behind, and do not do much better than children of single parents. Three quarters of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents split up before they are 16 years old, found the National Marriage Project. Only about a third of the children born to married parents will face a similar fate. “Family stability” is strongly linked to better outcomes for children. Children benefit from the structure of marriage.

avoiding that aspect of pain,” said Scott Stanley of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. Thirty-year-old Daniel Emerson and his girlfriend lived together five years before splitting up. “It felt like a marriage to me,” Emerson said. “When we broke up it still felt like a divorce.” Postner lived with her partner for 12 years. “When we split up, I had to get an attorney to protect my rights. It was just like getting a divorce, except we didn’t go before a judge. We couldn’t easily walk away from the relationship; we had bought a house together and mingled our finances for all those years. We didn’t think it would end.” Postner is now in her third marriage. “Looking back, I’d say it does make a difference. I feel like we have a deeper kind of commitment to each other than I did when I was in a live-together relationship. I feel like I’ll work harder to make this last. For me, that’s a good thing. I guess every woman has to work out what’s best for her.”

Breaking up hard to do

Many choose to live together as they believe that if things don’t work out, breaking up is easy to do. Cohabiting couples do not have to seek legal or religious permission to dissolve their union. However, the reality is that leaving a live-together relationship is much like getting a divorce. There is a significant emotional attachment, and when you break up, it’s going to be as hard as a divorce. “It’s going to hurt a lot. By cohabitating versus marrying, people aren’t

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

Health MV’s Healthcare Newspaper

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. © 2011 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing Address: 4 Riverside Drive, Suite 251, Utica, NY 13502 • Phone: (315) 749.7070 E-mail: lou@cnymail.com Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Contributing Writers: Amylynn Pastorella, Patricia Malin, Barbara Pierce, Kristen Raab Advertising: Donna Kimbrell, 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.

October 2011 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Between You and Me

By Barbara Pierce

What women really need Laughter therapy can be the best medicine By Barbara Pierce

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looked around the large room at the women gathered there with me. There were women of all ages, from a few younger ones who probably had children at home, to those who pushed walkers. Everyone was laughing. A few could barely smile and forced their laughter. A few laughed hardily; I laughed just seeing them laugh. We chuckled, we snorted, we guffawed. We bounced around the room, laughing, hugging each other. Who were these women and why were they all laughing? They were there to laugh. The class, called laughter therapy, was advertised as an opportunity to laugh for an hour. To let go of your stress and worries for an hour. It was an experiment I tried at our local adult learning center. I need more laughter in my life, I thought. Perhaps others also have that need. I had offered other classes. Classes with catchy titles, like ‘Now that I’m retired, why aren’t I happy?’ ‘If I’m so fantastic, why am I still single?’ ‘How to talk to people,’ ‘Let go of your anxiety,’ and ‘Let go of your depression.’ Despite the titles, no one came. These people just aren’t ready for me, I said to myself. So I’ll try something different, I thought. I advertised laughter therapy, and waited, thinking it would probably go the way of my other classes. Which was no way. I didn’t expect any sign ups for laughter either. But women showed up in droves. Came and brought their friends. It totally amazed me! And they kept coming back, time and time again. What brought them? What do they need that they are getting from laughing together? Many of them knew the healthy benefits of laughter. That it makes our immune system stronger, reduces blood pressure, brings more oxygen to our brain so we can think more clearly. It reduces the stress we feel, as it produces endorphins.

The power of laughter

Laughter connects us with others. As women, we need to connect with

others. And that is something women know, even if it’s just laughing with someone you haven’t yet met. As I got to know more of the lives of these women who laughed with me, I was impressed. We live selfless lives, caring for a disabled spouse, or our own health challenges. Some care for an elderly parent, even adult children living at home. We’ve dulled our personal lives while propping up everyone else’s. “We’ve Pierce learned that Prince Charming was a bad joke, and all the fairy godmothers are dead,” said Joan Anderson in her book “A Weekend to Change Your Life.” “We have spent the greater part of our lives pouring ourselves out like pitchers. No wonder we feel so empty,” she wrote. “The only thing missing in my life is me,” I once scratched on a piece of paper. No wonder we need an hour every now and then to do nothing but laugh. In her book, Anderson describes how she changed her life to put herself back in it. She began by writing down all the activities of her life during the past year. She found it difficult to even remember the year, even the big events in her life. Once she had the list, she spent a day reflecting on each event. Was it fun, exciting, difficult, unfortunate, sad, or depressing? She put squares around the exhausting moment, triangles around the exhilarating, hearts around moments with her husband, and circles around those activities that had been just for her. It was a major eye opener when she found mostly squares, things she found exhausting. There were only a

few circles, things that were just for herself. She vowed to change her life to make more circles.

Pamper yourself

We need to learn to accept and indulge ourselves; little things, like having a massage during the holiday season, soaking in a bubble bath instead of doing the dishes, sitting down with a pile of magazines in the middle of the afternoon. We all need time to pause, to spend time alone with ourselves, a space that lets us pause and see our world in a different light. As we laugh together, we are beginning to reclaim the buried parts of ourselves—especially our playfulness and our individuality. Where could you go for an hour, just for yourself? Try to list at least 10 possible places, such as a park, the library, your garden, a zoo, a museum, a bookstore. Grow comfortable regularly stepping away to your spot. Find a spot that calls to you—near a brook, under a willow tree, on a fallen log. “Nature feeds our souls,” says Anderson. “It rarely gives direct answers, but is always nourishes, soothes, and waters the spirit, so that eventually growth occurs.” “Go for it—anything,” Anderson recommends. And so I tell the women I laugh with. Take a step beyond the familiar. Take a painting class, learn belly-dancing, train for a long distance bike ride, or decide to read one book a month in an area that is new to you. Who knows where it will lead? We all owe it to ourselves to cultivate a full life. We all have the strength and creativity to build something out of nothing. • Barbara Pierce is a licensed clinical social worker who has many years’ experience in helping people with relationships and parenting. She resides in Florida. Her “Between You and Me” column appears monthly in Mohawk Valley In Good Health. Do you have a concern or question that you would like Barbara to address? Send your concerns to her at barbarapierce06@yahoo.com for her consideration.

Scientists develop tattoo-like monitoring device

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cientists have developed an ultrathin, self-adhesive electronics device resembling a temporary tattoo that can record health data about the human heart, brain waves and muscle activity. Devices that do the same, until now, have been bulky and required conductive fluids or glues. The device was developed by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern Page 6

University, Tufts University, Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore and Dalian University of Technology in China. The researchers said in a statement that the device works using a combination of careful theoretical modeling and precise micro-manufacturing. “Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is mechanically and physiologically invisible to

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

the user,” John Rogers, a professor in materials science and engineering at University of Illinois, said in a statement. “We found a solution that involves devices we designed to achieve properties that match to the epidermis itself. It’s a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology.” A report on the device appears in the Aug. 12 edition of the journal Science.

AHA backs tobacco control funding Reports shows program cuts are short-sighted, hurt anti-smoking efforts

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ublic health groups recently released “Up in Smoke,” which documented the decreasing amounts that New York state has spent on the tobacco control program over the years. “Increasing the tax on cigarettes encourages people to quit,” said Julianne Hart, government relations director of the American Heart Association. “But then the state took away the tools to help people quit by decreasing the funding to the tobacco control program. It’s time to stop seeing the tobacco control program as a cash cow, and put the money into the tobacco cessation program.” It doesn’t take a budget expert to realize that investing in tobacco control will yield a public health benefit, the AHA claims. New York’s Tobacco Control Program is a highly successful, world-class tobacco prevention program that saves lives and prevents kids from smoking, according to the AHA. Smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis—the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries—which can lead to a heart attack. Smoking also increases blood pressure and the body’s propensity to create blood clots, a dangerous mix resulting in an escalated risk for stroke.

Effective program

The tobacco control program has worked amazingly well, the AHA reports. As a result of programmatic efforts, youth and adult smoking rates in New York are the lowest on record. Since the tobacco control program was created in 2000, the smoking rate among youth has dropped from 27.1 percent to 12.6 percent percent. Despite this success, lawmakers have showed a blatant disregard for the health of all New Yorkers by slashing funding for the tobacco control program. The tobacco control program had been cut from $85 million to $41 million in the current fiscal year. Tobacco control program funds smoking cessation centers, the New York State Quitline, distribution of nicotine replacement therapy, and media campaigns to let people know the program was available. “Up in Smoke,” released by AHA, The American Cancer Society, American Lung Association in New York, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, League of Women Voters/NYS and NYPIRG, documented that the state spends less than four cents of every $1 it raises from tobacco on anti-smoking programs. “Up in Smoke” calls on New York to spend one dime of every $1 of revenue from tobacco sales on tobacco control. A copy of the report is available at www.cancer.org/nynj.


Health issues Size does matter

Feel Good Again!

Fluid Moves Massage

Helping your body heal itself. Alice Kenly. LMT, LLCC

www.fluidmovesmassage.com

Health care organizations looks to consolidate in face of changes By Aaron Gifford

Leading the way

In Auburn Memorial’s case, officials are pursuing a major change even though the hospital is financially stable. Roz McCormick, vice president, stressed that the move to partner with a larger hospital is not related to any current or anticipated debts. “We’re trying to be proactive,” she said. “We need to position ourselves because there are so many changes in the health care field related to reimbursement, and there’s a shortage of critical health care professionals.” Likewise, Oneida Healthcare Center in Madison County is in discussions with both similar-sized hospitals and larger hospitals “just to see what we have in common,” said chief executive officer Gene Morreale. “The idea is, what we can do together that will provide better quality care at less cost?” Morreale said. “We’re not sure it makes sense right now, but for the long term we need to evaluate all of our options so when health care reform is implemented, we’re in a position to respond. The ultimate goal is to

St. Elizabeth College of Nursing A Reputation of Excellence, A Tradition of Caring, A Future of Opportunity!

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n Hamilton, Community Memorial Hospital is in the process of formalizing a management agreement with the much larger Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. In Onondaga, SUNY Upstate Medical University recently took over ownership and operation of the much smaller Community General Hospital. And in Cayuga County, Auburn Memorial Hospital just put out a request for proposals to three large Syracuse hospitals and two large Rochester hospitals. Auburn Memorial will consider shared services and potentially a merger with a larger partner. The theme is similar across Upstate New York: With health care reform looming, smaller hospitals may have to change the way they do business in order to survive. The non-profit Finger Lakes Health Systems, which assists health care providers in Ontario, Livingston, Yates, Seneca and Wayne counties, recently reported that hospitals in its area are increasingly losing market share to the larger hospitals up to an hour away even though the same services are offered locally. Meanwhile, reimbursements for those hospitals are expected to decrease by $63 million in the next 10 years. To absorb that shortfall, the agency has challenged small hospitals in the five-county rural region to share services, form partnerships with the larger Rochester area hospitals or combine force to form one large health care organization for their region that offers all of the specialty services offered in metro hospitals. Central New York hospitals, meanwhile, have already started to make changes and may set examples for their Finger Lakes counterparts to follow.

794-7404

OPEN HOUSE Thursday, October 6, 2011 • 6 PM Multi Purpose Room 2215 Genesee St, Utica, NY 13501 Open House Registration www.secon.edu 315-798-8347

make sure people aren’t leaving their community for health care.” The concept is not brand new to OHC: Earlier this year, the hospital tapped The Franciscan Companies, a subsidiary of St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, to manage its sleep lab and provide medical equipment to local patients and consumers.

Spirit of collaboration

the decades that followed.

Structured for service

The details of Community Memorial’s agreement with Crouse have not been released yet. But Bob Allen, Crouse public relations director, did say that the first step will be to replace Community Memorial’s longtime chief executive officer Dave Felton, after Felton retires at the end of the year. The benefits of a partnership are mutually beneficial: Community Memorial will be networked to more services and have a stronger financial base with the likelihood of shrinking reimbursements under future health care reform measures, and Crouse will get referrals from Community Memorial. “Organizations, both large and small, are looking to form mutually beneficial partnerships to help share costs, reduce duplication and provide a more seamless, coordinated system of care,” Allen said. “We will look to provide certain clinical supports to Community Memorial so that it can remain a vital provider in the Hamilton community. Crouse will benefit from referrals to our hospital for services that are not available at CMH, such as interventional cardiac care.” To the east, Little Falls Hospital in Herkimer County and its parent corporation, Bassett Healthcare Network, has received national media attention for making radical changes in the way they do business. Chief among those changes was putting physicians on an annual salary. But Little Falls and the other Bassett hospitals in Cooperstown, Oneonta, Delhi and Sidney are different than their Central New York and Finger Lakes area counterparts in that they are all over an hour away from any large metropolitan area hospitals. Those hospitals were integrated into Bassett’s system in the mid-1990s. The company’s business grew tremendously over

According to company officials, Bassett’s market covers a 5,600 square mile region and includes 28 rural health clinics as well as a 180-bed acute care inpatient teaching facility in Cooperstown that employs more than 3,400 people. The Bassett Medical Center was formally established as a medical school campus of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2009. “Bassett’s model of health care delivery has been a successful one,” said Karen Huxtable-Hooker, public and media relations director. Oswego Hospital, where 28 employees were recently laid off in response to declining state and federal reimbursements, does not appear to be considering any partnerships with other hospitals. Instead, its parent company, Oswego Health, is focusing locally on a primary care collaborative with Northern Oswego County Health Services Inc. and Oswego County Opportunities to “financially stabilize and clinically enhance the primary care network of providers currently located throughout Oswego County,” said Marion Ciciarelli, public relations manager. A state Department of Health grant provided $3 million to improve six primary care offices throughout Oswego County, Ciciarelli added. “Oswego Health is regularly adjusting operations to the changing health care marketplace,” she said. Rome Memorial Hospital did not provide information about its future for this story. The Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency identified several areas where small hospitals could consolidate staffing and services. The list includes accounting, clinical engineering, compliance, credentialing, and human resources, imaging services, infection control, information technology, laboratory services, pharmacy, physician network services, physician recruitment, plant engineering, risk management, staff development, supply chain, transcriptions and treasury services.

October 2011 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7


Women’s Health Women and depression Know the symptoms, causes and treatment options illustrated the consequences of long-term stress. Another factor is that women and men often have different socioeconomic statuses. As a whole, women make less money and “might Schwarz feel limited in their access to resources as a result,” Schwarz notes. This is, of course, often an even greater problem for single mothers who might not have completed school, sought a college education, or been able to gain work experience prior to having children. Depression symptoms can be the same for men, women, and children. Some symptoms of depression include: • Feeling depressed or lacking energy for the majority of the day • Losing interest in activities • Major unintentional weight loss or gain • Getting too little or too much sleep • Fatigue • Feeling worthless or unreasonably guilty • Difficulty concentrating and mak-

ing decisions • Thinking of suicide or death regularly • Restlessness For a diagnosis of depression, Schwarz says, “A client needs to have five of these nine symptoms during the same two-week time period” and that one of the first two listed symptoms must be present.

KIDS Corner

assistant professor of pediatrics and a sleep specialist. If you think your child is different and does not need the required amount of sleep, think again. Of children under the age of 18, 60 percent polled by the National Sleep Foundation complained of being tired during the day, and 15 percent reported they fell asleep at school. To curb the feeling, doctors say, get kids to bed early. The NSF has guidelines for how much sleep children of various ages require. Three to 5-year-olds need 11 to 13 hours per night, while 5 to 12 year-olds need 10 to 11 hours each night. “As for adolescents, it’s a common myth that they need less sleep, and can handle only seven or eight hours, but they actually need nine hours of sleep. That’s typically the most sleepdeprived population in school,” says Avis. A lack of one good night’s sleep can be made up for, Avis says, but going an entire school week without sufficient rest can be detrimental.

By Kristen Raab

W

omen are twice as likely as men to develop depression. Depression can be life altering and dangerous, with entire families impacted by one person’s despair. Seeking help can improve life for the person who is depressed as well as their family members. Karen Schwarz, licensed mental health counselor for a private practice, notes several factors that might explain the increased risk for depression in women. Hormones are one possibility. “Women can become more depressed prior to their period and/or after childbirth,” she said. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome. The National Institute of Health says that up to 8 percent of menstruating women experience PMDD. Everyone experiences and deals with stress in his or her own way. One cause of stress that more women face is being single parents. A recent study has shown that unwed mothers are more likely to experience a variety of health problems later on in life than those who were married. The study was done by Kristi Williams, associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University, and it

Proper sleep crucial for success in school, safety Experts advise 11-13 hours of sleep for young kids; 10-12 for 5 to 12 year olds

G

oing back to school should not be just an excuse for kids to get new clothes and school supplies. Instead, say University of Alabama at Birmingham experts, it also should be a time to get them back to healthier sleep schedules. Long summer days lend themselves to later nights and fewer Page 8

hours of restorative slumber, something pediatricians say is especially necessary for kids to have to succeed upon their return to the classroom. “From memory to judgment, attention span, emotional stability and even immunity, sleep deprivation negatively affects school-aged children,” explains Kristin Avis, UAB

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

Family impact

The person who is depressed is not the only one faced with a difficult path. “If they don’t understand the illness, many family members feel frustrated with the client’s lack of engagement and functioning,” Schwarz explains. In cases where the depressed person is suicidal, family members “might be afraid to live their own lives for fear that, if they leave the client alone, he or she might engage in self-harm. “Families can seek out family therapy. This will provide supportive care and education,” she noted. It’s important for everyone involved to become educated about depression. Otherwise, it will be difficult to feel empathetic and to help the struggling loved one. “In some cases, there is little sympathy and the client is expected to pull himself up by his bootstraps,” Schwarz explains. Alternately, some people will sim-

ply avoid the depressed person as they see them as “a bummer,” she said. The decision of whether to use medication or try other treatments should be a careful one. Medicine is the often the best choice if the person’s “depressive symptoms appear chronic, and/or unrelated to any situation,” Schwarz says. On the other hand, “Non-medical options are best when a client’s depression appears to be instigated by a specific situation” such as a loved one’s death, she noted. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy should be used “when the client’s behaviors limit their wellness,” Schwarz says. Supportive therapy helps clients by introducing new options to them. Volunteering, spending time with animals and exercising are all possible activities that can help someone who is depressed. Schwarz tells her clients that the goal is not to feel perfect, but to feel better. Schwarz will use hypnosis when she sees it fit, as she is certified to do so. She uses it to identify the underlying cause of the depression that can lead to alternative ways to handle their issue. Additionally, she says she refers clients for physicals to rule out medical issues that might cause the symptoms or make existing symptoms worse. The first step to getting better is for a person to seek professional advice.

“You can sleep until noon on Saturday and feel caught up, but then you will go to bed later that night, sleep in on Sunday, and then have the cycle repeat itself into the new school week,” says Avis. So the best bet is to make sure your child is getting suitable snooze-time every night. To guarantee their sleepy time is spent well, say both doctors, it is important to make kids’ bedrooms as tranquil as possible, which means getting rid of all those noise-makers. “On average, there are three to four electronic gadgets in a kid’’ room. It’s been shown that even sleeping with a television on deprives them of 20 minutes of sleep per night, which may not sound like a lot but adds up over a week’s time,” says Avis. “Cell phones are often used as an alarm clock, but for about $5 you can invest in a real alarm clock so the phone can be turned off,” Wallace adds.


Women’s Health Breaking up is hard to do Trying to mend a broken relationship can be complicated By Barbara Pierce

E

ach day, countless couples walk through the doors of psychotherapists. Things are not going well in their relationship; they are reaching for a lifeline to save their relationship. It’s normal to run into rough spots in any relationship. Some go eagerly to the therapist, which some are dragged in by their partner, who hopes that the therapist can “fix” him or her. Some go because it’s a requirement to become divorced. Some just know they are unhappy, and if their relationship can be fixed, they can be happy. “Couples therapy can be a very efficient route to satisfaction. It can increase both individual satisfaction and satisfaction in the relationship,” said Gregory Kovacs, executive director, Samaritan Counseling Center of the Mohawk Valley. Couples therapy can help couples, married or not, improve their relationships. They learn to communicate better with each other. They learn how to resolve their conflicts. It can be a lifeline that saves the relationship. But there are times when couples therapy is the wrong choice, Kovacs cautions. If you are only going to please your partner, don’t bother. If one is just going through the motions to minimize the conflict, that may be OK at first, Kovacs says. “One of the jobs of the therapist is to increase the reluctant

partner’s genuine investment in the relationship. However, if one partner is just going through the motions, it only creates temporary improvement and false hope. The relationship can worsen.”

Don’t drag it out

If one person has made the decision that the relationship is over, going for therapy will just drag out the agony. For therapy to be effective, both must believe it will help them resolve their areas of conflict. If one in the relationship has a girlfriend or boyfriend on the side, get rid of that person first. Otherwise therapy will not be successful. Next, it is often best to avoid couples counseling when there is on-going

‘Tis the flu season Don’t take any chances: Get your flu shot By Kristen Raab

I

t’s that time of year again: It’s time to get flu shots. While flu season typically begins around December in our area, it can start in October. Therefore, this is a great time to get vaccinated, especially for seniors who are at a higher risk for complications from the flu. Leanna Grace, infection prevention director at Rome Memorial Hospital, says, “Anyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu.” People who have experienced severe reactions to previous flu shots, have severe egg allergies or have experienced Guillain-Barre Syndrome should consult with their physician before obtaining a vaccination. If someone cannot be vaccinated, his or her loved ones can do their best to protect the person. If you have an

elderly parent or grandparent, be sure to keep yourself healthy to minimize their exposure to germs. Getting the flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu, and to avoid spreading it to older loved ones who are most susceptible. Additionally, if a person is feeling sick, even if it seems to be a cold, avoid contact with anyone who is at risk of severe complications from the flu. The flu shot can take two weeks to protect the person. This is also true of the nasal spray, which is recommended for healthy people aged 2 through 49, provided that they are not pregnant, and do not have certain health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney or liver disease, metabolic disease, such as diabetes, anemia, or other blood disorders, Grace cautions. Some people might assume they are protected from the flu because they received a vaccination last year. However, it is important to get a flu shot every

domestic violence, alcoholism, or substance abuse, Kovacs recommends. Experts who work with victims of abuse strongly advise against couples’ therapy, as it can increase the abuse. The victim cannot be open and honest with the therapist for fear of retaliation outside the therapist’s office. “He was the nicest person when we were in the therapist’s office—pleasant, polite, soft spoken,” said Sharon Dixon, 57, about her experience in therapy with an emotionally abusive husband. “The therapist couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get along with him. But, as soon as we walked out the door, it was like a switch went off and he started in on me again. He would be even meaner.” When one partner uses alcohol or drugs excessively, any insight gained from therapy is rendered useless. In other words, you are wasting your time in the therapist’s office if one of you is under the influence of substances much of the time. Take care of number one There are times that one or both individuals may benefit from individual counseling before they come for counseling as a couple, Kovacs added. A common scenario in couples’ therapy is when one or both partners have a background that has caused them to have difficulties in intimate relationships. year. “Immunity from the flu from the vaccination lasts for the entire flu season depending on various factors, including the health of the individuals,” Grace said. The flu shot does not guarantee protection against influenza. Age and health are important factors as is “the similarity of ‘match’ between the virus strains in the vaccine and those circulating in the community,” Grace said.

Play it safe

“It is much safer to have the flu shot than not to, even if the match is not close,” she said. She added when this occurs, the vaccine is still able to offer protection to many people. Most of us will experience sniffles, coughing and other cold-like symptoms in the coming months. How do you know if these symptoms are actually the flu? Grace lists the following as symptoms of the flu: fever/chills, sore throat, cough, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose. She said there are varying degrees of severity, and many people will only

October 2011 •

Background check

Perhaps they grew up in a home with abuse or alcoholism. That background can make it hard to trust others and can make it hard to communicate openly. It also can make them skeptical about the motives of others. If so, they may benefit from individual therapy to gain insight as to how their past experiences are affecting them in their current relationships, says Kovacs. Or, if one partner is suffering with depression, anxiety, or other emotional difficulty that is not the result of their current relationship, Kovacs recommends treating that difficulty first, before working on the relationship. It’s important to choose the right therapist, one whom you both trust so you can both be honest and open, one who really listens, who understands you. Experience is important. “When we went to a psychologist, it made things worse,” says 43-year-old Carol Dunellen. “My husband is a better talker than I am. I wasn’t as good at telling my side of the story. The therapist recommended a solution that I was sure was not a good one. My instinct told me not to follow his recommendation. I didn’t, and my husband became even madder at me. “Finally we tried another psychologist. She brought out both sides of the story, and recommended a very different solution. It worked. She probably saved our 20-year marriage.” Trust your instincts. The right therapist can make a big difference. feel sick for a few days. Unlike the common cold, the flu does have the potential to be a serious illness, particularly for those with weakened immune systems. “It’s estimated that 90 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur in people 65 years and older,” Grace explains. This may seem disproportionate, but the reason is that “human immune defenses become weaker with age.” Prevention is the best plan. Clearly, vaccination is the number-one defense against influenza. In addition, washing hands thoroughly with soap and water is important. Keeping hands away from the mouth, nose and eyes will decrease the spread of germs. Using a tissue to cover the mouth and nose during sneezes or coughs, and tossing the tissue afterward may cut down the spread of germs to others. Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever it is possible. This holds true for when you are the sick person. Stay away from other people if you can so that you will not make them sick.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9


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IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011


October 2011 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11


The Social Ask Security Office

Letters

to the Editor

Column provided by the local Social Security Office

Village of Ilion adopts ‘Complete Streets’ resolution

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ear Editor: On behalf of Herkimer County HealthNet, Inc., I would like to express congratulations to the village of Ilion for being the first community in Herkimer County to adopt a “Complete Streets” Resolution. This resolution was passed at its Sept. 14, 2011 village board meeting. Complete Streets aims to make new and reconstructed roadways safe and accessible for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchair users and transit riders, as well as motorists. Communities across the country are participating in this movement to build highways, bridges, and sidewalks that are safer, friendlier, and

H

100 disability conditions fast-tracked

ere’s some important news if you’re applying for Social Security disability benefits for yourself or a loved one. There are 100 conditions which qualify for an expedited process known as Compassionate Allowances. Compassionate Allowances, which began in December 2007, are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. “We have an obligation to award benefits quickly to people whose medical conditions are so serious they clearly meet our disability standards,” said Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security. “We are now able to do precisely that for 100 severe conditions.” The Compassionate Allowances conditions are developed from information received at public outreach hearings, and from the Social Security and Disability Determination Service communities, medical and scientific experts, and the National Institutes of Health. We also consider which conditions are most likely to meet our definition of disability. “By definition, these illnesses are

welcoming to everyone. Complete Streets legislation was passed in New York state by both the Assembly and Senate, and then signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 27, 2011. If we continue to productively utilize our streets, we are providing better health and wellness in our communities, which ultimately boosts economic development by enhancing our county’s infrastructure. Congratulations again to the village of Ilion for making this commitment. Sincerely, Adam Hutchinson, Executive Director, Herkimer County HealthNet, Inc.

Q&A

Q: How do I update or correct the name on my Social Security card? A: To update or correct the name on your Social Security card: • Complete an Application for A Social Security Card (Form SS-5), available at www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ ss-5.pdf; • Show us original documents proving your legal name change, identity, and U.S. citizenship (if you have not already established your citizenship with us), or immigration status if you are not a U.S. citizen; and • Take or mail your completed application and original documents to your local Social Security office. Note that we must see originals and cannot use photocopies. We will return any original document you mail to us. Learn more at www.socialsecurity. gov. Q: How do I report a lost Social Security card? A: You do not have to report a lost Social Security card. In fact, reporting a lost or stolen card to Social Security will not prevent misuse of your Social Security number. You should let us know if someone is using your number to work (call 1-800-772-1213; TTY 1-800325-0778). If you think someone is using your number, there are several other actions you should take: • Contact the Federal Trade ComPage 12

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

so severe that we don’t need to fully develop the applicant’s work history to make a decision,” said Commissioner Astrue. “As a result, Social Security has eliminated this part of the application process for people who have a condition on the list, and we can award benefits much more quickly.” The Compassionate Allowances initiative is one of two parts of the agency’s fast-track system for certain disability claims. When combined with the Quick Disability Determination (QDD) process, Social Security last year approved the claims of more than 100,000 people, usually in less than two weeks. This year, the agency expects to fasttrack nearly 150,000 cases. Under QDD, a predictive model analyzes specific elements of data within the electronic claims file to identify claims where there is a high potential the claimant is disabled and where evidence of the person’s allegations can be quickly and easily obtained. Some of the conditions include pancreatic cancer, acute leukemia and batten disease. For more information on Compassionate Allowances, including a list of all 100 conditions, visit www. socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

mission online at www.ftc.gov/bcdp/ edu/microsites/idtheft or call 1-877ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); • File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov; • Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 1-800908-4490, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and • Monitor your credit report. Q: I work in retirement. How much can I earn and still collect full Social Security retirement benefits? A: Social Security uses the formulas below, depending on your age, to determine how much you can earn before we must reduce your benefit: • If you are younger than full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2011, that limit is $14,160. • In the year you reach your full retirement age: $1 in benefits will be deducted for each $3 you earn above a different limit, but we count only earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. For 2011, this limit is $37,680. • Starting with the month you reach full retirement age: you will get your benefits with no limit on your earnings. Find out your full retirement age at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ageincrease.htm.


Women’s issues

‘Freezing away fat’ comes to CNY

New noninvasive treatment known as coolsculpting reduces unwanted fatty bulges By Joyce Gramza

A

new, noninvasive device that reduces unwanted fatty bulges by freezing them has arrived in Central New York and has already been used on some 50 local patients, who expect to see significant decreases in the size of their love handles, underthe-skin belly fat, and other stubborn bulges over the next couple of months. Dr. Sue Merola-McConn of Living Proof Longevity Center in Fayetteville, says that the center is the first in the region to acquire the Zeltiq cooling system device, and that they are already interested in getting another one. “The machine is going all the time now,” says her husband and co-founder Mark McConn, also a physician. The technique, dubbed “coolsculpting,” won FDA approval last year based on clinical studies showing that a single treatment, averaging one to two hours, ultimately reduced the size of localized fat layers by 16 to 32 percent, with only minimal and temporary side effects reported so far. Merola-McConn emphasizes that it is not a medical weight-loss procedure. “This is esthetic, for sculpting the body to make you look better,” she says. Like liposuction, the procedure is considered cosmetic and is not covered by insurance. Unlike liposuction, “coolsculpting” is “painless,” says Mark McConn. It requires no incision, needles or recovery time lost from work or other activities and is also quite a bit less costly than liposuction. Depending on the area treated, costs range from $750 to $1,500 per treatment, the McConns say. Jennifer Bellerdine, 28, a registered nurse at the center, is looking forward to “a well-defined abdomen after about three months,” she says. She had the procedure six weeks ago, both “in order to be able to describe it to patients,” and because “I do work out regularly and am at my ideal weight, but I had a child and I still had a pooch resistant to diet and exercise.” Merola-Mconn, and Zeltiq, say that’s a good description of the ideal “coolsculpting” candidate. The technique is based on the concept that fat freezes at higher temperatures than surrounding tissues, and that once frozen, the fat cells gradually die off and are disposed of by the body’s immune system. This process has been known for decades in cases of “popsicle panniculitis” in infants—when a young child’s cheeks, which tend to be fattier that the rest of the face, are inflamed by exposure to cold, and gradually lose fat after

the inflammation subsides. A Harvard/Mass General researcher first tested this effect to reduce areas of subcutaneous body fat in pigs in 2009, and developed the Zeltiq device. The device uses a gentle vacuum to suck the problem area into a “mouthpiece,” describes Bellerdine. “Inside the mouthpiece are cooling plates and we turn it on and it cools that area to around minus 4 degrees Celcius.” (About 25 degrees Fahrenheit). “So when it first goes on, you feel the suction. It’s not unpleasant, but you feel the initial grab on.” She says when the cooling starts, “it feels like when you brush snow off your car without gloves on, that tingly sensation in your fingertips. But that’s only the first five minutes because after that, your nerves are actually numb,” says Bellerdine. “Then you sit like that for an hour—it really is a ‘lunch-hour procedure’—and after you take the piece off, it actually looks like there’s a frozen stick of butter under your skin,” says Bellerdine. “So now your cells have been frozen and the cells almost form like liquid popsicles, so we massage the area so those cells bump into each other causing more inflammatory response and killing more cells.” Bellerdine says the only discomfort she felt was some tenderness around her belly button on the fifth day following the procedure, which “went away” after she worked out. Merola-McConn, who says she did her back six weeks ago to get rid of “my bra fat,” described no discomfort other than “some swelling at first.” She says that soon subsided and that she began to notice results in three weeks. “I’m amazed,” she says. “Even though I studied it and was convinced before we brought it in, when you have it done yourself you really come to that realization.” “I feel like I can’t wait to get another part done,” Merola-McConn says. Seventy-one-year old Joan Cincotta, a personal friend of MerolaMcConn’s, didn’t wait to see results on one part before doing another. When Merola-McConn asked if she wanted to try it as part of the center’s demonstration and training with the device, Cincotta went for four treatments in quick succession. Cincotta, who is also an registered nurse, says she had “read about it in ‘O’ Magazine just before [Merola-McCann] mentioned she had gotten this machine.” Because of her medical training and reading up on the research,

Before

2 months after procedure

Before

3 months after procedure

Cincotta says she was “not apprehensive at all.” Cincotta says she first did her sides, or “love handles,” then one week later her upper abdomen and a week after that, her lower abdomen. Cincotta says she didn’t want to wait “because the results take up to four months before you can see the end result,” so she’s now hoping that “within two months it will be really great.” Cincotta says she experienced, on the familiar 1-10 scale, pain of “0 to 1” for her sides, “about a 3 for my upper abdomen” and a”4” for her lower abdomen during the procedures, “but it only lasted for five to 10 minutes.” Afterwards, she says, there was sine mild “numbness and discomfort for a few weeks.” And already, “I’ve seen slight results on my sides because it’s been about a month now,” Cincotta says. The McConns say the most important part of the procedure is screening patients. “If someone is looking for weight loss and having to lose 30 pounds, that is not something that will happen,” says Merola-McConn. “We show you and measure where you are going to reduce and by how much.” Merola-McConn says the procedure also might not be recommended for someone who has had a bleeding disorder or who has “cold urticaria” or other acute reactions to cold. In addition, the McConns say someone with an open wound at or near the location would want to wait until it is healed. “A lot of women want to do their scar area from having babies,” Merola-McConn says. “You really need to be a year out in terms of wound healing.” And while abdominal fat is associ-

ated with increased health risks such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, the doctors again emphasize that subcutaneous belly fat is not a health risk, while internal abdominal fat around the organs is. “Someone who needs to lose abdominal belly fat to reduce a health risk is not the same person who would come in for this procedure,” MerolaMcConn says. “People with a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or greater need to do weight loss with lifestyle change, not with this device,” says McConn, “and we can also work with them in our office.” But for people who wished they could sculpt their bodies without going under the knife, it’s an exciting development, says Bellerdine. “I am excited to see the results, and everybody I’ve seen do it is already thinking, ‘what area am I going to do next?’ I’d like to do my love handles, but we’ll see what happens.” Merola-McCann says they have had some male patients, but jokes that “the women are not letting the men near it. She says that “because we have two offices, because it’s not very portable, and because it takes one or two hours and we’re limited by the number of hours in a day,” they are considering ordering another device in the coming months. The device is in such high demand in large metropolitan areas like New York City, she says, “It took us six months just to get this one.” For more information or a consultation, visit northmedicalpc.com/livingproof.htm or call 329-4975.

October 2011 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13


Dental Health Worst foods, beverages for your teeth Nicer smile breeds more confidence By Barbara Pierce

content. Acid damages the tooth enamel, which causes decay.

W

e all want white teeth. Bright, white smiles—they take years off your appearance and boost your confidence. While whitening your teeth is generally an effective and safe thing to do, it helps to avoid foods and beverages that stain teeth in the first place. To us, it may be all about appearance. But, to a dentist, it’s more about having healthy teeth. The beverages we drink and the food we eat do have a lot to do with whether or not we have healthy teeth. When the foods and beverages you put in your mouth combine with plaque (the sticky film of bacteria in your mouth), an acid is produced that destroys the enamel. This gradual destruction of the enamel is what causes tooth decay, explains WebMD. If not treated, decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. “Coffee isn’t at all good for your teeth,” said Anthony Angelichio, a dentist in Ilion. “It does stain. And cappuccinos and espressos are the worst, as they are stronger and darker.” The outer layer of the tooth is very porous, which means food and liquids are absorbed, and stay in your teeth. If a beverage is dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Tea is also destructive to your

A threat to teeth

teeth, added Angelichio. Though it has a reputation as a healthy beverage, it causes even more staining than coffee. More staining equals more destruction. If you drink tea, avoid the darker colored kinds, and opt for white or herbal. Energy drinks, like Red Bull, are even worse as they are loaded with sugar. And they are carbonated. Carbonated beverages have a high acid

Sodas are also harmful. Dark sodas stain, and the sugar and acid in both dark and light colored sodas damage the tooth enamel. “The acidity in carbonate drinks is so intense that it actually compares to the acidity in battery acid,” claims WebMD. Avoid the steady sipping of a soda over a prolonged period, as this extends the damage that can be done. It is best to sip through a straw, to minimize the length of time the beverage stays on your teeth. Wine is also harmful. If red wine can permanently stain a tablecloth, it can do much harm to your teeth. White wine also contains acids that eat at the tooth enamel. “Smoking is the worst habit for your teeth,” emphasized Angelichio. It causes ugly, brownish stains, and is harmful to your gums. Chewing tobacco, cigars, and other forms of tobacco are equally harmful. Fruits and fruit juices are also harmful, as they are loaded with acid and sugar. The chewy, gummy snacks kids love, like fruit roll ups and gummy bears, are especially bad for their teeth. The sugary stuff gets stuck in their teeth. It sticks and bacteria flourishes. Brush after eating or drinking if

you can. “If you can’t brush after eating or drinking, drink a little water, and swish it around in your mouth and swallow it,” advises Angelichio. For healthy teeth, use good dental hygiene, flossing and brushing after eating. Brush with a high quality fluoride toothpaste. Floss before you brush, to remove the loosened particles between your teeth. Brush your tongue to remove plaque that accumulates there. Eat a healthy well balanced diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables. For young children under the age of 6 or 7, parents should brush their teeth twice daily. As they are old enough to do it themselves, parents should supervise the twice daily flossing and brushing. Dental problems in childhood, which are largely preventable, can cause lifelong suffering. For those who are concerned with erasing the years of stains on their teeth, Angelichio says that over the counter whitening toothpaste or mouthwash can be effective. For women concerned with yellowed teeth, a lipstick shade of medium coral or light red is best to make your teeth appear whiter. Lighter colored shades tend to bring out the yellow. To maintain healthy and attractive teeth, see your dentist for regular checkups and scheduled cleanings.

Do you want to stop smoking? Rome Hospital ready to help

T

here’s no time like the present to stop smoking and Rome Memorial Hospital is ready to give you the support you need to break the addiction. Starting Oct. 26, the hospital will begin a four-week smoking cessation class. Teaching the class is Marie Smith, an experienced instructor from TriCounty Tobacco Cessation Center. “No doubt about it—quitting smoking is difficult. But, you don’t have to do it alone,” said Smith. “We want to be there to help people succeed in their decision to quit smoking.” “As we know, smoking cessation has major immediate health benefits,” added Rome Memorial Hospital Education Director Gale Barone. “Working in healthcare, we see the adverse effects of smoking on our patients, including various forms of cancer and coronary heart disease,” she said. According to the American Cancer Society, the moment you quit smoking, it takes just minutes for your body to start healing. At the same time, you’ll be helping family and friends reduce the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke. Barone said the four-week program will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Page 14

starting Oct. 26 and ending Nov. 16, in Rome Memorial Hospital’s conference room. The program is based on the American Cancer Society’s “Fresh Start” program, which combines information and support to help smokers break the addiction. Smoking cessation class participants may be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement patches provided through The New York State Smokers Quitline. It would be advantageous to call Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS before attending the first class to receive the free “start kit” of nicotine replacement patches. A $10 registration fee for the four-week program is due at the first session. Space is limited and advance registration is required for the smoking class. The class is open to adults 18 and older. Participants should plan to attend all four sessions for best results. Call Rome Memorial Hospital’s Education Department at 338-7143 by Oct. 21 to register. Anyone who is interested in learning more about smoking cessation can call the hospital’s education department at 338-7143 or contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitsite at 866-NYQUITS (866-697-8487).

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

MVCC employees step up Mohawk Valley Community College President Randall J. VanWagoner (center) presents Andrea Marshall, director of development for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York, with a check for $695 that was raised by MVCC employees. Joining them is Jennifer DeWeerth, assistant dean of student enrollment and advisement. Employees raised the during the college’s summer “Celebration of Success” employee recognition event which was held on the Utica Campus recently. “There are many employees here at MVCC who have connection with the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” DeWeerth said. “They do so much to help ease the burden children are facing during an extremely difficult time in their lives.” The organization grants the requests of children facing life-threatening illness which has been found to comfort the children during their healing process. To learn more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York or to make a donation, call 315.475.WISH (toll free, 800.846.WISH).


Diabetics can control own destiny

By Jim Miller

How to detect, prevent telemarketing scams

How well do diabetics follow their doctor’s recommendations? By Barbara Pierce

Diabetics have a lot of control over how well their diabetes is managed,” said Frank Dubeck, chief medical officer at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Utica. “They have the opportunity to seize control over how well they do, and by taking control they will lower their risk of complications,” he said. Many Mohawk Valley adults who live with diabetes do follow their physicians’ recommendations. These are Dubeck the findings of a report recently issued by Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield. Excellus’ new TakeCharge Community Health Report describes what Mohawk Valley adults are doing—or not doing—to take control of their health. However, Dubeck is concerned because the report found that thousands of persons in the Mohawk Valley fail to take the easy actions that will help them avoid complications. These are actions that can prevent, or at least delay, the serious problems that diabetes can cause. Diabetes is a serious health condition where the body does not produce or properly use insulin to digest sugar (glucose). As a result, one’s blood sugar level becomes too high. Twenty-seven percent of adults aged 65 and older have diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. The rate of diabetes is increasing in the Mohawk Valley. At this time, it affects 57,000 adults.

Devastating consequences

The complications that occur when the disease is not under control are many, with severe consequences. High levels of blood sugar damage many parts of the body, such as the blood vessels, heart, eyes, and kidneys. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney damage, which can lead to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. It is the leading cause of nerve damage, which is painful and can lead to lower limb amputations. It is a leading cause of new cases of blindness. And, diabetes is a major cause of

heart disease and stroke. Adults with diabetes have four times the rate of cardiovascular disease. For those with diabetes, the overall risk of dying is about twice that for people of a similar age who are not diabetic. Dubeck is concerned about the high percentages of diabetics who are not in control of their disease. In the Mohawk Valley, 65 percent of diabetics reported that they had their AIC measured at least twice yearly. AIC measures the average level of your blood sugar over the past three months, showing how well your blood sugar is controlled. Twice yearly is the optimum time for having this measurement done, for those who are under good control, said Dubeck. It may need to be more often, if the number is too high, but no more often than every three months. According to the American Diabetic Association, an A1C under 7 shows good control. Fifty-seven percent, or just over half of those with diabetes, reported that they checked their blood sugar daily. Dubeck recommends checking at different times, a fasting level, upon getting up in the morning, and two hours after eating.

Preventative measures

Daily checking is essential for those who depend on insulin injections, so that they know how much insulin they need. It is helpful for those on oral medication to monitor. Dubeck recommends the use of a lancet on the side of the finger where it is less sensitive. Only 15 percent of Mohawk Valley diabetics report regularly engaging in moderate physical activity. “Many of us, diabetics and non-diabetics, do not get the physical activity we should,” said Dubeck. Thirty minutes of moderate activity at least five days a week is the recommendation. Dubeck is especially concerned about the 21 percent of diabetics in the Mohawk Valley who smoke. “They’re getting a double whammy,” he said. The combination of diabetes and smoking is especially dangerous. Those who have diabetes and smoke are 11 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who do not have diabetes. Smoking also makes it more difficult to control diabetes, because it increases your blood sugar. “While many in our region are following their doctor’s advice and managing their condition by doing the things they should, thousands are not,” said Dubeck. “That’s unfortunate, because actively managing your health can add years to your life and improve its quality.”

Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some tips to help protect seniors from telemarketing scams? My 80-year-old mother has been swindled out of several hundred dollars over the past year and keeps getting calls from scam artists. Worried Daughter Dear Worried Telemarketing fraud is a big problem in the United States, particularly among seniors who tend to be the most vulnerable and frequently targeted. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips to help protect your mom. Phone Fraud

According to FBI reports, there are around 14,000 illegal telemarketing operations that steal more than $40 billion from unsuspecting citizens each year – most of whom are over the age of 60. Telemarketing fraud happens when a con artist calls you up posing as a legitimate telemarketer and tries to cheat you out of your money by offering things like free prizes, vacation packages, sweepstakes or lottery winnings, discount medical or prescription drug plans, buying club memberships, credit and loan promises, investment and work-at-home opportunities and more. They also usually demand that you act right away and require some kind of up-front payment to participate or receive your winnings, which is always a red flag that the call is a scam. Seniors also need to be careful of fake charity and fundraising phone scams, home improvement scams, fake checks (see fakechecks.org), grandparent scams, and invitations to free lunch seminars.

What You Can Do

The first thing you should do to help your mom steer clear of phone scams is to alert her to the problem and how to recognize it. To help you with this, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers a consumer education website at ftc.gov/phonefraud that provides a rundown on some of the most common phone scams making the

October 2011 •

rounds these days and what to watch for. They also offer some helpful publications you can get for her like “Putting Telephone Scams on Hold” and “Who’s Calling? Recognize & Report Phone Fraud” that you can order for free by calling 877-382-4357. The next step is to remind her to never give out her personal information like her credit card number, checking or savings account numbers, Social Security number or mailing address to telemarketers no matter what they promise or tell her. If she’s getting calls from telemarketers requesting this information, she should simply hang up the phone because it’s a scam. If, however, your mom is having a hard time recognizing a scam or hanging up on pushy telemarketers, get her a caller ID and tell her not to pick up unless she recognizes the number of the caller. Or, ask her to let the calls go to voice mail. Telemarketers rarely leave messages. Also, make sure her phone number is registered with the National Do Not Call Registry which will significantly cut down the number of telemarketing calls she receives. You can register your mom’s phone number for free at donotcall.gov, or by calling 888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register. Unfortunately, being on the registry will not stop calls from political organizations, charities, pollsters and companies that your mom has an existing business relationship with. And, it won’t stop telemarketing scams either. If your mom is getting a lot of calls, discuss the possibility of changing her phone number. Scam artists trade and sell what they call “suckers lists” of prior victims, and the only way to get her off these lists may be to change her number.

Report It

It’s also important that you or your mom report any suspicious telemarketing calls she gets to the FTC (see ftccomplaintassistant.gov or call 877-3824357) and to her State Attorney General. Reporting it helps law enforcement officials track down these scam artists and stop them. You’ll need to provide the telemarketer’s phone number, as well as the date and time of the call.

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

Page 15


CALENDAR of

HEALTH EVENTS

Continued from Page 4 sets The Breast Center apart from other imaging centers is the one-on-one support that nurse navigator Linda Lyon provides. The hospital’s free health night lecture is an opportunity for the public to meet Lyon and learn first-hand how she can guide a patient through the healthcare process when faced with a possible breast cancer diagnosis. The presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 in the hospital’s classroom. Following Lyon’s presentation, members of the Rome Memorial Hospital Breast Center team will provide the latest information in breast health care. Health Night is sponsored by Rome Memorial Hospital. Advance registration is not required. Refreshments will be served. Rome Memorial Hospital’s classroom is located on the second floor of the hospital. Guests are asked to enter the North James Street entrance of the hospital. For more information, call 338-7143.

Oct. 8

Marriage preparation workshop set “Ready, Set ... I Do!” is an engaging approach to marriage preparation combining practical knowledge with spirituality. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 8 and 15 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22 at The Good News Center, 10475 Cosby Manor Road, Utica. For more information, contact Tanya, program coordinator, at 315-735-6210 extension 234, tanya@thegoodnewscenter.org, or visit www.thegoodnewscenter.org.

Oct. 9

‘Lunch and Learn’ lecture on agenda Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica will host a Senior Sunday: Lunch and Learn Lecture Oct. 9. The topic is “Preparing for a Disaster—Are You Ready?” and will be presented by Emily Levitt, an Oneida County Citizen Corps volunteer. The program will help participants prepare for the unexpected and will cover items you should have on hand in case a disaster or emergency occurs, as well as personal emergency disaster plans. 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 hot lunch will be served followed by the presentation.

Oct. 12

St. E’s Medical Arts to host ‘Business After Hours’ St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica will host the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours from Page 16

5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at its medical arts building located at 4401 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford. Tours will be conducted throughout the building. Ample parking will be available. Call 798-8195 with questions about the event. Make reservations by calling the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce at 724-3151, ext. 227 or e-mail info@mvchamber.org. Cost is $10 for chamber members and $20 for nonmembers.

Oct. 12

Senior sign language class offered A senior sign language class will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday mornings from Oct. 12 to Nov. 9 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 8595 Westmoreland Road, Whitesboro. This class is specifically designed for older adults—55 years and older— to learn the basics of sign language. Call Nancy at 736-6872 or email nsigning@gmail.com for registration information by Oct. 5. A second class, for those who have taken the first class, will be held at 10 a.m. Thursdays from Oct. 13 to Nov. 10 at Trinity UMC. Call Nancy Jayne at 736-6872 or email nsigning@gmail.com by Oct. 5 if interested.

Oct. 13

FSLH presents Campaign for Quality 2011 The community’s health is a shared responsibility, shared by patients, their families, providers, hospital staff and caregivers. Understanding how we can all work together for the benefit of a healthy community, learning more about what other organizations and communities are doing to improve patient care and safety, as well as promoting community health is at the heart of an educational series called Campaign for Quality. This Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare event is celebrating its 10th anniversary and will be held at Hamilton College in Clinton Oct. 14-15. A special evening event Oct. 13 will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Utica. Registration is required by Oct. 6. Details and registration are available at www.campaignforquality.com. For more information and to register, visit www.campaignforquality. com or call 315-624-6174.

Oct. 14

YMCA to hold ‘Heroes Celebration’ fundraiser The YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley will hold its third annual YMCA Heroes Celebration Fundraiser Oct. 14 to raise funds for the Y Heroes Campaign.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

The celebration will be held at The Beeches Inn and Conference Center, 7900 Turin Road, Rome from 6-10 p.m. Reservations are being accepted now. Call the Oneida Y at 363-7788 or the Rome Y at 336-3500. The campaign provides scholarship funds for children and families in the Rome and Oneida areas who need programs and services but cannot afford them. Tickets are $40 per person. All proceeds help support families in need. For more information, visit the Y’s website at www.ymcatrivalley.org.

Oct. 20

‘A Time to Remember’ on agenda The 10th annual “A Time to Remember” will be Oct. 20 at the Saranac Brewery, 830 Varick St., Utica. The beer and tapas pairing run from 5:30-8 p.m. Participants will get a tour of the brewery, taste food from local restaurants, and bid on silent auction items, all to benefit AIDS Community Resources. Cost is $50 per ticket, $75 for two tickets, and $100 for Red Ribbon patrons. Buy online at AIDSCommunnityResources.com, or call 793-0661. AIDS Community Resources, Inc. is a not-for-profit, community-based organization providing prevention, education, and support services to those infected with and affected by HIV/ AIDS. ACR serves Cayuga, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties in New York state.

Oct. 29

Free transportation offered to women’s conference The Good News Center in Utica will be providing free bus service from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Utica to the Syracuse Catholic Women’s Conference Oct. 29. Pick-up from St. Joe/St. Pat’s may also be available. To reserve your spot on the bus, contact Tanya 315-735-6210 extension 234 or tanya@thegoodnewscenter.org. To sign-up for the conference, visit www.syracusecwc.com.

Nov. 4

Expert speaks on social thinking/autism Professionals, teachers and families are encouraged to register early for the 8th annual Kelberman Center Autism Institute featuring Michelle Garcia Winner, a leading expert in the field of social skills. The conference is a collaboration among the Kelberman Center, Enable and the E. John Gavras Center. The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Turning Stone Resort in Vernon. This workshop is designed for parents and professionals to understand the inner mind of persons with social learning weaknesses, such as high functioning autism Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, non-verbal learning disability and the undiagnosed student. Cost is $120 for professionals and $50 for family members and the fee includes attendance, continental breakfast and lunch, as well as snacks and all registration materials.

Registration is on a first-come, firstserve basis and attendance is limited. Please visit kelbermancenter.org to register. A limited number of scholarships are available. For more information, or to register by phone, contact Laura Tarasiewicz at the Kelberman Center at (315) 797-6241.

Nov. 6

Benefit set for woman battling cancer A fundraiser is set for Utica resident Krystle Debouno, 28, who is battling Stage 4 nasal cavity ethmoid cancer. It will be held from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 6 at Daniele’s Banquet Specialists, 8360 Seneca Turnpike, New Hartford. She recently underwent surgery, but has found out that the cancer has returned, and she now must travel back and forth to Boston for chemotherapy. Debouno has been out of work because of her illness, and she is also raising a 3-year-old daughter, Khloe. Visit kureforkrystle.com for more information.

Nov. 6

American Girl Fashion Show set at Turning Stone The annual American Girl Fashion Show, to benefit children’s programs and services at Upstate Cerebral Palsy, will take place on Nov. 6 at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona with shows at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The special day includes a doll hair salon, photo opportunities, modeling, souvenirs and lunch. American Girl products will also be for sale. Tickets are $30 per person and may be purchased online at upstatecp.org/ event/american-girl or by calling (315) 724-6907 ext. 2276. Advance registration is required.

Nov. 11

MVCC to host workshop on attachment traumas Mohawk Valley Community College’s Center for Corporate and Community Education will host “Healing Attachment Traumas,” a two-day workshop with Dr. Lark Eannace-Eshleman, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 11 and 12. It will be held in the Theater of the Information and Technology Building on the Utica campus, 1101 Sherman Drive. Attachment disorders occur when there is a traumatic disruption in the caregiver-child bond during the early years of life. Factors that may impair healthy attachment include multiple caregivers, invasive or painful medical procedures, a sudden or traumatic separation from the mother, sexual or physical abuse, neglect, and neurological problems. The cost for both days is $140. Day 1 is $100 and Day 2 is $40. Each day will begin with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Enrollment is limited and will be taken on a first-come basis. For information or to register, call 792-5300 or visit mvcc.edu/cced. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday. All MVCC non-credit instruction is completely self supportive, including indirect costs, and requires no public funding.


H ealth News Faxton St. Luke’s makes staff announcements Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica recently made the following staff announcements: • Ashish V. Regulagadda has joined Mohawk Valley Nephrology Associates, LLP. Regulagadda earned a Bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery at Sri Venkateswara Medical College in India. He received Regulagadda his Master’s degree in public health (environmental health) at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky. Regulagadda completed his residency in internal medicine as well as his fellowship in nephrology at SUNYBuffalo. He is board certified in internal medicine and is board eligible in nephrology. • Barbara Kantor has been named nurse manager of surgery and the recovery room at the Faxton Campus of FSLH. Prior to her new position, Kantor was a staff RN and the interim charge RN in the postanesthesia care unit at Faxton. When she first joined FSLH, she was a staff RN on the first Kantor floor at the St. Luke’s Campus. Kantor received her registered nurse degree from St. Elizabeth College of Nursing and is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in nursing from SUNYIT Utica-Rome. Kantor is a member of FSLH’s Nursing Quality Council, Peri-Operative Quality Council and the Aspiring Leaders program. She is also an ISO: 9001 certified internal auditor for the organization.

2011 Faxton Cup Award winners take center stage During National Rehabilitation Awareness Week held Sept. 18-24, The Regional Rehabilitation Center of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare honored Faxton Cup Award winners Vincent Colgan and Special Tomato, Inc. Recipients were honored for overcoming their own challenges as well as caring for those in need. The Faxton Cup Award honors individuals and organizations who demonstrate, on a local level, dedica-

Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s Radiothon and Ride for Miracles raise $30,000 The 11th annual Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s Radiothon and the second annual Ride for Miracles held recently raised $30,000 for women’s and children’s services at FSLH. Pictured are the original riders who founded the Ride for Miracles with Dr. James Tichenor, 2011 honorary chair, and Sister Maureen Denn. CMN-generated funds are used for equipment acquisition, health education for patients, parents and staff, and the services of specialists at the hospital. “Whether it is a neighbor, a relative, or your own child, every dollar raised directly benefits local patients,” a FSLH spokesperson said. Funds raised support programs, services and equipment that benefit maternal and children’s services at FSLH. tion to the enhancement of the quality of life, either by setting an example of what people with disabilities can accomplish, or on behalf of people with physical disabilities. Vincent Colgan Individual winner Vincent Colgan first came to The Regional Rehabilitation Center unable to move his right side after a severe stroke. This avid runner and Irish singer was not going to sit back and allow a disability to overtake his life. He worked hard to become independent again through occupational and physical therapies. “Vincent would come to therapy with a great smile and a great attitude,” said Richard White, a physical therapist at FSLH. “He worked very hard and didn’t let his stroke keep him from working to do what he loves.” Today, this Waterville man has returned to singing the songs of Ireland and is taking part in events like the Irish Festival and St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Special Tomato, Inc. Organizational winner Special Tomato, Inc. was founded by Tim Bergeron following the birth of his daughter Carrie, who has Down Syndrome. The business he created designs

and sells adaptive equipment to help those with disabilities to better function at home, in school and in the community. “Every child is special in their own unique way,” said Bergeron. “It’s a parent’s job to facilitate their child’s growth in a way that includes them equally within the family and community.” He adds that the importance of adaptive equipment is to assist a person with a disability to function normally and be comfortable with the device without bringing attention to the disability or modifying therapies. Because he understands the importance of adaptive equipment, Bergeron has spent nearly a decade designing equipment under the Special Tomato brand name. “Through Tim and his company’s work, those with special needs are being supported so they reach their highest functioning level,” said Amanda Straney, a physical therapist at FSLH who nominated Special Tomato. “It is truly a labor of love for him and his family.” For more information about the Faxton Cup Awards or The Regional Rehabilitation Center of FSLH, call 315624-5462 or visit www.faxtonstlukes. com.

October 2011 •

FSLH Wellness Center offers fall specials Throughout the fall, the Faxton St. Luke’s Wellness Center located at The Regional Rehabilitation Center, Faxton Campus, 1676 Sunset Ave., Utica will be offering fall specials on memberships and aquatic exercise passes. Anyone who purchases a onemonth membership in October or November will receive one week of his or her membership free. The wellness center is also offering a special on aquatic exercise passes. Purchase a 10-day pass card and two free day passes will be included. The wellness center offers strength and cardiovascular training equipment, an aqua therapy pool, and a team of certified and specially trained staff. For more information, call 315-6245484 or email bgutowsk@mvnhealth. com.

Quiet time hours help patients heal Since 2009, Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica has had a “quiet time” initiative for patients at its St.

Continued on Page 18

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17


H ealth News Continued from Page 17 Luke’s and Faxton campuses. Research shows when hospital noise levels are above average, patient recovery can be impeded. To ensure that patients continue to have a caring and healing environment, FSLH has expanded its program to further decrease noise levels and allow for patients to have an opportunity to rest. Quiet time is observed on all nursing units from 2-4 p.m. daily, with the exception of maternity and the psychiatric unit, where the hours are 3-5. For that period of time, patient activities and therapies are limited and visitors are encouraged to delay their visit to later or earlier hours in the day. “The initial quiet time program has been well received by our community, staff and patients,” said Patricia Roach, senior vice president/chief nursing officer. “Providing a caring and healing environment is at the center of what we do at Faxton St. Luke’s. Paying attention to decreasing noise levels on our floors is something everyone can do to support our patients’ recoveries. Expanding the program to two hours is a great benefit to our patients.” For more information about FSLH’s quiet time program, call 315624-5600.

American Heart Association celebrates volunteers Volunteers are the cornerstone of what makes the American Heart Association successful in funding lifesaving research, education, training and advocacy programs in the Greater Utica region. Recently, the association honored and celebrated its outstanding volunteers at an awards recognition and celebration at the Hart’s Hill Inn, WhitesDubeck boro. Over the years, hundreds of community members have dedicated their time, talent and passion to volunteering for the American Heart Association. More than 150 volunteers were in attendance at the event. Among the awards received were the distinguished service award, distinguished leadership award, heart survivor award and the prestigious “Volunteer of the Year” award. Dr. Frank Dubeck was the recipient of the coveted “Volunteer of the Year” award. His service to the American Heart Association includes his more than 25-year history with the organization, his service as a member of the Greater Utica Area Board of Directors and current president, his advocacy work, and his participation and fundraising for local events and AHA causes. Dubeck is a member of the community action committee and was a leader Page 18

Insight House names employee of quarter

for the first annual community impact grant process in the Utica office.

St. E’s annual service report available St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, in accordance with Section 28031 of the Public Health Law, has submitted its 20th annual community service plan to the New York State Department of Health. It includes information on community health priorities identified by medical center staff, in collaboration with other area hospitals, community partners and local public health agencies. To receive a free copy of the community service plan, send your request to: St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Marketing and Public Relations Department, at 2209 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501. All requests should be submitted in writing. The plan is also posted on the medical center website at www.stemc. org/about_stemc/.

Christina Davis was recently selected as Insight House employee of the quarter. Supervisors nominate employees of the quarter for their reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution. Davis, of Whitesboro, Davis is a chemical dependency counselor in the day rehabilitation department, and specializes in group, individual and family clinical services. She has been employed at Insight House for eight years.

Moving-up day ceremony at Sitrin audiologist obtains specialty certification St. E’s The St. Elizabeth College of Nursing recently held its moving-up day ceremony and presented students with fall awards. The academic excellence awards were made possible through donations to the college from the Utica Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. The awards for excellence in academic achievement were presented to Heather Marusic and Christopher Money, weekday students, and Leanna Sweet, weekend student. The Mildred Balutis Memorial Scholarship fund provides the excellence in clinical achievement awards, recognizing demonstrated clinical excellence, in both skills and caring in previous nursing courses. The excellence was shown by Laura Keating, weekday, and Kristina Grossman, weekend. Awards for leadership within the college community, made possible by the Nursing ABC Scholarship for demonstrated leadership skills within the college, were presented to Jennifer Curtis, weekday, and Susan Okey, weekend. The award for outstanding leadership qualities was presented from the 2011 graduates of the weekday class to Justin Farrier. The American Legion Post 229 of Utica award for exemplifying the college’s model of nursing with qualities such as professionalism, advocacy, creativity, thinking and critical reasoning, and caring was presented to Jennifer Bacher, weekday, and Sandhya Farrington, weekend. The graduates of the 2011 weekend class presented three scholarships to weekend freshmen who have shown academic improvement and who have not received previous scholarships. These awards were presented to Chascity Bonczkiewicz, Paulette St. Louis, and Sarah Null.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Mohawk Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper • October 2011

Sitrin audiologist Kimberly Keane recently became one of the first seven people nationally to obtain pediatric audiology specialty certification from the American Board of Audiology. Keane has demonstrated her high level of knowledge in the area of pediatric audiology by passing a rigorous examination. Keane has eight years of Keane combined experience as a clinical and educational audiologist, working with both children and adults. She treats individuals at the Sitrin Medical Rehabilitation Center and provides support for children in several local school districts who are deaf and hearing impaired. Keane offers clinical services, including diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid evaluations and fittings, central auditory processing testing, auditory brainstem response testing, vestibular balance assessments, and auditory rehabilitation for families and individuals.

Root Farm to align with Sitrin The Root Farm, a center of excellence for equine-assisted therapies for more than 14 years, is aligning with the Sitrin Health Care Center, Upstate Cerebral Palsy/The Kelberman Center. This joint effort will result in a new facility that will significantly increase equine-assisted therapies and recreational opportunities for a diverse population including children and

adults with disabilities, veterans, and injured service members. “Such a collaboration will enable the Root Farm to fulfill dreams frustrated for years by lack of resources,” said Dr. Alice Root, CEO and founding director of the Root Farm, located in Verona. “The profound benefit of equine-assisted therapies and the horse-human partnership will become available to individuals and whole populations that the Root Farm alone could not reach.” The new equestrian therapy center at Sitrin will house up to 20 horses. New employment opportunities are also expected through various therapeutic disciplines, such as occupational, physical, and speech therapies. A development campaign will be launched to help fund construction of the equine-assisted therapy center.

Neurologist opens practice in Rome Neurologist Glady Jacob has joined the medical staff at Rome Memorial Hospital. Jacob, who is board certified in both neurology and clinical neurophysiology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, has opened a new office in Rome at 267 Hill Road in the Griffiss Business Park. Jacob is trained in the Jacob diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, stroke, seizure disorders, movement disorders including Parkinson’s Disease, headaches, dementias including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other general neurological problems. Jacob developed an interest in medicine from an early age. “As long as I can remember I wanted to go into medicine,” she said. “There are a lot of doctors in my family and I have always felt that being a doctor is a very noble profession.” Some of the common diagnoses Jacob sees include peripheral neuropathy, myopathy and motor-neuron disease and multiple sclerosis. Before relocating to Rome, Jacob was an attending neurologist at Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson, Mo. She received her medical degree from the University of Calicut, Kerala, India. She lives in Rome with her husband and son.

VHS welcomes physical therapy intern Valley Health Services in Herkimer is serving as an eight-week clinical site for Jonathan Small, a second-year phys-

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Health in good

H ealth News Continued from Page 18 ical therapy graduate school student at Utica College. Small is a graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College as well as Utica College and is working to earn his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at UC. Small comments, “I have always been interested in Small the human body and any kind of athletic competition. However, when I decided to enter the physical therapy doctorate program, I was not sure if I should specialize in a particular field. I am so glad I chose not to get specific, because since working at Valley Health Services, I have experienced a wide variety of cases in all age groups with each one presenting its own unique challenges.” Small resides in Newport with his wife of three years, Amanda.

St. E’s opens imaging, lab services St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica has added two new services to

its facility called St. Elizabeth Medical Arts at 4401 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford. Imaging at St. Elizabeth Medical Arts and Laboratory services opened for patients recently. They join the Adirondack Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy Center and the Advanced Wound Care Center of St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Imaging at St. Elizabeth Medical Arts was formerly located in the Marian Professional Building under the name Marian Medical Imaging. It provides a full range of personalized patient services. The new location provides upgraded technology, high quality, digital imaging services. Services provided are: CT Scan, ultrasound, digital mammography, bone densitometry and plain film X-rays. The images are available to healthcare professionals through secure digital access. A radiologist is on site to answer patients’ questions. Walk-ins are welcome with a healthcare provider referral or call 315734-3471 to schedule an appointment. In addition to the outpatient laboratory site at the Marian Medical Professional Building that remains open adjacent to the hospital, the new laboratory draw site at St. Elizabeth Medical Arts complements four other St. Elizabeth lab sites across Utica, along with draw sites in Little Falls and Mohawk.

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