IGH - ROCH 162 - February 19

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Meet Your Doctor Director of clinical trials at Wilmot Cancer Institute, physician Paul Barr was involved in study that has changed the standard of care for leukemia patients


The Beat Goes On


February is Heart Month and we just caught up with meteorologist Scott Hetsko, who had a heart transplant in 2015. See what he has to say abou life with a new heart. Page13

Live Alone Columnist: Resolve to enjoy Valentine’s Day


Online Grocery Shopping

BEST DIET Atkins diet, paleolithic diet, DASH diet, Dukan diet, MIND diet, the Beverly Hills Diet — find out what’s the best diet to follow today

Hospital Bill: Price Transparency Will the new policy help consumers?

At Wegmans, Walmart

Does the service work well when you really need it? Our writer tested the service Page 19


Many athletes consume raisins for the rapid energy they provide. Should you? Page 12


Sex After 65 Majority are satisfied with their sex lives; nearly one in five older men uses medications or supplements, says poll Page 22

What’s the Best Diet for 2019? Experts Weigh In


or many, the start of the new year signals the start of a new diet. But what’s the best way to eat if you want to lose weight? For overall healthy eating, the best diet plan is the Mediterranean diet, according to “U.S. News & World Report’s” annual diet review. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was ranked second on the magazine’s overall Best Diets 2019 list, followed by the Flexitarian plan. All three plans focus on eating a mostly plant-based diet (veggies, fruits and whole grains), healthy fats and lean protein sources. “I hope these rankings steer people in the direction of doing something healthful,” said nutritionist Samantha Heller of NYU Langone Health in New York City. “I wish though, that we weren’t so obsessed with weight loss and diets, per se. I wish the focus was on adopting a healthy lifestyle, like eating a more plant-based diet, getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep and managing stress, all of which help us live a better quality of life,” Heller said. To that end, she said the top three diets are all similar in their food content, and all can be healthy eating regimens. The Mediterranean diet has been linked to increased longevity and a

“U.S. News & World Report’s” recentlly reviewed a number of diets and ranked the best ones for weight loss and overal health. decreased risk of chronic illnesses, the report said. The Mediterranean diet was also ranked high in multiple categories including: easiest diets to follow, best diets for healthy eating, best diets for diabetes, and best diets for hearth health. If weight loss is part of your plans, here are plans that topped the rankings for the best weight-loss

plans: • WW (Weight Watchers) • Volumetrics • Flexitarian diet (tie) • Jenny Craig (tie) • Vegan diet (tie) Feel the need to knock off some pounds quickly? Here are the best fast weight-loss plans: • HMR program




THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE In 2017, the uninsured rate across upstate New York averaged just 4.0 percent. This maintains our region’s historically low uninsured rate. It compares with a New York state average of 5.7 percent and a national average of 8.7 percent. Our 2018 and 2019 rate increases in the small group and individual markets were the among the lowest in upstate New York, which helped keep our local health insurance affordable and uninsured rate low.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

• Atkins (tie) • Keto diet (tie) • Optavia (tie) • WW (Weight Watchers) (tie) Heller said that many people feel that they need to “kickstart” their weight loss for motivation. The problem with plans that focus on fast weight loss, however, is that they don›t teach you how to eat well every day. “On these types of diets, you often don’t learn how to manage holidays, stressful days or special occasions. You don’t develop strategies for life,” she said. The magazine asked a panel of nutrition experts to review 41 diet plans. Like Heller, the expert panelists emphasized the importance of well-balanced, sustainable diets that aren’t overly restrictive. These types of diets can help teach lifelong positive eating habits. Lifestyle diets, such as the Mayo Clinic diet and MIND diet, are healthier and more sustainable than weight-loss plans such as the Ketogenic or Atkins diet are, the panelists concluded. Although the popular Keto diet ranked high for fast weight loss, it landed way down on the Best Diets list — tying for number 38. Other diets at the bottom of the list included the Dukan diet, the Body Reset Diet and the Whole30 diet.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Feb. 5

Parents invited to learn more about vaping

Two experts will discuss “The Truth About Vaping: What You Should Know” during a meeting that will take place starting at 5:45 p.m. Feb. 5 at Hilton High School, 400 East Ave. in Hilton. The experts — Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health Michael Mendoza, a physician, and a manager at Health Action Coalition, Alexandra Popovic — will discuss the danger that vaping poses to youth. A question and answer section will follow. Between 5:45 and 6:30 p.m. parents will have a chance to walk through a simulated teen bedroom to search for signs of drug or alcohol use. Professionals will guide participants through what to look for and strategies for talking

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with children. At 6:15 p.m. participants will have a chance to attend a resource fair. Local agencies will be on hand to provide information on mental health, substance abuse and community resources. For more information, visit Hilton.k12.ny.us or HPDICE.org.

Feb. 5

Hearing loss group holds meeting

Hearing Loss Association of America Rochester Chapter invites anyone interested in hearing loss to any or all of several events on Tuesday, Feb. 5. All programs are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, East Avenue at Westminster Road, Rochester, across from the George Eastman Museum. • 10 to 11 a.m.: “Hearing Other People’s Experiences (HOPE)” in the church vestry room. At this round table discussion group, prospective, new or veteran hearing aid users can share their experiences and questions. Retired audiologist Joseph Kozelsky facilitates. • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Acoustic neuroma panel — a discussion with Ceci McCurdy and Tom Banach. Program begins at 1 p.m. Acoustic neuroma is a rare, benign tumor growing on the auditory nerve. Tumors can affect hearing and balance. McCurdy started the local acoustic neuroma support group, and Tom Banach is its co-leader. They will head a panel of AN patients to discuss what it is, treatment options, and life as an AN patient. • 7 to 9 p.m.: “Communication is a Two-Way Street,” presented by registered nurse Mary Chizuk and Barbara Law. Program begins at 8 p.m. Chizuk and Law facilitate a

round table discussion about communication strategies for improving relationships where hearing loss is a factor. All HLAA programs are free. Anyone interested in hearing loss is welcome. For more information, view the organization’s website at hlaa-rochester-ny.org or telephone 585-266-7890.

Feb. 9

Free mammogram screenings in Rochester

Mammogram screenings can save lives since they can find breast cancer in the earliest stages when it is most treatable. That’s why the Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region has teamed up with a screening provider to offer free breast cancer screening events that make it easy for you to get your annual mammogram. If you are 40 years or older, have a family history, or have concerns about your risk, you are invited to take advantage of a free screening event, which will take place at 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 at Rochester Regional Health Imaging, Alexander Park, 214 Alexander St., suite 1000, Rochester. Please call 585-224-3070. To schedule your mammogram, or visit www. GetScreenedRochester.org for more information.

Feb. 17

Speakers to talk about cancer and food

The Rochester Area Vegan Society will host Byron Rubin, Ph.D., and Sandy Rubin, two experts who will the discuss “Food, Cancer, and the Gut Microbiome.” Byron Rubin is a metal sculptor and biochemist. Sandy Rubin is a retired high school math teacher. The discussion is part of a meeting the Rochester Area Vegan Society holds once a month at Brighton Town Park Lodge, 777 Westfall Road, Rochester. It will start at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 17, with a vegan potluck. Guests are

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

encouraged to bring a vegan dish to share among the participants. Vegan means no animal products — no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or honey. The presentation will follow at 7 p.m. at the same location. It’s free to RAVS members and $3 guest fee for non-members, plus bring a vegan dish to pass.

Feb. 15

New support group, Grief After Caregiving, debuts in Rochester

Lifespan is offering a new support group, Grief After Caregiving, for people coping with grief following caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Open to adult children, spouses and partners. It will meet from 11 a.m. to noon Feb. 15 — and the third Friday of each month, at Lifespan, 1900 S. Clinton Av.. Registration requested. For more information, call 585-2448400, ext. 169 or email FlciReferral@ lifespanrochester.org

March 11

Genetics and cancer risk free lecture

Over the past several years, advances in the field of cancer genetics have given patients the opportunity to determine their predisposition to certain cancers, including breast cancer, to help initiate proper medical management. Although multiple risk factors for breast cancer are known, personal and family history of cancer are key elements impacting cancer risk. This presentation will review Elizabeth Wende Breast Care’s genetic counseling program, eligibility criteria for testing and the impact genetic testing has on the way people are screened for cancers. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. March 11 at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, Brighton location, 170 Sawgrass Dr, Rochester. To sign up, call 585-758-7041.

Hospital Bill: Price Transparency Now in Effect Will the new policy help consumers? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


s of Jan. 1, health care providers have been required to post the price of their services online and make the prices available to anyone who asks. Instead of receiving services and having to wait for the bill, patients can know what some of their visits, procedures or tests cost. The movement toward transparency was largely patient-led, as more and more patients have become uninsured or have otherwise taken on more financial burden of paying for their health care through high deductible plans in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. Tammi Imm, CPA, vice president of front end revenue cycle at Rochester Regional Health, said that patients struggle to understand the cost of care, and even more so now that many are paying more of the tab. “In the past, they weren’t incentivized,” Imm said. “Now that we’re transitioning to high deductible plans, there’s more attention given to costs. Folks want to better understand.” She added that patients are also becoming more savvy consumers of health care services, shopping around and comparing quality via social media and among various quality measures related to different providers. In the past, patients tended to stick with one provider. Now that they bear more of the cost, they want to look around. More options, such as independent surgery centers, concierge medicine, and integrated providers, have contributed to a health care culture of consumer choice. Price represents yet another factor. Prices listed by any medical facility should be considered estimates, as the length of a hospital stay and complications can change it. Like a service writer’s estimate at a car repair garage, the estimates listed online can change. Patients can also call the health

system for an estimate, as Rochester Regional employs a full-time person for estimation. “We would be unable to post the exact amount for an appendectomy,” Imm said. “We can’t, because it’s proprietary information that ties to hospital rates and third party negotiations. That’s why we request patients call or reach out through the website to get a case-specific estimate. We cater to them specifically. “The last thing we want to have happen is a patient make a decision thinking it will be too expensive.” Like most providers, Rochester Regional offers a payment plan and works with patients to find any grants available to help with costs if needed. John Gillespie, president of the Medical Society of the County of Erie, said that the costs posted may not be what providers have negotiated with insurance companies or the cost for Medicare, “but it’s a step in the right direction,” he said. “It will also raise awareness because previously, patients never had any idea.” He hopes that eventually, people will realize that preventive care and screenings can help not only improve their health but prevent more expensive interventions later. Gillespie doesn’t view transparency as a fix for the health care system, but as perhaps a catalyst for providers to keep their prices within range of others. “If they charge $8,000 and everyone else provides the same care for $5,000, you’ll go to the one charging $5,000,” he said. “They have the incentive internally to be efficient and use just what’s needed. “One would also expect that there will be more negotiation on the part of Medicare for prices. By law, they can’t negotiate with ‘Big Pharma.’ As this evolves, maybe they will do that because that would lower costs.”

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Caring for the Most Important People on Earth.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2019 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. 154 Cobblestone Court Dr., Suite 121 – P.O. Box 525, Victor NY 14564. • Phone: 585-421-8109 • Email: Editor@GVhealthnews.com

Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Writers: Jim Miller, Deborah J. Sergeant, Gwenn Voelckers, Anne Palumbo, Chris Motola, George W. Chapman, NJohn Addyman, Christine Green, George Shannon • Advertising: Anne Westcott, Linda Covington • Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement—not to take the place of—the recommendations of your health provider. Consult your physician before making major changes in your lifestyle or health care regimen.

February 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Paul M. Barr, M.D.

Director of clinical trials at Wilmot Cancer Institute involved in study that’s changing the standard of care for leukemia patients. “We’d like to cure [chronic lymphocytic leukemia],” he says

A Better Strategy for Quitting Smoking


uitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do, but studies have found that one strategy in particular can help many people: Start anti-smoking medication well before your intended quit date. Under traditional prescribing guidelines, people who plan to quit smoking with the help of a medication begin taking their anti-smoking drug about one week before their set quit date. But about 75 percent of people who try to quit go back to smoking within a year. So what’s the solution? Research done at the University at Buffalo, showed that simply starting the drugs four weeks in advance can increase the success rate. One study was done on bupropion, known by the brand name Zyban, and similar research has involved both nicotine replacement therapy and varenicline (Chantix). The idea of taking quit-smoking medication earlier in advance of your quit date stemmed in part from reports of people who were taking these medications for other reasons — bupropion, for instance, is well-known as an antidepressant — and found that they gave up smoking without even trying to quit. Four weeks also provides a good timeframe to mentally prepare to quit smoking. In fact, many study participants started smoking less before their quit date and without experiencing strong cravings or withdrawal symptoms. And their cravings tended to decrease. As for results, over 50 percent of the people who started the drugs four weeks ahead of time remained smoke-free 30 days after quitting, compared to 31 percent who were given the standard oneweek start date. All study participants received smoking cessation counseling as well, which shows that a multifaceted approach brings the best results.

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Q: What exactly is leukemia? A: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common type of leukemia that we see in Western countries. It’s fairly prevalent in the United States. It’s a disease of older patients. The average age of diagnosis is around 70, 72 years. It’s a relatively slow-growing disorder, so while patients definitely need treatment, the median survival rate is probably measured in decades at this point. Q: What treatments have been available. How effective have they been? A: We have a very large clinic where we take care of CLL patients. And again, these patients live a long time, so there’s a somewhat holistic, multidisciplinary approach we take to taking care of them. We think about preventive care, make sure they have their immunizations, try to prevent infections. We screen them for skin cancers. There are a lot of aspects to taking care of these patients. But when the disease progresses to the point where it’s causing symptoms, we often discuss treatment options. Historically, the best treatment therapies have revolved around chemotherapy. Specifically, chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy, an antibody called Rituxan that’s been

commonly used in the past decades. Overall, this treatment did improve how long patients lived, disease control and their overall quality of life and certain things associated with symptoms. But none of these treatments were curative. Q: And the newer treatments? A: Over the last 10 years or so we’ve developed targeted treatments that focus on the leukemia cell itself and affect the rest of the body less so. And as a result, we’ve ended up with better treatments with fewer side effects. One of the lead agents that’s really changed how we manage patients is ibrutinib. And that was sort of the focus of these two clinical trials that we recently presented at the American Society of Hematology. They compared ibrutinib therapy against standard chemotherapy. One trial was for patients who were under 70, the other was for patients who were over 65, so there was some overlap and used different chemo treatments. But at the end of the day, the trials found that ibrutinib therapy, which is pill-based, provided better disease control over several years compared to chemo. In the younger patient trial, not only did it work to provide better disease control, but it led to a survival benefit, meaning they lived longer. Q: How long has ibrutinib been around? A: We’ve been using these treatments for many years. The drug’s been approved since 2014. So we saw the data coming that it would be superior to chemotherapy. It’s really treatment altering and is changing the standard of care. There are now targeted treatments, second and third generation of the same class of drug as ibrutinib that will change how we treat these patients going forward. Q: Is ibrutinib immunotherapy? A: It’s a targeted therapy. The specific target it hits is called BTK; it’s a BTK inhibitor. So it’s actually not chemotherapy or immunotherapy. I think big picture, it’s all about providing these patients both length of life and quality of life. Along with help from our supportive care measures, many patients can enjoy a normal length of life and, even if they need therapy, can have a reason-

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

able chance of having little-to-no side effects and not endure some of the problems we’ve seen in the past. Q: Lay observation: it seems like we used to talk about a cure, singular, for cancer, but now it seems like we’re seeing many different types of cancer treatments, almost specific to the individual. Is that accurate? A: That’s right. What we’ve found in general is that the more we’ve learned about different types of cancer, we keep subdividing cancers into smaller and smaller groups and, on some level, each patient’s cancer is different than another’s. We’re trying to be more and more precise both about our diagnoses and the treatments we prescribe. This is an example of developing an agent that targets the CLL cell, and what drives it. That’s why it works so well and why it’s so well-tolerated. But yeah, I think you’re exactly right. Q: Once you have promising data on a study, where does it go from here? A: We’d still like to cure the disease. Right now it’s closer to a chronic disease; some patients can live a normal lifespan. But that doesn’t mean we’re done. We’d like to cure it. So the next round of studies are going to look at combinations of these targeted agents. I mentioned ibrutinib, but there are several others that target the CLL cell that aren’t chemotherapy-based. Combinations of these may allow us to provide deeper and deeper remissions which, if we do it long enough and at the right time, will hopefully start translating to cures for some patients with CLL. Q: Are you currently involved in any other trials? A: We’re really focused on CLL. We run a number of studies on this disease. It’s a subtype of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I also run studies with other types of lymphoma. Beyond that, administratively I oversee the infrastructure for all studies at our institute. That’s not to say that I oversee each of the 300 clinical trials we have going on, but I make sure we have all the pieces in place to conduct these studies. It takes an army to conduct clinical trials in this day and age. Q: How many people did it take to conduct that last study? A: Here’s one answer. The studies were opened at hundreds of institutions across the United States through the National Cancer Institute. So you consider the hundreds of centers that opened the study and all the staff at each of the institutions, that’s a hard number to guess at. It’s in the many hundreds.

Lifelines Name: Paul M. Barr, M.D. Position: Medical director of clinical trials at Wilmot Cancer Institute Hometown: Columbus, Ohio Education: Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine (Northeastern Ohio Medical University) Affiliations: University of Rochester Medical Center Organizations: American Society of Hematology; American Society of Clinical Oncology Family: Wife, two daughters Hobbies: Soccer


Top Health Stories of 2018


Here are the top stories covered by news media last year before. Many worry that the sleek “cool” factor of the leading e-cigarette brand, Juul, may be luring the young to take up vaping — which many experts worry is a merely a bridge to traditional smoking. Seeking to reverse these trends, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November announced that it would take steps to limit or ban access to flavored e-cigarettes, much favored by teens.

Rates of opioid-linked fatal overdoses nearly double

The scourge of opioid addiction and related deaths cut through American society again in 2018, capturing headlines and making it the year’s top health story. Rates of opioid-linked fatal overdoses have nearly doubled over the past decade and topped 70,000 in 2017, according to data released in November by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of those tragic deaths occurred among young adults and were linked to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s 50 times more potent than heroin. All of this means that for three years in a row, U.S. average life expectancy reversed a long-term upward trend and actually dropped — from nearly 79 years in 2014 to 78.6 years now. “We’ve been talking about the fact that our children will live less long than we will, and that’s clearly coming to pass,” said physician Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Other top health stories of 2018,

as compiled by editors at HealthDay, an online business that produces health-related content:

rates soar among the 2.Vaping young Even as smoking rates fell to alltime lows among teens, another form of addictive nicotine intake, the e-cigarette, was poised to take its place. The latest federal data on youth behaviors found vaping among American teenagers rising dramatically in 2018, with nearly two of every five high school seniors (37 percent) reporting they’ve tried an e-cigarette during the past year. That’s up from 28 percent the year

3.A deadly flu season

A virulent dominant strain of influenza, relatively low uptake of the flu shot, and a poor match between the vaccine and the dominant strains of virus combined to make 2017-2018 one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory. Over 80,000 people — many of them the frail elderly or the very young — died from complications of flu, the CDC reported, and hospitals were jammed with patients battling the virus. So far, the new season seems milder, but CDC experts warn that influenza can still bring surprises, so they urge vaccination.

4.Marijuana use rises

By 2018, 33 U.S. states had legalized marijuana for medical use, and neighboring Canada also legalized the drug for recreational use. Aging baby boomers seemed to embrace pot, and in a HealthDay/Harris Poll conducted in July, 85 percent of U.S. adults agreed that pot should be allowed for medical purposes, while 57 percent supported recreational use. One legal marijuana derivative product, medicinal CBD oil, became hugely popular in 2018. A form of CBD liquid, Epidiolex, became the first marijuana-derived drug ever approved by the FDA. It is used to help ease certain forms of epilepsy. Not everyone was happy about widening access to marijuana, however. “The problem here is we’re at the beginning of this massive experiment with unknown outcomes,” said Fred Muench, president and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

5.Obamacare holds on another year Despite promises by the Trump White House and Republicans in Congress to repeal it, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) kept providing health care to Americans in 2018. In fact, despite pessimistic midyear predictions, ACA sign-ups for 2018 held steady at near 12 million, and were only down slightly for 2019.

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Consumers Happy with Providers, Not So Much With Their Office Staff


survey by NRC Health, which focuses on researching and providing consumer data to the industry, found that 87 percent of consumers felt their provider treated them with courtesy and respect, but only 67 percent felt the same about the office staff. Seventy-seven percent of respondents were generally dissatisfied with waiting times. Yet, while expressing satisfaction with providers on one hand, a staggering 80 percent of the respondents said they would switch providers for con-

venience alone. In defense of medical office staff, they are typically the ones who have to explain why the doctor is running behind and then may have to explain why the patient’s insurance doesn’t cover something. Once in the exam room, most patients tend to be more demure with their provider and don’t voice their concerns. Rather than leaving the practice altogether, filing a polite suggestion, (versus an angry grievance), will prove more valuable to the practice and you.

ACA Deemed Unconstitutional

business because the judge issued a declaratory decision versus an injunction. The major healthcare trade associations, including the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the American Medical Association have all expressed their disapproval of the ruling. Neither Congress nor the Trump administration has plans for a viable alternative.

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional by virtue of the individual mandate that requires you to have health insurance or suffer a penalty if you don’t. Because the individual mandate is so essential or “inseverable” to the act, the judge concluded the entire law to be invalid. By striking down the law, components like expanded Medicaid, premium subsidies/tax credits, pre-existing condition protections, value based payments to hospitals and physicians, and cost reductions are also wiped out. There is far more in the ACA than meets the average consumer’s eye. Hospital systems and physicians have invested heavily to comply with the ACA. An appeal may well reach the Supreme Court. The ACA is still law of the land and the exchanges remain open for

Older Americans Worried About Coverage

According to a poll conducted by the University of Michigan, people between the ages of 50-65 are, understandably, worried about their health coverage as they head toward retirement and Medicare. Twenty-seven percent of respondents fear they won’t be able to afford their employer-provided insurance next year and almost half — 45 percent —

February 2019 •

fear they won’t be able to afford their insurance after they retire. Thirteen percent said they postponed or delayed a medical procedure because of the related out-of-pocket costs. Twenty percent said they would keep working past 65 to retain employer-sponsored insurance. Researchers found that fears are stoked by the lack of consistent policies from Washington, the constant attacks on the ACA without viable alternatives and threats by Congress to balance the budget by cutting funding for Medicare and Medicaid which most likely means decreased benefits coupled with increased premiums.

Specialty Drug Costs

Insurers say they are disproportionately driving up the cost of care and premiums. According to the California Department of Insurance, specialty drugs accounted for just 3 percent of all prescriptions, but accounted for 50 percent of total drug costs. Major insurers including Aetna, Anthem, Cigna and United spent $606 million on specialty drugs in 2017. That works out to about $81 per member per month or almost $1,000 per member per year. Depending on your plan, that $1,000 is about 16 percent of the total annual premium. On average, specialty prescriptions were $2,361 per script. Brand name scripts averaged $236 and generics averaged just $29 per script. The most frequently prescribed specialty drugs are the HIV drug Truvada, the immunosuppressant drug Humira, the diabetes drug Victoza and the hormonal drug Androgen. Despite the limited audience for these drugs,

most of us recognize these drugs from the ubiquitous ads on TV.


About 5.7 million Americans are afflicted with the disease. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and there still is no cure. However, there is some heartening news coming out of a study conducted by the University of Kentucky. Our “cognitive good health” has been expanding further beyond 65, which means any signs of dementia are presenting later and later in life. According to the researchers, about 10 percent of those over 65 will actually contract dementia, or its most common form — Alzheimer’s. About 20 percent to 25 percent of seniors will suffer only mild impairment. The researchers are not sure why the onset is occurring later in life. Here are the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s: trouble completing easy tasks; difficulty solving problems; change in mood or personality; withdrawal from family and friends; problems communicating; confusion about people, places, events; trouble understanding images. George W. Chapman is a healthcare business consultant who works exclusively with physicians, hospitals and healthcare organizations. He operates GW Chapman Consulting based in Syracuse. Email him at gwc@gwchapmanconsulting.com.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Resolve To Enjoy Valentine’s Day February (and that perennial “day of love”) is just around the corner, so why not beat Cupid to the punch? Add a resolution to your New Year’s to-do list that includes a decision to warmly embrace Valentine’s Day with grace, confidence and humor. Following the start of the new year, we haven’t been able to walk into a store, open a magazine or even shop online without being bombarded by candy hearts, flowers and pink teddy bears. Yes, the countdown to Valentine’s Day has started even before we set down our glass of Veuve Clicquot. It’s already in full force, and it’s no wonder that those without a special someone on their arm may dread what Hallmark promises to be the most romantic day of the year. What’s a single person to do? Before drowning your sorrows in a box of Godiva chocolates, consider these tips for surviving the day dedicated to amour: n Adopt a new attitude. Take the broadest possible view of Valentine’s Day and decide it’s

not just a day for couples, but a day to celebrate love in all its glorious manifestations: love of self, love of family, love of friends and — one of my favorites — love of pets! I already have my eye on a little heart-festooned collar for Scout, my lovable springer spaniel, just 3 years old now. n Express your love. Send cards to people you care about, buy one of those cuddly pink teddy bears for your favorite niece, connect with someone with whom you’ve lost touch or treat your office mates to some bagels (with cherry cream cheese) and coffee. Even better, surprise your lesser-known colleagues down the hall. n Have fun and laugh. Why not? It’s just a day. Invite some of your single friends over for wine and pizza or agree to meet anywhere that’s not sporting a Valentine’s Day theme. Raise a glass and toast to your independence, your freedom and your triumphant escape from the commercialism of this “holiday.” Valentine’s

Day is only depressing if you let it be. Have some fun with it. n Do something for someone else. One of the best ways to avoid a downward “woe is me” spiral is to think about others in need and how you might brighten their day. Consider baking a little goodie for a neighbor who lives alone, calling your uncle who lost his wife last year or committing one of those random acts of kindness. Spend Valentine’s Day celebrating your relationships with those you care about. You just might make someone’s day. Or show a little love for those less fortunate. On Feb. 14, consider making a contribution to a local or national organization that helps people in need. You’ll feel better for having expressed your love and gratitude in such a meaningful way. I’m going to write checks to the ACLU and NAACP.

n Do something for yourself. Didn’t get around to making any New Year’s resolutions? Make Feb. 14 your new New Year’s Day and make good on those New Year’s resolutions that have yet to see the light of day: quit smoking or drinking, renew your membership at the gym (better yet, go to the gym), schedule your annual physical, organize your paperwork, and vow to do those things on your list that will improve your outlook, your health, and your future. Your life is in your hands whether you are with or without a special someone. Make the most of it. And my final tip? I’m serious now. Make your bed on Valentine’s Day morning and place a candy heart on your pillow. It will be waiting for you when you turn in for the night, reminding you that you are loved, by the person who matters most — yourself! Gwenn Voelckers leads “Live Alone and Thrive” empowerment workshops for women in Mendon, Monroe County, and is the author of “Alone and Content: Inspiring, Empowering Essays To Help Divorced And Widowed Women Feel Whole And Complete On Their Own.” For information about workshops, to purchase a book or invite Voelckers to speak, call 585-624-7887, email gvoelckers@rochester.rr.com, or visit www.aloneandcontent.com

s d i K Corner

Are TV Cereal Ads Making Your Kids Fat?


ereal TV ads aimed at young children put them at increased risk for obesity and cancer, researchers warn. A poor diet, including too much sugar, can lead to obesity, a known risk factor for 13 cancers. “One factor believed to contribute to children’s poor quality diets is the marketing of nutritionally poor foods directly to children,” said Jennifer Emond, a member of the cancer control research program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, N.H. “Brands specifically target children in their advertising knowing that children will ask their parents for those products,” Emond said in a medical center news release. While laboratory studies have shown that TV ads influence children’s food choices, no real-world study has been conducted to examine the effectiveness of TV food ads on Page 8

children’s eating habits, according to Emond. “We conducted the first longitudinal study among preschool-age children to see how exposure to TV ads for high-sugar cereals influences kids’ subsequent intake of those advertised cereals,” she said. Emond and colleagues counted, by brand, cereal ads on TV shows watched by the children. Every eight weeks, for one year, parents were asked about the shows their children watched and what cereals their kids ate in the past week. “We found that kids who were exposed to TV ads for high-sugar cereals aired in the programs they watched were more likely to subsequently eat the cereals they had seen advertised,” Emond said. “Our models accounted for several child, parent and household characteristics, and whether the child ate each cereal before the study start-

ed. We were able to isolate the effect of cereal advertisement exposure on kids’ intake of cereals, independent of all of those other factors,” she explained. The study was published online recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

Reducing the marketing of high-sugar foods to children could improve their eating habits and reduce their risk of obesity and related chronic diseases later in life, Emond said.

Careers in Healthcare

Demand for Community Health Educators Expected to Grow Faster Than Average By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


erhaps you’re interested in health, but a career in hands-on care isn’t for you. Or maybe you enjoy communicating and sharing information, but teaching isn’t the right fit. Consider the role of community health educator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the entry level annual salary was $45,360 or $21.81 per hour in 2017 and the employment outlook for growth between 2016 and 2026 is 16 percent, much faster than average. Theresa Green directs community health education and policy at the Center for Community Health and Prevention with University of Rochester and serves on faculty with the public health science department. “Public health education is a new and growing field that has accreditation and certification around national standard for the skill sets,” Green said. “It’s about educating the community members and public about prevention strategies about not getting sick.” She added that it also includes prevention education about eating right, healthy sexual behavior, exercising and immunization through programs in county departments of health, schools, medical centers and hospitals, all of which could be places where community health educators work. They may also collect and analyze data to evaluate where the community needs additional health education. Most community health educator positions require a bachelor’s level program and credentialing as certi-

fied health education specialist. Master’s level education is also available. Green said that the career is growing in part because doctors and nurses lack the time to talk with people about preventive health. Community health educators help people understand the message of prevention and actionable steps to make it happen. Community health educators can advance to supervising the department at a larger organization, which may mean shifting from delivering the message of health to managing the program. “It gives you a basis of health where if you wanted to go on to nursing, you’d have a solid background on prevention,” Green said. Helpful skills for the position include verbal and written communication, organization, collaboration, compassion, science, “and math wouldn’t hurt,” Green said. Kate Ott worked as a community health educator three years before taking over as director of preventive services at Ontario County Public Health in Canandaigua. She said that a community health educator should be “someone who is fairly outgoing, who likes to be out in the community and develop relationships with partners — people to collaborate with. They have to like group work because you work in a lot of groups and sit on coalitions. You have to like people and talking with folks and urging them on to healthier lifestyles.” She has always liked the vari-

Kate Ott is the director of preventive services at Ontario County Public Health in Canandaigua. ety involved with health education and working as a generalist. It’s not likely something for people who enjoy specialization or a specific age group of people, since community health educators may speak with 8th graders about food borne illness one day and seniors about hypertension the next day. “You have to be a lifelong learner,” Ott said. “If someone says, ‘Can you call and do a presentation on...’ you may have to research it and figure out the messages that should be delivered.” For that reason, research represents a big part of the role. In some larger organizations, some degree of specialization may be required, as it may have departments related to immunization, family planning, or sexually transmitted infections; however, it may require experience as a general community health educator to get to that point. “I would highly recommend it to anyone if you love that moment where you talk with a group and you see it click,” Ott said. “You see you have pulled that person in. It’s important helping folks change behaviors and help them understand it’s something they want to do and give them tools to do this.”

Many Female Health Care Workers Make Poverty-Level Wages: Study


very day they help feed, bathe and care for the frailest Americans. But female health care workers in the United States often get shortchanged on wages and health insurance, a new study finds. In fact, about one-third of female health care workers made less than $15 an hour, and that number rose to half when these workers were black or Hispanic. The study authors estimated that about 5 percent of all female health care workers live in poverty, including nearly 11 percent of black women and 9 percent of Hispanic women. “Our findings were really quite striking. Overall, 1.7 million women health care workers and their families are living in poverty,” said study author Dr. Kathryn Himmelstein. She is a resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Himmelstein began this research as a medical student at the

University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. The report also showed that about 7 percent of female health care workers didn’t have health insurance. Additionally, many had to rely on government programs, such as Medicaid, food stamps and public housing. About 20 percent of women in the United States are employed in the health care industry, according to background information in the study. Women hold more than 85 percent of health care positions, such as nursing, home health, and personal care aides. Many of these jobs are low-paying, the study authors said. For the new study, the researchers analyzed statistics from a 2017 database to look at pay, insurance coverage and public benefits usage. The average hourly wage for female health care workers was just over $19 an hour. That figure is higher than for women in other indusFebruary 2019 •

tries, but was nearly 25 percent lower than for male health care workers. Male health care workers earn an average of more than $25 an hour, the study findings showed. In addition to looking at current wages, the researchers also modeled what the impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all female health care workers would be. They found it would reduce poverty rates between 27 and 50 percent. “Because so many female health care workers earn less than $15 an hour, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would decrease poverty significantly,” Himmelstein said. And, she said that raising the minimum wage could be done at a relatively modest cost — about 1.3 percent of current health care spending. Results from the study were published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Play It Safe With Winter Sports


kiing, snowboarding, skating and sledding are great ways to have winter fun, but be sure to take steps to reduce your risk of injuries, experts say. In 2017, U.S. emergency departments, doctors’ offices and clinics treated 68,809 people for skiing-related injuries, 54,349 people for snowboard-related injuries, 52,308 people for ice skating-related injuries, and 4,499 people for toboggan-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Overexerting yourself on the slopes can lead to injuries ending your run for the season,” said physician Lori Reed, a spokeswoman for American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). “Individuals are at an increased risk of injuries such as sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures due to exhaustion,” Reed said in an academy news release. “You can prevent these by staying in good physical condition year-round and listening to your body. Don’t push your body when you are in pain or too tired.” Here are winter sports safety tips from the AAOS: • Stay in shape and condition muscles before starting winter sports. Warm up thoroughly before an activity. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are at increased risk for injury. Drink plenty of water before, during and after activities. • Wear several layers of light, loose and water- and wind-resistant clothing. Layering allows you to adapt to your body’s changing temperature. Wear footwear that keeps your feet warm and dry, and has good ankle support. • Take lessons from a qualified instructor, especially in sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Learning how to fall correctly can reduce the risk of injury. Check that equipment is in good working order and wear appropriate protective gear. • Know and follow all rules of the sport. Don’t do a winter sport alone. Monitor for and heed warnings about storms and severe drops in temperature. • Seek shelter and medical attention immediately if you or anyone else develops hypothermia or frostbite. Make sure everyone knows how to get help in the event of injuries.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9


Agencies Aid in Making Employment Accessible to All By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he route to employment for individuals with developmental disabilities is often not as linear or rapid as for those who are developmentally typical. Various organizations in the area can help families with resources helpful for their young adults who want to find employment. “Everyone deserves to work,” said Kayt Davidson, director of transition services at job path employment services, a division of The Arc of Monroe in Rochester. “It gives you that satisfaction. When you meet someone new, you ask what they do. Everyone deserves to answer that question.” She said that schools are improving their ability to help families learn about employment readiness programs that pick up when the school district’s services end at age 21. Arc is also working on getting involved sooner so parents realize what is available to help their young people. “The biggest misconception is, ‘How will my son or daughter get

there? They can’t use public transportation,’” Davidson said. The Arc starts with assessing skills, interests and abilities and then provides whatever coaching, pre-employment readiness, supported employment and on-the-job mentors the individual needs to learn skills for successful employment. Most of the time, it’s for entry-level, low-skill employment. “They learn about etiquette, showing up on time every day, how to navigate transportation on their own, social interactions, and they write a professional resume, they learn interview skills,” said Lindsey Graser, director of marketing and communications at The Arc of Monroe. “Employers get good quality people, the same if not better than someone coming off the street.” The Arc also helps with looking for employment, filling out applications, and connecting with businesses in the area to help them fill openings with appropriate candidates. Davidson said the community is very accepting of on-the-job mentors who enhance the employer’s training and help identify small areas where accommodation would enhance the employee’s success. For many individuals The Arc serves, streamlined, written procedures or lists help, but employers find that these can help the entire staff and they’re universally adopted, according to Davidson. “The people we work with maintain employment longer in entry

level positions which generally have higher turnover,” Davidson said. In addition to feeling proud of their accomplishment of obtaining employment, individuals learn life skills they may not have otherwise. Davidson said that a parent of one worker recently told her that his daughter decided to take the bus to Target by herself and later call for a ride home. Her phone died while she was gone. She realized she could ask to use the phone at the customer service desk. “He was flabbergasted she would know to do that,” Davidson said. “They had never talked about it. She had gained that skill. She learned all these other things that were so helpful for her in life.” At Catholic Charities Community Services in Rochester, Marilyn

In May 2019, Rochester Rehabilitation will host the 4th Annual Employment First Conference, focusing on employment outcomes for special populations. Save The Date Announcements will be sent in early March 2019!

learn more at www.rochesterrehab.org for conference details

Celebrating 100 Years of Work. Wellness. Independence.

Creating employment opportunities for people of all abilities.

Employment Connection is a program of Rochester Rehabilitation that helps adults with disabilities and other disadvantages find and keep jobs. Assistance is free and includes: • Developing work readiness skills • Individually tailored supervision • Interacting with employers • Job coaching and placement • On-site assistive technology training

Furthering Opportunities for Independence The Arc of Monroe supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with employment readiness services and supported employment throughout Monroe County.

(585) 271-0660 arcmonroe.org Page 10

We Provide Employer Support: • We help businesses save time and money by educating them about tax incentives, programs, and EEOC regulations Nationally, people with disabilities experience an unemployment rate that’s nearly twice the rate of their non-disabled peers.

Employment Connection: (585) 263-2690 www.RochesterRehab.org

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

Palmieri, director of supportive services, said that the organization’s vocational assistants work with people until they have the skills and confidence they need to work. Catholic Charities Community Services also provides employment supports to folks with other disabilities and disorders. “Agencies that assist individuals with employment are strong at community outreach, but our work is not yet complete,” Palmieri said. “We continue to educate businesses in our communities on the benefits of employing people with disabilities and the various programs that exist to support people and employers in being successful.” Employers indirectly benefit from an more diverse, accepting corporate culture as well as directly from the dependability of reliable employees who, in general, remain very dedicated to their work. “The quality of life improves for people who have a job and are contributing to their community,” said Olivia Lewis, licensed master social worker and vocational services program supervisor with Catholic Charities. “Employment opportunities provide financial stability, build confidence and natural supports. We are committed to helping individuals with disabilities find integrated employment where they can work with people of all abilities.”

AGENCIES TO CONTACT n The Arc of Monroe may be reached at 585-271-0660 and arcmonroe.org n Catholic Charities Community Services may be reached at 585339-9800 and Catholic Charities at www.cccsrochester.org n Rochester Rehabilitation Employment Connection may be reached at 585-263-2690 and www.RochesterRehab.org

Meet Your Provider

The Legends at Whitney Town Center State-of-the-art senior apartment community: A place to start a new chapter, create new memories Michelle DiLella Q: What is a 55-plus community such as The Legends at Whitney Town Center? A: They are independent living, age-restricted residences for those who want to downsize and enjoy a more maintenance–free and social lifestyle. Many times, older adults move to these communities when their spouses pass away, when they are recently retired, when their family home seems too large to manage or are simply planning for a new chapter in their life. Q: What advantages are there to living in a 55-plus community vs. a residential home? A: The biggest advantage would be the daily interaction with other people of a similar age group and feeling a strong sense of belonging to a community. This feeling can have huge influence on a person’s well-being and quality of life and is one of the biggest benefits of living in a 55-plus community. Adults living in these types of communities tend to know their neighbors and quite often have the same goal of creating lasting memories together. It’s a good

feeling to watch new friendships being formed. Q: What kind of activities do the residents enjoy? A: Activities are customized based on resident’s hobbies and interests. The residents determine what activities they would like. Our residents form a ‘committee’ to oversee and implement activities such as: bus trips, card games, bingo, charity work and service projects, on-site library, coffee groups, crafts, family gatherings, movie nights, pot luck suppers, and chair yoga – just to name a few! They have fun together! Q: Is it expensive to live in this type of community? A: In some cases, such as assisted living facilities, it can be quite expensive depending upon the level of care that is required. To reside at The Legends at Whitney Town Center our residents must be able to live independently on a daily basis. This allows us to offer reasonably priced apartments with all the

latest amenities. In addition, we include most utilities — heat, water, trash, cable and internet. Electric bills in Fairport for these size apartments are less than $25 per month. This makes budgeting monthly expenses simple. In addition, people living in homes are paying for lawn and snow removal services, plus any necessary repairs. There is a definite savings living in this environment, where you just need to make a phone call to the office and we take care of the rest. Q: What do you hear most from the residents who have moved in over the last year?

A: “Why did I wait so long to move?” is a phrase that residents often say after moving to The Legends at Whitney Town Center. For many, waiting to make a move to a community like this can result in a more stressful and tenuous move because of a hospitalization or crisis situations. Making the move to a senior community on your own terms at your pace can make it an easier process in selling your home, downsizing, and cleaning out your home. It puts you in control of what your future looks like and where you want to spend it.

Legends at Whitney Town Center

100 Clear Spring Trail Fairport, NY 14450 • 585-421-7321 • www.LegendsAtWhitney.com Helen, like some people her age, can’t drive anymore. She gave up the keys. But she could use a lift… for a visit to the doctor, the grocery store, a stop at the bank. If you have a couple hours a month, call us about becoming a volunteer driver. We’ll provide training and supplemental insurance.

Discover All The Ways We Care

For more information, call Sr. Anne at Lifespan.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Lifetime Care has comprehensive cardiac home health and pharmacy services to help you get on track to better heart health. Cardiac Care Services Include: • Assessments by our team of nurses who specialize in cardiopulmonary care • Cardiopulmonary rehab • IV administration

• EKG Monitoring • Education and medication management • Close communication with referring physician

For questions please call Lifetime Care at 585-214-1000 or 1-800-724-1410.





• An estimated 2.8 million people suffer a brain injury each year • 3.1 million people with a life-long as • An estimated 1.7live million people suffer a braindisability injury each year a result•of a Traumatic Injury (TBI), with 80,000-90,000 peopleBrain experience the onset of long termmany disability unable to live independently without supports.

each year

• A Brain canInjury be caused by a stroke,prevent assault, car accident, Bridges ForInjury Brain services brain injury survivors disabilities from being substanceand abuse,adults sportingwith injury, etc.. inappropriately placed in nursing homes, institutional Brain Injury servicesand prevent brain injury settings Bridges or fromFor becoming homeless allows and of adults with disabilities from being inapsurvivorssurvivors the dignity living more independently. propriately placed in nursing homes, institutional settings or from becoming homeless and allows survivors Our Social Day Services, open Monday-Saturday, provide respite and peace of mind to theopportunities dignity of living caregivers, while offering social and recreational tomore yourindependently. loved one. We offer a wide range of programs and services

meet the needs of those affected by a To find out more, call us at to(585) 396-0070 brain injury or physical disability. or check us out at www.bridgesforbraininjury.org

To find out more, call us at

www.lifetimecare.org February 2019 •

Bridges For Brain Injury, Inc. is a New York State provider of home and community based (585) 396-0070 check us out services within the Rochester, Finger Lakes & Southern Tier Regions. Servicesor can be funded through NYS Medicaid Waiver & Managed Care programs or at private pay. www.bridgesforbraininjury.org Serving the Rochester, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11


The skinny on healthy eating

Boost Energy and Teeth Health with Raisins


he strangest thing happened to a friend of mine, a vegetarian, the epitome of good health. A few months ago, she began dropping things and knocking into furniture. She complained about feeling exhausted and confused. A busy woman, she chalked it up to stress. But finally, she saw a doctor. The diagnosis? She was anemic. Promptly, she began incorporating more iron-rich foods into her diet. To supplement her iron intake, I suggested she also tuck some small boxes of raisins into her purse. Raisins contain more iron than many other types of fruits. While they don’t hold an iron candlestick to meat, shellfish or spinach, they do provide some: a small box delivers about 5 percent of our daily needs. A vital nutrient we can’t live without, iron is essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. It also supports our immune system and brain function, and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails. You might be surprised to learn that low iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S.

Caring for Individuals with

Grief and Loss Anger Trauma Relationship Problems Borderline Personality Disorder Individual & Couples Counseling

“You Can Do This; I Can Help. I’m determined to guide you in the direction of hope and healing”

Nicki Ditch

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

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Webster & Greece Locations Evenings & Saturdays available

www.nickiditchlmhc.com Page 12

Raisins contain “non-heme” iron, the type found in plants that requires multiple steps to absorb it. Since vitamin C nearly doubles the absorption of non-heme iron, it’s a good idea to eat raisins with other vitamin C-rich foods. Many athletes consume raisins for the rapid energy they provide. One small box of raisins (1.5 ounces) provides 130 calories, 34 grams of carbs and 26 grams of sugar. According to several studies, raisins provide the same performance-enhancing benefits as Sports Chews or Sports Jelly Beans — and for a whole lot less money. Because raisins are dried grapes, it’s natural to wonder how the health benefits of raisins compare to grapes. While both are antioxidant superstars, raisin’s star shines about three times brighter, since the drying process concentrates many of these compounds. On the downside, however, raisins contain less vitamin C and resveratrol (a polyphenol that may benefit hearts) than grapes, since this same drying process compromises them. Low in fat, sodium and cholesterol, raisins are also a good source of potassium (helps maintain a healthy heart) and fiber (promotes regularity; ferries cholesterol and other toxins out; fills us up). Lastly, sweet and sticky raisins may help fight — not cause — cavi-

ties. According to researchers at the USA Department of Food and Nutrition, raisins contain chemicals that suppress the growth of oral bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease.

Toasted Couscous with Almonds and Raisins

Adapted from calraisins.org; serves 6-8

1 1/2 cups couscous 1/2 cup slivered almonds 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock 2 stalks celery, diced 1 clove garlic, minced (or, ½ teaspoon garlic powder) ½ teaspoon cumin pinch of cayenne pepper Salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup raisins 2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional Heat a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Add couscous and toast grains, stirring pan frequently until brown and fragrant. Transfer to a plate. Add almonds to the hot skillet and toast them, stirring frequently until light brown. Transfer them to another plate. Bring stock to a boil with celery, garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Simmer about 3 minutes or until celery is slightly softened. Add

Helpful tips

Give the box or bag of raisins a good shake before buying. If the raisins rattle inside, it means they are dried out. Tightly sealed raisins will last about a month when stored in a cool, dark place and up to a year in the refrigerator. Dried-up raisins can be revived by blanching them in boiling water for 10 minutes. couscous and raisins to saucepan and stir gently just to mix. Cover pan; remove from heat and allow to stand about 5 minutes or until couscous is tender. Add almonds and lemon zest (if using) to couscous and gently fluff grains with a fork. • Note: Toasting the couscous gives it a rich, nutty flavor. Stir frequently to make sure it browns evenly.

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

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

U.S. Healthcare Spending Highest Among Richer Nations


igher costs, not better patient care, explain why the United States spends much more on healthcare than other developed countries, a new study indicates. U.S. healthcare spending was $9,892 per person in 2016. That was about 25 percent more than second-place Switzerland’s $7,919 and more than twice as high as Canada’s $4,753, researchers found. It was also twice what Americans spent in 2000, and 145 percent higher than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) median of $4,033. The OECD includes 34 countries. “In spite of all the efforts in the U.S. to control health spending over the past 25 years, the story remains the same — the U.S. remains the most expensive because of the prices the U.S. pays for health services,” said study author Gerard Anderson. He’s a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. “It’s not that we’re

getting more; it’s that we’re paying much more,” Anderson said in a school news release. Evaluating the drivers behind soaring U.S. spending, his team cited higher drug prices, higher salaries for doctors and nurses, higher hospital administration costs and higher prices for many medical services. Despite those higher costs, Americans have less access to many healthcare services than residents of other OECD countries, according to the study. In 2015, for example, there were 7.9 practicing nurses and 2.6 practicing physicians for every 1,000 Americans, compared to the OECD medians of 9.9 nurses and 3.2 physicians. That year, the United States had only 7.5 new medical school graduates per 100,000 people compared to the OECD median of 12.1. And the nation had just 2.5 acute care hospital beds per 1,000 people compared to the OECD

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

median of 3.4. Yet the United States ranked second in the number of MRI machines per person and third in the number of CT scanners per person, suggesting relatively high use of these expensive resources. (Japan ranked first in both categories, but was one of the lowest overall healthcare spenders in the OECD in 2016). Among the other findings: • U.S. health spending outpaced that of the other OECD countries between 2000 and 2016 — growing an average of 2.8 percent a year compared with the OECD median annual increase of 2.6 percent. • Inflation-adjusted spending on pharmaceuticals rose 3.8 percent annually in the United States versus an OECD median of 1.1 percent. • In 2016, U.S. health care spending accounted for more than 17 percent of gross domestic product, compared with an OECD median of less than 9 percent. The findings appear in the January issue of the journal Health Affairs.

The Beat Goes On Sky is the limit for meteorologist given a new lease on life By John Addyman


n irrepressible spirit, he invites you to enjoy the coming days of your wonderful life. He’ll help if you can’t quite see the light that awaits. As someone who has seen that light dim twice, he has a drive, a thankfulness and joy that touch all who know him. Scott Hetsko, 48, a meteorologist at Channel 13 in Rochester, father of three, golfer, 5K runner, New York Yankees’ fan and heart transplant recipient, is a walking testimony to always moving ahead. Every midday and nightly broadcast, Hetsko’s optimism and determination are on display, as is his honest playfulness. As a viewer, you’re invited to enjoy the weather that’s coming — whatever it is — with a guy who knows you, a neighbor-teacher who loves the weather and can’t wait to share it with you. “My philosophy is that when I started doing TV weather, I thought people get bored watching some weather people,” he said. “This is not what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to talk to people. I always consider it a relationship. People take the time to watch me and listen to what I have to say, so I have a very important job to make sure they understand, and I’m their friend in a way.” He got his start in Scranton, Pa. working radio on weekends, following his older brother. After two tries, he got a degree in meteorology from Penn State. In his senior year, he drove from Penn State to Scranton on weekends to do the weather broadcasts at WYOU-TV Channel 22. Joe Snedeker, a legendary weatherman for WNEP Channel 16 in Scranton, was an inspiration to Hetsko because when you watched Snedeker, you didn’t know what was going to come next. The weather forecast was more than temperature, isobars and derechos — it was theater. Hetsko developed his own style when he joined the ranks at Channel 8 in Rochester in 1999, where he was for 17 years. What brought him out of Scranton? “A job. Not a lot more money, but a full-time job. Usually the course for TV weather guys and gals is that they start a weekend job, then you get a morning job, and then an evening job,” he said. “I was fortunate because I got the morning job pretty quick. Then I got the chief meteorologist job later that year at Channel 8.” Quickly, Hetsko summed up his audience in this lake-enhanced world of weird weather, and taught folks to R-E-L-A-X when the world is getting ready to look awfully white. His trademark aphorisms: — “No reason to panic.” — “We’ve been through this before.” — “Nothing new here: Remember where we live.” At the end of the weather news,

I was told that three months after I got the pacemaker, I had 70 percent damage to my heart. To be told that when you’re 38 is pretty jarring. I had a pacemaker, but I could never take a deep breath, even on the air. I had a couple of years when I was OK, but I was always at half a tank. It was obvious. I was on my way, but you have to keep marching forward. “We were watching the heart for several years, taking a lot of blood work, images, echoes, for years behind the scenes.” But his heart was deteriorating. “I began to feel it,” he said. “They told me at the hospital, ‘If you don’t come in this summer, you’re not going to have a winter.’” “I could feel my heart failing. You can feel yourself getting sicker. The half tank was now down to a quarter tank,” he said. During June of 2015, viewers could tell Hetsko was not right. The ebullience was muted in his broadcasts. He stood stiffly. He was having trouble breathing. He checked himself into the hospital and took a leave from work. He had no idea for how long. ‘My heart was like a rock’

What does your life mean to you? It’s not a question we answer every day. But Scott Hetsko does. Every morning. He takes a breath and looks at his family and rejoices he’s made it to another day. He had lots of help from good people, and he’s learned a lot about himself along the way. With what this popular television meteorologist has to share, you’ll never watch his broadcasts the same way again… good or bad, he says, “And here are the next seven days of your wonderful life.” Many people find that phrase comforting. To Hetsko, it’s a promise to himself and his family. He’s someone who lives every day appreciating the heart that beats within him, a precious donation, a gift of immeasurable value from the family of a young Army veteran. Ten years into his broadcasting life at Channel 8, in 2009, Hetsko had February 2019 •

a heart episode. Doctors told him he had cardiac sarcoidosis — an autoimmune disease where healthy heart muscle is replaced with tougher fibrous tissue. The heartbeat becomes irregular because the signals to beat go awry. Hetsko received a pacemaker. “I was fine,” he said. “But ‘fine’ is a hard word. I got through it. It was not easy. It was a struggle every day. It was an unavoidable eventuality I was going to get to a transplant.

“My heart was swollen,” he said. “I had a big heart. You don’t want one double the size, and the bottom of my heart was like a rock. I was not in good condition.” But there was hope. He was the perfect type for a successful transplant — good blood type, good body size, good weight. “Because most men are around my height and many are around my weight, I was a good candidate to go in and I had no competition, which sounds funny, but there’s competition for a heart. “You go into that blind. You don’t know what the future holds. You don’t know it’s going to mean three months, nine months, or never. There were some ‘nevers’ while I was in the hospital. All that weighs on you when you go in.” The wait was not without incident. Being alive, then not. He coded twice. “The first episode was really quick,” he said, “and I got out of there pretty quick because the pacemaker woke me up. It shocked me. That was like 20 seconds. I just woke up. In both cases, I hit the bed, in the (hospital) room, which was good. It could have happened anywhere. So I hit the bed, and when I woke up, the nurses were coming in. They saw the alarm. Everybody’s got alarms, and the nurses came flying in. “I was like, ‘What happened?’ And they were saying, ‘Oh, nothing.’ Then I learned later,” he said. “The second was a much more significant event. I’m here, the red

continued on the next page

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Scott Hetsko: ‘I work out five or six days a week. I have to’

from previous page

lights go off and the beep, and I thought, for a second, ‘Oh, I hope I survive this.’ I knew what was coming. It was literally a second before I passed out because once your heart goes into an irregular rhythm, the blood leaves your head and you’re passed out,” he said. “They brought me back. The pacemaker was supposed to, but it wasn’t set at the threshold my arrhythmia happened, so it never shocked me. They had to paddle me and do it. So they did.” “When I woke up, I just, I don’t know, you feel like you were electrocuted, you have this really hard, painful tingling feeling, completely like you’re drugged up, exactly like what you see in the movies, when someone wakes up and is kind of fuzzy. Your eyes wake up fuzzy. That’s what I felt like. My eyes were out of focus. “I had so many people quizzing me. They wanted to check my mental faculties — ‘Who are you? Where are you? What day is this?’ Fortunately, I answered them, then I cried like a baby when I realized what had happened.” “They told me days later, ‘We’re really rolling the dice with you. We have to start thinking about giving you a mechanical heart.’ That would have been a lot more difficult lifestyle. You have to live with batteries, you can’t shower easily, and must have a driveline.” He spent five more weeks on pins and needles before a donor heart was available. After the surgery, Hetsko was a new man, a different man, with a new mission in life. “I’m almost grateful — almost — that it gave me a way to radically shift,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize how mortal they are until it happens. They drop dead at 55 and never knew it was coming. I have the fortunate wisdom to see death pretty close and touch it and come back from it. I’ve been fortunate. “Now I’m living extra time. I really am. I just want to enjoy what I have. I enjoy now. That’s how I live. I live in the moment. I do save for retirement; I’m not a moron. If I want to go on a trip, I’m going on the trip. I don’t worry about little things. I’ve always been an optimistic guy. I always tried to look at life that way and I think that got me through all this in a lot of ways. “I always tell my wife, Jennifer, ‘We’re living the good old days right now; these are the days.’ Hopefully, we’re going to talk about it in 20 years. Like these kids are crazy now and the house is a mess, but we’re going to miss that some day, even if we don’t think we are. I haven’t met one person who told me they don’t miss it.” His level of concentration on those little things has changed. “I try to soak everything in, espePage 14

cially with my kids, every little cute thing, every time the little ones (Jack and Julia, 5) twins? hop on my lap,” he said. “I have to sing three songs to my daughter every night. I try to take advantage of that because I know there’s going to be some night when she says, ‘I don’t want to hear that anymore.’ It’s going to come.” New frontiers Channel 8 had held his job for him and chronicled Hetsko’s transplant and visited him in the hospital and at home while he recuperated. Five months after the transplant, he was back on the air in February 2016. But he was different, inside. It wasn’t just the new heart, it was a feeling that he was living on borrowed time and other things had to change. Channel 13 offered him a job with a completely new schedule — four hours at midday, and four hours at night. “Every night, I’m home, I’m the guy making dinner and doing everything until my wife gets home from work. That’s the whole point. I have time for Little League and soccer and all that,” Hetsko said. That was great news for son Logan, 13. “I’ve got time for all that because I don’t have time for all that. Know what I mean? I don’t know how long I’m going to have. I made that change — the title of what I do at work means a lot, but it doesn’t mean a lot. My children mean a lot. The youngest ones are 5 years old now. Then they’ll be 6. Then they’ll be 20. When I’m gone and they say, ‘Dad was always there,’ that’s what I want. It’s that simple. That’s it. It was tough to do, but I did it.” Hetsko left Channel 8 as the chief meteorologist. When he came to Channel 13, Glenn Johnson was the chief meteorologist and had been there for 33 years. The chance for friction was right there. “There was initially something,” he said. “I’ll tell you this, if he had come to my station, I’d be pissed. I get it. The first night I was here training, we talked about it and got it over with. I told him, ‘This has nothing to do with you, or what I want, or to try to take your job. I’m here for selfish reasons: to better my home life and still do what I love.’” “I told the management at Channel 13, ‘I don’t want anyone to lose their job over me coming here. We can’t do that. I don’t want to be the guy who takes somebody’s job away,’” he said. “Glenn is the chief meteorologist. Now he works the morning shows and the noon show. Now, he would tell you, he loves this schedule. Think about it: He’s home every night now. He and his wife go to concerts and dinner. I told him, ‘You should be so grateful I’m here now’ because he lives a different life.”

Scott Hetsko at the Channel 13 studio in Henrietta. Photo by Chuck Wainwright. “It’s the best schedule I’ve ever had in my 33 years here,” said Johnson, who during Hetsko’s first weeks on the job, held a dinner meeting at his house with meteorologists and their spouses to put everyone on a warm and respectful footing. Time is of essence Spend just a few minutes with Hetsko, and it’s clear he’s in good shape, mentally and physically. But there’s a lingering reality he fights every day he stays in shape. Donor hearts are not forever. The average transplant is good for 11 years, Hetsko said, though some have lasted 33 years. There aren’t enough donors. In America, 22 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. So he has thrown his energy into supporting the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and other organ donation causes. On May 4, he and the family of Shawn, the young man whose heart is beating in Hetsko’s chest, will host a sign-up drive for organ donations and blood donations in Henrietta, termed “Scott’s Donation Drive.” “That should be a good day. I’m working with Shawn’s family on that. We get along really well. It was kind of a quick start,” he said. He explained that normally, about a year passes before a connection is made between a recipient and the donor’s family. “But I still had chest tubes in when I heard from Shawn’s sister. Because I was a TV guy and all that, she figured it out and reached out to me. That was kind of tough at first but I’m glad she did it. “After you get that kind of gift, you just want to thank them and you want to do anything you can to let them know you’re worthy of it. That’s what my wife and I felt. We felt we needed to prove our worthiness to the family. We’re going to take this and run with it and live as much as we can, and live it well and take care of our family. That’s what you’ve given us — you gave me another shot. I think that’s what we’ve done, and I think they think that about us. I’m trying to be a good

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

example of what transplant success can do.” But a lot of people don’t recover form transplant surgery. “I was lucky to be young enough. It’s harder as you get older,” Hetsko said. “If you’re 65 and need a heart and you’re not in physically good shape, it’s harder to recover from it. “My health had a lot to do with my success, because when I left that hospital, I made it my job to take care of that heart. I work out five or six days a week. I have to. I owe Shawn that. There are some people who get transplants and get depressed, and they don’t live. That’s not me. I’ve got to live. I’m not depressed. I’m not scared. “It does creep into my mind, the reality of it, and the fact that the chances of me getting to 70 are pretty low. That’s just the way it is. “But I’m confident I can do it because I’m so much better now. I’m only on three medications — two for my heart — but it’s a constant war you’re battling with your immune system. It’s a forever war. Medicine is a lot better now. I’m on a low dose now. “The stuff I have to worry about is cancer. At some point that’s going to happen to me, just because your immune system is so down, cancers have a much better shot of coming to life. Your body has cancer cells in it; your body is strong enough to fight them. Mine is not quite as strong, We have to keep it at a level where it can still fight the bacteria in life that I have to fight, the influenzas that are out here, but trick my immune system to think that my heart is OK, because it wants to kill my heart — it’s a foreign object. That never changes.” He grimaces, then smiles. Done. And that night, at 11:18 p.m., he stands in front of the green screen in the studio, while folks at home see the graphics of the long-range weather forecast and he says, “And here are the next seven days of your wonderful life.” He’s talking to you. He’s nodding to his family. And he’s promising himself.


Things to Know About Heart Disease

One in every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease, considered one the most preventable health ailments By Ernst Lamothe Jr.


hile it remains one of the most preventable health ailments, heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death, disability and healthcare spending in the United States for men and women. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — that’s one in every four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is focused on coronary arteries which supply the heart with blood. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, which affects the blood flow to the heart. Patients can develop plaque build up, which affects arteries and blocks flow to the heart. “Because heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the developing world this is something that I am passionate about,” said Andrew Mathias, a board-certified cardiologist at UR Medicine in Rochester. “It leads to heart disease, heart failure and billions of dollars in health care costs. But outside of anything I can do as a physician, there are so many

simple ways to prevent heart disease that many people who have the ailment just don’t do.” Mathias offers five tips to a healthier heart.

1.Avoid tobacco

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about one in five deaths, according to the CDC. For years, smoking figures declined. However with the advent of e-cigarettes, smoking has stormed its way to the forefront. “Smoking is very well documented as causing adverse health outcomes that can lead to heart disease, stroke and cancer,” said Mathias.” If I have a patient who smokes, I tell them that that nothing reduces the chances of heart attacks more than just stopping smoking. Studies show that someone who stops smoking for five years can reduce the level of a heart attack to the level of someone who is a nonsmoker.”

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Being overweight continues to be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Keeping your heart healthy by making healthier food choices isn’t as hard as it sounds. Some of the standard tips Mathias suggests include choosing healthy fats such as avocados as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts, seeds, tuna and salmon. In addition, whole-grain breads or pastas are higher in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Choose them instead of white breads or regular pastas for sandwiches and meals. “Obesity is something very common in most of my patients that come through with any heart related issues,” said Mathias. “The body is not designed to have 50 to 100 extra pounds. It can lead to diabetes and wreak havoc to your vascular system.”

3.Eat fruits and vegetables

Fresh, filling and heart-healthy, fruits and vegetables are an important part of your overall healthy eating plan. They are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat and calories, according to the American Heart Association. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure. “The general wisdom that your mom told you about growing up is true. Eating fruits and vegetables can have a significant impact,” added Mathias.

4.Exercise regularly

One of the very best gifts you can give your heart is physical activity. Even something as small as parking your car at the far end of a parking lot or choosing the stairs rather than the elevator can make a world of difference. Exercising lowers your blood pressure and works to slow your heart rate. High pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Being physical also is a necessary step to losing weight and keeping the weight off which also puts less pressure on your heart. Mathias suggests body mass index as one of the key

Andrew Mathias, a board-certified cardiologist at UR Medicine. indicators to weight. He recommends a BMI less than 25. Mathias said the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week which can include a brisk walk.

5.Check your blood pressure

When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries and your heart and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes. An average number is 120/80. The first number is your systolic pressure, which is the pressure when your heart is beating. The latter number is the pressure between beats when your heart is resting. “This is something that you should check several times a month especially as you enter your fifth and sixth decade,” said Mathias. “There are times where symptoms might not be apparent but you may still have high blood pressure.”

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Page 15

Excellus Selects 13 Nonprofits to Share $114,500 Awards


supporting local organizations that share our mission as a nonprofit health plan,” said Holly Snow, director of community health engagement, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Awards focus on improving the health status of the community, reducing the incidence of specific diseases, promoting health education and enhancing overall wellness. Winning organizations are selected based on the proposed program’s scope of need, goals and the number of people expected to benefit from it.

hirteen nonprofit Rochester area organizations are receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards. Each award recipient will receive up to $4,000 allocated by the company to help fund health and wellness programs in the company’s six-county Rochester region. The health plan is donating $114,500 to 37 nonprofits across Upstate New York. Through a competitive application process, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards support programs that have clear goals to improve the health or health care of a specific population. “The company’s grants demonstrate a corporate commitment to ‘

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BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards include: • 13thirty Cancer Connect, to fund the “Building Healing, Healthy Habits” wellness program to help young cancer survivors develop sustainable, self-care, health-maintenance behaviors for their long-term well-being. The program promotes physical fitness, nutrition, stress management and personal empowerment. • Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, to create and implement an interactive, child-focused digital game to be used on the Coalition’s website and at community events to educate children, families and the public about lead hazards in the home. • Heritage Christian Services Inc., to support the purchase of a fleet of adaptive bikes for individuals with limited mobility and intellectual/ developmental disabilities, providing an opportunity for socialization, regular exercise and physical activity. • NAMI Rochester, for its “Peer to Peer” education course to help those experiencing mental health challenges achieve and maintain recovery through patient involvement, behavioral health support and community engagement. • RESOLVE of Greater Rochester, Inc., for a pilot of RITa, the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Virtual Health Coach digital application. Designed for use in the primary care and community health care settings, the app gives providers an additional tool for IPV education to help patients understand how relationships may impact health, and positions health care providers as allies to IPV patients. • The Children’s Agenda, to help advance “All Kids Thrive,” through an integrated and accessible system of support for children from birth to age 8 and their families. This approach is designed to improve care coordination and navigate services among health care, early education, education, and human services systems. • Veteran’s Outreach Center, Inc., to provide more access for homeless veterans by replacing the current double beds at VOC’s Richards House and Otto House apartments. • GiGi’s Playhouse Rochester, to support the GiGi Fit fitness program for individuals with Down Syn-

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Ontario County in other areas Nonprofit organizations receiving Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Awards in Livingston, Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties: • Foundation for Dansville Education, Livingston County, for its “Seats for Success” project to increase physical activity among students. Designed to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guideline of at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity for youth, traditional seating for students in grades 3-6 will be replaced with active seating options such as wiggly stools or standing desks to help meet special learning needs and improve health. • Family Promise of Ontario County Inc., Ontario County, funding for the “Bridges for Hope” program which provides homeless families with safe, secure and supervised temporary lodging while supporting their needs to acquire permanent, independent housing. • Bishop Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, Inc., Wayne County, to support the rehabilitation of homes for modest-income families and seniors to eliminate health and safety hazards. Repairs decrease the number of safety-related injuries, medical emergencies and hospital stays. • Finger Lakes Migrant Health Care Project, Inc., Wayne County, to provide oral health education to families and dental screenings for children, as well as making educational information available for distribution through local hospitals and OB/GYN and pediatric practices. • S2AY Rural Health Network, Yates County, to support the Our Town Rocks wellness program, “Creating Health Habits for Better Health.” The program supports and encourages community residents to make healthy lifestyle choices by creating activities that promote healthy personal behaviors, making the choice to engage in a healthy lifestyle an easier one. “These awards complement our existing grants and sponsorships with agencies that work to enhance quality of life, including health status, in Upstate New York,” said Snow.

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ith the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill this past December, nearly a century of prohibition of hemp came to a close, removing it from the list of federally controlled substances and ending policies that have hurt farmers and consumers alike. Hemp, possibly the world’s most useful plant, is food, fuel and fabric. And hemp is medicine. Both hemp and marijuana come from the species cannabis sativa, but they are cultivated for different characteristics. Hemp produces a negligible amount of the cannabinoid THC, the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the “high” marijuana users seek — federal law stipulates that the THC content of hemp be 0.3 percent or less. You cannot get high from hemp. Cannabis also produces cannabidiol, aka CBD, which has been shown to have medical benefits to humans and their mammalian pets alike. It is not uncommon to see exaggerated claims that CBD is a cure-all. It is not, but a recent “Consumer Reports” nationally representative survey showed that 15 percent of adult Americans had tried CBD and a majority (83 percent) said it helped, to some degree, the symptoms they were treating. These findings are consistent with our observations at Hemp it UP. Another commonly voiced and valid concern is that, at present, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate CBD products. At Hemp it UP, we work only with producers who meet our strict criteria. First and foremost, producers must commission and publicly present the results of independent lab testing on each batch of their product. This is critical in the absence of FDA oversight, ensuring that the products contain the listed amount of CBD and that they contain no harmful impurities. Further, all hemp must be grown using organic practices. There is much to learn about the most effective ways to use and dose CBD products. Finding a provider who can help separate fact from fiction is important, as is doing one’s own reading. Pay no heed to claims that there have been no studies on CBD. A database of studies can be found online at www.projectcbd. org/about/clinical-research. Another excellent resource is the National Institute of Health’s own website: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/. The NIH site is not CBD specific, so readers may wish to include “cannabidiol” among the search terms. David Brickman is the owner of Hemp it UP (www.HempItUpGifts.com) and Bodymind Float Center (BodymindFloatCenter.com), both with locations in Syracuse and Rochester. He is a violinist in the Amenda Quartet (www.AmendaQuartet.org) and lives in Rochester.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Golden Years

Need a Ride? You Have Options By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


alf of non-drivers who are 65 and older stay home because they lack transportation options, according to www.seniorliving. org. This means that they may become more and more isolated, not buy fresh groceries as often as they need them and miss medical appointments. But groups in the Rochester area are working to change this, especially in outlying areas without public transportation and for people who struggle to afford paying for transportation. Lifespan’s Mary Rose McBride said that lack of transportation is a top issue for older adults. “Women outlive their ability to drive by about 10 years,” she said. “Many older adults live in areas not served by public transportation.” A decade ago, Lifespan started Give a Lift, a program that recruits, screens and trains drivers who volunteer at local organizations that offer free or low-cost transportation to seniors who need to get to medical appointments. The demand for rides is so large that some ride services don’t take seniors on shopping trips or other errands to ensure that riders can make it to medical appointments. Lifespan also provides information about transportation options in an area. McBride said about 350 to 400 volunteer drivers provide rides through various organizations after Lifespan’s screening. But as these drivers age out or move away, the organizations in the area constantly need more drivers. The cost for a taxi ride round trip in Rochester can be around $30 or $40 — money that is needed to purchase medication or fill up a gro-

cery cart for many seniors. Services such as Uber or Lyft may cost less; however McBride said that “a lot of older adults don’t have smartphones. There’s also a trust issue there. Would you want to get in a car with someone you don’t know?” Volunteer drivers can sign up for a federal program that offers supplemental auto insurance if their own policy won’t cover passengers sufficiently. Most organizations offer volunteer drivers a small stipend to help with gas costs if they need it. Medical transportation also provides “a social outlet for the volunteer and the person getting picked up,” McBride said. “They can have some conversation and may even become friends.” She encourages social groups such as churches or clubs to consider non-emergency medical driving for a local program as a volunteer initiative.


Project Friends In Service Here (FISH) in Rush/Henrietta serves people 65-plus who live in that school district and lack transportation to and from non-emergency medical appointments. Coordinator Audrey Buck said that FISH is “always looking for more volunteers. It’s a vital service that means a lot to the people who receive help.” FISH cannot provide rides to people who live outside the Rush-Henrietta School District, but can transport those residing within the district to medical appointments within Monroe County. Like most similar organizations, volunteers drive their own vehicles and riders must be capable of walking, yet without transportation of their own. Last year, FISH provided round-

A senior getting a ride with a volunteer at Lifespan. Photo courtesy of Gelfand-Piper Photography. trip rides to more than 1,600 appointments among 35 volunteers who drove nearly 40,000 miles. “When we formed FISH, our intention is that we wanted people to be healthier and give them some sense of being independent,” Buck said. “Many people do have family in the area; however, they’re working. It’s hard for them to take them to the appointments.” Some older adults need rides to see multiple specialists for chronic conditions. Or they may need multiple rides to address an acute issue, such as the up to 10 rides for cataract treatment, including pre-op visits, lens fitting, surgeries and post-op care. Volunteer drivers list times and days they’re available and any limitations about going into the city. “Our drivers all find it very satisfying and rewarding helping someone else,” Buck said. For those who need to get to a grocery store, Buck recommends checking with a local senior center. The Henrietta Senior Center, for example, offers scheduled rides to shopping venues and can arrange for transportation to and from the center.

Episcopal Senior Life

Episcopal SeniorLife Communities in Rochester also partners with Give a Lift to offer free rides to ESLC neighborhood program members, though donations are appreciated for those able to give. “Our vision is to help connect

How Pets Can Benefit Senior Health By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


erhaps you always had pets as a kid but haven’t for years. Or maybe your cat or dog died a while ago and you haven’t sought out another pet. If you don’t have a pet as an older adult, you have many good reasons to consider one. Physician Az Tahir, who practices holistic integrative medicine at Internal Medicine Internal Care in Henrietta, said that pet ownership can prolong healthy longevity. “Particularly, the dog gets people out walking,” Tahir said. “They keep you busy and physically active.” But lower-energy dogs and cats can also increase activity and maintain range of movement. Think of the work of feeding, watering, grooming and cleaning up after a pet. “It brings the stress levels down and blood pressure, too,” Tahir said. “They can help reduce the risk heart attack and stroke and cancer.” Animals need a gentle touch and a patient approach, so a petting sesPage 18

sion requires owners to slow down and remain calm. Pets also increase social interaction, from dog walking, to vet visits to shopping for pet food. Simply having something to talk about — “Do you know what Muffin did yesterday?”— can make conversation more interesting. For those living alone, a pet can offer someone to talk to and look forward to. “The fact that they are part of a daily routine, it helps,” Tahir said. “The effect on the psyche are profound. This brings them comfort and company.” St. Ann’s Home in Rochester has tapped into the power of pets to benefit their senior residents. Mark Simpelaar, St. Ann’s recreational therapist/life enrichment advocate, said that the presence of pets “provides [seniors] with reassurance and they have less loneliness. It’s something to take care of. It’s

something to look forward to every day and something to love.” Some residents who have dementia sometimes experience agitation. Simpelaar said that pet therapy can help provide diversion and comfort for people who like animals. Instead of aimlessly walking, some take a break to sit and enjoy petting the animals. St. Ann’s also encourages visits from volunteers with dogs and family members who want to bring in pets. “Some residents really respond,” Simpelaar said. “It changes their whole facial expression.” Non-therapy animals are permitted if their owners have pre-registered and receive a Pet Card. “It improves contentment, relaxation and mood,” Simpelaar said. “It’s an emotionally nice, positive thing that helps people.” Of course, not everyone loves animals. For those who enjoy the com-

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

seniors with their neighborhood by providing transportation to community functions, social events and medical and other personal appointments, providing more options for seniors to age in their place of choice,” said Jennifer Rougeux, volunteer coordinator at Episcopal SeniorLife. The program is currently being offered in Gates, Chili, Greece and Rochester’s South Wedge. Rougeux views volunteer drivers as essential to maintaining independence for those who can no longer drive. “They are connecting with and helping neighbors live healthier lives,” she added. “Volunteers also gain a sense of purpose by providing this ever important service, meet interesting people, and oftentimes develop friendships.”

Getting a Free Ride

• For more information on ride services for older adults in the Rochester area, call TRAC at 585244-8400. • Henrietta Senior Center: 585334-4030. • Visit www.eldersource.org for a list of ride resources or contact your county’s Department of Aging and Youth: – Wayne County: 315-946-5624 – Ontario County: 585-396-4040 or 315- 781-1321 – Monroe County: 585-753-6280

pany of pets, “it’s really important, because it gives people a purpose.” Though at St. Ann’s staff take care of any resident pet (the home has kept cats and birds), independent adults can feel a sense of responsibility that they need. Simpelaar said that his father dwells in an assisted living community, but is able to keep a dog. “It keeps him active and social,” Simpelaar said. He said that his father isn’t very outgoing, but the dog is, so that helps him interact with more people. “A pet can give some people a reason to live, if the animal is that close to the person,” Simpelaar said. It’s inadvisable to surprise anyone with a pet as a gift. Older adults may have additional considerations, including the physical and financial ability to care for a pet. For the former, some assistance and accommodation can enable keeping a pet. A helper can aid in dog walking or changing cat litter, or instance. Installing a dog run can reduce the need for dog walking. Placing a covered litter box on a flat-topped kitty condo could make scooping litter easier.

General Criticism

Online Grocery Shopping for Seniors : Does It Work?

Seniors now can shop for groceries at Wegmans, Walmart and other stores but they have to have a credit card and access to a computer or smartphone. And, yes, they have to pay extra fees for the service By Mary Khazak Grant


eniors who are homebound, have limited mobility or just avoid going outdoors during the cold winter months must still find a way to replenish Medigroceries. Many of them may be socially isolated as well as handicapped — without a good friend or close relative willing to go food shopping. Such was the case for this writer. Lucky for us all, there are several alternatives available in the Rochester metropolitan area which will afford a means to grocery shop without physically maneuvering the trip with great difficulty.

1.Instacart, Inc.

• What it is — Wegman’s grocery shopping, powered by Instacart, enables anyone using a device such as a computer, smartphone or Android, to shop for groceries, pay for them and have them delivered to the home at a scheduled time. If new shoppers activate the “express” membership feature, the first delivery to their door will be free. There is an order minimum of $35, and your Wegman’s shopper’s card can be stored. Payment, however, may only be with a registered credit card, in advance. Annual membership, which grants unlimited orders, is $149, paid after a 15-day free trial. Delivery personnel may receive a tip you select. Email alerts and text messages inform the shopper of how the order process is progressing and when the truck is 10 minutes away. If all items are not in stock, you will be messaged to select alternative groceries. The location of the Wegman’s is dictated by your zip code.

• My Experience — When I checked off my delivery with a

written shopping list, everything was correct, but my bubble gum had been quadrupled! By phone or computer, you can provide detailed instructions for Instacart’s arrival. Those seniors with limited mobility or strength will be overjoyed when the delivery person eagerly brings all packages into your kitchen, depositing them on tables and counters as suggested. Because this is a special service for Wegman’s shoppers, the store increases prices you pay by about 5 percent. It is a small “tax” to pay for the ease of this shopping experience. Instacart has many users in the Rochester metro area and can accommodate any size grocery order. Share your membership with a neighbor! This experience was headache-free.

Walmart Grocery Pick 2 —UpTheService • What it is — Walmart has a grocery-only shopping website where you can place a food order and pick it up later. It’s picked by an experienced team. Your payment will be expected up front, geared strictly to credit cards. The menu features a series of choices for “pick up” with time slots available on the hour for dates up to a week later. • My Experience — Shoppers on walkers or crutches will find this service to be a delightful alternative to using one of the electric grocery carts at the store. The Walmart “pick up” service can immediately be reached at an 800 number or as an extension at your store of choice. They send an email when your order is ready. Then, you park your car in front of the store entrance. Retrieving your cart of groceries after finishing the credit card transaction at a register, February 2019 •

you load your trunk and drive away. The team will courteously wheel the cart to load a waiting car. There are no tips expected, and the grocery order is guaranteed fresh or your money back. The first time is free delivery, but after that, an additional fee is about $10 per order.

Motor Services 3 Medical shuttles to Wegmans • What it is — Several property management companies of affordable housing for 55-plus seniors offer a free service to tenants who need some extra help in going grocery shopping. For example, Rochester Management, Inc., landlord at Plymouth Gardens, offers a Medical Motor Services shuttle (known to many as Medi-van) to Wegmans every Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. Seniors on walkers or canes, or even in wheelchairs can all be transported. The shuttle driver arrives at the Wegmans, for example, at Calkins Road, drops off his passengers, gives them their “granny carts,” and returns in about 90 minutes. All such groups are pampered at Wegmans. As a courtesy, there is a coffee and cookie bar in the café to enjoy while waiting. • My Experience — Drivers are most careful to “count heads” both going and coming, and no one is ever left behind. Particularly wonderful for those wintry days when the roads are dangerous and difficult for older drivers, these shuttle trips get people smoothly through food shopping with a minimum of fuss or bother. Seniors are assisted in disembarking once home. Courteous Medi-van drivers are always willing to lend an extra hand.

There are quite a few alternatives for seniors who are home bound, in medical recovery or possessing limited mobility — whether temporary or chronic. A home computer is a most useful tool, as is a smart phone. Caretakers, family members or home health aides can assist you in making your first order. Annual membership fees are a good investment. If you have a car, a pick-up service may provide ample aid year-round. Finally, if you might rather enjoy a shuttle Medi-Van service, consider moving into affordable senior housing which accommodates varied medical conditions, affording a more permanent solution. This senior, while going through a two-month convalescence from knee replacement surgery, tried all three alternatives mentioned. Not having to rely on expensive take out” food orders from local restaurants was more sensible and economical. Instacart, by far, proved to be the most user-friendly, enjoyable and secure service. A zaftig college student provided an amusing relief to routine. A Walmart grocery order, placed online for $92, failed to register with the store, did not process payment at all, nor was recoverable after considerable time spent at the computer. Shuttle service, though available, was not an option for this senior limited to a chair at home, but it may work for you. This writer relies on a SNAP benefit to buy food. To date, none of the services reviewed here will accept electronic fund transfer. When Instacart was approached on this issue, a spokesperson stated that SNAP may become a future option for their shoppers.

How to Use the Services • Instacart.com Locations: Some stores participate, search by zip code. Cost: First time, free delivery. Annual “Express” Instacart membership after a free 15-day trial is $149, payable in advance by credit card, allowing unlimited orders with flexible delivery times and dates. Orders must be more than $35. There is a 5 percent markup on all items. Just one delivery on occasion requires a $15 delivery fee, and at least a 5 percent tip is expected to the delivery person. Also order at the Wegmans website. • Walmart Food Shopping Pick Up Service You can use the free Walmart grocery shopping app that can be downloaded at www.grocery. walmart.com/locations/index.html Pre-pay online with a credit card. Same day delivery for orders received before 1 p.m. Choose a convenient pick up time and location. Only certain stores participate. Experts pick your groceries and load your car. You get the same low store prices. The first order is free, but later on there’s a $50 charge for service on each order. Mary Khazak Grant is local writer who recently had knee surgery. While recuperating at home, Grant explored several local grocery shopping services for the elderly and those with limited mobility, all out of sheer necessity.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Golden Years


Unexpected Rewards of Becoming a Caregiver

By George Shannon


t’s true, the life of a caregiver can be demanding, difficult and daunting. I spent seven years of my life in that role, keeping an eye on my wife’s every move. Just about every night, Carol and I awoke from our slumber at least five times to make trips to the bathroom. We spent endless nights in hospitals and long days in doctor’s offices. If given the chance to do it all over again, I would. Those years of being a caregiver constitute the best seven of my life. I learned a ton about myself and my famil y, became a more fulfilled man, and had the incredible chance to fall in love with my wife all over again. While I could easily list 20 wonderful things about serving in a caregiving role, here are five very important and unexpected rewards:

1.A Better Relationship

When I started being a caregiver, time slowed down. Because the role can be so demanding, you must focus on the person. In the process, you learn what makes them tick — maybe things you hadn’t noticed before. Putting these nuggets of wisdom to use can make that person so happy, which in turns makes you feel good. For Carol it was pancakes. When

she needed a boost, a single pancake could do the trick. Every once in a while, she’d be down in the dumps. The minute I saw this, we were on the way to our local breakfast joint. Carol’s smile would make my day.

2.Precious Moments

Similarly, you get to be a part of some very special moments. Before my wife’s strokes, we’d spend some time together but did our own thing most of the time. After Carol got sick, I spent 90 percent of my time with her and I got to be a part of so many meaningful moments. Her father had come to live with us for a few years during her illness. He was around 90 at the time. Every night the Pittsburgh Pirates played on TV, they stood, held hands and sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” every time. You could just feel the love and joy between them. I’ll never forget those moments.

3.Discovering Humility

This might be the most hidden of rewards. Before my wife became ill, I was a decent man and generally thoughtful of others, but my world had veered toward self-centeredness. I was set in my ways and had been

5.A Stronger Family

Only one of my siblings and one of our three sons lived in Pittsburgh where I lived when my wife got sick. At first, I felt sort of alone in dealing with her health crisis but that didn’t last very long. The one son who lived the closest moved in for a year. My other two kids came by regularly and showered their mother with love. My siblings came by all the time and called when they accustomed to the order in my world. couldn’t. At first, out of necessity, I began I’ve lived my life abiding by the taking care of her needs. Soon therephilosophy that what happens to after, I started feeling good when I you isn’t as important as how you did things to help her. Then somerespond to it. My entire family rething tremendous occurred, I began sponded with love, concern, help and to derive sustained joy when making support. Each time, their acts and her life better. By the time she died, deeds made Carol and I feel wonderI’d committed my life to completely ful. I took great pride in seeing my serving her and felt total fulfillment. family come together. Why? I had become entirely selfless. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t There may not be a better feeling in always easy. Yet, at the end of each the world. day of caregiving, I always received a small gift — a sense of fulfillment. A Deeper Relationship And now, when I look back at those As I gave myself over to her, seven years, I am reminded that my my wife started to really feel the love. life had purpose which is the greatest And in turn, she began outwardly reward of them all. show her love and appreciation. A day wouldn’t go by when she would George Shannon tell me that “You’re too good to me,” chronicles his or “Thanks for all that you do for me.” I never sought these assurances experience caring but when she’d offer them, it would for Carol in his light up my day. It was then I realnew book, “The ized that we were falling in love all Best Seven Years over again. of My Life: The It was during this rekindled time Story of an that we showed our truest selves. Unlikely CaregivFrom her, I got to see a hidden sense of humor and sharp tongue that often er” (December had me belly-laughing. For her, my 2018), which he wife saw a much more tender side wrote with his son, Chad Patrick Shanand the softer edges of my soul. non. For more information, visit https:// bestsevenyears.com.


Could You Have Glaucoma? By Jim Miller


t’s called the “silent thief of sight” for a reason. With no early warning signs or pain, most people who have glaucoma don’t realize it until their vision begins to deteriorate. Here’s what you should know. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss and blindness if it’s not treated. This typically happens because the fluids in the eye don’t drain properly, causing increased pressure in the eyeball. There are two main types of glaucoma, but the most common form that typically affects older people is called open-angle glaucoma. This disease develops very slowly when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, leading to blind spots in the peripheral or side vision. By the time you notice it, the permanent damage is already done.

Are You at Risk?

It’s estimated that more than 3 million Americans have glaucoma today, but that number is expected to surge to more than 4 million by 2030. If you answer “yes” to any of Page 20

the following questions, you’re at increased risk of developing it. • Are you African American, Hispanic/Latino American or Asian American? • Are you over age 60? • Do you have an immediate family member with glaucoma? • Do you have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, migraines or extreme nearsightedness? • Have you had a past eye injury? • Have you used corticosteroids (for example, eye drops, pills, inhalers, and creams) for long periods of time?

What to Do

Early detection is the key to guarding against glaucoma. So if you’re age 40 or older and have any of the previously listed risk factors (especially if you’re African American), you need to get a comprehensive eye examination every year or two. Or, if you notice some loss of peripheral vision, get to the eye doctor right away. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, annual eye examinations are covered

for those at high risk for glaucoma. Or if you don’t have vision coverage, check into EyeCare America, a national program that provides free glaucoma eye exams and there are no income requirements. Visit EyeCareAmerica.org or call 877-887-6327 to learn more. While there’s currently no cure for glaucoma, most cases can be treated with prescription eye drops, which reduce eye pressure and can prevent further vision loss. It cannot, however, restore vision already lost from glaucoma. If eye drops don’t

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

work, your doctor may recommend oral medication, laser treatments, incisional surgery or a combination of these methods. For more information on glaucoma, visit the National Eye Institute at NEI.nih.gov, and the Glaucoma Research Foundation at Glaucoma. org. Jim Miller writes the column Savvy Senior, which is published monthly in In Good Health newpaper.

Golden Years

When it’s Time to Give Up Driving By Christine Green


ot many people can say they have a completely clean driving record with no tickets or accidents whatsoever unless you are Dennis Adams of Brighton. Adams, 80, has been driving for over 60 years and takes the responsibility of operating a car very seriously. “It is a matter of respect for human life. The purpose of driving is to get from here to there in one piece. It is irresponsible for anyone to endanger other drivers even if they are careless about themselves.” Adams attributes his pristine driving record to more than simply due diligence. He also realizes that his excellent health — including good hearing and vision — helps him stay on the road in his golden years. “I’m in much better health than most people my age are despite having colon cancer last year,” said Adams. “I feel terrific. I don’t have hearing loss, I don’t have arthritis. That’s not supposed to happen but that’s the way it is.”

Older Drivers & Accidents

Unfortunately, some older drivers develop health conditions that inhibit their ability to drive safely which can lead to accidents. A 2016 study showed that age-related motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. “The increase in age generally correlates with decrease in functionality, and elderly drivers commonly experience physiological and mental changes that may deem them unsuitable for driving and hazardous to other drivers,” according to the authors of a study titled “The Geriatric Driver: Factors That Influence When to Stop Driving,” published in 2016. But this trend is in no way static, and drivers in their older years can take steps to ensure they continue to be safe on the road.

Re-evaluation & Staying

Several driving schools offer driver re-evaluation programs for older drivers and those with health and cognitive concerns. Taking one of these tests can be a useful tool for older drivers and their families. Kerry Donnelly is the assistant manager of driver training for the American Automobile association (AAA) in the greater Rochester area. She said that just because a person is aging doesn’t necessarily mean they shouldn’t be driving. “We really feel strongly that older drivers can be safe on the road. It is usually the health conditions that catch up with them eventually. We’ve done evaluations with drivers as old as 95 who have done just fine.” And what about those that don’t do as well on the reevaluation test? Many older drivers just need a refresher course to get reacquainted with the latest driving laws and the techniques employed by safe drivers. A variety of driving schools, community centers, and organizations such as AAA and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offer such classes. Sometimes, the driver may just

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, was in the news recently after he got involved in a car accident near London. He didn’t suffer any injury but despite his age — 97 — he continues to drive. How old is old enough to do it? What are the early signs indicating you should stop driving? need to self-limit their driving. For instance, giving up highway or night driving to accommodate for vision or reaction time concerns may go a long way toward increasing older driver safety. In other cases, the re-evaluation tester or driving course instructor may recommend technology that can help keep a driver on the road longer. Things like larger mirrors for those who have limited neck mobility or steering wheel spinner knobs to maintain a better grip are just a few of the available devices. Donnelly also mentioned that there have been older drivers who have mentioned musculoskeletal pain that is inhibiting them. A thorough doctor’s physical to address these concerns can help alleviate pain making the driver more comfortable and thus safer.

Helping Your Loved One Stay Safe

AAA (seniordriving.aaa.com) has several suggestions and resources if you have concerns about an older friend or loved one and their driving habits. They suggest approaching the subject gently. Lots of people associate independent driving with inde-

Dennis Adams of Brighton. The 80-yearold says he has driven for over 60 years and never received a ticket or was involved in accident. “But there is going to come a time when you don’t belong on the road and you have to be considerate and respectful enough of human life to stop driving,” he says. February 2019 •

pendence, so abruptly approaching an older or elderly driver about this topic can be upsetting. Be kind and keep the lines of communications open. Allow the driver to respond to any concerns you may have and listen to them with respect. They also suggest avoiding a large group discussion. Bringing the entire family to the conversation can feel more like an intervention than a respectful discussion between adults. Finally, don’t be accusatory or assume they should stop driving. Suggest a re-evaluation and focus on their safety and the safety of others on the road. Those still unsure of how to handle this important discussion can find resources at the AARP website including a free online course on the subject. The three-module course is a short, self-paced class called “We Need to Talk” and can be found at aarp.org.

You don’t have to face hearing loss alone. The Rochester Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) unites people with all degrees of hearing loss. Come to one of our monthly chapter meetings to meet others with hearing loss and learn from the professionals who treat it. Visit our website for details: HearingLossRochester.org

Handing Over the Keys

In some cases, there is no other choice than for the driver to give up driving. If this is the case for you or a someone you know start out the process by making a thorough plan. “Have a preformed plan on how they are going to get places,” said Donnelly. “No one wants to be a burden and have to call someone for a ride to get a gallon of milk. There has to be a plan.” This may mean researching a car service, public transportation, senior shuttles, and rides from friends and family. Rochester resident Judith VanNess, 86, made a plan to use the Rochester bus system when macular degeneration and a heart condition spurred her to give up driving six years ago. She makes sure to always check the bus schedules and keep apprised of any changing routes. She now takes the bus everywhere she needs to go and gets the occasional ride from friends and family as needed. “I’m not driving because I’m safer and safer in regards to my place in the community. I really don’t want to be destructive in any way behind a wheel,” said VanNess. If someone you know is giving up driving remember to be as supportive as possible, as this can be a very difficult life change. The wife of Dennis Adams, the Brighton driver who never got a traffic ticket, had to give up driving at age 90 because of various medical issues. He said, “It was very difficult for her. She did not want to give it up. She loved to drive just for the fun of it.” Adams also recommends that older drivers don’t need to wait until someone else approaches them about their driving safety. Looking inwards and being self-aware can save lives. “Everyone values the independence of being able to get around by themselves. But there is going to come a time when you don’t belong on the road and you have to be considerate and respectful enough of human life to stop driving.”

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Golden Years

Sex After 65 Majority are satisfied with their sex lives; nearly one in five older men uses medications or supplements, says poll


new poll busts stereotypes about the sex lives of older Americans — and reveals gender and health-related divides on key aspects of sexual health, while highlighting the need for more people to talk with their health providers about sexual issues. Forty percent of people between the ages of 65 and 80 are sexually active, according to the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging. Nearly three-quarters of people in this age range have a romantic partner and 54 percent of those with a partner are sexually active. Whether or not they have an active sex life, nearly two-thirds of older adults say they’re interested in sex, and more than half say sex is important to their quality of life. And when asked if they are

satisfied with their current sex life, 73 percent of the nationally representative sample of 1,002 people polled said they were. The poll was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center. The poll explored how older adults might seek help or advice for sexual problems, and if they’ve talked with their doctors or other health care providers about their sexual health. In all, 18 percent of older men and 3 percent of older women say they’ve taken medications or supplements to improve sexual function in the past two years. But only 17 percent of older adults said they have talked with their doctor or other

health care provider about sexual health in the past two years. Most who had engaged in such discussions said they brought the topic up, suggesting the need for more proactive conversations by clinicians with their older patients. “Sexual health among older adults doesn’t get much attention but is linked closely to quality of life, health and well-being,” says U-M’s Erica Solway, Ph.D., co-associate director of the poll. “It’s important for older adults and the clinicians who care for them to talk about these issues and about how age-related changes in physical health, relationships, lifestyles and responsibilities such as caregiving, affect them.”

Gender, age and health status divides Solway notes that the poll finds some sharp differences along health, age and gender lines. For instance, compared with the 45 percent of respondents with excellent, very good, or good health who reported they were sexually active, only 22 percent of those who said they are in fair or poor health were sexually active. Only 28 percent of those with fair or poor health said they were extremely or very satisfied

with their sex lives. There are also differences within age groups. Those between the ages of 65 and 70 were nearly twice as likely as those in their late 70s to be sexually active. One-third of those in their late 60s said they were extremely or very interested in sex, compared with 19 percent of those in their late 70s. The gender gaps that emerged reveal some differences that may create challenges for relationships. For instance, women were less likely than men to be sexually active — 31 percent overall, compared with 51 percent of men — but were more likely to be extremely or very satisfied with their sex lives. And while 84 percent of older men said sex was an important part of a romantic relationship, 69 percent of older women agreed with that statement. But the biggest gender difference was the percentage of those who said they were extremely or very interested in sex. Half of men aged 65 to 80 said they had this level of interest, compared with just 12 percent of women in the same age range. A key takeaway from the poll, Solway notes, is that there appears to be opportunity for more proactive conversations between providers and their older patients about sexual health.

Weight Affects Heart Failure Risk By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 5.7 million Americans have heart failure, a condition that contributes to nearly one in 10 deaths. About 50 percent of those diagnosed die within five years. The CDC also reports that research indicates people who have lived with obesity earlier in life but have later lost weight are at higher risk of heart failure than people who have maintained a healthy weight lifelong. While it’s never a bad idea to get back down to a healthy weight, it’s better to prevent obesity to begin with. John Nizamis, owner at Studio 22 Fitness in East Rochester and Hilton, said that while diet and exercise are keys to keeping weight off, for many people “life gets in the way” of maintaining a consistent regimen. He advises clients to plan ahead to eat more healthfully and move more. For instance, spend some time each week shopping for food and preparing meals and snacks to eat healthfully instead of buying fast food or processed snacks on the run. “It’s in the fridge and you warm it up rather than, ‘I’m hungry now and I’ll stop at the store for something quick and easy,’” he said. He added that grocery stores such as Wegmans are doing a better job at making available healthful options at their salad bars, delis and Page 22

hot food bars, but people need to be more “disciplined to not grab the cookies,” Nizamis said. A deli’s rotisserie chicken and salad with cut-up fruit can provide a healthful meal with no prep time, for example. At home, Nizamis said it’s wise to keep on hand nuts, cut-up fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen fish, and frozen vegetables that take little time to put together for a meal. “Plan what you eat and make sure exercise is a big part of your life,” he added. He believes that writing down goals can make them more attainable until they become second nature, along with working to make movement part of everyday life. For example, instead of sitting to watch the children’s soccer game, walk laps around the field. Or instead of watching TV sitting, pedal on a stationary bike. Accountability to others and emotional support helped Judy Culbertson in Danville lose 50 pounds and keep the weight off for nine years. She’s the area coordinator from Rochester to Buffalo for TOPS, a weight loss support group. Culbertson oversees a 10-county area of 1,000-plus members for TOPS, which stands for Taking Off Pounds Sensibly. She has been part of TOPS for 16 years. With annual membership of $32 and monthly membership dues of

Maddie and John Nizamis are owners of Studio 22 Fitness in East Rochester and Hilton. “Plan what you eat and make sure exercise is a big part of your life,” he says. about $4 to $5, TOPS’ affordability is one reason that Culbertson thinks the group draws members back. But she also credits its efficacy. She had tried other weight loss groups and methods and a few pounds came off; however, she has found the most success in what she describes as the non judgmental, accountable and supportive environment she has found at TOPS. “It’s a place where people can feel safe expressing what’s going on in their lives,” Culbertson said. “The people there are all experiencing the same. We’re all emotional eaters so we’re understanding and supportive at the same time.” The group also supports those who have achieved their weight loss goals and strive to maintain their loss. Each weekly meeting involves a weigh-in, educational programming and an opportunity to talk about what’s working and what isn’t. Within each group, members can team up with accountability buddies to keep the momentum going all week.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

TOPS emphasizes an eating plan and exercise, along with the group’s emotional support. Physician Az Tahir, who practices holistic integrative medicine at Internal Medicine Internal Care in Henrietta and High Point Wellness in Syracuse, said that weight loss “is not a simple thing.” Beyond eating less and exercising more, he said that people who need to lose weight should also look at aspects of health such as a hormone imbalance, food intolerance or thyroid disorder which can contribute to weight gain. “The best thing is to find the root cause,” Tahir said. “I think some patients like to have a quick fix. That can be harmful. People can lose weight temporarily, but the best thing is to find the root cause. If that is not addressed, the person’s weight will be an issue and the root cause may have other problems.”

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What You Should Know About Your Aging Parents’ Finances Dear Savvy Senior, My siblings and I don’t know much about our elderly parents’ financial situation or their wishes if something happens to them. When mom broke her hip last year, it got me thinking we need to be better prepared. What’s the best way to handle this, and what all should we know?

Tentative Daughter Dear Tentative,

Many adult children don’t know much about their elderly parents’ financial situation or end-of-life plans, but they need to. Getting up to speed on their finances, insurance policies, long-term care plans and other information is important because some day you might have to help them handle their financial affairs or care, or execute their estate plan after they die. Without this information, your job becomes much more difficult. Here are some tips that can help. Have the Conversation If you’re uncomfortable talking to your parents about this topic, use this column as a prompt or start by talking about your own finances or estate plan as a way to ease into it. Also see TheConversationProject. org, which offers free kits that can help you kick-start these discussions. It’s also a good idea to get your siblings involved too. This can help you head off possible hard feelings, plus, with others involved, your parents will know everyone is concerned. When you talk with your parents, you’ll need to collect some information, find out where they keep key documents and how they want certain things handled when they die or if they become incapacitated. Here’s a checklist of areas to focus on. Personal & Health Information • Contacts: Make a list of names and phone numbers of their doctors, lawyer, accountant, broker, tax preparer, insurance agent, etc. • Medical information: Make a copy of their medical history (any drug allergies, past surgeries, etc.) and a list of medications they take. • Personal documents: Find out where they keep their Social Security card, marriage license, military discharge papers, etc. • Secured places: Make a list of places they keep under lock and key or protected by password, such as online accounts, safe deposit boxes, safe combination, security alarms,


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• Pets: If they have a pet, what are their instructions for the animal’s care? • End of life: What are their wishes for organ or body donation, and their funeral instructions? If they’ve made pre-arrangements with a funeral home, get a copy of the agreement. Legal Documents Will: Do they have an updated will or trust, and where is it located? Power of attorney: Do they have a power of attorney document that names someone to handle their financial matters if they become incapacitated? Advance directives: Do they have a living will and a medical power of attorney that spells out their wishes regarding their end-of-life medical treatment? If they don’t have these documents prepared, now’s the time to make them. Financial Records • Debts and liabilities: Make a list of any loans, leases or debt they have — mortgages owed, car loans, medical bills, credit card debts. Also, make a list of all their credit and charge cards, including the card numbers and contact information. • Financial accounts: Make a list of the banks and brokerage accounts they use (checking, savings, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, etc.) and their contact information. • Company benefits: Make a list of any retirement plans, pensions or benefits from their former employers including the contact information of the benefits administrator. • Insurance: Make a list of the insurance policies they have (life, long-term care, home, auto, Medicare, etc.) including the policy numbers, agents and phone numbers. • Property: Make a list of the real estate, vehicles or other properties they own, rent or lease and where they keep the deeds, titles and loan or lease agreements. • Taxes: Find out where they keep copies of past year’s tax returns. For more tips, see the Eldercare Locator publication “Let’s Talk: Starting the Conversation about Health, Legal, Financial and Endof-Life Issues” at N4A.org/files/ Conversations.pdf. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. February 2019 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 23

Ask St. Ann’s

Ask The Social

Why is Exercise Important for Seniors?

By Mackenzie Park ending to your body, mind and spirit as you age helps you to feel younger. Just 30 minutes of exercise three to four times a week is the best way for seniors to maintain their health and independence as long as possible. Aerobic activities will increase your breathing and heart rate. Strength exercises will make your muscles stronger. Together they can help you stay in shape and: • Reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes • Build up your immune function • Boost your memory and help prevent dementia • Improve your balance and prevent falls • Lift your spirits


Strike the right balance To find exercises to match your fitness goals, meet with a wellness professional at your local Y or senior center, which offer a variety of senior-friendly programs including: •Water classes like AquaFit and open swim allow seniors with arthritis and joint problems to bypass physical limitations and pain to build-up their aerobic and cardio endurance. • Flexible or gentle chair yoga with a certified instructor promotes deeper breathing and mindfulness as well as improved range of motion and flexibility. • Resistance exercises with weights; weight balls, stretch bands, ergonomic machines, and treadmills build arm and leg strength and endurance, especially for rehab patients. Put your safety first Be sure to choose activities you enjoy that are also appropriate for your physical condition. To ensure you have a positive experience during your workout: • Listen to your body: Don’t hurt yourself by pushing yourself too hard. Start slowly and gradually

increase the length and intensity of your workout. • Modify your movements: Many instructors offer seated and standing modifications for exercises so everyone can participate, even those with mobility equipment. • Nourish yourself: 30-60 minutes before and after exercise, drink water and eat protein to keep up your energy and ward off dizziness, light-headedness, and muscle cramping. • Breathe: Don’t hold your breath; take deep breaths instead to help to prevent injury and bring oxygen to all your cells. • Dress comfortably: Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Your sneakers should fit properly, provide excellent support, and be tied at all times. Wear water shoes around the pool. Make exercising a life-long endeavor If moving to senior living is in your future, look for a community that offers multiple levels of lifestyle and care options, a robust activities calendar and support staff to determine if your new home will help you maintain an active and independent lifestyle. Now is the time to take the first step toward a healthier you. Start with a walk and see where it takes you! Mackenzie Park is resident services lead at Chapel Oaks in Irondequoit, a Retirement Community that’s part of the continuum of care offered at St. Ann’s Community. Contact her at 585-697-6607 or mpark@mystanns.com or visit www. stannscommunity.com.

Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

Social Security and Self-Employment


f you are not self-employed, Social Security taxes are typically taken out of your paycheck automatically. You and your employer each pay a 6.2 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your earnings and a 1.45 percent Medicare tax on all earnings in 2019. You don’t have to do anything extra for the coverage you will one day receive because your employers handle the deduction as well as matching that contribution. Then they send the taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and report your wages to Social Security. If you’re self-employed, the process is a little different. You report your earnings for Social Security and pay your taxes directly to the IRS when you file your federal income tax return. You pay the combined employee and employer amount, which is a 12.4 percent Social Security tax on up to $132,900 of your net earnings and a 2.9 percent Medicare tax on your entire net earnings in 2019. You are considered self-em-

Experience a

ployed if you operate a trade, business or profession, either by yourself or as a partner. If your net earnings are $400 or more in a year, you must report your earnings on Schedule SE, in addition to other tax forms you must file. Net earnings for Social Security are your gross earnings from your trade or business, minus your allowable business deductions and depreciation. Some income doesn’t count for Social Security and shouldn’t be included in figuring your net earnings. You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time to get Social Security benefits. The amount of time you need to work depends on your date of birth, but no one needs more than 10 years of work. You can read more about self-employment and Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN05-10022.pdf.



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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

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H ealth News Dr. Riccio appointed chief of pediatric medicine

Physician Julie Riccio has been appointed as the new chief of pediatric medicine at Highland Hospital. Riccio has been an assistant professor in pediatrics for the division of neonatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center since 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Bucknell University and her medical Riccio degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University. Riccio completed her residency in pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University where she served as pediatric chief resident. She then went on to complete a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Dr. Riccio’s background will be an advantage for Highland Hospital’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients in our Special Care Nursery,” said physician Bilal Ahmed, associate medical director for Highland Hospital. “We look forward to continuing to bring excellent and compassionate care to our babies and their families under Dr. Riccio’s leadership.” Riccio follows physician Melissa Richards, who served as Highland Hospital’s chief of pediatric medicine for the past two years.

“The practice is dedicated to bringing patients in Rochester the most advanced technologies available in order to maximize results and minimize pain and recovery time.” Q the Medical Spa also announced it will soon expand with a second location in Victor. The new 20,000 square-foot facility is scheduled to open in early 2019.

Patients to Get Online Access &KZ /DD / d Z > ^ to Providers’ Visit Notes

&KZ /DD / d Z > ^

St. Ann’s gets breastfeeding worksite Rochester Regional Health and UR ƌĞĂ ZĞƐŝĚĞŶƚƐ ƚŽ 'Ğƚ KŶůŝŶĞ ĐĐĞƐƐ ƚŽ ,ĞĂůƚŚͲCare Providers’ sŝƐŝƚ EŽƚĞƐ ƌĞĂ ZĞƐŝĚĞŶƚƐ ƚŽ 'Ğƚ KŶůŝŶĞ ĐĐĞƐƐ ƚŽ ,Ğ designation Medicine collaborating to bring note-sharing

movement to the region ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,ĞĂůƚŚ ĂŶĚ hZ DĞĚ ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,ĞĂůƚŚ ĂŶĚ hZ DĞĚŝĐŝŶĞ ĐŽůůĂďŽƌĂƚŝŶŐ ƚŽ ďƌŝŶŐ undreds of thousands of “UR Medicine and Rochester area residents will soon have Regional Health are working togethŶŽƚĞͲƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ŵŽǀĞŵĞŶƚ ŶŽƚĞͲƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ŵŽǀĞŵĞŶƚ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ƌĞŐŝŽŶ fast, secure online access er to allow patients to engage in their St. Ann’s Community has been designated as a breastfeeding-friendly worksite by the Rochester Regional Breastfeeding Coalition. In order to achieve the designation, St. Ann’s Community had to meet certain levels of criteria outlined by the coalition and the New York State Department of Health. These criteria include writing corporate policies to support breastfeeding employees, providing designated private spaces for expressing milk and offering flexible scheduling to support milk expression during work hours. The Rochester Regional Breastfeeding Coalition began from a grant from the Department of Health titled “Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities.” The grant was designed to create and expand community-based breastfeeding coalitions, as well as increase the number of worksites that provide accommodations and support for breastfeeding employees. “We are very proud to have earned this designation, and we will continue to actively support this initiative,” said Bob Bourg, vice president of organizational development at St. Ann’s Community. “It’s essential to create a safe, comfortable environment that provides a true benefit to women and their young children. Our goal is to eliminate the barriers that exist in the workplace and ensure that we give all working moms the support they deserve.”


to the office-visit notes written by health care in an open and positive their health-care providers, through way and to encourage dialogue in a collaborative initiative between UR their care,” said physician Michael ZK , ^d Z͕ E͘z͕͘ :ĂŶ͘ ϭϬ͕ ϮϬϭϵ – ,ƵŶĚƌĞĚƐ ŽĨ ƚŚŽƵƐĂŶĚƐ Medicine and Rochester Regional F. Rotondo, chief executive officer of Health. the University of Rochester MediŽŶůŝŶĞ ĂĐĐĞƐƐ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ŽĨĨŝĐĞͲǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ǁƌŝƚƚĞŶ ďLJ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŚĞĂů Both health systems will share cal Faculty Group. “UR Medicine visit notes with their patients, bringis launching the sharing of visit ing ŝŶŝƚŝĂƚŝǀĞ ďĞƚǁĞĞŶ hZ DĞĚŝĐŝŶĞ ĂŶĚ ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,Ğ the national OpenNotes movenotes because of its great potential ment to the region. Research shows to improve patient outcomes and to that patients achieve better health include patients as partners in their outcomes when they have access own medical care, through enhanced to visit-note sharing by helping them communication and an even stronger ŽƚŚ ŚĞĂůƚŚ ƐLJƐƚĞŵƐ ǁŝůů ƐŚĂƌĞ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ǁŝƚŚ ƚŚĞŝƌ ƉĂƚŝĞŶ recall the details of individual visits, provider-patient relationship. We sharing notes with caregivers that greatly appreciate that our providers ŵŽǀĞŵĞŶƚ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ƌĞŐŝŽŶ͘ ZĞƐĞĂƌĐŚ ƐŚŽǁƐ ƚŚĂƚ ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚƐ ĂĐŚ could not attend an appointment, are participating in this effort.” andĂĐĐĞƐƐ ƚŽ ǀŝƐŝƚͲŶŽƚĞ ƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ďLJ ŚĞůƉŝŶŐ ƚŚĞŵ ƌĞĐĂůů ƚŚĞ ĚĞƚĂ gaining an overall better under standing of their health and medical “Rochester Regional Health conditions. began the OpenNotes project two ĐĂƌĞŐŝǀĞƌƐ ƚŚĂƚ ĐŽƵůĚ ŶŽƚ ĂƚƚĞŶĚ ĂŶ ĂƉƉŽŝŶƚŵĞŶƚ͕ ĂŶĚ ŐĂŝŶ years ago as a way to enhance patient Beginning last month, Rochester engagement, strengthen relationships ŚĞĂůƚŚ ĂŶĚ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ĐŽŶĚŝƚŝŽŶƐ͘ Regional Health and UR Medicine with patients and enable patients to clinicians started sharing certain better understand their treatment office-visit notes entered into their goals — especially for patients with patients’ electronic medical records. complex medical issues,” said physi ĞŐŝŶŶŝŶŐ ŝŶ :ĂŶƵĂƌLJ͕ ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,ĞĂůƚŚ ĂŶĚ hZ D • UR Medicine will share ambucian Bridgette A. Wiefling, senior vice latory visit notes from nearly all of president, primary care and ambulaŽĨĨŝĐĞͲǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ĞŶƚĞƌĞĚ ŝŶƚŽ ƚŚĞŝƌ patients’ ĞůĞĐƚƌŽŶŝĐ ŵĞ its more than 300 outpatient clinics tory specialty institute at Rochester and primary-care practices, including Regional Health. ”When patients are • adulthZ DĞĚŝĐŝŶĞ ǁŝůů ƐŚĂƌĞ ĂŵďƵůĂƚŽƌLJ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ĨƌŽŵ notes from and pediatric-pafull partners in their care, everybody tient visits. wins.” ĐůŝŶŝĐƐ ĂŶĚ ƉƌŝŵĂƌLJͲĐĂƌĞ ƉƌĂĐƚŝĐĞƐ͕ ŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐ ŶŽƚĞƐ • At Rochester Regional Health, the majority of visit notes will be “We are excited about UR Medshared by•its primary care practices. icine and Rochester Regional Health ƚ ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,ĞĂůƚŚ͕ ƚŚĞ ŵĂũŽƌŝƚLJ ŽĨ ǀŝƐŝƚ Certain specialty practices will also teaming up to bring the OpenNotes have note-sharing capabilities. movement to the Rochester region,” ƉƌĂĐƚŝĐĞƐ͘ ĞƌƚĂŝŶ ƐƉĞĐŝĂůƚLJ ƉƌĂĐƚŝĐĞƐ ǁŝůů ĂůƐŽ ŚĂǀĞ • Both institutions will continue said physician John Santa, director of to grant individual patient requests dissemination at OpenNotes. “Roch• ŽƚŚ ŝŶƐƚŝƚƵƚŝŽŶƐ ǁŝůů ĐŽŶƚŝŶƵĞ ƚŽ ŐƌĂŶƚ ŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂů Ɖ for their medical records, including ester now will be the first to implevisit notes. ment OpenNotes community wide in ŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ͘ New York state.” Following an appointment, a pa tient will receive an email letting Each hospital system has been them know that a note is available piloting note sharing in some practic&ŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ĂŶ ĂƉƉŽŝŶƚŵĞŶƚ͕ Ă ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ ǁŝůů ƌĞĐĞŝǀĞ ĂŶ ĞŵĂŝů ů for viewing. Patients must have an es in advance of moving community electronic medical record account at wide. UR Medicine began a volunǀŝĞǁŝŶŐ͘ WĂƚŝĞŶƚƐ ŵƵƐƚ ŚĂǀĞ ĂŶ ĞůĞĐƚƌŽŶŝĐ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ƌĞĐŽƌĚ Ă either health system, as well as an tary note-sharing pilot in January active MyChart or MyCare patient 2018 at most primary-care and speĂĐƚŝǀĞ DLJ ŚĂƌƚ Žƌ DLJ ĂƌĞ ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ ƉŽƌƚĂů ĂĐĐŽƵŶƚ ŝŶ ŽƌĚĞƌ portal account in order to view their cialty practices. Rochester Regional notes. Currently, notes can only be Health has piloted note sharing at ďĞ ǀŝĞǁĞĚ ĨƌŽŵ Ă ǁĞď ďƌŽǁƐĞƌ͕ ĂŶĚ ŶŽƚ ƚŚĞ ŵŽďŝůĞ ĂƉƉƐ͘ viewed from a web browser, and not primary-care practices and some spethe mobile apps. cialty practices at Rochester General Hospital since September 2018.

ZK , ^d Z͕ E͘z͕͘ :ĂŶ͘ ϭϬ͕ ϮϬϭϵ – ,ƵŶĚƌĞĚƐ ŽĨ ƚŚŽƵƐĂŶĚƐ ŽĨ ĂƌĞĂ ƌĞƐŝĚĞŶƚƐ ǁŝůů ƐŽŽŶ ŚĂǀĞ ĨĂƐƚ͕ ƐĞĐƵƌĞ ŽŶůŝŶĞ ĂĐĐĞƐƐ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ŽĨĨŝĐĞͲǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ǁƌŝƚƚĞŶ ďLJ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŚĞĂůƚŚͲĐĂƌĞ ƉƌŽǀŝĚĞƌƐ͕ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ Ă ĐŽůůĂďŽƌĂƚŝǀĞ ŝŶŝƚŝĂƚŝǀĞ ďĞƚǁĞĞŶ hZ DĞĚŝĐŝŶĞ ĂŶĚ ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,ĞĂůƚŚ͘ ŽƚŚ ŚĞĂůƚŚ ƐLJƐƚĞŵƐ ǁŝůů ƐŚĂƌĞ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ǁŝƚŚ ƚŚĞŝƌ ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚƐ͕ ďƌŝŶŐŝŶŐ ƚŚĞ ŶĂƚŝŽŶĂů KƉĞŶEŽƚĞƐ ŵŽǀĞŵĞŶƚ ƚŽ ƚŚĞ ƌĞŐŝŽŶ͘ ZĞƐĞĂƌĐŚ ƐŚŽǁƐ ƚŚĂƚ ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚƐ ĂĐŚŝĞǀĞ ďĞƚƚĞƌ ŚĞĂůƚŚ ŽƵƚĐŽŵĞƐ ǁŚĞŶ ƚŚĞLJ ŚĂǀĞ ĂĐĐĞƐƐ ƚŽ ǀŝƐŝƚͲŶŽƚĞ ƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ďLJ ŚĞůƉŝŶŐ ƚŚĞŵ ƌĞĐĂůů ƚŚĞ ĚĞƚĂŝůƐ ŽĨ ŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂů ǀŝƐŝƚƐ͕ ƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ŶŽƚĞƐ ǁŝƚŚ ĐĂƌĞŐŝǀĞƌƐ ƚŚĂƚ ĐŽƵůĚ ŶŽƚ ĂƚƚĞŶĚ ĂŶ ĂƉƉŽŝŶƚŵĞŶƚ͕ ĂŶĚ ŐĂŝŶŝŶŐ ĂŶ ŽǀĞƌĂůů ďĞƚƚĞƌ ƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚŝŶŐ ŽĨ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŚĞĂůƚŚ ĂŶĚ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ĐŽŶĚŝƚŝŽŶƐ͘ ĞŐŝŶŶŝŶŐ ŝŶ :ĂŶƵĂƌLJ͕ ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,ĞĂůƚŚ ĂŶĚ hZ DĞĚŝĐŝŶĞ ĐůŝŶŝĐŝĂŶƐ ǁŝůů ďĞ ƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ĐĞƌƚĂŝŶ Spa brings groundbreaking ŽĨĨŝĐĞͲǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ĞŶƚĞƌĞĚ ŝŶƚŽ ƚŚĞŝƌ patients’ ĞůĞĐƚƌŽŶŝĐ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ƌĞĐŽƌĚƐ͘ treatments to Rochester • hZ DĞĚŝĐŝŶĞ ǁŝůů ƐŚĂƌĞ ĂŵďƵůĂƚŽƌLJ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ĨƌŽŵ ŶĞĂƌůLJ Ăůů ŽĨ ŝƚƐ ŵŽƌĞ ƚŚĂŶ ϯϬϬ ŽƵƚƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ Q the Medical Spa at the Lindsay House has launched two new ĐůŝŶŝĐƐ ĂŶĚ ƉƌŝŵĂƌLJͲĐĂƌĞ ƉƌĂĐƚŝĐĞƐ͕ ŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐ ŶŽƚĞƐ ĨƌŽŵ ĂĚƵůƚͲ ĂŶĚ ƉĞĚŝĂƚƌŝĐͲƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ ǀŝƐŝƚƐ͘ treatments featuring groundbreaking technology that is the first of its kind • in ƚ ZŽĐŚĞƐƚĞƌ ZĞŐŝŽŶĂů ,ĞĂůƚŚ͕ ƚŚĞ ŵĂũŽƌŝƚLJ ŽĨ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ǁŝůů ďĞ ƐŚĂƌĞĚ ďLJ ŝƚƐ ƉƌŝŵĂƌLJ ĐĂƌĞ available the region. With the introduction of BTL EMSELLA, ƉƌĂĐƚŝĐĞƐ͘ ĞƌƚĂŝŶ ƐƉĞĐŝĂůƚLJ ƉƌĂĐƚŝĐĞƐ ǁŝůů ĂůƐŽ ŚĂǀĞ ŶŽƚĞͲƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ĐĂƉĂďŝůŝƚŝĞƐ͘ the spa is bringing new Highland gets geriatric ED treatment of urinary incontinence by offering the first FDA approved, • ŽƚŚ ŝŶƐƚŝƚƵƚŝŽŶƐ ǁŝůů ĐŽŶƚŝŶƵĞ ƚŽ ŐƌĂŶƚ ŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂů ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ ƌĞƋƵĞƐƚƐ ĨŽƌ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ƌĞĐŽƌĚƐ͕ accreditation non-invasive treatment option, Highland Hospital’s emergency according toŝŶĐůƵĚŝŶŐ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ͘ a press release. Previdepartment is the first in Upstate ously, patients had to live with the New York to receive the silver standedicate significant time to condition, dard — Level 2 Geriatric Emergency physical therapy or undergo surgery Department Accreditation (GEDA), to effectively address the problem. which recognizes emergency depart&ŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ ĂŶ ĂƉƉŽŝŶƚŵĞŶƚ͕ Ă ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ ǁŝůů ƌĞĐĞŝǀĞ ĂŶ ĞŵĂŝů ůĞƚƚŝŶŐ ƚŚĞŵ ŬŶŽǁ ƚŚĂƚ Ă ŶŽƚĞ ŝƐ ĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞ ĨŽƌ In addition, Q the Medical Spa ments that provide excellent care is bringing BTL EMSCULPT to the for older adults. The designation is ǀŝĞǁŝŶŐ͘ WĂƚŝĞŶƚƐ ŵƵƐƚ ŚĂǀĞ ĂŶ ĞůĞĐƚƌŽŶŝĐ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ƌĞĐŽƌĚ ĂĐĐŽƵŶƚ Ăƚ ĞŝƚŚĞƌ ŚĞĂůƚŚ ƐLJƐƚĞŵ͕ ĂƐ ǁĞůů ĂƐ ĂŶ region. This treatment utilizes the granted by The American College of same technology used in BTL EMEmergency Physicians (ACEP), with ĂĐƚŝǀĞ DLJ ŚĂƌƚ Žƌ DLJ ĂƌĞ ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ ƉŽƌƚĂů ĂĐĐŽƵŶƚ ŝŶ ŽƌĚĞƌ ƚŽ ǀŝĞǁ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŶŽƚĞƐ͘ ƵƌƌĞŶƚůLJ͕ ŶŽƚĞƐ ĐĂŶ ŽŶůLJ SELLA, but with a very different support from The Gary and Mary benefit. While other body shaping West Health Institute and John A. procedures focus on melting fat, ďĞ ǀŝĞǁĞĚ ĨƌŽŵ Ă ǁĞď ďƌŽǁƐĞƌ͕ ĂŶĚ ŶŽƚ ƚŚĞ ŵŽďŝůĞ ĂƉƉƐ͘ Hartford Foundation. BTL EMSCULPT is the first device By achieving the Level 2 GEDA its kind to build muscle tone by of “UR Medicine and Rochester Regional Health are working accreditation, Highland’s emergency strengthening abdominal muscles “Achieving this accreditation great pride in providing compassiondepartment has shown that it incorand/orMedicine firming the buttocks, accordŚĞĂůƚŚ ĐĂƌĞ ŝŶ ĂŶ ŽƉĞŶ ĂŶĚ ƉŽƐŝƚŝǀĞ ǁĂLJ ĂŶĚ ƚŽ ĞŶĐŽƵƌĂŐĞ “UR and Rochester Regional Health are working together to allow patients to engage in their represents an affirmation of our comate, patientand family-centered care porates many best practices used by ing to the spa. mitment to providing excellent care to our older patients,” said Cindy top geriatric-friendly emergency de“The addition of these two revoZŽƚŽŶĚŽ͕ D͘ ͘, CEO of the University of Rochester Medica that is tailored to the unique needs Becker, vice president and chief oppartments in the country, including ŚĞĂůƚŚ ĐĂƌĞ ŝŶ ĂŶ ŽƉĞŶ ĂŶĚ ƉŽƐŝƚŝǀĞ ǁĂLJ ĂŶĚ ƚŽ ĞŶĐŽƵƌĂŐĞ ĚŝĂůŽŐƵĞ ŝŶ ƚŚĞŝƌ ĐĂƌĞ͕” said DŝĐŚĂĞů &͘ lutionary technologies is just another of geriatric patients,” said physician erating officer for Highland Hospital. providing interdisciplinary geriatexample of how Q the Medical Spa Tim Lum, is chief of the emergency “This designation shows that“UR our Medicine ƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ŽĨ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ďĞĐĂƵƐĞ ŽĨ ŝƚƐ ŐƌĞĂƚ ƉŽƚĞŶƚŝĂů ƚŽ ŝŵƉƌ ric education and geriatric Medical ZŽƚŽŶĚŽ͕ D͘ ͘, CEO of the University ofhaving Rochester Faculty Group. launching the continues to raise the bar for cosdepartment at Highland Hospital. “It emergency department is ready to appropriate equipment and supplies metic treatments in the area,” read validates the great work we have meet the health care demands of our available. ĂƐ ƉĂƌƚŶĞƌƐ ŝŶ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŽǁŶ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ĐĂƌĞ͕ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ ĞŶŚĂŶĐĞĚ Đ ƐŚĂƌŝŶŐ ŽĨ ǀŝƐŝƚ ŶŽƚĞƐ ďĞĐĂƵƐĞ ŽĨ ŝƚƐ ŐƌĞĂƚ ƉŽƚĞŶƚŝĂů ƚŽ ŝŵƉƌŽǀĞ ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚ ŽƵƚĐŽŵĞƐ ĂŶĚ ƚŽ ŝŶĐůƵĚĞ ƉĂƚŝĞŶƚƐ a statement issued by the company. community as our population ages.” been doing for years in geriatric care “At Highland Hospital, we take patient relationship. We greatly appreciate that our provid ĂƐ ƉĂƌƚŶĞƌƐ ŝŶ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŽǁŶ ŵĞĚŝĐĂů ĐĂƌĞ͕ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚ ĞŶŚĂŶĐĞĚ ĐŽŵŵƵŶŝĐĂƚŝŽŶ ĂŶĚ ĂŶ ĞǀĞŶ ƐƚƌŽŶŐĞƌ ƉƌŽǀŝĚĞƌͲ February 2019 • IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • Page 25 patient relationship. We greatly appreciate that our providers are participating in this effort.”

H ealth News and demonstrates that Highland Hospital’s emergency department is uniquely prepared to meet the needs of geriatric patients.” Highland Hospital’s emergency department has specially trained staff and protocols in place to streamline the care of elderly patients and a facility equipped with elder-friendly features.

Bath VA holds grand opening for spa-like facility The Finger Lakes VA Health Care System at Bath held a grand opening for its new $7 million Community Living Neighborhood (CLN) renovation project for veterans living in the greater Rochester area and Southern Tier. The new CLN provides residents a single bedroom with a personal bathroom and furnished with a desk, dresser and flat screen television mounted to the wall. Bedrooms have large picture windows and each room is equipped with an integrated lift system which can move the resident from the bed to the bathroom. The CLN has larger hallways and doorways to better accommodate wheelchairs in addition to providing more copious lighting. There are no static nursing stations allowing nurses to work closer and better mingle with residents. Resident living areas are designed using Greek Revival and Queen Anne period color pallets, moldings and furnishings, which now gives a home furnished look and feel to it. The unique colors and signage provide wayfinding cues for residents with dementia and cognitive disorders that better acclimate to their surroundings. There are no more stainless-steel sinks in resident bathrooms, subway tiles or obtrusive handrails. A full scale working kitchen with a counter suitable for wheelchair access has been added to serve fresh hot food and have residents participate in some meal preparations. There is a great room with a fireplace, an open second floor porch, and a formal dining room for family events. As part of VA’s Whole Health initiative residents will have access to a jetted spa tub, aromatherapy, reiki and a massage chair giving the CLN an all-inclusive feel to it. The CLN provides a continuum of health care that includes four respite beds and hospice beds. Finger Lakes VA health care system has two community living neighborhoods, one in Bath and one in Canandaigua, N.Y. Currently there are 30 residents moving into the new CLN at the Bath VA however there are accommodations for an additional 35 veterans. The Canandaigua VA Medical Center CLN also has rooms available. Veterans in the greater Rochester area and the Southern Tier can choose the CLN they want to go to. For more information, contact: Judy Schwingel, at 607-664-4517 or email Judy. Schwingel@va.gov. Page 26

School of Nursing Offering Full Tuition Coverage to UR Employees


he University of Rochester School of Nursing recently announced a new pilot program supporting the ongoing education of University of Rochester employees. The UR School of Nursing tuition grant will supplement the university’s existing employee tuition benefits to cover the full cost of tuition for UR employees who apply and enroll as new students in select degree programs between the spring 2019 and summer 2020 semesters. The grant, developed in partnership with nursing practice at the University of Rochester Medical Center, supports eligible UR employees pursuing the following programs: • RN to BS program (BS) • Clinical nurse leader (MS, PostMS) • Nursing education (MS, PostMS, and RN to BS to MS entry points)

• Health care management organization and leadership (MS) “We are committed to supporting University of Rochester nurses and health care professionals,” said Kathy Rideout, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “Education is a vital component to their career success, so we are opening this window of opportunity to ensure that all of our employees have access to these emerging programs regardless of their ability to pay.” Full-time UR employees eligible for university tuition benefits must be accepted and enrolled in classes no later than the start of the Summer 2020 semester to receive the grant, which is equal to 5 to 15 percent of tuition for two courses per semester. Part-time employees eligible for tuition benefits can receive the grant for one course per semester.

New full-time hires who enroll in a program will receive a 100 percent grant from the School of Nursing for one course per semester until they become eligible for tuition benefits. The limited-time grant will be applied only to coursework taken at the UR School of Nursing. “This is a win-win for our employees and for the university,” said Karen Davis, associate vice president and chief nursing executive of URMC. “As we’ve seen with the recent BS in 10 legislation and the need for more master’s-prepared nurses, there are increasing educational demands on both nurses and hospitals. I am excited that this academic-clinical partnership with the School of Nursing will help us address that.”

BreastCancer Coalition of Rochester staff and volunteer members of its research committee were present as BCN President Bev Jasinski (center, red jacket) presented a check for $10,000 to BCCR Executive Director Holly Anderson for BCCR’s Research Initiative.


BCCR Receives $10,000 to Support Cancer Research

he nonprofit BreastCancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) has received $10,000 from the Breast Cancer Network of WNY Inc. to support the coalition’s breast cancer research initiative. The donation will be used to help fund research grants, which are presented annually for innovative new projects with the potential to yield significant medical breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of breast cancer, prevention of metastasis, and cure. Since 2003, the BCCR has awarded more than $750,000 to researchers in the Finger Lakes region. Proposals are solicited from medical and research institutions, with recipients selected through a competitive review process.

“At the Breast Cancer Network of Western New York, we have a strong commitment to those living with advanced stage breast cancer, and donating funds for research is an important part of that,” said Executive Director Rob Jones. “We were inspired by the coalition’s research initiative and wanted to be more purposeful by giving people the opportunity to contribute to research and know where and how their gifts would be used. But without the resources to create our own grant program, we decided instead to contribute to the excellent job the Coalition was already doing in identifying scientists and proposals to fund.” The Breast Cancer Network of WNY, also known as BCN, was founded in 1988 by a group of breast

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019

cancer survivors to provide support and education to other survivors and their families. Based in Depew, BCN offers educational and wellness programs, support groups, TLC Totes to newly diagnosed patients and other services, and conducts advocacy efforts and fundraising for metastatic breast cancer research. The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is a regionally-based, grassroots organization dedicated to eradicating breast cancer through action and advocacy. Formally organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1997, the coalition is presently the only full-scope independently operated organization focused specifically on breast cancer in the Greater Rochester Region.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • February 2019