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in good Meet Your Doctor

August 2017 • Issue 144


Rochester’s Healthcare Newspaper


David W. Dougherty, Wilmot’s newly appointed director of regional operations, talks about quality in cancer care. ‘There’s a lot of reason to be optimistic in terms of progress,’ he says

Not ‘Doing It’

The American Red Cross needs your blood, and it needs it now. The group has issued an emergency call for donations. Over the past two months, there have been about 61,000 fewer donations than what is needed, the organization said.

By 18, more than half of adolescents were still virgins, new CDC survey reveals


13thirty Cancer Connect helping young adults with cancer since 2001

Bye-Bye Flu Shot. Hello Patch?

Early results look promising for dissolvable microneedle vaccine

Henrietta’s Tai Chi Ambassador Dave Root, a seventh-degree master of martial arts, is a tai chi sensei at the Henrietta Recreation Center. He’s taught tai chi in Gates, Penfield and Greece — over a 30-year span. See story inside.

Stressed-Out Kids How to help kids cope with stress as they go back to school

Stay Healthy

Experts discuss steps parents can take to make sure their kids are healthy for school


Home Blood Pressure Monitors They are wrong seven of 10 times, according to a new study

Most U.S. Teens Aren’t ‘Doing It’ By 18, more than half of adolescents were still virgins, new CDC survey reveals


ex is everywhere in the media, and so you may be convinced that today’s teens are always looking to “hookup.” But new federal research says it’s just not so. Instead, the study found that most teenagers in high school aren’t sexually active. “The myth is that every kid in high school is having sex, and it’s not true,” noted physician Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital, who reviewed the findings. “It’s less than half, and it’s been less than half for more than 10 years,” she said. The study found that only 42 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys aged 15 to 19 reported having sex at least once. And Breuner said that finding is nothing new. Going back to 2002, fewer than half of older teens told researchers that they are sexually active, federal data show. Further, most teens who choose to go all the way wind up losing their virginity to someone they’re dating, the survey shows. Three out of four girls said they were “going steady” with their first sexual partner, and a little more than

half of boys said the same. By comparison, only 2 percent of girls and 7 percent of boys said they lost their virginity to someone they just met. “There’s this myth that kids hook up quite a bit and have sex with someone they literally just met,” Breuner said. “This dispels that myth, that our teenagers are having sex with people they don’t know.” The statistics come from in-person interviews conducted with more than 4,000 teenagers across the United States between 2011 and 2015. The survey was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breuner believes that HIV is the main reason teens think twice before having sex these days. Back in 1988, 51 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys between 15 and 19 said they were sexually active, but those numbers dropped to today’s levels after word spread of a sexually transmitted disease that could kill, Breuner said. Teens also appear to be more aware of the lifelong consequences of pregnancy, said lead researcher Joyce Abma, a statistician with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. About 89 percent of teen girls and 80 percent of teen boys said they would be upset if sex led to preg-

nancy, the survey found. Comparatively, only 11 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys said they would be pleased if that happened. Sexually active teens are more apt to use protection these days. Nine out of 10 teenagers reported using some method of birth control the last time they had sex, compared with 83 percent of teens back in 2002. “That’s a pretty significant increase, and that hasn’t leveled off like we saw with sexual experience,” Abma said. Condoms are the most commonly used method of contraception among teens, with 56 percent of teenage girls saying they used one during their last sexual encounter. About 31 percent of girls are on the pill, and about 13 percent said they use some other form of hormone-based contraception. About 22 percent used both a condom and hormonal contraception when they last had sex. Contraception is probably more widely used because teens have better access, Breuner said. In many areas, kids can obtain contraception without having to involve their parents. The new study was published June 22 in the CDC’s National Health Statistics Report.

Caring for the Most Important People on Earth

Live life in the fast lane.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Gluten Free & Vegetarian upon request Lighter Fare: Steak & Spinach or Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, Margherita or Spinaci Artisan Pizza

Homemade meatballs, soups, greens & beans, wraps...

Something For Everyone, Even a Kids Menu!

Bye-Bye Flu Shot. Hello Patch?

Tuesday - Steak Night Strip Steak, 1/2 Chicken or Colossal Shrimp Salt potatoes & Corn on the cob Wednesday - Nonna’s Lasagna $10 Thursday - 50¢ Wings (Eat in Only) Friday - Fish Fry $11 Sunday - 1/2 Price Appetizers

Early results look promising for dissolvable microneedle vaccine


n experimental flu vaccine patch with dissolving microneedles appears safe and effective, a preliminary study shows. The patch has 100 solid, water-soluble and painless microneedles that are just long enough to penetrate the skin. Researchers say it could offer a pain-free and more convenient alternative to flu shots. “This bandage-strip sized patch of painless and dissolvable needles can transform how we get vaccinated,” said physician Roderic Pettigrew, director of the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, which funded the study. “A particularly attractive feature is that this vaccination patch could be delivered in the mail and self-administered. In addition, this technology holds promise for delivering other vaccines in the future,” he said in an institute news release. The study of 100 adults found that the patch triggered a strong immune response and did not cause any serious side effects. At most, some patients developed local skin

reactions to the patches, which involved faint redness and mild itching that lasted two to three days. The flu vaccine is released by the microneedles, which dissolve within a few minutes. The patch is then peeled off and thrown away. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University led the study. The results were published online June 27 in The Lancet. These early results “suggest the emergence of a promising new option for seasonal vaccination,” physicians Katja Hoschler and Maria Zambon wrote in an accompanying editorial. They are with Public Health England’s National Infections Service. The “more exciting features” of the microneedle patch include its low cost, safety, storage convenience and durability, they said. “Microneedle patches have the potential to become ideal candidates for vaccination programs, not only in poorly resourced settings, but also for individuals who currently prefer not to get vaccinated,” the editorialists wrote.

Serving Monroe and Ontario Counties in good A monthly newspaper published

Health Rochester–GV Healthcare Newspaper

by Local News, Inc. Distribution: 33,500 copies throughout more than 1,500 high-traffic locations.

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2017 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 & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Writers: Jim Miller, Deborah J. Sergeant, Gwenn Voelckers, Anne Palumbo, Chris Motola, George W. Chapman, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Kyra Mancine, Christine Green, John Addyman, Amy Cavalier, Diane Kane, MD • Advertising: Anne Westcott, Denise Ruf • 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.

August 2017 •

Teens learn from their parents. What are you teaching your kids? Problem gambling habits can lead to serious financial difficulties, substance abuse, depression and anxiety.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Sept. 12

HLAA to discuss veterans with hearing loss Don Doherty, a retired U.S. Marine Corps master sergeant, will be the guest speaker at two meetings scheduled for Sept. 12 by Hearing Loss Association of America Rochester Chapter. He is the current chairman of HLAA’s national board of trustees. Doherty’s first talk, “HLAA: Relevant in a ChangingTechnological World,” is set for noon. His second talk will take place at 8 p.m. and will highlight “The Invisible Veteran with Hearing Loss.” Both meetings will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, East Avenue at Westminster Road., across from the George Eastman Museum. Doherty’s hearing loss occurred while an infantryman in Vietnam. He retired from the Marine Corps as an administrator and counselor, then joined the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) working on behalf of people with chemical dependency. He has served on numerous organizational boards in his home state of Virginia. Preceding Doherty’s daytime talk is Hearing Other People’s Ex-


periences (HOPE) from 11a.m. to 1 p.m., also at St. Paul’s Church. At this round table discussion group, prospective or new aid hearing users can share their experiences and questions. Retired audiologist Joseph Kozelsky is the facilitator. For more information, visit or call 585-266-7890.

Sept. 26

Fibromyalgia group to discuss meditation The New Fibromyalgia Support Group has scheduled a support group meeting from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Sept. 26, at Westside YMCA / Gates Branch, 920 Elmgrove Road in Rochester. Titled “Guided Meditation & Progressive Muscle Relaxation Class,” participants will learn how to relax again and learn the fundamental tools to slow down from their everyday life and return to a slower paced, healthier life. The meeting is free and open to all. The monthly meetings are designed for those with fibromyalgia and chronic disorders who seek friendship, education and support. Registration for this and all classes is needed.  Please leave a voicemail at 585-752-1562.


Man’s Best Friends Have Paws for Prostate Cancer Prostate cancer group promotes major event Aug. 19


lue is to prostate cancer as pink is to breast cancer. Just as men’s sporting teams make headlines wearing pink gloves, pink shirts and pink shoelaces in a show of support for breast cancer, local prostate cancer survivors want a sea of blue at the Third Annual S.E.A. Blue Ribbon Walk for Prostate Cancer, Saturday, Aug. 19 at Roundhouse Shelter in Genesee Valley Park. Participants will be welcomed with blue balloons, blue bracelets and blue ribbons. Blue surgical gloves and blue face painting will also be available for even greater impact. Since dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, Pups for Prostate Cancer are invited too. There will be a prize for the leash or collar that best represents the ‘blue’ theme. However, due to potential summer heat, dog costumes or fur coloring are discouraged and those will not be considered for prizes. This event is a two-mile walk providing families an opportunity to walk together for a shared cause or to honor someone they know affected by the disease. Children of all ages will be entertained by Freckles the Clown, and by Spikes and Moose, mascots for the Rochester Red Wings and Rochester Amerks. Individuals and families are encouraged to form teams and become eligible for prizes while raising



Across upstate New York, the uninsured rate in 2015 was just 4.6 percent. This compares with a New York state average of 7.1 percent and a national average of 9.4 percent. In 2015, upstate New York’s under-65 health insurance coverage rate was 94.6 percent, already exceeding the federal goal of 90 percent by the year 2025. We’re proud to offer lower-cost private coverage than the national average that helps more people afford coverage. We’re neighbors helping neighbors build healthier communities.

A nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

additional funds. In addition to signs posted along the trail, pharmaceutical representatives and vendors will be on site to inform and educate participants about the disease. Unlike walks that raise funds for much needed research, proceeds from the S.E.A. Blue Ribbon Walk go to patient Support, Education and Awareness programs provided by Us TOO. Us TOO, a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded by survivors for survivors, is dedicated to those affected by the disease. Registration at the event is $30 — children 13 and under are free. Participants can save $10 and get a free event T-shirt by registering online at Register your sociable dog online too at no charge and get a doggie bandana. Parking is available at the UofR Park Lot. Event details and directions are at the website. n For more information and parking details, send email to ustoorochesterny@ or call 585-787-4011. Ask for Patrick Fisher, chapter leader, Us TOO Rochester.

Critical Blood Shortage Raises Concern Red Cross officials calling on people to donate blood to alleviate shortage By Ernst Lamothe Jr.


eagan Suhr is having a blast playing with her 20-month daughter, Ella. It has been a journey the last year and a half with her daughter going through several rounds of brain surgery, chemotherapy and blood and platelet transfusions. “She would not have been able to recover if not for people generously donating blood,” said Suhr, who lives in Lyndonville in Orleans County. “She is doing incredible, but her body would not have been able to take the chemotherapy without blood transfusions because it would have been too weak.” It’s a story that American Red Cross officials talk about during this season. When the weather heats up in the summer, the blood supply cools down. The American Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types to give now and help save lives. Blood donations have fallen short of expectations for the past two months, resulting in about 61,000 fewer donations than needed. In comparison, the organization

had only 39,000 fewer donations last summer. The shortfall is the equivalent of the Red Cross not collecting any blood donations for more than four days. “During the summer months, you have less community blood drives by businesses and churches because people are on vacation,” said Patty Corvaia, communications manager of the New York-Penn Blood Services Region. “On top of that, more than 20 percent of our donations come from high school and college students, and with school being out, we aren’t able to have blood drives there. This season is always a tough time for us, but this year it is even worse.” Nearly one-third fewer new blood donors came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year due in part to schools being out of session during the summer months. In general, schools are where blood drives are held and where new donors give blood. Because of this issue, area Red Cross organizations in Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse are setting up numerous blood drives through-

out the summer to stem the tide. Throughout the New York-Penn region, the Red Cross serves around 90 hospitals. It is Rochester’s primary blood supplier for all its hospitals along with some in the Buffalo area. Rochester alone has four blood donation centers in the metro area and Rochester has a long connection with the Red Cross. “We need community blood drives throughout the year. We need blood on the shelves to provide to hospitals for trauma patients and burn victims who need immediate help as well as people who are in surgery, cancer patients and those with blood disorders,” added Corvaia. New donors and those who haven’t given in a while are especially encouraged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives. Blood cannot be saved forever with platelets lasting five days and red blood cells lasting 42 days. Debra Dunn, district manager for general recruitment for the Red Cross in Rochester, said blood donation is more vital than people understand, especially since less than 5 percent of the eligible population donates. The need for blood is high and she encourages people to donate at least twice a year. “This issue is important because there is no replacement for blood. There is no synthetic version so the only way someone can receive blood is from people who are donating blood,” said Dunn. “We need to stabilize the blood supply.” Often people tend to donate in a tragedy or emergency like when blood was needed after the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando. This tendency is the same reason food

donation sites are usually desperate for donations after the holidays. “We do have a generous population, but I just think people forget that we are always in need,” added Dunn. “We just have to make people understand that we don’t have a refrigerator of endless blood supply. We do have a real shortage in the summer.” Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer, or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country. Every person who donates receives a $5 Target card.

How to Help To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood. org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800733-2767). The Red Cross has added more than 25,000 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

U.S. Hospitals Still Prescribe Too Many Antibiotics: Study


bout 20 percent of U.S. hospital patients who receive antibiotics experience side effects from the drugs, researchers report. The new study included nearly 1,500 hospitalized adults who were prescribed antibiotics. The findings revealed that one-fifth of those who experienced antibiotic-related side effects didn’t require the drugs in the first place. The results add to growing evidence that antibiotics are overused, according to the Johns Hopkins Hospital researchers. “Too often, clinicians prescribe antibiotics even if they have a low suspicion for a bacterial infection, thinking that even if antibiotics may not be necessary, they are probably not harmful. But that is not always the case,” said physician Pranita Tamma. She is director of the hospital’s Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. Antibiotics can cause real harm and doctors should always consider if they are necessary, Tamma said. “If the patient develops an antibiotic-associated adverse reaction, even though that is, of course, unfortunate, we should be able to take some comfort in knowing that at least the antibiotic was truly necessary,” Tamma said in a Johns Hopkins news release. Tamma is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Patients in the study were hospitalized for reasons ranging from trauma to chronic disease. All received at least 24 hours of antibiotic treatment. Overall, 20 percent had one or more antibiotic-related side effects within a month of leaving the hospital. The most common were digestive upsets (42 percent), kidney problems (24 percent), and blood problems (15 percent), the findings showed. For every additional 10 days of antibiotic treatment, the risk of side effects rose by 3 percent, the investigators found. Over 90 days, 4 percent of study patients developed a bacterial diarrhea called Clostridium difficile, which can be severe. In addition, 6 percent developed infections that were potentially drug-resistant. The study was published June 12 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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David W. Dougherty, M.D. Wilmot’s newly appointed director of regional operations talks about quality in cancer care. ‘There’s a lot of reason to be optimistic in terms of progress,’ he says Q: You’ve been with the Wilmot Cancer Center for a while, but you’re changing positions. You’re now its director of regional operations. Tell us more about it. A: I’ve been on the faculty for about six years. I’ve served as the chief quality and safety officer. In that capacity, I was able to oversee our efforts to ensure high quality of care. As part of our regional strategy, we’ve expanded over the last four or five years to try to elevate the quality of care systemically throughout Upstate New York. In doing that, we now operate 14 different locations in Upstate New York. We’re now the busiest cancer center in the state outside of New York City. So, with that we recognized the need for dedicated leadership, and I was asked to take that on last year. I had a fair amount of experience from working on safety and quality, that it was kind of a natural fit for me to be doing this. Q: How do you measure quality in terms of cancer care? A: The idea is that in order to have good quality care, you have to have good structure. For a cancer institute, we’re asking things like “do you have a bone marrow transplant program? Do you have adequate staffing?” Good structure leads to good process, which leads to good outcomes. So are we providing the right type of care to the right patient at the right time? So, outcomes are things like survival, quality of life and other things that are important to the patient. In healthcare in general, the majority of outcomes are related to either structure or process. We’ve been very fortunate that our national professional organization, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), has set up a number of quality improvement metrics. It’s an oncologist-generated program called the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) that helps us determine what quality metrics we should be following for cancer care. We’ve been participating

in that program for seven years now and [we are] one of the first academic centers to be involved. As part of the QOPI program we do a systematic review of our processes twice per year. Then the certification program is the next level, where we have to attest that we’re meeting standards for chemotherapy administration. It’s similar to what hospitals go through with the Joint Commission. Q: What does your financial role entail? A: I guess what I was referring to there was overseeing the financial aspects of running the practice. When we’re evaluated these situations, we want to have a good business plan, a good financial plan, to make sure we’re able to provide the right kind of care for folks. Drug costs are a big issue today and cancer drugs are some of the most expensive, but it also subsidizes a lot of revenue for health care organizations. Q: Timing is a big deal with cancer, right? Early detection tends to mean better outcomes? A: In general, yes. Q: Given how big and ongoing an issue coverage is in America, how do you deliver the preventive care necessary to improve outcomes? A: I think screening and prevention is one area we’ve made a lot of strides, but as you point out, it can be very challenging. So the idea there is to understand what testing is appropriate for increasing survivability. Mammography and colonoscopies are, for example, proven to reduce mortality from breast and colon cancers. I think our primary care physicians are educating their patients very well, but it’s also up to patients to partner with their physicians and to undergo appropriate screening. Another area that’s seen great

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

strides is lung cancer screening. We look at high-risk populations — patients aged 55 through 70 who have a history of 30 pack-years (one pack a day for 30 years) — and the recommendation is for them to undergo yearly CT scans to identify early lung cancer. About two-thirds to three-quarters of the time, before now, lung cancer was detected at Stage-III or later, after it had already spread to other places in the body. So, identifying appropriate patients for the screenings and then making sure you have systems in place to accommodate them makes a big difference. Q: Your clinical practice is focused on lung cancer, correct? A: I’m an oncologist focused on lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Q: And you’re splitting time between administration and practice? A: Yeah, I still see patients at Wilmot. I’ve had to scale back some of my clinical activities, but I think it’s still important that I see patients so that I really understand the latest technologies and care processes for patients with cancer. Q: Do you see cancer treatment moving forward at a rate comparable to treatments of other major killers like heart disease? A: Clearly we’ve seen tremendous advances in cancer treatments and subsets of patients who are living a lot longer with their cancer or even being cured of it when that used to not be the case. But I think a big issue is that people tend to think of cancer as being one underlying problem, or one diagnosis. In 2017, we understand the biology enough to say it’s not really appropriate to just say someone has “lung cancer” in our specialty. We need to know the cell types the cancer started in, the changes in the DNA that are driving the growth of the cancer. Because of all the mutations that can occur, the idea of finding a cure for this big umbrella of diseases called “cancer” is really challenging. We need to focus efforts on finding treatments for specific mechanisms of cancer. Lung cancer and melanoma are two areas in which tremendous advances have been made in understanding the biology and treatment of these cancers. We understand the mechanisms and have drugs that can specifically target those mechanisms. So the targeted medications are not only more effective, but have fewer side effects. We’re also making some strides in immunotherapy, using the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. There’s a lot of reason to be optimistic in terms of progress.

Lifelines Name: David W. Dougherty, M.D. Position: Chief quality and safety officer of the Wilmot Cancer Center Hometown: Forty Fort, Pa Education: Jefferson Medical College; Pennsylvania State Affiliations: Strong Memorial Hospital; Highland Hospital Organizations: American Society of Clinical Oncology; Simon School of Business Executive Alumni Board; Penn State College of Medicine Alumni Board Family: Married; two sons Hobbies: Coaching baseball, sports, music, running, exercising

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Wrong 7 of 10 Times: Study Checking your device against ones used at your doctor’s office may be advised, experts say


illions of older people often turn to do-it-yourself home blood pressure monitors to track that vital health sign. But a small, new Canadian study suggests that readings from the devices are wrong most of the time and could put patients at risk. A team led by Jennifer Ringrose, of the University of Alberta in Calgary, tested dozens of home monitors used by 85 patients averaging 66 years of age. The researchers found the units weren’t accurate within five mmHg of blood pressure about 70 percent of the time. And the devices were off the mark by at least 10 mmHg about 30 percent of the time, the investigators added. That inaccuracy could have serious consequences for people’s health, Ringrose said. “Monitoring for and treating hypertension [high blood pressure]

can decrease the consequences of this disease,” she said. “We need to make sure that home blood pressure readings are accurate.” One U.S. expert in diabetes and its related heart risks agreed that the findings are troubling. “This study highlights why it is so difficult to treat hypertension,” said physician Robert Courgi. He’s a specialist in diabetes care at Northwell Health’s Southside Hospital in Bay Shore on Long Island. “If the home blood pressure monitors were more accurate, we would have a better chance at successful treatment of hypertension,” he said. Should people who have bought and use these monitors toss them out? Maybe not. According to Ringrose, there are a number of ways to minimize inaccurate readings with the devices. First, she said, “compare the

blood pressure machine measurement with a blood pressure measurement in a clinic before exclusively relying upon home blood pressure readings.” Also, “what’s really important is to do several blood pressure measurements and base treatment deci-

sions on multiple readings,” Ringrose added. Home monitoring may still be very useful,” she said, “because it “empowers patients and [it] is helpful for clinicians to have a bigger picture rather than just one snapshot in time.”

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Five Health Insurance Myths

Alexis Pozen is a professor of health economics at CUNY School of Public Health. She recently debunked five widely held myths about health insurance. • 1. “The ACA forced millions to buy insurance they didn’t want.” Not true. Both before and after the ACA, the majority of the uninsured have consistently claimed they want coverage. Cost, life changes (job, school, divorce, etc.), denial of coverage, insurance not available through their employer, were most often cited as reasons for lack of coverage. Before the ACA, 45 million people lacked insurance. Since the ACA, 2010, 20 million people opted in and got decent coverage. • 2. “Expanding coverage saves money”. Unfortunately, not true. The costs from increased demand for services has far overwhelmed any savings due to improved health, at least so far. • 3. “Health insurance companies make massive profits”. Not true. In 2010, when the ACA was introduced, the average profit margin for publically traded health insurance companies was 3 percent, well below the profits of drug and medical device manufacturers. Insurance profits tend to be more aligned with economic growth (GDP) than any price gouging or denial of services. • 4. “People on Medicaid are free loaders.” Not true. Most, 67 percent, of “able bodied” Medicaid recipients work. Just 30 percent of Medicaid recipients are considered “able bodied” and they account for only 20 percent of total Medicaid spending. 44 percent of Medicaid recipients are

kids. The bulk of Medicaid spending, 60 percent, is for the elderly and disabled. • 5. “Job-based insurance means your employer pays and the government doesn’t.” Again, not true. The cost of coverage is actually borne by the employee indirectly, through lower wages than a competitive market would otherwise support, and directly through increased out of pocket expenses (employee contribution to premium, deductibles and copays). By not taxing employer-based premiums, the government forgoes hundreds of billions in revenue annually. This government “subsidy” was worth $275 billion last year. The government subsidy is what has tied employment to insurance. Taxing premiums frees up job seekers to choose employment based on their skills/interests vs. what the employer offers for coverage.

2016 Open Payments

Each year, for transparency purposes, the federal government issues a report that shows how much money went from drug and device manufacturers to physicians and teaching hospitals. Last year, over $8 billion went to 631,000 physicians and 1,146 hospitals; up $90 million from 2015. About half or $4 billion was for research; about $3 billion was for travel, meals and consults; and the remaining $1 billion was for ownership and investment interests.

Job Loss Projection

Most of the publicity and concern around the proposed American Health Care Act has been about the projected loss of insurance by 23 August 2017 •

million Americans. Little attention has been given to the projected loss of jobs in the healthcare sector as a result of the loss of 23 million insured paying customers. According to research by the politically neutral Commonwealth Fund, nearly 1 million healthcare jobs would be lost by 2026. Researchers believe that initially, if the ACA is repealed, the economy would gain about 864,000 jobs in other sectors because of the end of ACA taxes (which would only add to the federal deficit if not offset with other revenues.) The initial gain of 864,00 jobs, however, would be short-lived and eventually turn around into job losses. New York state is among top 10 states in predicted job losses.

Balance Billing

This is a bill you could receive from an out of network provider, hospital or physician, for the difference between their normal charge and what your insurance pays. This typically occurs in an emergency situation where you are transported by ambulance to an out of network hospital or when you are attended to by an out of network physician at an in-network hospital. In most of these cases, you aren’t in control. Only 21 states afford consumers some sort of protection from balance bills. Only 6 of those states provide comprehensive protection and New York is one of them.

Coming to a Mall Near You

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, malls are very appealing to healthcare systems looking to expand their primary care footprint. Many

malls, conveniently located but faced with declining occupancy, are negotiating very competitive occupancy rates with providers. Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville has been an anchor tenant at the One Hundred Oaks mall since 2009. The mall, once considered almost dead, now has a 98 percent occupancy rate. Dana Farber in Boston took space in a mall near Chestnut Hill where in addition to primary care opened a gym and wellness facility for patients and staff. The increase in these hospital-based outpatient centers is due primarily in response to the encroachment of for-profit retail clinics, like Walmart, in the marketplace.

New Surgeon General

The president has nominated physician Jerome Adams to be the U.S surgeon general. The 42-yearold Adams, an anesthesiologist, was appointed Indiana Health Commissioner in 2014 by then-governor Mike Pence. Adams took the lead in Indiana’s fight against opioid addiction. Adam’s nomination is sure to be approved. Trump fired the former surgeon general Vivek Murthy in April. 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

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

Helpful Summer Reads for Those Who Live Alone


hhhhhh … summer. Long, luxurious days that stretch into equally lovely and languid evenings. Vacations by the shore. Hours at the pool. And all those trips by car or plane to exotic places or peaceful retreats — holiday rituals ripe with unlimited time to spare and to fill with books, glorious books! What better time than summer to reference the New York Times’ summer reading list and lose yourself in that spy or romance novel you didn’t get to during the busier, cooler months of the year. What? This doesn’t ring true for you? This depiction of summer and its corresponding “reading vacation” doesn’t resonate? I hear you. For those who are newly divorced or widowed, summer can be — yes — lovely. But it can also be long. In fact, it can be too long. And it can be lonely, especially if you are accustomed to traveling with a spouse and/or your family during the summer months. On your own and perhaps without the resources or resolve to travel alone or to embrace all that summer has to offer, you may be interested in a different sort of

reading list. Introducing … “Helpful Summer Reads for Those Who Live Alone.” While my recommendations may not be thrillers or page-turners, these books may be just the ticket for your summer reading vacation: • “Flying Solo: Single Women in Midlife” by psychologists Carol Anderson and Susan Stewart. This incredible book comes with my highest recommendation. Written in the mid-’90s, this book is as relevant as ever, so don’t let the copyright date dissuade you from picking it up. The authors, both Ph.Ds with extensive training and experience in marriage and family counseling, interviewed single women throughout the country, most of whom did not intend to be on their own in midlife. From the book jacket: “The authors share women’s stories and their practical advice on being single, transforming loneliness, redefining the importance of work, developing friendship and support networks, and living with and without intimacy.” This book is so good and offers so many helpful insights about women and their life choices that I’ve recommended it to my married

friends, as well. It’s a must read! • “Living Alone & Loving It:

A Guide to Relishing the Solo Life” by Barbara Feldon. Remember

Get Smart, the middle-’60s classic television comedy featuring a bungling secret service agent Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) and his effervescent sidekick, Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon)? I loved that show! Remember his cool shoe phone? But, I digress. Barbara Feldon found herself living alone in New York City after a relationship impasse, and she wrote about her experience in a quick little read that charts her personal path from despair and loneliness to “one of the most enriching and joyous periods of her life.” In this book, Feldon covers both the practical and emotional aspects of living alone, including how to nurture a glowing self-image, value connections with friends and family, develop your creative side and end negative thinking. • “Single: The Art of Being Sat-

isfied, Fulfilled, and Independent” by Judy Ford, a psychother-

apist in private practice. Perfect for a younger audience, this smart and funny book is described as “hip” and the “ultimate companion” for single women everywhere. It is a touching and uplifting collection of true-life experiences and practical tips that uphold the most enduring relationship you have on this earth: the one you have with yourself. Check it out! • “On My Own: The Art of Being a Woman Alone” by Florence Falk, another psychotherapist in private practice. While densely written, this book examines and illuminates the

essential role that being alone plays in women’s lives. You’ll be moved and inspired by the intimate stories of women from all backgrounds and perspectives, and you’ll welcome Falk’s frank discussion of her own journey through uncertainty to acceptance, and ultimately to a more positive and empowered aloneness. • “Second Acts: Creating the

Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire”

by Stephen Pollan. A life coach and financial expert, the author of this highly useful and accessible text is determined to help readers reinvent their lives and to find personal fulfillment and happiness. Writing from personal experience, Pollan invites men and women of all ages to participate in a series of exercises that enable them to work through self-limiting barriers to discover their potential and live the life of their dreams. If this is your summer to turn over a new leaf, try turning a few pages in one or two of the books above. Each has held important messages for me and helped light my way. Chances are that you, too, will find some words of wisdom to guide you toward inner freedom and feeling whole and complete on your own. Enjoy!

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Live Alone and Thrive,” empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon, NY. For information or to contact Voelckers, call 585-6247887 or email: gvoelckers@rochester.

ds i K Corner How to Prevent Future Couch Potatoes Some smart ways to get kids to exercise more


hildren need between 35 and 60 minutes of exercise every day to stay lean and healthy, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. But moving them off the couch can be as hard as getting them to eat their vegetables. Part of the problem is that kids spend too much time with the TV, computers, cell phones, and video game consoles. On average, American kids are in front of screens for a whopping seven-and-a-half hours a day. So how do you get your kids to put down the game controllers and Page 8

get moving? First, bite the bullet and set limits — no more than an hour or two of screen time a day, especially on school nights. Don’t put a TV or anything else with a screen in their bedrooms. Schedule play into their day. After school, encourage them to shoot hoops or jump rope before doing homework. Have an older child play ball with the dog as a daily job. Get active together. Play catch on a sunny day. After dinner go for a quick walk as a family. Expose your kids to a lot of different kinds of activities through

sports teams or clubs. If they find something they love, they’re more likely to stick with it as they move from elementary to middle to high school. Speaking of school, studies show

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

that physically fit kids perform better in the classroom. That means regular exercise can benefit your kids’ report card as well as their waistlines.


Root: “I’m spreading the gospel to everyone so they can pick up on the things tai chi can do for you,” he says.

f you were of a certain age and could spend a little bit of your time every day doing something that would benefit you enormously, you would, wouldn’t

you? This something doesn’t require any special equipment. No special clothing. You can do it even in the smallest apartment — or outdoors anywhere. You need some help to learn it, that’s true. But millions, maybe billions of people know how. And the benefits to you? • Less stress, by the bucketful. • More fluid joints. • Improved balance, especially for older people. • A better mood (That alone will have your wife pay for lessons!). • Improved stamina. • Decreased anxiety and stress. • Better muscle strength and definition. You say: What can do all that? Tai chi. Who says so? Dave Root and the Mayo Clinic. The ancient Chinese martial arts discipline has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that’s extolled on the Mayo Clinic website. Closer to home, Root, a seventh-degree master of martial arts, is a tai chi sensei at the Henrietta Recreation Center on Fridays. He’s done the same in Gates, Penfield and Greece — over a 30-year span. And his former students have taken over some of his classes, doing for others what Root has done for them. “I’m spreading the gospel to everyone so they can pick up on the things tai chi can do for you,” Root said. He comes across right away as someone sincerely interested in other people, someone who believes he can help you in ways you don’t know yet. He is such a thorough teacher that his students have gone on to become tai chi instructors themselves, providing the ultimate respect for a man they revere. Root, 68, from Rochester, learned martial arts in the Marines a long time ago. “They didn’t call it ‘martial arts’ then, “ he said. “It was ‘hand-to-hand combat.’ The instructor stood on a platform in a field and there were a thousand of us out there.” When Root settled down with his family after his time in the service, working for Cole Muffler as a manager, he got a flyer about a kids’ martial arts program. He was married to wife Marty for 25 years, and they have four children (Regy, Summer, Haley and Dustin). The marriage ended, but he and Marty remain close. “She is still my best friend,” Root says. Their now-adult kids, and Root’s seven grandchildren, all live within a mile of one another. “When the kids were little, I tried to get them all interested in martial arts. Some of them didn’t want to go to class alone, so Root tagged along… and met his old Marine instructor there, teaching the class. Thus began a journey for Root through the School of Universal Martial Arts, where he is now a board member after mastering karate, judo, aikido…and tai chi. “It takes a long time to move up the ranks (of each discipline), but if you stick with it long enough, you learn a lot. When I got a little older, tai chi was nice — it doesn’t demand that much from you, but you can get much more out of it.”

Dave Root, a seventh-degree master of martial arts, is a tai chi sensei at the Henrietta Recreation Center on Fridays. He’s done the same in Gates, Penfield and Greece — over a 30-year span.

David Root: Tai Chi Ambassador in Henrietta A seventh-degree master of martial arts, David Root is a tai chi sensei at the Henrietta Recreation Center on Fridays. He’s done the same in Gates, Penfield and Greece — over a 30-year span. By John Addyman A consummate and patient teacher, Root likes to watch people, analyzing how tai chi could help them. “Right now, you’re not in good balance,” he tells the guy interviewing him. It’s unnerving, but comforting, because you immediately want to know how to fix something. “I like to teach people who want to learn,” he said. “What I do, when we do something in class, I explain to them what they’re doing for their health and the martial arts. I don’t expect older people to be in it for the martial arts, but sometimes, they’re so interested, it helps in tai chi. The tai chi I teach is 108 moves, with three sections to it. I teach the first section, and when they have that August 2017 •

down, I teach the second until they have that down, then the third.” Those 108 moves can take as little as five or six minutes if you’re moving right along. “Most people don’t do that, they take their time, especially when they’re our age,” he said. “One of the things I do when I get new people in, I ask, ‘Does anyone have any problems? Shoulder? Knee? Hand?’ I want that information, so I can explain to them why I do what I do. As we go along, I see people progress.” The rhythmic grace of tai chi is compelling. “It’s almost like ballet,” Root says. “It’s really pretty to watch, very much where you’re in control of your

body and not your body in control of you.” Root doesn’t look like the whisper-thin tai chi instructor you might have in your mind’s eye. He’s enjoyed life along the way, and has an undeniable twinkle in his eye, despite the issues that arise over the years. “I have spinal stenosis, GERD, high blood pressure…I have a lot of problems. When I do my tai chi, nothing bothers me: everything is good, I don’t have any problems, until an hour later. When you’re doing tai chi, you acquire a feeling of grace that all matters go away. “Doctors will refer patients for tai chi, people with bad knees, bad hips, bad shoulders…it will straighten things out. I’ve taught people how to walk upstairs. And for the ones who want to exercise, I’ve taught them how to walk downstairs. I will stay here teaching in Henrietta for awhile until I get someone in my class who can take over for me.” He said the patience people see when watching someone practice tai chi is a lesson for those who want to learn it. “After a session — people won’t see the difference right away. While they’re here, my job is to flood the mind. Mind-body-spirit: the mind has to learn the pattern, the body has to create that pattern, what you’re doing in that pattern is the spirit. I tell people, after the first day, if you can remember one thing — when you come the second time, you’ll learn one more. In eight weeks, we’re going to pick up quite a bit.” The fee to take his class in Henrietta is $25. “I’m trying to keep the price down so more people can afford it. Some of these people are living on social security alone,” he said. But they get a lot of Dave Root for $25 — his experience, his patience, his ability to explain and point out and prove to someone they can change and improve. People from outside Henrietta can sign up for his classes, but he added there may be a small additional fee for out-of-towners. “Once my students find out how every body moves, they find it easier to do yard work, shoveling, because they’re not using their muscle, they’re using their body. Tai chi helps in multiple ways. “Tai chi is not everybody’s cup of tea. Some people say, ‘I don’t like martial arts. That’s violent. It’s negative stuff.’ “It’s not,” Root argues. “Tai chi is a way of protecting yourself. You’re not going up to do damage to anybody, you’re protecting what’s yours, your life or someone else’s,” he said. “The Chinese believe that one ounce of energy can move a thousand pounds.” n Editor’s Note: To sign up for tai chi classes taught by David Root, visit the town of Henrietta website — — or call 585-3592540. The fee to take his class in Henrietta is $25.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Ready to bloom

Pictured here are the participants in the 2017 Green Visions, a workforce development and phytoremediation program based at 797 Smith St., which transforms vacant properties in the heart of downtown Rochester into profitable flower gardens. 

Sowing the Seeds of the Future

Green Visions, a workforce development program that turns vacant city lots into gardens, is primed for its biggest year yet By Amy Cavalier


here some might see weed-ridden vacant lots and abandoned homes with broken windows standing at 797 Smith St. in the heart of downtown Rochester, Morgan Barry sees potential. “There’s not a lack of vacant land,” he said, connecting the dots between vacant land and abandoned properties. “We interview probably 50 kids annually to select our teams and then get down to 15, so there’s not a lack of youth that are looking for opportunity.” Barry manages Green Visions, Greentopia’s workforce development, community garden and phytoremediation program, which employs young adults aged 18 to 21 to transform vacant lots in the inner city into profitable flower gardens. Green Visions’ bouquets are sold to at the Public Market’s veggie and area Wegmans, but the aim of the program extends far beyond. “Our goal is to get participants a second part-time job or a full-time job or back into school so they’re not only working this part-time job, but are able to manage that with attending their GED program or getting them back into high school or community college,” said Barry. Now in its fifth year, Green Visions is deeply rooted in Rochester’s Page 10

JOSANA neighborhood and primed for its best growing season yet.

From flowers to futures A majority of the kids they hire live within a mile and a half of the garden, which Barry says is crucial in a neighborhood with a high school graduation rate of 15 percent. “There are so many kids here with no high school diploma and minimal work experience, and if that’s the case when they are 18, 19, 20, 21 years old, once they get beyond the range when they’re youth and they still don’t have those things, it’s a tough life,” he said. “Whatever we can do to get in there and make that happen for them, that’s what we’re trying to do.” Green Visions provides participants with work experience, communication, manufacturing and plant identification skills, mathematics and much more. By the time they graduate, they will have completed an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, the Operation Transformation Rochester program, a driver’s safety education course through which they can earn their license, and an Environmental Protection Agency Lead Safety certi-

fication. Barry takes it beyond that, providing the young adults with job coaching support, everything from resume building, filling out job, GED and college applications, all the way to practicing for and even giving them rides to interviews. “Morgan cares about each and every part of the program,” said Tiani Jennings, a 2013 graduate and full-time program manager for Green Visions. She applied to the program to increase her employability. “I ended up coming out with a lot more than that,” she said. “I was able to gain more leadership and management skills, being able to work with a diverse population as a team. I was really able to challenge myself and lead by example.” Jennings has begun applying for college, either in nursing or agriculture/horticulture, and cosmetology school. She credits Green Visions with steering her toward success. “Growing up in this neighborhood, it’s very easy to follow the examples around you and not always participate,” she said. “Without something positive to be involved in, it’s very easy to go in the wrong direction.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Green Visions began five years ago with one plot. Two years ago, they grew enough flowers on three plots of land to produce 15 bouquets a week for East Avenue Wegmans. Last year they increased that to 40 arrangements each week and added Perinton Wegmans. This year they’re hoping to double production, and add one more Wegmans and a dropoff location. A shipping container retrofitted with a walk-in refrigerator will be installed on Green Visions’ fourth lot this summer, which Barry said will greatly increase their capacity to output more product. Thanks to a partnership with Edison Tech, which began last year, Chris McCoy’s special education students helped Green Visions get a jump start on the growing season by starting nearly 10,000 seeds at the school’s greenhouse. In exchange, Green Visions employs two of McCoy’s students for the summer, bringing the total of participants up to 17. McCoy said Barry’s commitment to building relationships with the Green Visions’ participants and making connections within the community is the reason for the program’s success. “A lot of times these kids come from families that don’t work or who aren’t used to the idea of going to work, making money and having a purpose to your day,” said McCoy. “They get out there and see they can be successful and for the right kids it just snowballs into something bigger and bigger.” By the end of the summer, Barry estimates they’ll have 10,000 flowers and over 15 varieties planted on three plots. The gardens contain zinnias, cleome, dahlias, statice, thousands of sunflowers, fillers like dusty miller, decorative cabbage and even herbs like lemon balm and mint to add aromatics to the bouquets. Green Visions receives compost each year from Batavia Turf and vermicompost fertilizer from Worm Power, a composting facility in Avon owned by Ted Miller. This season, Miller has been getting more involved by lending his horticulture advice. “Ideally, rather than trying to seek outside sources of funding, if they can get to the point where the majority of the funding comes from the program itself, then they are in a perfectly sustainable situation,” said Miller.

Digging deeper On the surface, the gardens are beautiful. Dig deeper into the stories of the young adults toiling in the fields and you’ll find some serious roadblocks between them and success. “These are 18 to 21 year olds, we’re talking about single parents, formerly incarcerated, high school drop-out, just disengaged youth, so really getting them engaged is the hardest part in the beginning and then it’s the most beautiful part to behold after the fact because you see that they’re just going for it,” he said. Participants can work five days a week, either a morning or afternoon shift. Every bouquet is arranged by hand, placed into a sleeve which is tied with a ribbon, branded with the Green Visions logo and signed by the participant who assembled it. More than 50 young adults have

at home. Many falls are free to see — others require a fee if they are in a state park. Some are on the honor system. Bonus tip: If you visit more than one state park in a day, you only have to pay one park fee. Here are some of the waterfalls I recommend:

graduated from Green Visions since 2013, and based on Barry’s rough estimates, over 70 percent have gone on to pursue furthering their education and continue working. “You talk to them about their aspirations and what they really want to get into,” said Barry. “We stress to them the importance of not capping their potential. We try to give them really practical advice, because that’s what they deserve.”

Eternal Flame Falls, Orchard Park, Buffalo area

How does Green Visions grow? This was just a huge vacant lot with not a lot going on, Barry said of Green Visions first plot at 797 Smith St. “It did have a water spout and a fence, which is something we thought we needed for protection for the garden,” he said. “In retrospect it’s silly because the neighbors have the utmost respect for the gardens.” Green Visions has employed and graduated four family members from the house across the street. In support of the program, the owners of the house share their wireless signal, bathrooms and water with Green Visions, which pays their water bill for the year in exchange. Funding is provided through partnerships with the Golisano, Daisy Marquis Jones and Wilson Foundations, and through support from the Charles House Neighbors In Action. The Developmental Disabled Giving Circle sponsored two young adults in the program this year and The Rochester and Allyn’s Creek garden clubs and multiple Rotary clubs also sponsor participants. The Center for Youth Services is partly sponsoring a participant. The cost to sponsor a worker is $4,000, which pays for their safety training certifications, drivers’ education course and a $3,000 stipend. “It’s a hodge podge of however we can fund it, by hook or crook, to find a way to pay for the worker’s, mine and Tiani’s time,” said Barry. “That’s what Greentopia does from October to April is write grants, go to meetings, go to churches...they’ll pass around the collection plate for us. By any means, we’ll get this done.” Calling it a “Cinderella story,” Luis Aponte, chairman of the Charles House Neighbors in Action, said Barry has broken through racial barriers to help young adults in the neighborhood advance their lives and given them a sense of ownership in their neighborhood. “He’s changed a lot of lives and as a result, the program keeps growing,” said Aponte. Green Visions is a one-of-a-kind program, said Miller. “There’s legitimate work being done, legitimate skills being learned, and there’s real rewards at the end of it,” he said. “I see benefits to the community at large — from the beautification aspect to the youth learning and developing real skills, to a great end product!”

n Tour of Green Visions — Tour Green Visions gardens and learn more about the program with the Rochester Minimalists at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 797 Smith St. in downtown Rochester. For more information, visit www.

Eternal Flame Falls near Buffalo has a small cave at the base that emits natural gas, which is usually lit up, producing a small flame.

Chasing Waterfalls Hike to these hidden gems


By Kyra Mancine

ired of the same old boring walking route? Switch it up and get your exercise on a walk with a view. Last year’s drought brought many waterfalls to a trickle, but the rain this year has most falls fuller than ever — making August the perfect time for a visit. Here in Upstate New York, we are fortunate to be a short drive away from hundreds of waterfalls. There are so many in fact, it can be overwhelming to know which ones to see. Commonly visited waterfalls include Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen, the falls at Letchworth State Park and Stony Brook, to name but a few. Looking to visit a few others that

are lesser known, off the beaten path and not as crowded? Give these trips a try. As always, obey all park rules and signs, respect Mother Nature, carry in/carry out what you bring with you and remember — safety first. Waterfalls are breathtakingly beautiful, but it can be easy to get caught up in the moment — taking that selfie or wading through a stream. Enjoy the scenery, but proceed with caution, wear appropriate footwear (hiking shoes or water shoes with traction are ideal), bring plenty of water and a bite to eat, wear your sunscreen and bug spray and please — leave your pets

This is one of the most unique waterfall experiences you will ever have. Located near Buffalo in Chestnut Ridge Park, the waterfall has a small cave at the base that emits natural gas, which is usually lit up, producing a small flame. The effect of the flame against the waterfall cascading over it is mesmerizing. Some people bring a lighter to reignite it on the rare occasions it goes out. The hike itself is short — a little over a mile out and back. Flame markers on trees direct you to the falls. Note: there are stairs and it’s a bit of a descent to get to the bottom of the path, but it’s doable for most ages. You do have to climb over tree limbs and branches to get to the waterfall. It can also get slippery based on rainfall and time of year. It’s well worth it though. This waterfall has become more popular as of late due to social media. It’s a definite must-see!

Grimes Glen, Naples, Finger Lakes area

The path to these waterfalls is located at the end of small residential street. Parking is somewhat limited, so get there early. It’s a short, half-mile hike to get to the main falls on the path. You will get wet on this hike, as there is no choice but to wade through the water on the way to see the falls. However, that’s all part of the fun! Amenities include picnic tables and restrooms, which makes this trip a family-friendly adventure. Note: you will see ropes to climb to get to the top of one of the falls. This is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted. Always stay on the main trail. n For more information check out these sites: or www. TripAdvisor and Instagram are also good research tools prior to your trip.

Other Upstate New York Waterfalls Worth a Visit • Double Drop Falls — along Flint Creek on the Ontario Pathways, Phelps • Holley Falls — a man-made 35-foot high waterfall in a small park in Holley • Paper Mill Falls — a 12-foot high waterfall near a small park, Avon • Akron Falls — a 40-foot waterfall in a park, Akron, between Rochester & Buffalo • Chittenango Falls —167-foot waterfall in a state park, Cazenovia • Pratt’s Falls — 137-foot waterfall in a state park, Manlius • Fillmore Glen State Park — five waterfalls and a stream-fed swimming pool, Moravia • Carpenter Falls (90 feet) and Angel Falls (60 feet) — a short hike to the left to the one falls, a longer hike to the right for the other. Located on a ravine, so extra care and caution is a must here. Located in Skaneateles • Taughannock Falls — hard to pronounce and spell, but this picturesque beauty is, at 215 feet, the August 2017 •

highest waterfall east of the Rockies. They recently opened a visitor’s center here near the scenic overlook. If you want a closer view, travel to the state park down the street — it’s a short, flat hike to the base. Town of Ulysses in Tompkins County next to Cayuga Lake • Robert H Treman State Park — Over a dozen falls here! There are lots of stairs to climb, so it can be challenging. Cool off after your hike in the natural pool at the base that even includes a diving board. Near Ithaca • Cascadilla Falls — a scenic trail (with many stairs) that connects Cornell University to downtown Ithaca and has nine falls along the route • Buttermilk Falls — 10 falls, lots of stairs and gorgeous views of falls that plunge up to 600 feet into the valley. Ithaca • Ithaca Falls – 150 foot waterfall, right in downtown Ithaca off Lake Street. Grimes Glen, Naples. IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11


The skinny on healthy eating

What’s Great about Lean Ground Beef


hen it comes to nutrition, lean ground beef — defined by the USDA as ground beef with no more than 10 percent fat — might take you by surprise. While mostly recognized for its high protein content, lean ground beef also boasts a bounty of vitamins and minerals that do a body good. But let’s begin first with protein, its most abundant nutrient. A small 3-ounce lean patty (about the size of a deck of cards) delivers a whopping 25 grams of complete protein, which, for many, fulfills about half of the daily recommended amount. That’s a lot of protein for less than 200 calories! Indeed, choosing lean beef to meet or bolster your protein intake may actually be a calorie-saver, as it often takes more than twice the calories to get 25 grams of protein from beans, nuts and grains. A powerhouse nutrient, protein is essential for growth, tissue repair, energy and proper immune function. Lean ground beef sizzles with impressive amounts of several B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Niacin helps improve circulation and may lower the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s; vitamin B12 is essential for keeping nerves and red blood cells healthy;

and vitamin B6 is especially important for regulating mood and preventing mental fatigue. All B vitamins help the body convert food to energy. This popular beef also rocks with zinc, knocking off about 40 percent of our daily needs in one serving. Immune-boosting zinc helps expedite wound healing, calm out-of-control inflammation, and promote testosterone production. No surprise: The leaner the

Daily Jolt of Java May Bring Longer Life Two large studies boost potential benefits of coffee


ere’s news to perk up your day: Drinking coffee might help you live a little longer, two new studies suggest. Researchers found that daily coffee drinkers were up to 18 percent less likely to die over the next 10 to 16 years, vs. non-drinkers. The findings — based on more than 700,000 middle-aged and older adults — add to the growing list of benefits linked to moderate coffee drinking. Studies have already tied the habit to lower risks of various diseases — from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, to liver cancer, to neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. None of those studies prove coffee, per se, provides the benefit. And it’s unlikely that doctors will start recommending coffee as some sort of elixir, according to Veronica Setiawan, the senior researcher on one of the studies. “But if you’ve always been a coffee drinker,” she said, “there’s no reason to stop.” That runs counter to the common belief that coffee drinking is a bad Page 12

habit — a belief the evidence does not bear out, according to Setiawan. “Moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle,” said Setiawan. She’s an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. For their study, Setiawan and colleagues used data on nearly 186,000 middle-aged and older Americans of all races. That’s important, Setiawan said, because past studies on coffee and life span have mainly included white people. At the study’s start, in the 1990s, people reported on their diet and lifestyle habits, including coffee drinking. During the next decade, more than 58,000 study participants died. It turned out that coffee drinkers had somewhat better survival odds. Those who downed one to three cups a day were 12 to 18 percent less likely to die, vs. non-drinkers. And the pattern was consistent across racial groups — including whites, blacks, Latinos and Japanese-Americans, the study found. According to Setiawan, that

ground beef, the more you’ll save on calories, total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Go grass-fed if you’d like to save a little more on cholesterol and shield yourself from hormones and antibiotics. Although most grainfed ground beef contains hormones and antibiotics, some major chains offer grain-fed ground beef that has neither.

with canola oil (if making smaller muffins, prep 10). Spoon the meat mixture into the muffin cups, press lightly, and bake accordingly: for larger muffins, bake for about 35 minutes; for smaller muffins, bake for about 25 minutes. No matter the size, the muffins should register 160F when tested with a meat thermometer. Let stand for five minutes before serving.

Tasty Meatloaf Muffins

Use freshly ground beef one to two days after purchase; ground beef that’s been frozen will last about three to four months. Ground beef that’s gray on the outside but red on the inside should be fine to eat: being covered with plastic wrap is the benign culprit. Ground beef that’s gray throughout, however, usually indicates spoilage and should be tossed or returned. Prevent potential food poisoning by always cooking your ground beef to 160F. Hosting a party with hamburgers or a ground beef casserole? According to the USDA, the cooked ground beef should not be left out for more than two hours.

Adapted from Serves 5-6 1 teaspoon canola oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium carrot, shredded 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup low-sodium tomato sauce 1 pound lean ground beef ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon Frank’s Hot Sauce (optional) ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper ½ teaspoon salt 1 large egg Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and shredded carrot; sauté for about five to eight minutes. Add dried oregano and minced garlic; sauté one minute more. Cool. In a medium bowl, combine onion mixture, ¼ cup tomato sauce, and the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Lightly coat five muffin cups bolsters the theory that coffee, itself, might have some beneficial biological effects. She noted that Americans of different races tend to differ in lifestyle habits, education and other factors. Yet coffee consumption was consistently linked to better survival, regardless of race. The second study had similar findings. This study included more than 520,000 Europeans. During the investigation, nearly 42,000 died. People who drank about three cups of coffee (23 to 29 ounces) per day were 7 percent to 12 percent less likely to die over the next 16 years, compared with non-drinkers. And they had a 40 percent to 59 percent lower risk of dying from digestive disorders, such as liver disease. The researchers said that finding makes sense. Past studies have hinted that coffee might support liver function; and coffee drinkers in this study typically had lower levels of

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Helpful tips

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

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certain proteins that can signal problems with the liver. Both studies were published online in the July 11 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Still, neither study proved that coffee can extend a person’s life, according to an editorial published with the findings. “We are not in a position to recommend people drink coffee for health benefits,” said physician Eliseo Guallar, one of the editorial’s authors. There are also potential downsides to coffee, noted Guallar, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He said that drinking more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day — equivalent to four to five cups of coffee — can cause symptoms such as dizziness and a spike in heart rate. And some people, such as pregnant women and teenagers, should have stricter caffeine limits. Plus, Guallar said, if people load their coffee with cream and sugar, that adds calories and unhealthy fats.

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Stressed-Out Kids How to help kids cope with stress as they go back to school By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


chool children have plenty to stress about, from their studies to friends to news to their family’s own struggles. It’s unhealthy — not to mention impossible — to eliminate all sources of stress. Local experts shared how you can help your children better cope with stress.

to their potential. That is followed by a drop in grades and it spirals down. If you accept your child for who he or she is and express trust in their abilities without pressuring them to accomplish certain things, and sometimes they do better.” Chris Pulleyn, licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Rochester

• “Talk with your kids. • “Understand their We think about physical limits. They should just get health, but there’s also out of their comfort zone, mental health when they’re but be competent to accomnervous about going back Chris Pulleyn plish it. It’s when they’re to to school. Address any of the point where they don’t their concerns about the have the ability to handle new year. what they’ve agreed to do that they • “There are some things where start to become completely stressed you really can’t prepare your kids. and we break down. Work with your You really lay the groundwork for children to learn where that line is. producing an adult.” And children are very different. One Pediatrician Edward Lewis, Lewis size does not fit all. Pediatrics, Rochester • “We relieve stuff by talking about it. It used to be the family din• “The most important thing ner time. Now that time is the time parents can do is to recognize what’s we’re driving everyone around or going on in their kids’ lives, being picking up groceries or cooking dinin tune with their struggles, curious ner, so we’re not emotionally present. about their lives and the You cannot process stress if pressures they feel and you’re not present with the what’s going on with their person. friends. • “We’re go, go, go • “Be involved, not culture. If you talk less and only in providing the listen more, you give your extracurricular activities, child the opportunity to but intimately involved in problem solve. Figuring out what’s happening in their how your child processes lives. their emotions and makes • “Know about their sense of their world and social media — a lot of how much time it takes bullying happens there and them to do that is key.” drama among their peers. Brigid Sboto Brigid Sboto, licensed There’s a huge pressure for marriage and family therapist them to belong. I’ve seen when kids in private practice in Rochester give up social media or reduce use of it they become happier. • “Make sure the information • “I don’t think we can or should you share is age-appropriate so they protect our kids against what’s hapcan process the information. There pening in the world. But they should are a lot of traumas in the media. Parlearn how to deal with it. There’s ents should have an open dialogue lots of violence and it is worrisome. so they can help them process what But the benefit of allowing the kids they see. to learn about things is it offers a • “Consider seeing a therapist teaching moment for parents where if you see an impact on sleep, how they can advocate for what has value much they’re eating, and other stressin life. You have to tell them that they or signs where kids pull on eyelashes have to be prepared for whatever or hair. Are your children struggling happens and aware of things around to express themselves? Is it always them. But it’s unlikely to happen to negative?” them. It’s a very fine balance. Carol R. Inzinga, licensed clinical • “Academic stress is an unsocial worker in private practice in Rochavoidable pressure, but I have noester. ticed that kids who feel the pressure the most freeze and cannot perform August 2017 •

Stay Healthy This School Year By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


eyond routine vaccinations required for school, you can do much more for helping your children stay healthy this year. Of course, supporting good health is important year-round; however, it’s easy to let a few things slide during the long, lazy days of summer. • “The transition from summer to school typically means going from one type of schedule to another. Children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Kids tend to get seven to eight and in summer, that can vary quite a bit. Kids that are sleeping well will have better performance at school, better behavior and will be more prepared to engage in school activities. • “Avoid sugary snacks and beverages. • “Make sure they stay hydrated with water. • “Hand washing is the most important thing any of us can do to avoid the common cold. Developing good hand washing technique will pay off, especially in the winter months. They should use warm water and soap and wash long enough.” Physician Michael Mendoza, commis-

• “Make sure that the kids are eating properly. Breakfast is key to good learning. • “Teach kids to cough into their elbow, not their hands, to avoid spreading germs. • “Discuss any concerns with their pediatrician. • “Continue to get them outside as weather permits. Play is a good learning tool to ignite their imagination and outdoor play is good exercise. • “Try to stay away from fast food. You don’t have to be perfect. It’s about balance. We don’t say kids should never have an Orange Crush, but if that’s the only source of hydration, that’s not good for health. • “When children are very small, they’re willing to try new things. Try to get some variety and new recipes to get excited about so they’ll eat new vegetables. There’s nothing wrong with a few cookies, but the less processed food is, the better. Why not bake your own things? The more you can prepare your own food, the better and healthier things tend to be.” Nurse Mary L. Beer, public health director, Ontario County Health • “Flu shots are not required by schools, but we are encouraging flu vaccine for children. Influenza can be a deadly virus. People lose sight of that. People think they don’t need it if they didn’t get it last year. We’re not having such bad flu seasons because people are getting vaccinated. But not vaccinating can contribute to having a bad flu season. • “Kids in sports should think about getting ready ahead of time because you can’t all of a sudden play football if you’re out of shape. Think about exercise anyways. That’s important for health. • “Unfortunately, you have to start talking about ‘stranger danger’ and being wary of people you don’t know and inappropriate advances from people they know.” Pediatrician Edward Lewis, Lewis Pediatrics in Rochester.

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13thirty Cancer Connect Supports Teens, Young Adults with Cancer Nonprofit has been serving Rochester community since 2001 By Christine Green


alls of vivid blue with bright orange, deep red, and lime green accents greet visitors to 13thirty Cancer Connect, a support group for teens and young adults living with cancer. Lauren Spiker founded the Rochester-based nonprofit in 2001 as Melissa’s Living Legacy Teen Cancer Foundation. In 2015 the name was changed to13thirty Cancer Connect. The idea for the support group came to Spiker after the death of her daughter, Melissa Marie Sengbusch, in 2000 at the age of 19 from myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare bone marrow malignancy. Before her passing, Melissa asked her mother to make a promise: “If you have learned anything from me through all of this, do something with it to make a difference — to make things better.” Spiker got to work honoring her daughter’s wish. She knew that living with cancer is difficult for anyone, but a cancer diagnosis is particularly hard for a young person in the prime of their life. She put together 13thirty as soon as she could in order to both remember her daughter and lend a much needed helping hand to other families in similar situations. One of Spiker’s early supporters was David N. Korones, a pediatric oncologist at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Korones refers to himself

as one of the “lucky ones” fortunate enough to have known Melissa before her passing. When Spiker approached him with her idea for a teen support group, he was immediately enthused: “The power of connecting with kids/young adults your own age who have cancer, who have endured the disruption and indignity of change of physical appearance, disruption of one’s life, and loss of independence is beyond measure. It lets kids know they are not alone and I have seen many a very sick teen become recharged with the friends they have made through 13thirty Cancer Connect.” According to the 13thirty website, at least 82,000 adolescent and young adults get cancer in the United States each year. 13thirty is available to any young person who needs their support, and in 2016 they provided 178 hours of peer programs to 213 participants in Rochester and Buffalo. Spiker and the 13thirty staff offer a myriad of programs and events for cancer patients and their families. ROC Program Coordinator Stephen Esposito works with the staff to plan fitness classes, art projects and guest programs like police training simulations. Other activities include trips to New York City to see shows and tour the town. They also go on camping trips, mountain climbing adventures,

Lauren Spiker founded a Rochester-based nonprofit in 2001 to help teens and young adults cope with cancer. It was a way to honor her own daughter, Melissa Marie Sengbusch, who in 2000 at the age of 19 died of cancer. The nonprofit has worked with more than 200 participants. and canoeing excursions. Esposito notes that a popular activity is a writing workshop offered by Charlie Cote. Cote first came to 13thirty when his son was receiving cancer treatment at Golisano. Spiker supported Cote and his family and even visited them when his son was undergoing cell replacement therapy at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. Cote, who unfortunately lost his son in 2005, now serves as president of the 13thirty board of directors in addition to volunteering to run his writing workshops. He said that Spiker’s dedication and caring support helped his family during their struggles and praised her advocacy for teens and young adults with cancer. Cote also reflects that she “has an uncanny ability to inspire dynamic and surprising collaborations.” Both Brittany E. McNair and Catherine Gawronski also know how special 13thirty and Lauren Spiker are. Both young women came to the organization as cancer patients dealing with the physical and emotional of effects of treatment. They received a great deal of support and consider 13thirty a second family. “It’s been an amazing journey to watch the organization grow to what it is today,” said McNair. McNair and Gawronski both give

back by serving on the “COR” (Cancer Outreach of Rochester) young adult board for 13thirty. Gawronski, a pharmacy student in Buffalo, tells In Good Health that, “it’s really comforting to know that there are other people who have experienced what you’re going through as well and who want to help you and support you.” In addition to programming and outreach, 13thirty also hosts a variety of fundraising events that serve to raise money as well as provide patients, families and friends with opportunities to come together. Special Events Coordinator Joshua Symer has helped organize everything from its Kick Cancer 20K Race series to its most popular fundraiser, Goin’ Bald for Bucks. Everything that 13thirty does is undertaken with the knowledge that Melissa’s legacy is a strong force behind their efforts, and Spiker feels her daughter with her every day: “Melissa’s spirit is ever-present not only in my life but in everything we do here at 13thirty Cancer Connect. In her I witnessed the power of the human spirit, a force more powerful than even the deadliest cancer.” n For more information about 13thirty Cancer Connect, visit or call 585-563-6221.

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Addiction: The Language Factor

Associated Press Stylebook changes language rules dealing with addicts. Health professionals say it’s a step to help de-stigmatize substance dependency By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


or many years, “person first” language has been the standard among media members and professionals in mental health, such as “person with disabilities” instead of “disabled person.” The Associated Press’ 2017 Stylebook, journalists’ go-to book for writing and language standardization, has extended person first language to addicts — make that “persons with addictions.” The exceptions include the names of organizations or quotations. While it may seem an inconsequential use of phrases, words are powerful and they can affect treatment. Faringer Jennifer Faringer, director of De Paul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Rochester, said that the change reflects a desire by professionals to de-stigmatize substance dependency in the hopes of promoting treatment. “There is hope for recovery, but it’s a disease process,” Faringer said. “It’s not a moral or behavioral deficiency.” She said that although there’s an initial choice to use drugs, the chemical changes in the brain make substance dependency more than a matter of willSboto power. Faringer believes that attaching words such as “junkie,” “addict,” “druggie,” and “dirty/clean” to those who struggle with substance abuse disorders unnecessarily shames them. For some, that could delay life-altering or even life-saving treatment. Many group treatment programs begin with participants introducing themselves and calling themselves the very disparaging terms Faringer and other professionals denounce; however, she said that acknowledging the problem is the first step toward treatment. “This doesn’t hold someone harmless,” Faringer said. “You have to Pulleyn admit you have a problem and you need help, but like you’d need help with any other disease, like diabetes. It’s understanding that it’s a disease and it’s treatable.” Patrick Seche, director of Strong Recovery Addiction Psychiatry Division and clinical chief chemical dependency at UR Medicine, said that many patients, when referring to

themselves, “overwhelmingly use the negative language. There’s quite a bit of education that we need to do as an organization, as a field and as health care providers. The existing negative language is what they know.” Seche said that as patients progress through recovery, they tend to use more positive words. He hopes that shifting to more positive language will help patients seek treatment sooner than later, after more damage has occurred. “It gives a certain dignity back to the patient,” Seche added. “Addiction takes people places that minus that addiction they never would have gone. A loss of dignity happens in that process.” He feels that eliminating stigma-charged words will help frame substance abuse “as a chronic disease instead of a moral failing,” he said. Seche said the effect extends to providers as well, since using certain language can result in a more professional and compassionate connection with patients. One of the major shifts in treatment of substance abuse is moving from the behavioral model to the health model, according to Chris Pulleyn, licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Rochester. She said that since professionals don’t completely understand the issue, and have only recently identified a biological element, it will take time to adjust to the new language. “I can’t say that it would make a huge sea change in public perception because there will always be people who think people with addiction are lazy or don’t have enough willpower,” Pulleyn said. Brigid Sboto, licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Rochester, said that the change in perception through different words will happen very slowly but that it’s helpful in conveying sensitivity to a complex and deeply-rooted issue. “Any mental health diagnosis is so complicated for the average person to understand,” Sboto said. “We’re given a lot of misinformation.” August 2017 •


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Golden Years Opioid Dependency Affects Older Adults, Too By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ost people associate the opioid epidemic with younger people. While it’s true that the average person struggling with opioid addiction is younger than 45, a growing number of older people become dependent. According to AARP, nearly one-third of those using Medicare, numbering about 12 million people, received prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2015. The same year, 2.7 million Americans 50-plus took painkillers off-label, either for reasons for which they were not prescribed or in excess of their prescription. AARP further related that in the past two decades, the rate of opioid-related hospitalization for people 65 and older quintupled. “If people are not very careful in following the instructions for using opioids, they can become addicted,” said Patrick Seche, director of Strong Recovery/Addiction Psychiatry Division. “Just as it’s prevalent in younger adults, it’s similar with older adults. It’s highly addictive in all segments of the population.” Mature adults with opioid dependence usually begin taking an opioid painkiller after an injury or surgery. If the pain lingers, the patient may shorten the time between pills or take a higher dose than prescribed. Within a short time — even mere days — the patient can become dependent. Unlike some their younger counterparts, mature patients with opioid dependency don’t tend to turn to street drugs when their prescription runs out. Seche, who is also a clini-

cal chief chemical dependency and associate clinical administrator of UR Medicine’s department of psychiatry, said that they try to obtain as much prescription medication as they can from different doctors, although failsafes implemented in the past few years have helped curb this strategy. Seche said the next most common source is a friend or relative. While young adults may pilfer from their grandparents’ medicine cabinets, an older adult seeking prescription opioids may ask a friend or relative who has leftover pills. In sympathy, they often get what they want. Some also have someone else refill a prescription for painkillers, claiming they’ve lost pills or that their doctors did not prescribe enough refills. By this time, “it’s part of the daily routine,” Seche said. “It’s how they start the day and it’s part of normal activities. It progresses until they can’t do normal activities, like work. Another sign is using more than they need or intend to use.” Beth McNeill, community education coordinator at De Paul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Brighton, has been involved in education and training for more than 20 years. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Monroe Community College. McNeill said many prescriptions have been written for longer than what the patient will actually need pain relief. Typically thrifty, many older adults hold onto leftover drugs in case they need them in the future; however, their stockpile creates a

temptation for themselves or someone else. Many of the signs of opioid addiction mimic some of the signs of dementia, making it difficult for loved ones to identify, including disorientation, poor balance, poor hygiene, mood swings and isolation. It’s easy for loved ones to mistake opioid dependency for dementia. McNeill believes older adults resist seeking help more than younger people because of the stigma associated with substance dependency. “Denial is a big barrier to seeking help,” she said. Another issue is that many older adults simply follow their doctor’s directions explicitly and take the entire prescription whether they still need pain medication at that level or not. Chris Pulleyn, licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Rochester, said that half of people 65-plus live with chronic pain. She recommends seeking non-medicinal methods for reducing the need for painkillers, including mindfulness. “You can also use psychotherapy to control thoughts about pain before it becomes out of hand,” Pulleyn said.

“These are really underused.” She said that using complementary pain management can help improve the effectiveness of intervention like nerve blocks and cortisone injections. “It’s your own mind that gets in the way most of the time,” she added. “I’d like to see more integration of massage, acupuncture, acupressure and meditation. There is a lot of evidence that they work.” But instead of seeking less powerful methods of painkillers, some older adults fill their opioid prescriptions irrespective of their pain level throughout their recovery. “They say, ‘What’s the big deal? My doctor prescribed it and my insurance paid for it,’” said Jennifer Faringer, director of De Paul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Rochester. “They never imagined they’d be in that situation.” Talking about painkillers with a doctor can help start the path to recovery.

How Music Helps Keep Brains Sharp By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


t may not be the Fountain of Youth, but making music may enhance cognitive ability as the body ages. “If you learn something new, like a language or music, you show new synapse connections made,” said Daniel King, a geriatrician with University Rochester Medical Center. Melinda Kurowski, board-certified music therapist at Pieters Family Life Center in Rochester, listed “memory enhancement and maintaining/increasing cognitive skills” among the long-term goals of providing music therapy to residents. While working crossword puzzles or playing trivia games may engage some parts of the brain, making music may do much more. “Playing an instrument or singing helps us be who we are,” Kurowski said. “Music is processed globally in the brain. The whole brain is essentially activated. It uses many, many areas: motor skills, emotion, hearing and vision.” She doesn’t view music making Page 16

as a hobby for only the young, but says that anyone at any age can learn an instrument with the right support. She lets her clients’ preference help guide their choice and can make adaptations as needed. Although making music can’t prevent dementia, it can help delay cognitive decline because it helps the brain make new neural connections. Among her clients, Kurowski works with patients with Parkinson’s disease. She has found that engaging in music therapy before the disease has progressed far offers more benefits in helping patients than starting later. Since many people who play instruments take lessons, perhaps play in a group or perform for others, the activity can improve social connections, which is important for staying mentally sharp. If physical limitations make playing seem out of reach, Kurwoski said that adapting the instrument or the manner in which they’re played can help most people play.

“Adaptive lessons might be a great way to approach the instrument and get some outside support to play,” she said. With the popularity of televised talent shows, YouTube stars and recording artists, it’s easy to focus on perfection; however, it’s not only about the performance. “We have this polished end result in mind with singing and playing instruments,” Kurowski said. “The

regular population is afraid to use their voice or play because the songs on the radio are auto tuned and polished. I would like to encourage people to not feel like you can’t sing or play if you’re not perfect. Don’t be worried about the product.” By relaxing and enjoying the journey, budding musicians can de-stress, which is also good for the brain.

So what is a music therapist?

It’s not simply strolling the halls of a nursing home strumming a guitar for a sing-along. Rebecca J. Warren, board-certified music therapist with Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, explains: “Music therapy is the use of music to accomplish individualized goals by a credentialed professional within a therapeutic relationship. In the US, a music therapist completes an undergraduate degree from an accredited university (according to American Music Therapy Association guidelines, including 1,200 hours of clinical work. After completing a six-month internship, you can sit for a board-certification exam created by CBMT ( to obtain the title board-certified music therapist (MTBC).”

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Are You or a Loved One Bothered by Vision Loss that can’t be corrected? Over age 60?

Page 17


Things You Should Know About Healthy Aging

By Ernst Lamothe Jr.


ging is never fun. But it doesn’t have to incredibly painful either. In order to be healthy, happy and entertained during their golden years, Krupa Shah, a geriatric hospitalist at UR Medicine Highland Hospital and an associate professor at URMC, has six tips to healthy aging. “Your annual visits help you and your health care provider to stay on top of your health,” said Shah. “Screening for medical conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer or other health conditions are important to prevent a wide range of illnesses, injuries and health conditions.”


Stay Active Regular physical activity lowers your risk of falls, obesity, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can also help you stay mentally fit into old age. For substantial health benefits, the current guideline recommends that older adults participate in 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week, or 10-15 minutes spurts per day. “The evidence is clear. Those who are active and exercise regularly live longer than those who do not,” said Shah. Exercises also relieves depression and improves mood, according to Shah. Inactivity often accompanies advancing age. Older adults should also include strengthening activities that involve major muscle groups a couple days a week. Those at risk of

falling should add exercises that help maintain or improve balance.


Limit Stress There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress, including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension and immune system problems can increase susceptibility to infections. “Persistent stress can weaken your immune function and reduce your well-being,” said Shah. “While you may not be able to steer away from stress completely, you can certainly take steps to reduce it. Some examples of reducing stress include doing yoga, meditation and deep breathing.”


Maintain a Healthy Weight Like exercise, your eating habits are often not good if you live and eat alone. It’s important for successful aging to eat foods rich in nutrients and avoid the empty calories in candy and sweets. Being overweight or obese increases your chances of dying from hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, dyslipidemia and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “If you are overweight, then slimming down can protect against heart disease, diabetes and other

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conditions that take years off your life,” said Shah. “Aim to eat a healthy well-balanced diet with limited portion sizes — and don’t forget to eat your veggies daily.”


Keep Learning While mild forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging, it can also be a sign of more serious memory problems, such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment, dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease. However, memory loss isn’t just inevitable. “The number of years of education is associated with lower risk of dementia,” Shah said. “Learning and continuous intellectual engagement keeps you mentally sharp into old age and reduces your risk of dementia. There is always something to learn; go out there and find it.”


Maintain Relationships Maintaining relationships with people who share similar interests and values (spouses/ partners, friends, relatives etc.) can promote longevity. Aging in context with family and friends and preserving relationships gives purpose to your life and promotes wellbeing. “Staying in touch with people over social media or email and texts is a starting point, but having that personal interaction is even better. Pick up the phone or better yet meet your friend or relative in person,” said Shah.

Krupa Shah is an associate professor of medicine and a board-certified geriatrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center.


Belong to a Community Several studies show a clear link between having strong social ties and a longer life and better well-being. Some examples that individuals should consider are to volunteer, take a class, and attend organized events. Taking these steps will give you an opportunity to interact with people of varied backgrounds and ages, and can potentially result in mentally-stimulating social interactions, according to Shah.

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What if you could choose?

5 Days or 45 Days

By Jim Miller

New Medicare Cards Debut Next Year Dear Savvy Senior, I just received my Medicare card in the mail and was surprised to see that the ID number is the same as my Social Security number. I know it’s a bad idea to carry around anything that displays my Social Security number because it makes me vulnerable to identity theft. Wasn’t the government supposed to stop putting Social Security numbers on Medicare cards? New Beneficiary   

Dear New, Many people new to Medicare are surprised to learn that the ID number on their Medicare card is still identical to their Social Security number (SSN). After all, we’re constantly warned not to carry our SSN around with us, because if it gets lost or stolen, the result could be identity theft. But the card itself tells beneficiaries to carry it with you when you are away from home so you can show it at the doctor’s office or hospital when you need medical care. Here’s what you should do to protect yourself.

New Medicare Cards

For starters, you’ll be happy to know that the government is in the process of removing SSNs from Medicare cards, but with 58 million beneficiaries, it’s a huge undertaking that will be implemented gradually. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will start sending the new cards in April 2018, but it will take until December 2019 before SSNs are removed from all cards. Under the new system, a randomly generated 11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifier will replace the SSN-based health claim number on your new Medicare card, but your Medicare benefits will not change. You will receive information in 2018 letting you know about the new Medicare card, with an explanation of how to use the new card and what

to do with your old one. You can start using your new Medicare card with the new number as soon as you receive it, and there should be a transition period in 2018 and 2019 when you can use either the old card or the new card.  

Protect Your Identity

Until your new Medicare card is issued, here’s what you can do to protect your SSN on your current card. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a national consumer resource on identity theft, recommends that you carry your Medicare card only when you visit a health care provider for the first time, so the provider can make a copy for their files. Otherwise, make a photocopy of your card and cut it down to wallet size. Then take a black marker and black out the last four digits of your SSN, and carry that instead in case of an emergency.

If your Medicare card does happen to get lost or stolen, you can replace it by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Security office. You can also request a card online at MyAccount. Your card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.  If your Medicare card that contains your SSN gets lost or stolen, you’ll need to watch out for Medicare fraud. You can do this by checking your quarterly Medicare summary notices for services or supplies you did not receive. You can also check your Medicare claims early online at (you’ll need to create an account first), or by calling Medicare at 800-633-4227. If you spot anything suspicious or wrong, call the Inspector General’s fraud hotline at 800-447-8477. Also, watch for other signs of identity theft. For example, if someone uses your Social Security number to obtain credit, loans, telephone accounts, or other goods and services, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission at IdentityTheft. gov (or 877-438-4338). This site will also give you specific steps you’ll need to take to handle this problem.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. August 2017 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Friends Are Key to Happiness in Old Age


s you age, the friends you keep wield an ever-greater impact on your health and sense of happiness, new research reveals. They may even outstrip family in terms of the sway they have over you, according to a new study. Lead investigator William Chopik cited several reasons why friendships might pack a bigger punch than blood relationships when it comes to influencing health and well-being. “We spend leisure time with friends. We freely choose to continue relationships with friends,” said Chopik, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. If the friendships last until older adulthood, “clearly these are good friendships,” he added. “As we age, we prune away at some of the friendships that are more superficial and acquaintance-like,” he said. That means that as older adults, “we’re left with the ones that are deeper and make us happy,” Chopik explained. In contrast, he said, family interactions can be very serious or monotonous, and those relationships are harder to leave. The study findings stem from two surveys that, in total, asked almost 280,000 people about their relationships. Chopik found that people who placed more importance on friendship and family tended to say they were happier, more satisfied and healthier than those who didn’t. But older participants indicated that only their friendships loomed large as reliably strong predictors of how happy and healthy they felt. This rising impact of friendship occurs gradually, Chopik said. “I would say the changes begin around age 30 (or) 40, and then peak for ages 50 to 60,” he said.

Ask St. Ann’s

How Do I Interact with a Loved One Who Has Dementia? By Diane Kane, MD “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.” These words of wisdom are a good reminder that much of what happens in life is beyond our control. Nowhere is this more evident than with dementia, a progressive disease of the brain that produces difficulties with memory, language, problem-solving and other cognitive skills. Dementia occurs when the nerve cells in parts of the brain involved in cognitive function are damaged or destroyed, gradually claiming the person’s ability to perform everyday activities. This slow decline causes feelings of anger, sadness, loneliness, fear and boredom for the individual living with the disease. The one thing that remains is the person’s need for human connection with family and friends. Seeing someone you love struggle with dementia — whether it is Alzheimer’s disease or another form — may cause you to feel helpless. Your loved one knows that feeling well, too. It is OK if you don’t know what to do or say when you are around a person with dementia; your presence and friendship are most important to the person. When you meet, do your best not to make a judgment or analyze the individual’s behavior. Instead, start from the heart and offer genuine empathy, patience, and understanding. Here are a few tips from the Alzheimer’s Association to help you

Don’t Miss a Single Issue

make the most of your time together: • Stay calm. Although being called by a different name or not being recognized can be painful, try not to make your hurt apparent. • Respond with a brief explanation. Don’t overwhelm the person with long statements or reasons. Instead, clarify with a simple explanation. • Show photos and other reminders. Use photographs and other thought-provoking items to remind the person of important relationships and places. • Travel with the person to where he or she is in time. If the individual focuses on a particular time in his or her life, engage in conversation about recollections with an understanding that this is his or her current reality. • Offer corrections as suggestions. Avoid explanations that sound like scolding. Try: “I thought it was a fork” or, “I believe this girl is your granddaughter Julie.” • Try not to take it personally. Dementia causes your loved one to forget, but your support and understanding will continue to be appreciated. • Reach out for support. Millions of Americans are in your shoes, so you are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a wealth of information, support, and

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Physician Diane Kane is chief medical officer at St. Ann’s Community. She is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, hospice and palliative medicine and has been involved in senior care for 29 years. Contact her at or visit

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resources for families and caregivers. You can contact the Rochester Chapter at 585-760-5400 or visit www.alz. org/rochesterny. And remember—while you won’t know what your loved one will be like the next time you see them, always be sure to lead with your heart. It will know what to do.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

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Why It Pays to Keep a Careful Eye On Your Earnings Record Whether you’re ready to retire, just joining the workforce, or somewhere in between, regularly reviewing your Social Security earnings record could make a big difference when it’s time to collect your retirement benefits. Just think, in some situations, if an employer did not properly report just one year of your work earnings to us, your future benefit payments from Social Security could be close to $100 per month less than they should be. Over the course of a lifetime, that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in retirement or other benefits to which you are entitled. Social Security prevents many mistakes from ever appearing on your earnings record. On average, we process about 236 million W-2 wage reports from employers, representing more than $5 trillion in earnings. More than 98 percent of these wages are successfully posted with little problem. But it’s ultimately the responsibility of your employers — past and present — to provide accurate earnings information to Social Security so you get credit for the contributions you’ve made through payroll taxes. We rely on you to inform us of any errors or omissions. You’re the only person who can look at your lifetime earnings record and verify that it’s complete and correct. So, what’s the easiest and most efficient way to validate your earnings record? • Visit myaccount to set up or sign in to your own my Social Security account;


Q: I just started my first job and my paycheck is less than I expected. Why am I paying for retirement benefits when I have a lifetime to live before retirement? A: Besides being required by law, you are securing your own financial future through the payment of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection, whether you retire or become disabled. And when you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work as well. Aside from all the benefits in your own future, your Social Security and Medicare payments also help today’s retirees. To learn more, visit our website at Q: I am nearing my full retirement age, but I plan to keep work-

• Under the “My Home” tab, click on “Earnings Record” to view your online Social Security Statement and taxed Social Security earnings; • Carefully review each year of listed earnings and use your own records, such as W-2s and tax returns, to confirm them; and • Keep in mind that earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet. If you notice that you need to correct your earnings record, check out our one-page fact sheet at www. Sooner is definitely better when it comes to identifying and reporting problems with your earnings record. As time passes, you may no longer have past tax documents and some employers may no longer be in business or able to provide past payroll information. If it turns out everything in your earnings record is correct, you can use the information and our online calculators at www.socialsecurity. gov/planners/benefitcalculators. html to plan for your retirement and prepare for the unexpected, such as becoming disabled or leaving behind survivors. We use your top 35 years of earnings when we calculate your benefit amounts. You can learn more about how your benefit amount is calculated at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/10070.pdf. We’re with you throughout life’s journey, from starting your first job to receiving your well-earned first retirement payment. Learn more about the services we provide online at

ing after I apply for Social Security benefits. Will my benefits be reduced because of my income? A: No. If you start receiving benefits after you’ve reached your full retirement age, you can work while you receive Social Security and your current benefit will not be reduced because of the earned income. If you keep working, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your survivors could receive. If you begin receiving benefits before your full retirement age, your earnings could reduce your monthly benefit amount. After you reach full retirement age, we recalculate your benefit amount to leave out the months when we reduced or withheld benefits due to your excess earnings. Learn more about Social Security reading our publication, How Work Affects Your Benefits, at www. August 2017 •

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H ealth News St. John’s has new development manager St. John’s, a leading provider of senior living options in the Rochester region, has named Taylor Freitas as its new development manager. Freitas will focus on helping raise funds to benefit the residents at St. John’s. Freitas will assist the executive director of St. John’s Foundation in defining and carrying out strategic fund development plans for a comprehensive annual giving program. He is responsible for identifying, Freitas cultivating, acquiring, retaining and upgrading donors. Freitas will oversee donor acknowledgement, appreciation and recognition. Freitas comes to St. John’s from Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide in Parsippany, N.J., where he was an assistant account executive. Prior to that, he was the assistant director of institutional giving with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. A graduate of Syracuse University, Freitas earned a master’s degree in arts administration in 2013. The Rochester resident is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter.  

Highland opens new offsite cardiology clinic Highland Hospital has opened its new off-site cardiology clinic, UR Medicine Heart and Vascular, at 600 Red Creek Dr. in Henrietta. The new space has 13,080 square feet of clinical space, an 8,000 square foot increase from the present location on Highland Hospital’s campus. This facility will enable service expansion and improve care delivery. Conveniently located near Calkins Road, the new office will also feature a more spacious and modern environment, drive-up access, and free parking. It will include five echo rooms, five procedure rooms, and 15 exam rooms that will enable Highland to comfortably serve 125 patients per day, with room for growth. An entire team of physicians will be working at the new site including, John Teeters, Highland Hospital’s chief of cardiology; Ryan Nelson, Jason Pacos, Angelo Pedulla, Rebecca Schallek, John Schriefer, Michael Vornovitsky, and a team of three nurse practitioners and two physician assistants. “Opening this new facility reaffirms our commitment to patient- and family-centered care and the heart health of our community,” said Teeters. “We’re excited to continue bringing the highest quality in cardiac care to Rochester and the surrounding region.” The former Highland Cardiology location at Highland Hospital will transition to inpatient cardiology and Page 22

vascular services.

URMC Doc Launches Medication Management System

People Inc. expands services in Rochester

Medacube helps people take pills on time and consistently

People Inc.’s Elmwood Health Center, a primary care facility in Buffalo offering primary and specialty health care services, is expanding services into Monroe County, with two locations in Rochester. This expansion is through a partnership with Lifetime Assistance Inc., an agency providing services for people with developmental disabilities. The expansion will increase access to rehabilitation services, providing additional health care options for people with developmental disabilities, along with creating employment opportunities. The Elmwood Health Center provides Article 16 Clinic services at 11 locations throughout Western New York and now Rochester. Article 16 Clinic services are Office for People With Developmental Disabilities-certified treatment facilities providing clinical services to individuals with developmental disabilities. The services provided enable people to remain in their current residential setting and enhance the individuals quality of life. Services to be offered to patients at the Rochester medical facilities include physical and occupational therapy, psychology, speech and language pathology and social work.  The two satellite offices will be located at 709 Weiland Road, Rochester, and The Lowry Center, 100 Horizon Park Road, Brockport. Founded in 1994, the Elmwood Health Center, an affiliate of People Inc. is a health care facility that provides a wide range of medical, rehabilitative therapies and counseling services for the general public. Specially designed services for individuals with developmental disabilities are provided. People Inc. provides programs and services to more than 12,500 people with special needs, their families and seniors throughout Western New York and Rochester. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted individuals to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity.

Thompson wins ‘Wealth of Health Award’ UR Medicine’s Thompson Health was named Employer of the Year — in the category for 1,000+ employees — at the Wealth of Health Awards breakfast held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center June 22. Sponsored by the Rochester Business Journal and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, the awards celebrate workplace wellness initiatives. Among the initiatives at Thompson are biometric screenings, on-site exercise classes, a fitness center that is free for employees and volunteers to use, healthy vending machines and on-site classes for managing health conditions. Thompson previously won Wealth of Health Awards in 2009,

Physician Michel J. Berg, professor of neurology and director of the medicine epilepsy center at the University of Rochester, has recently launched his own medication management system, the Medacube. “As a neurologist for the past 25 years, my main point has been medication non-adherence among patients,” said Berg, who serves as chief medical officer of the MedaCube. “I knew I needed to create a solution to reduce preventable medical complications that result in suffering, hospitalizations and a need for more intensive care.” The Medacube, a toaster-sized device, enables users to bulk load 90-day supplies of up to 16 medications. It dispenses medications at specific times, and alerts users by phone when they are 10 minutes late for a dose. After an hour, if the

dose is not taken, relatives receive a text message. The Medacube also keeps track of pill supply and lets the caregiver know when to get refills. Twenty-million adults over age 65 have two or more chronic health conditions, which can require multiple medications. Each year, not taking medication properly results in 22 percent of nursing home admissions, 10 percent of emergency room visits and $300 billion in unnecessary medical costs. For more information, visit

2011 and 2014. This most recent award was accepted, on Thompson’s behalf, by Vice President of Associate Services and Wellness Jennifer DeVault and Health and Wellness Manager Tina Culver, as well as other representatives of the Associate Wellness Committee. “We have a fantastic group of people at Thompson who work hard to offer a variety of programs to associates looking to quit smoking, lose weight, get fit and more,” said Thompson Health President/

CEO Michael F. Stapleton, Jr. “Being honored with a fourth Wealth of Health Award is a reflection of this commitment, not only on the part of the committee but on the part of the many associates who take advantage of these programs.” Thompson’s culture of wellness was also among the factors cited when the health system was chosen again this year – for the third year in a row — as one of the 150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare list published by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Renovation of an existing area with UR Medicine’s Thompson Hospital led to the creation of a new, 12-bed observation unit for patients who require evaluation and treatment for a short period of time.

Thompson Opens 12-Bed Observation Unit UR Medicine’s Thompson Hospital recently completed a 12-bed observation unit, the first of its kind in the Finger Lakes region. The $2.1 million project is designed to accommodate patients who require evaluation and treatment for a short period of time. It involved the renovation of an existing area within the hospital by The Pike Companies, LTD. It opened to patients on July 12. Of the more than 27,000 emergency department visits at Thompson in 2016, approximately 7 percent resulted in “observation” status. These patients, who come to the emergency department following possible strokes or cardiac

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

events, for example, have diagnostic tests run, treatments administered and results analyzed as physicians develop an effective care plan. While waiting, the patients need medical supervision for a period of time, often eight to 23 hours. Thompson Health President/ CEO Michael F. Stapleton, Jr. said that having observation patients in the dedicated observation unit will allow Thompson to free up beds in its emergency department and increase inpatient capacity during peak times, such as flu season. In addition to enhancing patient satisfaction, Stapleton said, the dedicated observation unit will shorten the length of stay for some observation patients and allow Thompson to manage its patient load more efficiently.

If you think something is wrong with this picture, you should see what’s being served up in stores. Tobacco companies spend billions on colorful signs, special discounts and promotions in stores where kids can see them. And the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. It’s time for tobacco marketing to hit the road.

Tobacco companies place most of their advertising in stores where


% OF

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shop at least once per week

August 2017 •


IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Rocker? Yes, I am.

Some people like rocking chairs while others prefer rock concerts. And that’s great. We don’t want to change you. Actually, we encourage individuality - we salute it. It’s what makes St. Ann’s a true community that’s full of life.

Caring for the Most Important People on Earth | 585.697.6000 Page 24

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • August 2017

Profile for In Good Health: Rochester's Healthcare Newspaper

IGH roch #144 August 17  

IGH roch #144 August 17  


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