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in good


Bucking the Trend Allison Giordano, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, worked for a large health system in Rochester. She recently left to start her own solo practice

Bariatric Surgery Good news: Patients 77 pounds slimmer on average 12 years after gastric bypass, study finds

Robotic Surgeries

November 2017 • Issue 147

Rochester’s Healthcare Newspaper

Life’s Simple 7

Follow seven key health indicators for healthy brain and heart

Rochester Regional Health moves past milestone —10,000 robotic surgeries to date


Myths You Should Know About Organ Donation

We speak with UR Medicine pediatrician Cynthia Rand

Donate Your Body to Science If you’re looking to eliminate your funeral and burial costs, as well as help advance medical research, donating your body to science is a great option to consider. Find out what to do

Celebrate Thanksgiving At least nine races taking place on Thanksgiving Day in Rochester region

Cannellinis Sometimes called “white kidney beans,” cannellini beans are an all-time favorite, from their taste to their texture to how wonderfully they absorb flavors. They are also super good for your heart.


Dangerous Infotainment systems AAA study show they can keep attention off the road for 40 seconds

App to Help Treat Substance Abuse Approved by FDA


he U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its first mobile app to help treat substance abuse, the agency said in a recent news release. The Reset application is designed to help treat abuse of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and stimulant medications. But the app is not intended for opioid dependence, the FDA said. The newly-approved app delivers behavioral therapy that’s designed to “increase abstinence from substance abuse and increase [participation] in outpatient therapy programs,” the FDA said. “This is an example of how innovative digital technologies can help provide patients access to additional tools during their treatment,” said Carlos Peña, director of the FDA’s Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices. The agency said it reviewed a 12-week clinical study involving nearly 400 people. Among those who used the app, 40.3 percent abstained from further alcohol, cocaine, marijuana or stimulant use, compared with 17.6 percent among those who did not use the app. Approval of the app was given to Pear Therapeutics, based in Boston and San Francisco.

Good News for Those Who Go Through Bariatric Surgery Patients 77 pounds slimmer on average 12 years after gastric bypass, study finds


besity surgery can have long-lasting effects on weight and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, a new study finds. Doctors have known that a type of obesity surgery, called gastric bypass, works in the short-term. Patients typically lose a lot of weight, and obesity-related health problems can be prevented or even cured.

But the new findings show that the benefits are still apparent 12 years later. The study, of more than 1,100 severely obese adults, found that those who underwent gastric bypass lost an average of 100 pounds over two years. By year 12, they’d managed to keep 77 of those pounds off. On top of the weight loss, surgery patients had a much lower risk

of developing Type 2 diabetes — 92 percent lower, versus obese patients who did not have surgery. “This is very effective at diabetes prevention,” said lead researcher Ted Adams, a professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine. The surgery can also reverse existing diabetes. At year 12, half of patients who’d had Type 2 diabetes before surgery were in remission, according to the study. Still, Adams said, gastric bypass has risks, and it’s considered a last resort after other weight-loss attempts have failed. So candidates for the surgery should go in fully informed of the pros and cons, Adams said. An obesity specialist who was not involved in the study agreed. “It does take a lot of hard work before and after surgery. And this is not a cure-all for diabetes,” said Scott Isaacs, medical director of Atlanta Endocrine Associates. The hard work includes a lifelong commitment to diet and exercise changes. So the surgery itself is no “magic bullet,” said Isaacs, who is a spokesperson for the Obesity Society. That said, he called the news findings “really clear-cut.” “It’s one of the best studies we’ve had done to date,” Isaacs said. “And it shows that this is a safe, effective surgery with durable results.” The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), involved 1,156 severely obese adults. In all, 418 underwent gastric bypass, while the rest either did not seek surgery or considered it but did not go through with it mostly for insurance reasons. During gastric bypass, a surgeon staples the stomach to

Are YOU concerned about prostate cancer? Then, don’t miss this patient education seminar.* Presented by Us TOO Rochester. Hosted by Radiation Oncology at Park Ridge Wilmot Cancer Institute. Facilitated by medical providers from Interlakes, Rochester Regional Health, UR Medicine & Specialty Physical Therapy.

PROSTATE CANCER & YOU! Saturday, Nov. 18 8:00a - 2:30p

Coffee service from 7:30am. Lunch included.

in the “EDUCATION CENTER” of Unity Hospital at Park Ridge 1555 Long Pond Road, Greece NY 14626 Park in Lot A5 & Lot B3 (free). Arrive early for best seating.


(585) 787-4011

Email: * Spouses & significant others are encouraged to attend. A diagnosis is not required. Attendees will receive information about advances in screening & biomarkers, new biopsy options, imaging techniques (scans & MRI), diagnosis & staging, risk vs. benefit for a variety of treatment options including surgery, radiation (internal vs. external, photon vs. proton, stereotactic), and HIFU, and therapies that may benefit male urinary continence or sexual function.

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

November 2017 • myHeartad_InGoodHealth.indd 1

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Nov. 4, Dec. 9

Free mammogram screenings available

Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women. But mammogram screenings can save lives since they can find breast cancer in the earliest stages when it is most treatable. That’s why the Cancer Services Program of Monroe County has teamed up with the following providers to offer free breast cancer screening events that makes it easy for you to get your annual mammogram. If you are 40 years or older, have a family history or have concerns about your risk, you should take advantage of these free screening events: • From 8 a.m. to noon, Nov. 4, at Borg & Ide Imaging Ridgeway, 2655 Ridgeway Ave., Rochester. • From 7:45 to 11 a.m. Dec. 9 at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, 170 Sawgrass Drive, Rochester. Please call 585-224-3070 today to schedule your mammogram. Visit for more information. The events are funded by the New York State De-

others uncertain about how to make or bring a vegan dish is available by calling 585-234-8750. The event is free to RAVS members and $3 for non-members. For more information, visit rochesterveg. org

Dec. 5

partment of Health, Bureau of Cancer Prevention & Control.

Hearing loss group holds programs

Nov. 19

Hearing Loss Association of America Rochester Chapter invites anyone interested in hearing loss to any or all of several events it is sponsoring Tuesday, Dec. 5. All programs are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, East Avenue at Westminster Road, Rochester, across from the George Eastman Museum. • 10 to 11-15 a.m. at the church vestry room. Topic: “Hearing Other People’s Experiences” (HOPE). At this round table discussion group, prospective or new hearing aid users can share their experiences, questions and hearing loss journeys. Retired audiologist and hearing aid user Joseph Kozelsky facilitates. • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Program begins at noon Topic: “Dogs for people with hearing loss” with Linda and Jim Panko. As intelligent, trainable creatures, service dogs can alert their human owners to sounds like telephone, smoke detector, doorbell, baby cries or breaking windows. A dog can lead its human toward or away from the

Vegan group to discuss plant-based diet The November meeting of the Rochester Area Vegan Society will host J. Morris Hicks, a business consultant who has dedicated himself to persuading others that a plant-based diet is the solution to our current health and environmental crises. He will speak about “Healthy Eating, Healthy World: Unleashing the Power of Plant-Based Nutrition.” The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 19, at Brighton Town Park Lodge, 777 Westfall Road. A vegan dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Dinner is a vegan potluck. Vegan means no animal products (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or honey). Participants are asked to bring a dish with enough to serve a crowd, and a serving utensil; also bring a place setting for your own dinner. Help to non-vegetarians or

MOvember: It’s Not a Typo. It’s an Invitation to Grow Facial Hair Local residents are encouraged to grow facial hair in November to show support for men’s health, especially men affected by prostate cancer By Patrick Fisher


ontrary to perception, following Halloween and throughout November, women you see wearing fake beards are not doing so to protest facial hair on men. Rather, they have knitted, crocheted or purchased their beards in a show of support for men’s health, especially men affected by prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health. In Rochester and the Finger Lakes region, more than 16,000 men are living with the disease and thousands more are unknowingly at greater risk for developing it and should be screened. An early diagnosis can mean a successful outcome. MOvember (a portmanteau of the Australian-English diminutive word for moustache, «mo,” and «November») is an annual event that started with two men living in Australia who realized the importance of early detection for prostate cancer. Their original concept was to encourage their friends and family to grow moustaches (or wear fake ones) during the month of November and when people inquired to tell them they support early detection for prostate cancer. The movement has since evolved to include all facial hair and now includes discussion of men’s health in general and depression. Today, the Movember Foundation runs the charitable organization and has since raised $174 million worldwide. In 2012, the Global Journal listed Movember as one of Page 4

See Us Too Rochester advertisement about Nov. 18 event on page 2

the world’s top 100 non-government organizations. By encouraging men and women (aka Mo’bros and Mo’sistas), especially loved ones and families of prostate cancer survivors, to get involved in the MOvember movement the organization aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. In Rochester, local business owners and college fraternities have created their own spin-off events whereby clean-shaven men check in with an event organizer on Nov. 1. They pay a nominal fee to join the month-long competition. Then, on Nov. 30 all contestants assemble at a pre-determined location where a panel of appointed judges determine whose facial hair is worthy of acknowledgement. Typically, all funds raised during these local spin-offs are then donated to a regional nonprofit 501c3 organization, such as Us TOO Rochester. Us TOO Rochester is the regional affiliate chapter of Us TOO International, a nonprofit 501c3 organization providing support, education and advocacy for those affected by pros-

tate cancer in Monroe and surrounding counties of the Finger Lakes region. The local group conducts peer support meetings in addition to patient education seminars where men get access to unbiased information regarding advances in screening, diagnosis, imaging and treatment options for prostate cancer no matter where they receive medical care. Us TOO seminars are facilitated by medical providers from across the region. The next patient education seminar presented by Us TOO Rochester is planned for 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, in the education center of Unity Hospital at Park Ridge, 1555 Long Pond Road in Greece. The seminar is free and open to the public. It is presented by Radiation Oncology at Park Ridge Wilmot Cancer Institute. Morning coffee service and lunch are included but advance registration is required. Spouses or significant others are encouraged to also attend. To register, call 585-7874011. For more information about the Us TOO organization, visit www.

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

Patrick Fisher is a Vietnam veteran and prostate cancer survivor living in Penfield. He is the chapter leader for Us TOO Rochester.

source of a noise or sound, depending on what it is. Linda and Jim Panko will introduce their hearing dog which will demonstrate its skills. • 7 to 9 p.m. Program begins at 8 p.m. Topic: “Cochlear Implants: FAQ With Mark Orlando, PhD.” When hearing aids no longer suffice, cochlear implants are an option for the profoundly deafened individual. Audiologist Mark Orlando, director of research and education in audiology and associate professor in the University of Rochester department of otolaryngology, will review cochlear implant candidacy, recent technological advances, benefits of assistive devices, and insurance reimbursement issues. All HLAA programs are free. Anyone interested in hearing loss is welcome. For more information, view the organization’s website at or telephone 585 266 7890.

From Medicare 101 to Retirement Planning: Lifespan Announces Free Workshops


ifespan, a local nonprofit organization that helps older adults and caregivers take on the challenges and opportunities of longer life, will offer a series of workshops in November. Registration is required for all classes. Go to to register online or call 585-244-8400, ext. 201 for more information.

The classes are:

• Lifespan’s Medicare 101, An Easy to Follow Explanation of the Basics of Medicare Parts A, B, C and D and Epic. Four workshops: 1) When: 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 1. Where: Jewish Senior Life, The Summit at Brighton, 2000 Summit Circle Drive. 2) When: 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 6 Where: St. John’s, the Wintergarden at Brickstone, 1325 Elmwood Ave. 3) When: 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 10 Where: Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, Valley Manor, 1570 East Ave. 4) When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 Where: Edna Tina Wilson Living Center, 700 Island Cottage Road • Lifespan’s Special Saturday Series on Retirement Planning When: 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Nov. 4 Where: Lifespan, 1900 S. Clinton Ave.


9 to 9:30 a.m.: “Your Retirement Checklist” 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: “Social Security/ Financial Planning” 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. “Explore Your Future” Attend one or all three.  Lifespan’s Special Saturday Series on Caregiving When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 11 Where: Lifespan, 1900 S. Clinton Ave. Topics: 9 to 10 a.m. “Housing Options for Older Adults” 10:15 to 11:15 am. “Peace of Mind Planning”  11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: “Home Care Options and How to Pay for Them”  Attend one or all three.

Long Sleeves on Doctors’ White Coats May Spread Germs


octors may want to roll up their sleeves before work, literally. A new study suggests that long sleeves on a doctor’s white coat may become contaminated with viruses or other pathogens that could then be transmitted to patients. In the study, the researchers had 34 health care workers wear either long- or short-sleeved white coats while they examined a mannequin that had been contaminated with DNA from the “cauliflower mosaic virus.” This virus infects plants and is harmless to humans, but it is transmitted in a way that is similar to that of other, harmful pathogens, such as Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea, said physician Amrita John, an infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, who led the study. John presented the research in San Diego, Oct. 6, at an infectious disease conference called IDWeek 2017. The health care workers wore

gloves while they examined the mannequin, then removed the gloves, washed their hands and put on a new pair of gloves before examining a second, clean (non-contaminated) mannequin. After the health care workers had finished examining both mannequins, the researchers swabbed the workers’ sleeves, wrists and hands, and tested the samples for DNA from the cauliflower mosaic virus. Each of the 34 participants completed the exam twice (once wearing short sleeves and once wearing long sleeves), for a total of 68 “simulations.” They found that, when the health care workers wore long-sleeved coats, 25 percent of the simulations resulted in contamination of their sleeves or wrists with the virus DNA marker, compared with none when the health care workers wore shortsleeved coats. In addition, about 5 percent of health care workers who wore long sleeves contaminated the clean man-

nequin with the virus DNA marker, while none of the health care workers who work short sleeves contaminated the clean mannequin. These results provide support for a recommendation “that health care personnel wear short sleeves to reduce the risk for pathogen transmission,” John said. Such a recommendation already exists in the United Kingdom — in

2007, the country’s department of health introduced a “bare below the elbow” policy for hospitals, which recommended that health care personnel wear short sleeves. In the United States in 2014, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America said that health care facilities might consider the adoption of a “bare below the elbow” policy.

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

ACA in Flux Again

The Graham-Cassidy bill was last attempt by the Senate to repeal and replace the ACA and it never made it to the floor for a vote. Consequently, the ACA will remain law of the land for at least another year. As of Sept. 30, the Senate will need 60 votes (not just 50) to pass any bill replacing the ACA. Since the odds of that happening are close to nil, the Senate may actually have to work on a bipartisan solution. In the meantime, President Trump signed an executive order to terminate the premium subsidies for the exchanges. Without the subsidies, millions of people won’t be able to afford the full premiums and the ACA would crumble. Nineteen state attorneys general have filed a suit against the federal government for discontinuing the premium subsidies. Is President Trump simply sabotaging the ACA? Or is he really forcing the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, to get to the table and come up with a solution?     

Selling Across State Lines

President Trump’s Executive Order also allows insurers to sell across state lines. There is a provision in the ACA that allows sales across state lines, but details were never formulated. However, this is easier allowed than done. Insurers are reluctant to cross state lines because of the expenses associated with complying with varying state rules and regulations and then having to establish broad enough provider networks to care for potential members. In any event, the Department of Health and Human Services ultimately approves crossing state lines.

Demand for Physicians

According to the national phy-

sician placement firm Merritt-Hawkins, newly trained physicians are being besieged by a record number of solicitations from hospitals, medical practices and recruiting firms. Seventy percent said they have received more than 50 contacts — some have received as many as 100 contacts. The Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of between 41,000 and 105,000 physicians in just 12 years. (Their dire prediction does not account for nurse practitioners and physician assistants). Right now, primary care and psychiatry residents are, on average, receiving the most contacts. Rural areas face the toughest recruiting battle. Only 4 percent of residents prefer to practice in communities under 25,000 people. New physicians overwhelming prefer to be employed versus striking out on their own. Forty-one percent of the residents surveyed prefer hospital employment and 34 percent prefer medical group employment. It seems that independent solo practitioners are nearing extinction.

Uninsured, New Low

According to the US census bureau, the nation’s uninsured rate dropped to 8.8 percent (about 28 million people) primarily due to the expansion of Medicaid. In 2009, the uninsured rate was 17 percent. The uninsured rate has dropped in all 50 states. Massachusetts, again, has the lowest rate of uninsured at 2.5 percent due to its universal mandate requiring all citizens to have coverage.

Good Health

It depends on a lot of factors, some of which are out of your control. Fifty percent of good health is determined by living a “good life,” which includes a decent income, no November 2017 •

disabilities, a good education and a satisfying job. Race and gender impact a “good life” as well. Twenty-five percent of good health is determined by the medical and dental care you receive. Fifteen percent of good health is predetermined by your biology and the final 10 percent by your environment. Ninety-three percent of healthcare spending in the US is spent on hospitals, physicians and drugs or, virtually, on “damage control.” Only 7 percent of healthcare spending is for public health or social initiatives which typically address education, income inequality, racial discrimination, drug abuse, disabilities, the environment and research. Health experts believe that more investment in public health will have a tremendous return on investment by improving our overall health and significantly reducing “damage control.”

95 Percent Satisfaction, But…

According to an independent survey of more than 1,700 adults, commissioned by the Physicians Foundation, 95 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their primary care provider. But only 11 percent of patients, and 14 percent of physicians, felt there was enough time spent during a visit. Ninety percent of those surveyed felt the most important component of quality care is a strong physician-patient relationship. The cost of care is a major concern with 57 percent saying they are only one sickness away from serious financial trouble. (Unpaid medical bills are now the No. 1 reason for personal bankruptcy). Eighty-eight percent of respondents see drug prices as the main contributor to rising costs, followed by the absence of free markets and fraud. Electronic records may be

the main culprit for not enough time spent during a visit. According to research from the AMA, primary care physicians devote four hours a day during office hours, and then another two hours after office hours, on just keeping electronic records up to date.    

New Medicare Card

Social security numbers will gradually be replaced by unique, randomly assigned identification numbers beginning in April 2018. All Medicare members should have the new cards with their new ID number by April 2019. Removing the SS number will help deter identity theft and fraud, which have cost the taxpayer about $60 billion a year, which is about 10 percent of all Medicare spending.  

Coverage Outside US

Call your plan before traveling out of the country. Depending on your commercial insurance, you could have no coverage or partial coverage. Straight Medicare does not cover you abroad, but Medicare Advantage Plans offer some coverage. Temporary coverage can be purchased. The price depends on where you are going and for how long. Check out coverage abroad at 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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Inaugural Meet Healthcare Conference on Nov. 15 Allison Giordano, M.D. Event to bring

Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

national, regional experts to Rochester


ochester Regional Healthcare Association (RRHA) announced that the First Annual Healthcare Innovations Conference will take place at the RIT Inn & Conference Center on Nov. 15. This full-day event will feature discussions from national and regional healthcare leaders on the opioid epidemic and patient care coordination. In addition, the conference will feature a speech by New York Times bestselling author, John Nance, a pioneer in medical safety, quality and performance improvement. “Rochester Regional Healthcare Association has a long history of convening leaders in the healthcare community,” said Travis Heider, president and CEO of RRHA. “As the demands on the healthcare community become increasingly complex, we are more committed than ever to convene thought leadership and provide opportunities for professional development and collaboration.” The conference, which is presented in partnership with the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), aims to bring together healthcare leaders from across Upstate New York to address the serious issues facing the region today. This year’s topics include the current state of American healthcare policy, the opioid crisis, caring for hospitalized patients with difficult behaviors, and strengthening data to improve care coordination. A total of 19 speakers will host breakout sessions and participate in panel sessions scheduled throughout the day. “Care coordination is essential to improving patient satisfaction and healthcare outcomes,” said Anu Banerjee, M.S., M.H.M. “I’m looking forward to sharing information about a strategic initiative that Arnot Health implemented to reduce readmissions with my colleagues across the state.” Kicking off the event will be a keynote address from John Nance, a lawyer and a former airline pilot who served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam and Desert Storm. A resident of Seattle, Wash., Nance is the author of 19 books that have been published in 32 countries and 18 languages. He is a nationally-known speaker and an analyst for ABC News and Good Morning America. Nance’s book, “Why Hospitals Should Fly” argues that hospitals can learn from safety measures instituted in the airline industry. For more information, contact Mary Beth Walker at 585.273.8186 or

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Child and adolescent psychiatrist bucks the trend, goes solo Q: While more and more physicians are joining groups and hospitals, you’re leaving one to start your own private practice. What was the appeal for you? A: What did it for me was, these groups are getting larger and, while there are a lot of advantages, there are some disadvantages. Some of the big disadvantages is the emphasis on profit and the emphasis on procedure. For every eventuality, there’s a procedure. Q: Was it too restrictive? A: Unfortunately, you sometimes have to be flexible where the human condition is concerned, especially in my field, pediatric psychiatry. I work with kids and families. There are no blood tests in psychiatry that will give you a definitive diagnosis. So it’s very hard to have bureaucratic procedures in place for such a nebulous field. Every clinician is going to be a little different, so it’s hard to get everyone to conform to the same standards. In my experience, sometimes the emphasis on productivity and profit can be detrimental to both the doctor and the patient. Q: One of the common challenges I hear cited is navigating the complexity of insurance, as well as the uncertainty of healthcare legislation. What, if any, kind of support staff do you require? A: Insurance can be pretty complicated. I try to keep up-to-date on it myself, but I’m going to be hiring an office manager really soon. It really helps to have people who have your back. I’ve been working with the Monroe County Medical Society. They’ve been fantastic. They give you a checklist of things to do. They have courses you can take and a listserv you can access to talk to other physicians. I also have friends who have done this: one in New York City, one in Westchester, and one in Jersey. We all exchange

information and help each other. So there’s still a community, I’m just my own boss, which is nice. Q: You mentioned your particular field being harder to integrate into a large group practice. Can you give an example of how that can play out? A: Off the top of my head? This is going to sound a little strange, but one of things was that I had candy in my office. At the end of the session, I would give kids a piece of candy. The last office I worked at, they weren’t sure about that. The other doctors didn’t do that. There was an actual medical reason I was doing that, as crazy as it sounds. There are two different nervous systems in your body: sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic is your fight or flight, your parasympathetic is rest and digestion. So if you’re adrenaline is going and you can’t calm yourself down, you can try smelling something nice, sucking on a lemon drop or even picturing and thinking about a food item you like. Kids aren’t as good at abstract thoughts, so I used the candy to help them calm down after they were talking about something that was very upsetting to them. That wasn’t part of procedure though, so I was told that wasn’t a great idea. Q: What challenges have you run into so far? A: Getting the phones to work. I think not having a buffer between myself and patients, even with an office manager. So I think part of it will be sticking to company policy. With a big practice, it’s easy to just have someone say, “the building’s closed and everyone is gone after 7.” Without that buffer, it’s easy asking me directly, “Hey, can you see my kid at 7? You’re the only doctor here, so you can make the rules.” There’s also security. It hasn’t come up yet and

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

hopefully it won’t, but it might. Q: Do you think we’ll see more physicians following in your path? A: I can absolutely see more physicians doing this. I’m hoping it comes back to this. This is how it used to be. When you have your own practice, you can shape the philosophy to what you want. Like, I don’t like to just do the 20-minute med-management. Some people like seeing 30 people a day for 20 minutes. “How’s the medication? OK, good.” I like to do med-management and therapy. That’s my philosophy. I get to know the patient better and they’re more comfortable telling me if there are problems in their life or with their medication. Q: What kinds of psychiatric issues tend to manifest in childhood? A: Honestly, I see everything. I get kids with anxiety, depression, grief, PTSD, adjustment disorder, behavioral disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, ADHD, kids who are having trouble adjusting socially due to LGBTQ issues, kids with psychotic issues, or who might have early symptoms of schizophrenia. So there are a lot of things kids deal with. One of the things I can provide, in addition to medicine, is evaluate how their medical conditions interact with their psychiatric conditions. For example, kids with juvenile diabetes have a higher rate of depression. Maybe the kid who is having trouble concentrating is getting poor quality sleep and needs a sleep study. Q: Do you see yourself partnering in the future with another psychiatrist? A: Yeah, absolutely. I can also see partnering with a psychologist or therapist or two. Not every kid needs to be seen as often for medication management. So they might see the therapist every week and then see me every other week or every month. Q: You’re working on a novel. What’s it about? A: I love sci-fi and fantasy, but I think it’s kind of unrealistic that the protagonists are like, “Oh wow, that’s crazy, aliens or demons exist, let’s go handle this” instead of processing this huge shock to their reality. So the book has the heroes doing heroic things, but also needing to rely on each other to deal with the changes to their world. So, as you can imagine, it’s kind of a psychiatric view of the genre.

Lifelines Name: Allison Giordano, M.D. Position: Child and adolescent psychiatrist at Flower City Psychiatry in Rochester Hometown: Rochester Education: Dartmouth (undergrad); University of Chicago (medical); Westchester Medical Center (fellowship) Affiliations: Formerly with Rochester Regional Health Organizations: Monroe County Medical Society; American Medical Association; American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; American Psychiatry Association; National Medical Association Family: Married, no children Help setting up practice: “My parents have been hugely instrumental in helping me set up my private practice” Hobbies: Reading, traveling, museums, writing

10,000 Robotic Surgeries Rochester Regional Health moves past milestone By Matthew Liptak


he robotic surgery program at Rochester General moved past its 10,000th robotic surgery in the spring of this year and is well on its way toward 20,000 surgeries. “I might not be there for the next 10 [thousand], but we’re well on our way to approach 20,000,” said physician John Valvo, 66, the program’s chief. Valvo attributed the success of the robotics program at the hospital to the ingenuity of doctors and staff who are involved in the planning of the surgeries. Where once there were only a few procedures that could be used with the robots, now there are many. “I think it’s basically a tribute to the men and women who committed themselves to learning the technology and developing the technology that may initially not have been designed specifically for certain procedures,” he said. “But the ingenuity of the surgeons and the surgical staff have allowed this to morph into a multidimensional approach.” Originally the robots were developed for heart surgery, though not done in Rochester. Then it looked to be more capable in the realm of prostate surgery. Now the robots are used in surgeries related to bladder,

kidney, ovarian, uterine, colorectal, lung and head and neck surgeries. One of the main benefits of the minimally invasive robotic surgery is that patients tend to recuperate in a lot shorter time period. And it’s easier on the surgeon too. “Quite frankly I think I like to be able to provide the patient with a state-of-art operation that gets them back into their daily life much quicker,” Valvo said. “From a personal perspective it makes surgery easier for me. Instead of standing for hours on end, I’m actually sitting in a very comfortable position performing this surgery.” Valvo has done several thousand of the surgeries since Rochester Regional Health started doing them in 2004. He expects the program to become even more advanced, because Intuitive Surgical, the company that had a monopoly over creating the robotic instruments, will now have to compete with some other companies in the market. “Right now there are multiple ports that are inserted into the abdomen to allow a surgeon to work,” he said. “Then next generation will allow these instruments to be inserted through a single port, and then expand out within the abdomen.”


There are also some other improvements he is looking forward to. Currently surgeons can see the surgical area in three dimensions with the robots, but they don’t have any tactile feedback — they can’t feel the patient’s body. Valvo expects that to change. He also thinks, with increased competition, that the price and size of the robots will come down. Rochester Regional has two surgical robotic systems. It has accomplished something of a standout achievement as being the only hospital in the United States with only two robots to have done over 10,000 surgeries, Valvo said. “We’re kind of unique in that Rochester Regional Heatlh is probably the only hospital in the country, if not the world, that has accomplished that many procedures utilizing only two operative systems,” he said. “There are hospitals in major metropolitan areas that have exceeded 10,000, but only at the benefit of having several systems, not just two.” Robotic surgical systems have proven a successful addition to medicine. They are not appropriate for every surgery yet, Valvo said, but they are expected to continue to

Physician John Valvo: “Robotic surgery is here to stay,” he says. evolve. They offer many patients a minimally-invasive option that can have them back on their feet sooner. With new competition creating new systems for hospitals, and giving them more advanced options, the field may continue to progress rapidly. How will Rochester Regional’s 20,000th robotic surgery look as compared to its 10,000th? Time will tell. But Valvo is confident the technology has shown its value as a part of modern medicine. “I think robotic surgery is here to stay,” he said.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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

Poverty Blocks Access to Health Care in Rochester ‘In high-poverty neighborhoods, even residents with medical insurance are falling through the cracks,’ according to a study by Common Ground Health


ack of health insurance is often deemed the No. 1 challenge that low-income residents face in accessing medical treatment. But a research paper released by Common Ground Health Oct. 4 found that for Rochester’s most vulnerable populations, other barriers are equally daunting. “The findings from this study are cause for celebration and rededication,” said Albert Blankley, director of research and analytics for Common Ground Health. “The good news is that the Affordable Care Act has cut the percentage of adults in Monroe County who lack health insurance by half. The sobering reality is that in high-poverty neighborhoods, even residents with medical insurance are falling through the cracks.” The paper cites estimates showing that from 2011 to 2015, Rochester’s uninsured rate fell from 10.8 to 5.7 percent. This decrease was driven in large part by the ACA which expanded the availability of Medicaid and added income-based subsidies to support purchase of private individual policies, according to the paper. “Increasing access to coverage is a tremendous plus for individuals and our community,” said Sister Christine Wagner, executive director of St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center and co-chairwoman of the Partnership for Access to Health Care (PATH), the advisory committee that helped frame the study. “When residents have health insurance, they are less likely to put off preventive care and cancer screenings, interventions that catch problems early when they are easier and less expensive to treat,” she said. Beyond insurance, the researchers found that other constraints of living in poverty continue to create formidable hurdles to care: people don’t have a ride, they don’t have

child care or they can’t afford to take time off from work for medical appointments. Such challenges can make getting to the doctor or following demanding treatment protocols too difficult, the study reported. The analysis focused on five of Rochester’s poorest ZIP codes: 14605, 14608, 14611, 14613 and 14621 — areas with some of the region’s worst health outcomes. For example, life expectancy in Rochester’s 14608 ZIP code is a full decade shorter than in Pittsford’s 14534 ZIP code. To understand what lies behind these disparities, the paper explored how residents in these neighborhoods accessed medical care based on data from national and local sources, including insurance claims data from 2014 to 2015. The report used asthma as a case study for understanding the management of chronic disease, pointing to the focus area’s alarming rate of asthma-driven emergency department visits, which is three times higher than in the rest of the city. Trips to the ED and hospitalizations for asthma are considered preventable, because with proper outpatient treatment, such acute episodes should be avoidable. The good news is that most residents from disadvantaged neighborhoods are insured and seeing their primary care doctor. Based on U.S. Census bureau estimates, 85.5 percent of residents in the focus area have insurance coverage. Likewise, 81 percent of residents from those same neighborhoods reported seeing their doctor within the last year, according to a 2016 survey. Primary care visits were even higher for insured individuals diagnosed with asthma. Of this group, claims data show that 95 percent of children and 87 percent of adults visited their primary care physician between 2014 and 2015.

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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

This Thanksgiving: See the Glass Half Full!


very one of us has been given a great gift: the cup of life. It is half full and half empty. We choose which half to focus on, at every moment.” Marc Allen, triathlon coach

Seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty is all about focusing on what’s positive in our lives, regardless of what comes our way. It’s about being thankful, appreciative and grateful. It’s about concentrating on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. I’m convinced that our thoughts and attitudes determine the life we have. And experience has taught me that seeing the glass half full can make a big difference for those who live alone. We have a choice. We can choose to see the positive or we can choose to wallow in the negative; we can open our eyes to possibilities or begrudge what life has offered up. So, how do you view the cup of life? Take a look at the list below, which contains actual quotes from divorced or widowed women and men I’ve encountered along my journey. Do you find yourself identifying with one perspective over another?


• Half Empty “Something must be wrong with me. All my friends are married, and here I am alone and miserable.” • Half Full “Not in a million years did I

expect to be divorced at my age, but I am resourceful and persistent. I’ve always wanted to travel and try new things, and now I have that opportunity — to create a life that’s rewarding and full of new people and experiences that bring me joy. And, who knows? I may meet a special someone along the way.”


• Half Empty “Are you kidding? I don’t know enough to buy a house or a car. Those are the big decisions my spouse used to make. I wouldn’t know where to begin.” • Half Full “Finally, I get to make all my own decisions! No one’s around to second-guess my choices. I just purchased my first car all on my own: a new Subaru Impreza. I did the research and was completely prepared when I went to the dealership. My color choice? Crimson Red Pearl!”


• Half Empty “I’m no good in a crisis. I go to pieces. When I hear bad news, I’m embarrassed to admit that sometimes I long to be taken care of and protected. Living alone makes all this worse. There’s no one to turn to.” • Half Full “Being alone in a crisis isn’t the end of the earth. In fact, some of my most significant growth has been during tough times. When I got the

call that my father had had a heart attack, I took charge, made calls, and brought the family together. I learned I could take care of myself and others, too.”


• Half Empty “I can’t imagine re-entering the dating scene. What could anyone possibly see in me at this age, with my graying hair and grandchildren?” • Half Full “I believe that warm friendships, even romance, can happen at any age. I’m now remarried. We met in a grief support group and the rest is history. Next year, we are celebrating our fifth anniversary.”


• Half Empty “My spouse took care of all the finances, the bills, the taxes, everything! I feel helpless and, honestly, I fear dying alone and penniless.” • Half Full “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew I could do it. Getting help with my finances was one of the first things I did after my divorce. I picked up the phone and asked for help, did my homework, and now enjoy peace of mind. I think it’s the thing I’m most proud of.


• Half Empty “Why would I go to any lengths to create a special meal for just myself? It hardly seems worth it. I can fill up on chips and salsa and call it a night.” • Half Full “Creating a pleasant ‘table for one’ makes me feel good about myself. It means I’m nourishing my body as well as my spirit. When I prepare a nice table setting and sit down to a simple home-cooked meal, a sense of serenity comes over me. I feel at home with my own good company.”

DISCOVERING YOUR TRUE SELF • Half Empty “I’m a creature of habit, too old to re-invent myself. And, what’s the point anyway? There’s no one to share my life with. • Half Full “It’s never too late. Today, I have an opportunity to fashion a life that reflects my dreams, my style, my true self. Just recently, I signed up for dancing lessons, a lifelong dream of mine. My niece is also coming into her own, and I love being a role model for her.


• Half Empty “Living alone is for the birds! I just want to stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head. • Half Full “Living alone need not be a time of diminished opportunities. It can be a time of expanding possibilities. Used wisely, the time can be an adventure in self-discovery and reveal opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment.” If you don’t like the results you are getting in your life, consider changing the attitudes that are producing those results. Who knows what great adventures and joy await those who focus on gratitude and embrace the wisdom of seeing the glass half full. Now, that’s something to be thankful for!

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

s d i K Corner

Girls’ Sports-Related Concussions May Last Twice As Long Underlying conditions could prolong recovery, researcher says


ports concussion symptoms linger twice as long in teen girls as in boys, a new study finds. “These findings confirm what many in sports medicine have believed for some time,” said lead researcher physician John Neidecker, a sports concussion specialist in Raleigh, N.C. Previous research has suggested that concussions may exacerbate underlying conditions that are Page 10

more prevalent in girls — migraine headaches, depression, anxiety and stress. This may explain the extended recovery period, Neidecker and his colleagues said. The study findings were published Oct. 2 in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The results highlight “the need to take a whole person approach to managing concussions, looking beyond the injury to understand the

mental and emotional impacts on recovery when symptoms persist,” Neidecker said. Doctors should get a full patient history to uncover factors that might complicate concussion recovery in teens, he said. “Often in this age range, issues like migraines, depression and anxiety have not yet been diagnosed,” Neidecker explained. “So, if I ask a patient whether they have one of

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

these conditions, they’re likely to say ‘No’. But when I ask about their experiences, I get a much clearer picture.” The research team focused on 102 girls and 110 boys, aged 11 to 18, with first-time sports concussions. Symptoms lasted a median of 28 days in girls (half more, half less) and 11 days in boys. Symptoms cleared up within three weeks in 42 percent of girls and 75 percent of boys.

Life’s Simple 7: Key to Brain, Heart Health

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he American Heart Association developed the “Life’s Simple 7” program to help keep the brain and heart healthy from childhood through older adulthood. The steps are: • Don’t start smoking, or quit if you smoke • Manage blood pressure • Control cholesterol • Keep blood sugar normal • Eat a healthy diet • Lose extra weight • Get physically active Scott C. Feitell, osteopathic doctor and director of Heart Failure at Sands-Constellation Heart Institute at Rochester Regional Health, said that with using a patient’s health information, he can calculate the 10year and 30-year risk of developing heart disease. “These seven risk factors play a huge role in that risk calculation,” Feitell said. “There are some very easy and basic ways people can start to incorporate these changes into daily life. Some are as simple as seeing your primary care doctor to make sure you’ve been screened for diabetes and high cholesterol if appropriate.” Smoking negatively affects every cell in the body. It’s no surprise smoking made the Life’s Simple 7 list. Many people find quitting extremely difficult, but physicians can help with smoking cessation. Willpower alone doesn’t work for most patients. “We have several pharmacologic therapies that can help patients quit,” Feitell said. These include nicotine replacement therapy and medications to help suppress cravings. A good support structure also makes quitting easier. Managing stress can help lower blood pressure, among other health benefits. Susan M. Larson holds a master’s in education and is a nationally certified counselor. She operates Open the Door to Your Future, a life coaching business in Rochester. She reminds clients that avoiding stress isn’t possible and some stress is

good. But to minimize bad stressors, people should “avoid dangerous, toxic, draining volatile people and situations,” Larson said. She recommends engaging in exercise, eating right, getting sufficient restful sleep and practicing deep “belly” breathing, meditation or mindfulness. “If we are centered, we can be aware of negative influences and crises around us,” Larson said. Taking “me” time by scheduling it on the calendar may also help de-stress. Karen Spaiches, a life coach practicing in RochLarson ester, teaches clients to respond instead of react to stress. “A lot of times, we create our own stress,” Spaiches said. “Ask yourself when you feel that stress, ‘What are the facts versus my story I’m making up?’ That’s a lot of why we do get stressed.” Journaling about stressful situations can help them learn their stress triggers and develop effective means of coping with them. Healthful diet plays a role in blood pressure control and also in controlling cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar and weight loss. But many people don’t know where to start. Marge Pickering-Picone, a nutritional coach Pickering-Picone certified by the Nutritionist Institute of America, is the founder and CEO of Professional Nutrition Services of Rochester, Inc.

She said that seeking help from a doctor, dietitian or nutrition expert can help, but people should also “keep informed and be your own advocate,” Pickering-Picone said. “We’re not taught to be proactive on our health.” Reducing portions makes a big impact on caloric intake. Using smaller plates and boxing half — or more — of a restaurant entree can help people eat more appropriately sized meals. “Everything is platters now,” she said. “Split things down.” Sticking with water instead of sweetened beverages also lowers caloric intake. “If you don’t like the taste of water, cut fruit in it and you’ll get some flavor,” said Iluminada Vilca, nutrition educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County. “One hundred percent juice is also a natural option but it still adds sugar to your blood.” As far as what to eat, the My Plate guideline (www.myplate. gov) can offer basic guidance. Vilca said that My Plate also shares tips on how to include more lean protein and dairy and Vilca whole fruits, vegetables and grains in the diet. “It will take some time,” she said. “I always tell participants to take the first step and continue.” The Nutrition Facts label helps consumers know what’s in their food, such as sugar, sodium and calories. Losing weight also depends upon sufficient exercise. Denise Mitchell, certified fitness personal trainer at Chili Fitness Center, said that a personal trainer or class at a gym can help provide both guidance and moral support. “After a few sessions, it becomes habit,” Mitchell said.

A less formal approach could include joining a neighborhood walking group to create accountability. Mitchell said that it can take up to three months before noticeable results manifest. “All of a sudden, they’ll feel better and sleep better and they want to come work out,” Mitchell said. “I tell them to break it down into shorter exercise Spaiches sessions. You need to be able to enjoy the activity. It doesn’t have to be two hours at the gym.” A vigorous hobby that elevates the heart rate for 30 minutes a few times per week can help maintain weight. Longer, more frequent or more intense sessions can help with weight loss.

Top Killers The chances that you’ll develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) or experience a stroke are pretty high. According to the New York State Department of Health, “CVD accounted for nearly 40 percent of all deaths statewide in 2014.” The Health Department further states on its website that “an estimated 7.4 percent of adults in New York state reported they have had a heart attack, angina/coronary heart disease, or stroke in 2014. One out of five (20.9 percent) New Yorkers aged 65 and older reported having some type of CVD in 2014.” Stroke also represents a top killer. According to the American Heart Association, stroke is responsible for one out of every 20 deaths. Every four minutes, one American dies of stroke.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11


The skinny on healthy eating


Helpful Tips

Little Cannellinis Dish Out Big Benefits

eans are a big part of my weekly diet, for many reasons. But there was a time when I could barely imagine eating them, thanks to the canned, overly sweet baked beans that I choked down as a child. What really did me in was the fatty glob of pork, tucked amidst the gooey beans, that sometimes found its way onto my plate. What brought me back to beans, however, was my daughter, who became a vegetarian at 12. Concerned about the nutritional needs of her growing body, I looked for alternative sources of protein, vitamins, iron, and more — sources the whole family could enjoy. All roads pointed to beans. Though empty-nesters now, my husband and I continue to enjoy beans. In fact, we probably eat more beans than ever, now that we’ve cut back on meat and are keeping closer tabs on our hearts, weight and fiber intake. Nutrition reasons aside, we like beans because they’re economical, convenient and planet-friendly (1 pound of beans requires less than 500 gallons of water to produce; whereas 1 pound of meat requires over 1800 gallons). Cannellini beans, sometimes called “white kidney beans,” are an all-time favorite, from their taste to their texture to how wonderfully


hanksgiving Day is one of the biggest racing days in the U.S., according to Runner’s World magazine. There are many reasons for this. To start, recreational running has become more popular than ever. Races aren’t just about the running, but the family-friendly atmosphere and camaraderie — for participants and spectators. In addition, most people have time off, so it’s easy to coordinate going to a holiday race together. Since the big meal starts later in the day, doing something active is a great way to bond, get out of the way of whomever is cooking at home and alleviate guilt from the overindulging that is about to take place. While the Buffalo Turkey Trot holds the distinction of being one of the largest and oldest races in North America, Rochester is no turkey when it comes to offering Thanksgiving Day races — both old and new. Here are a few in the area to choose from: Webster Turkey Trot. 10 a.m. Parkview Lodge, Webster Park, Webster. This race has been a tradition in Webster for 46 years. It had its humble beginnings as a practice run for a cross-country team in 1972. It has grown into the biggest local race, with attendance of more than 4,600 people. You have your choice between a 4.4 mile course or a 2.5 mile fun run. Expect costumes (people dressed as turkeys, a fork and knife, in tutus, with headbands, etc.) and a huge, rowdy crowd — it’s all part of the fun Page 12

they absorb flavors. Similar to many beans, a half cup of cannellini beans serves up 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, scant fat, and about 10 percent of our daily iron needs. Although the protein in cannellini beans is incomplete — like most plant-based proteins — it simply needs to be combined with a complementary protein to reap the full benefits of this powerhouse nutrient. No worries, however, about pairing proteins at the same meal; just having another plant protein — such as nuts, grains, or pasta — at some point during the day will do the trick. Cannellini beans are super good for hearts. One, they rock with cholesterol-lowering fiber; two, they’re chock full of folate, a B vitamin that effectively lowers levels of an amino acid in the bloodstream associated with greater risk of heart disease and stroke; three, they’re low in fat and calories (only 100 per half cup); and four, they’re loaded with heart-protecting antioxidants. Another reason to chow down the cannellinis? They boast a remarkable amount of molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps to detoxify sulfites (preservatives found in prepared foods and wine), which can sometimes cause headaches. Some wine and cannellini pâté, anyone?

Nutrition-wise, canned beans and dried beans are about equal. But if you prefer the convenience of canned over dried beans, look for canned beans labeled “Low Salt” or “Low Sodium.” Before using in any recipe, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly to remove excess sodium.

Cannellini Bean Chili with Turkey 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, more to taste 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups cooked, shredded or diced turkey (optional) juice of 1 lime salt and pepper, to taste Garnishes, such as grated cheese, fresh cilantro, plain Greek yogurt Heat the oil in large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion,

9 Races to Run on Thanksgiving Day

Take part in a healthy Thanksgiving tradition — run in one of many pre-meal races in the region By Kyra Mancine

Visit: http://yellowjacketracing. com/races/webster-turkey-trot Race with Grace. 9 a.m. 990 Manitou Road, Hilton. Up for a longer distance? This certified 10k (6.2 mile) race was established in 1991. The race starts in front of the First Bible Baptist Church on Manitou Road “following a flat, fast course that finishes in the north parking lot of the church.” More than 1,000 runners have participated in this annual race in years past. Visit: Feast of Burden. 9 a.m. One War Memorial Square, Rochester. This inaugural 5-mile race will take place on flat roads through downtown Rochester and near the

University of Rochester with a start and finish outside the Blue Cross Arena. Visit: www.medvedrunwalk. com/feast-of-burden-5-miler Cystic Fibrosis Turkey Trot. 9 a.m. at 26 Maple St. Wyoming. Want a small, low-key race that’s still festive with music, prizes and all for a great cause? Give this one a try! This 5k is a short drive away, and has been going on since 2013. Visit: cfturkeytrot.html Hornell YMCA Turkey Trot. 9:30 a.m. 18 Center St., Hornell. If you’re traveling to see relatives a little outside of town, this might be a good choice. This 5k race has been

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

poblano, and jalapeno; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about eight minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, and hot pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cannellini beans, broth, and cooked turkey (if using). Bring to a boil, while mashing some of the beans against the side of the pan to release starch. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and more broth, if needed. Season with salt and pepper; garnish as desired.

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

going on for 24 years. There is also a fun run for kids that starts at 9:00 a.m. Visit: http://yellowjacketracing. com/races/hornell-ymca-turkey-trot Newark Turkey Day Race. 9 a.m. 303 East Ave., Newark. Another long-standing tradition, this 5-mile race starts at the Alex Eligh Community Center. Race prizes are handed out by 11:30 a.m., so if you’re looking for a race that ends promptly so you can be home earlier, consider this one. Canandaigua Turkey Trot. 9 a.m. F.A. Baker Memorial Park, Canandaigua. Celebrating its 8th year, this not timed race benefits the Friends of Ontario ARC, a foundation that provides programs and services for people with disabilities. Visit: event/turkey-trot/ Turkey Classic. 9 a.m. Southeast Family YMCA, 111 E. Jefferson Rd, Pittsford. This 5-mile race isn’t on Thanksgiving Day, but it’s worth a mention. If for some reason you can’t run on turkey day, this is a great option. The post race feast is worth running the 5 miles it includes all sorts of chili and other food. Over 450 people participate in this event annually. The one mile fun run/walk starts at 8:10 a.m and is capped at 150 participants. Date: Sunday, Nov. 19. Visit: southeast/turkey-classic


Myths About Organ Donation By Ernst Lamothe Jr.


e have heard so many myths about organ donation. Anything from “my religion prohibits organ donation” to “if I am an organ donor the paramedics won’t save me.” Opinion polls show that most New Yorkers support the concept of organ donation as a way to save the lives of patients who require life-saving transplant surgery. Yet New York state ranks second to last among the 52 donor registries across the country in the number of adults who have formally registered with the state’s Donate Life Registry. Currently, more than 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States, according to Gift of Hope, a nonprofit organization that coordinates organ and tissue donations. One of the reasons for this is the misconceptions that individuals may have about donation. Rob Kochik, executive director of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, dispels five of those myths that may be holding people back.


Signing my driver’s license is enough. Fact: It is best to register with the New York State Donate Life Registry, either through an online portal such as FLDRN’s www. or when you visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Formally registering rather than only signing your license will ensure your decisions with regards to organ and tissue donation are legally documented. “Along with registering, you should discuss your wishes with family so they know where you

stand on organ donation,” said Kochik. “As uncomfortable as it may seem, talking about your end-of-life decisions is a responsible thing to do, and it alleviates your family having to make that choice on your behalf.” Not sure when the best time might be to have this conversation? Consider the holidays in November and December, when we are often with close family members we don’t see often. Last year, more than 8,000 donors made possible about 24,000 organ transplants in the United States, according to Gift of Hope. “Our advice to anyone considering enrolling in the registry: Live life to the fullest now — go on great adventures, enjoy time with your family and friends, build an amazing life that takes you well into retirement — then pass life on to others,” Kochik says. Money or fame improve your chances of getting a donated organ.  Fact: The system to match organs with recipients is based on many factors, but not money or fame. Among the things that are considered are matching blood type and body size between the donor and the recipient, and medical urgency of the patient in need. Organs are placed with waiting recipients based on objective information, including location, blood type, body size and tissue type matching through a national computer network operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing. Tissue is distributed based on patient need, availability and medical criteria. “Former U.S. Vice President Dick


Cheney, despite his political position, waited 20 months to receive a new heart. The national allocation system is designed and regulated to be fair to all patients, regardless of money or status,” said Kochik.


You’ll get less care in an ER if they know you’re an organ donor. Fact: Saving patients’ lives is job No. 1 for emergency department staff. There is no emergency department provider who would dispute that. In fact, when you come in for care, doctors and nurses don’t have any idea whether you’ve signed up to be an organ donor. “No one is checking your wallet or contacting the state registry — their priority is to do everything in their power to save the patient in front of them,” said Kochik.


Donation costs money. Fact: All costs associated with donation are covered by the local organ procurement agency, in this case that would be covered the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. There are never any costs to the organ donor, donor family or their estate. Tissue is needed to replace bone, tendons and ligaments lost to trauma, cancer and other diseases. Corneas are needed to restore sight. Skin grafts help burn patients heal and often mean the difference between life and death. Heart valves repair cardiac defects and damages.


Your religion prohibits organ donation. Fact: All major religions

Rob Kochik is the executive director of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. support organ donation and consider it an act of charity. Transplants provide hope to thousands of people with organ failure. In addition, transplanted tissue saves lives and offers hundreds of thousands of people active and renewed lives. But transplants require the commitment of organ and tissue donors, and the need for donors is much greater than the number of people who actually donate. Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network is the organ procurement organization affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center that coordinates organ donation with 36 hospitals throughout the Finger Lakes region, Central and Northern New York, and supports transplant programs at URMC’s Strong Memorial Hospital and SUNY Upstate Medical Center. For more information, visit

Is Your Medicine Safe at Home? Only YOU Can Secure Your Rx!

Serving Men, Women and Children

Help us prevent addiction, accidental poisoning & protect the environment!

MONITOR– count your medication regularly

SECURE– lock up any medication you do not want anyone to access

DISPOSE– drop off any unwanted/unused and expired medication to your local disposal site

Medication Drop Box Locations: Bristol: Town Hall

Farmington: State Troopers

Canandaigua: FLCC (Keuka Wing) The Medicine Shoppe Ontario County DMV Office Thompson Hospital (lobby) Mental Health Clinic

Clifton Springs: Hospital (Lobby) Geneva: North St. Pharmacy Police Station

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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AAA news release. The foundation asked researchers from the University of Utah to monitor 120 drivers as they drove and used infotainment systems. The drivers were between 21 and 36 years old. They drove 30 new 2017 vehicles, ranging from a Toyota Corolla to a Tesla Model S. The study participants were told to use interactive technologies while driving, such as a voice command or touch screen to send a text message, tune the radio or set a location for navigation. Navigation distracted drivers for an average of 40 seconds. The researchers also found that 23 of the systems required high or very high attention from the drivers. “Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO.


Health Rochester–GV Healthcare Newspaper

Ontario Counties A monthly newspaper published 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, Patrick Fisher, Matthew Liptak, Brian Heppard, M.D. • Advertising: Anne Westcott, Denise Ruf • Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler

Rochester New York’s Healthcare Newspaper Page 14

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.

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

Golden Years Shingles:

To Vaccinate or Not?

For experts, it’s a no brainer. If you had chickenpox as a child and are over 50, you should get the vaccine By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ou faithfully receive your flu vaccination every fall, but have you thought about shingles? If you’re like most people who had chickenpox as a child, you have a risk of developing shingles. Most people who experience shingles do so around their 50s or 60s. That’s why physicians such as Lindsey Dolohanty, UR Medicine dermatologist and assistant professor of clinical dermatology at URMC, recommend that adults age 50 and older who have had chickenpox receive shingles vaccine. People who have never had chickenpox should not receive shingles vaccine since they’re not at risk. “Shingles is also called herpes zoster and occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox is reactivated in the body,” Dolohanty said. She added that the only contraindications to the shingles vaccine include allergies to one or more of

the components of the vaccine. These include gelatin or neomycin. The other contraindications are conditions or medication that suppress the immune system, such as chemotherapy drugs. Local reaction at the injection site is the most common side effect. Some insurance plans cover shingles vaccination. Shingles start out with a sensation of burning, pain or tingling in an area of the body, sometimes as a band, but only on one side of the body. Within two days, infectious lesions form (once they form a crust, the patient isn’t contagious). “When patients have active blisters, they should seek care from their PCP or dermatologist and avoid direct contact with children during that time period to avoid spreading the virus to others,” Dolohanty said. “This is a population of patients who perhaps hasn’t had chickenpox or the

November 2017 •


chickenpox vaccine before.” People at higher risk for shingles have experienced chickenpox and currently have a depressed immune system because of stress, injury, medication or unrelated

disease. Elizabeth Arthur, dermatologist at Helendale Dermatology & Medical Spa in Rochester, had shingles last summer at age 53. The illness landed her in the hospital five days. She advises patients to seek treatment for the disease within the first two days, since this tends to lessen its effects and reduce the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, lifelong flare-ups in the same place manifesting lesions. About 20 percent of patients experience post-herpetic neuralgia.

“The pain afterwards can be debilitating,” Arthur said. “For me, it was the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life.” Some describe it as burning, stinging, shooting pain in the skin that any slight contact sets off, such as clothing brushing against the skin. Topical preparations can reduce pain at the site, while oral anti-viral medication can help reduce the duration and risk of post-herpetic pain. The vaccine reduces patients’ risk of developing shingles by 50 percent. “I wondered if it made a big difference,” Arthur said. “After having it, I’d say, absolutely. Even a mild case, if you can reduce it, isn’t that better?” Vaccination can also help prevent the spread of illness to others who are not or cannot be vaccinated, such as yet-unvaccinated babies, who can develop chickenpox from an adult’s case of shingles. Anyone approaching 50 should discuss shingles vaccination with a primary care provider.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

Golden Years Volunteers at Friends of Strong: Comfort and Care to Patients, Big Savings for Hospital By Matthew Liptak


he hundreds of volunteers who donate their time to the Friends of Strong organization offer vital care and comfort to patients, but also save the health system millions of dollars. “We don’t really look at them in terms of dollars,” said Joyce Stadtmiller, volunteer manager. “The value they bring to our patients I would honestly say we can’t put a price on.” Stadtmiller said there is an unaffiliated organization which monitors savings that volunteers provide to different organizations around the country. By using their data Friends of Strong calculated its savings to be $3,981,000 for 2016. “That is the total value of services provided by volunteers if we were to pay them,” she said. That doesn’t include the almost $1 million the volunteer organization raises for the system each year. “Technically, around $975,000,” said Friends of Strong director Sandra Arbasak. “At our inception back in 1975 we donated $3,000. That’s how far we’ve come since 1975.” Arbasak said fundraising for the organization is growing by $60,000 to $70,000 each year. The organization raises the money through a large gift shop at the hospital and also by commissions created through a partnership with Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters. Perhaps the purest value of the

volunteers though is the comfort and care they provide to the patients. There are 500 to 600 volunteers working for Strong at any given time, Arbasak said. “Four hundred adult volunteers work here consistently once a week,” she said. “We have that college population, which is about 80 percent of our volunteerism right now. They come and go with the semester.” It really wouldn’t be the same health system without the volunteers. “Could we function?” Arbasak asked. “Sure. I’m sure that we could somehow manage to be a very clinical environment like hospitals might have been in 1922. I’m sure we could still keep patients alive and get them in and out of here, but I certainly don’t think we could do it at the level that we’re doing now, as far as being able to offer the service and the amenities and the comfort that we do.” Not only are the volunteers valued by the health system, but the health system is valued by the volunteers. It offers many people — students and seniors alike — a valuable outlet in the community. Rose Faucette is a 75-year-old volunteer who has been serving the patients at Strong for the last six years. “It’s better than sitting home and feeling sorry for myself,” she said. “When I lost my husband I knew I

Silver Connections: Social Adult Day Program Now Accepting Referrals

associate executive director, program services. “Our agency is already experienced and proactive in supporting individuals as they age, and our staff and therapists have completed specialized training for Silver Connections. We’re happy to be such a great fit for the community.” Silver Connections benefits from all of the amenities at the Eberhardt Center. The program is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.


ntario ARC announced its new social adult day program, Silver Connections, is now accepting referrals. Silver Connections, located at the Eberhardt Center, 2975 County Road 48 in Canandaigua, provides a welcoming environment for aging adults, allowing individuals to maintain independence with access to support and social activities during the weekday daytime hours. Silver Connections’ experienced staff provides quality care and support for people with Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias and/or adults who may need assistance with daily living activities. This program also fulfills the important need of providing respite and peace of mind for caregivers. “Silver Connections aligns with our mission to support people with and without disabilities or other challenges,” says Lora Winghart, Page 16

Running an army of about 1,300 volunteers at Strong Memorial Hospital, from left, Joyce Stadtmiller, volunteer program manager, Rose Faucette, family waiting room volunteer and Friends of Strong president, and Sandy Arbasak, director at Friends of Strong. needed to do something. I’m a retired city school teacher, so I’m used to being busy, and working with people. This was a perfect opportunity, because Strong was so good to us when my husband was sick. I said I could get up every day and give back.” Faucette volunteers 12 hours a week (Tuesday and Wednesday and every other Monday), and is also president of the Friends of Strong Council. “That is the bipartisan group that actually helps us to spend our money once a year,” Arbasak explained. “They help determine where the money is going to go. Rose is the perfect volunteer. We don’t have many people who come in as often as Rose does. Most people are once a week and they’re four hours a week.

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Program highlights

Silver Connections will offer animal assisted activities; access to an on-site therapeutic pool; community and social events; music, art, and gardening; fitness and wellness initiatives; full or half day attendance; transportation options; assistance with daily living activities; on-site meals; experienced staff providing quality care and support; fall prevention programs; medication reminders; personal care assistance; specialized assistance for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Contact JoEllen Schaefer at 585919-2118 or at jschaefer@ontarioarc. org for more information.

It is not the allocation of money though that is the heart of what the Friends of Strong does. It is the heart of every volunteer that is the center of the organization. “I love every minute of it, because I interact with so many wonderful people,” Faucette said. “I’m in the family waiting room, so I get to interact with all the families who are waiting for loved ones in the operating room. Having been on that side of the desk I can relate to them. To be able to provide a little bit of reassurance and comfort is really very rewarding.” For more information on Friends of Strong call 585-275-2420 or email

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Golden Years Yoga: Flexibility, Strength for Active Adults By Christine Green


aren Des Jardin of Holley can just about do a split with the assistance of a stuffed yoga bolster thanks to gentle and therapeutic yoga classes at Beyond Yoga in Brockport. Her classes with owner and teacher, Melissa Kleehammer, have improved her flexibility and general body awareness. “I hear Melissa in my head: ‘stand with your weight in your heels, spread your toes, don’t let your hips stick out.’” Des Jardin, a retired Kodak engineer, first came to Beyond when she and her daughter attended a workshop with Kleehammer four years ago. Since then she has adopted a regular yoga practice along with several other students. Des Jardin and many of her classmates over 55 have improved their health and overall happiness by practicing yoga. The benefits of a regular yoga practice are many and include better bone health, increased strength and flexibility, and steadier balance thus reducing the incident of falls and an easier recovery from injuries. Many students also experience improved digestion and elimination, lower blood pressure, reduction in arthritis pain and increased physical energy. Of particular concern for older yoga students, though, is an unhealthy forward bending posture. Martha David, a family medicine physician with Unity Family Medicine in Brockport, agrees that poor posture is a big problem in our society and noted that, “we spend so much time bending forward that as we age some people can’t lie flat anymore.” Computer and cell phone use are activities that require a person to hunch forward. In this day and age almost everyone engages with these technologies and will, at some level, experience the negative physical effects of their use. These effects include forward stooping leading to shoulder and neck pain as well as back ache. “We are weaker at the front of the spine, so age alone will slowly bring us forward. Age coupled with technology is a disaster. We don’t have control over our anatomy, but we do have control over our posture and can work to slow the progress,” said Kleehammer. Kleehammer’s classes help students open the chest cavity, strengthen the spine, and adopt a more healthful posture. Students at Beyond also have access to her specialized knowledge of how to use yoga to both prevent and relieve the effects of osteoporosis. Since women over the age of 50 are at the highest risk for osteoporosis yoga is especially beneficial to them as they age. But yoga — while an outstanding activity for the physical body — is also about mindfulness, focus and what Unity physician David refers

Yoga students at Beyond Yoga in Brockport. Many of them are over 55 years of age. They say practicing yoga improves their health and overall happiness. Photo by Christine Green

Brockport Mayor Margay Blackman does yoga as a complementary activity to her aerobic and strength exercises. Christine Green November 2017 •

to as “mental flexibility.” Mental flexibility is the ability to cognitively adapt to change without undue stress as well as problem solve as physical, emotional, and situational concerns arise in one’s life. Regular repetition of meditation and mindfulness, which are a part of any fully rounded yoga practice, strengthens and improves cognition. Brockport Mayor Margay Blackman does yoga as a complementary activity to her aerobic and strength exercises but acknowledges the importance that the non-physical aspects of yoga are important, too. In fact, she has applied her yogic breathing practice — also called pranayama — in many a tense situation at work and at home. “The meditation and breathing have been especially important to me in my post-retirement stressful, encore career,” she said. Blackman has also used pranayama techniques on a bumpy flight and then again before a dental procedure. Des Jardin incorporates yoga lessons at home while preparing meals, doing dishes or even standing in line at the grocery store. Fellow yoga instructor Melanie MacDonald believes that a greater acceptance of relaxation and mindfulness tends to come as students age and grow within their practice. She said that it becomes, “less about just the physicality of the poses and more about the awareness/steadiness of mind and body.” Kleehammer loves when students like Des Jardin and Blackman are devoted to not only the asana (poses) of yoga but also the meditation and pranayama associated with a dedicated practice. Embracing emotionally introspective facets of yoga along with asana can lead a practitioner to a place of deep personal awareness and acceptance. This awareness coupled with the natural maturity of age means that students entering their 50s, 60s and 70s are

Melissa Kleehammer, owner of Beyond Yoga in Brockport. “There’s the age-old saying, ‘less is more’ and this rings true for your yoga practice,” she says. less inclined to push their bodies through difficult poses that aren’t good for them. “Ultimately, the loss of ego and age are a wonderful combination. There’s the age-old saying, ‘less is more’ and this rings true for your yoga practice,” Kleehammer told In Good Health. For people brand new to yoga but curious about a class she says not to be shy. Find a studio in your neighborhood or close to your work so that going to class is easy to fit into your schedule. If you have any injuries or medical concerns make sure the yoga studio has classes that will suit your needs. Most studios rent mats for a reasonable price, but it is usually easier to bring one from home. Bringing your own mat ensures a comfortable class and is more hygienic than using a studio mat. Inexpensive mats are easy to find at local discount or sports stores or on-line. Comfy clothes that allow freedom of movement are also essential, but there is no need to spend a lot of money. Leggings, athletic shorts, and a breathable T-shirt or tank are sufficient. The most important thing to bring to a yoga class, though, is an open mind. Leave pre conceived notions at the door of the studio. Kleehammer pointed out that new students absolutely do not need to be flexible to start yoga, so lack of flexibility is not an excuse to avoid giving it a try if anyone is curious. Kleehammer said that yoga is “focused around helping people gain strength and stability. Through these, flexibility and mobility is gained. We can achieve all of this through subtle muscular engagement and relatively simple postures. This is what lasts. This is what allows us to age gracefully. Physical and mental stability out weigh uber-bendy any day of the week.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Golden Years Planning for the Empty Nest Retirement Years By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


hen it comes to retirement and empty nest planning, many people focus on their financial future and health care. While those are important, planning for mental and emotional health is important, too. Change is stressful — even good changes, such as wrapping up a satisfying career, acquiring more free time and watching the children achieve their goals. But this phase of life causes a void — the loss of pleasure. These changes can cause some people to feel lost, confused, and depressed. “A lot of people think about retirement as a vacation,” said Audrey Berger, PhD, the life coach at Turning Point Life Coaching in Rochester. “It’s really important to plan for the emotional and social aspects of retirement. A vacation for a time-limited period is nice, but an unlimited vacation is not so nice most of the time.” People accustomed to structure in their lives struggle facing seemingly endless open hours. Lacking that structure can make them feel bored, frustrated and adrift. Retirement and an empty house also means they lose the social connections that help support their emotional health. Berger said that although many people don’t view work as a social outlet, most say that they’ll miss their coworkers even if they’re ready to leave the work behind. While their children live at home, parents’ social circle includes the parents of their children’s friends, teachers, coaches and instructors. But once the children leave home, those relationships likely fall by the wayside. People who downsize and move once their children leave home also lose relationships with neighbors. “If they retire and they’re living alone, they’re potentially isolated and if married, they see one person

all the time, unless they make extra effort,” Berger said. “It’s different where going somewhere every day is natural social environment.” Going to work also gives many people a sense of purpose. Consider when introducing themselves, people provide their names and professions. After retirement, the identity shifts. “It’s a sense of affiliation,” said Lynette Loomis, a master’s trained certified life coach, certified business coach and owner of Your Best Life in Rochester. “We need work friends, social friends and romantic relationships. It’s harder to make friends after retirement because we’re not in an environment where we meet Berger people where we have someone in common.” Planning for what to do after retirement should start long before the final day at work. The process starts with accepting retirement as a new phase of life that doesn’t have to mean no longer working. Susan M. Larson, who has a master’s in education, is a nationally certified counselor. She operates Open the Door to Your Future, a life coaching business in Rochester. “We used to think retirement was leaving work and almost like shutting a door,” Larson said. “Now we know that between 70 to 80 percent of people 50 and over continue to have an income stream and be engaged in meaningful work full- or part-time that may be paid, unpaid or both.” She said that staying active in some type of occupation provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose. She encourages clients to pin-

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point what value their careers brought them and then they work together to find other ways to obtain those elements such as socialization, mental challenges, recognition and more. But it’s okay to not work. “Rather than going back into the corporate world, explore yourself,” said Karen Spaiches, a life coach in Rochester. “It’s not selfish. In the end, you’re you. It’s the life you’ve been given.” Brainstorming, journaling, talking with trusted friends or a life coach may help guide provide guidance. Spaiches asks clients “why” when they make suggestions so she can dig down to what they’re looking for. Then they discuss if the reason is compelling enough to continue forward in that direction. She also asks clients to list what they tolerate in their lives so they realize what aspects of their employment aren’t acceptable. That helps ensure they don’t form a plan that doesn’t pan out. Assessing values, such as the importance of serving others or the

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need to receive recognition can also help determine what to do next. Michele Lee Perticone, licensed massage therapist and owner of The Center for Body Wellness in Irondequoit, has clients think back to early memories of things they loved to do. “Most of us put on a back burner and almost forget about unfulfilled dreams and aspirations,” Perticone said. “You’ll likely never become a ballerina at 67, especially if you never were one. But maybe you can help children dance or learn a different style yourself. “You can still take initial passions and morph them into things that match our physical abilities.” Continuing to learn should represent an important aspect of retirement. College classes — for credit or audit — can provide a means of learning, along with adult enrichment classes. “New experiences keep you growing and broadening your perspectives and keep your brain connections growing and expanding,” Loomis said. “That’s why classes are so important.”

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

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A Cheap Death: How to Donate Your Body to Science Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about body donation programs? With little to no savings, I’m looking for a free or cheap way to dispose of my body after I die. Old and Broke Dear Broke, If you’re looking to eliminate your funeral and burial costs, as well as help advance medical research, donating your body to science is a great option to consider. Here’s what you should know. Body Donations It’s estimated that each year, at least 20,000 people donate their whole body, after death, to medical facilities throughout the country to be used in medical research projects, anatomy lessons and surgical practice. After using your body, these facilities will then provide free cremation — which typically costs $600 to $4,000 — and will either bury or scatter your ashes in a local cemetery or return them to your family, usually within a year or two. And, just in case you’re wondering, your family will not be paid for the use of your body. Federal and state laws prohibit it. Here are a few other things you need to know and check into, to help you determine whether whole-body donation is right for you: Acceptance rules: Most body donation programs will not accept bodies that are extremely obese, or those that have infectious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, H.I.V. or MRSA. Bodies that suffered extensive trauma won’t be accepted either. Organ donation: Most programs require that you donate your whole body in its entirety. So if you want to be an organ donor (with the exception of your eyes), you won’t qualify to be a whole body donor too. Special requests: Most programs will not allow you to donate your body for a specific purpose. You give them the body and they decide how to use it.

Memorial options: Most programs require almost immediate transport of the body after death, so there’s no funeral. If your family wants a memorial service they can have one without the body. Or, some programs offer memorial services at their facility at a later date without the remains. Body transporting: Most programs will cover transporting your body to their facility within a certain distance. However, some may charge.

What To Do If you think you want to donate your body, it’s best to make arrangements in advance with a body donation program in your area. Most programs are offered through university-affiliated medical schools. To find one near you, the University of Florida maintains a list of U.S. programs and their contact information at usprograms. In addition to the medical schools, there are also private organizations like BioGift ( and Science Care ( that accept whole body donations too. Some of these organizations will even allow organ donation because they deal in body parts as well as whole cadavers. If you don’t have internet access, you can get help by calling the National Family Service Desk, which operates a free body donation referral service during business hours at 800727-0700. Once you locate a program in your area, call and ask them to mail you an information/registration packet that will explain exactly how their program works. To sign up, you’ll simply need to fill out a couple of forms and return them. But, you can always change your mind by contacting the program and removing your name from their registration list. Some programs may ask that you make your withdrawal in writing. After you’ve made arrangements, you’ll need to tell your family members so they will know what to do and who to contact after your death. It’s also a good idea to tell your doctors, so they know your final wishes too. 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. November 2017 •

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By Brian Heppard, M.D.

Blood Sugar & Age: Keeping Things in Balance


lucose — or blood sugar — is essential fuel for the body. Depending on your age and health, developing Type 2 diabetes can compromise the body’s insulin production and its ability to transform glucose into the energy we need to thrive. As we age, chronic diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity increase our risk of Type 2 diabetes (also called adult-onset diabetes). Without treatment, diabetes increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation. Memory problems, depression, and challenges with diabetic self-care also appear in seniors.

Managing diabetes People in their 60s should maintain relatively tight control of their blood sugars and follow preventive measures like: • Diabetic foot checks • Regular vision screens • Healthy diet and exercise • Medication if necessary For older seniors, I focus on their day-to-day functioning and enjoyment of life. This may mean allowing blood sugars to run a little higher.

Lower sugar puts seniors at higher risk Medical evidence is clear that very tight sugar control is dangerous for frail seniors and nursing home patients because it may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). They may experience the jitters, sweats, or fainting, which can increase the risk of potentially fatal falls, hip fractures, and head injuries.

Are you at risk? Regardless of your age, if you experience significant weight gain

or loss, excessive thirst, frequent urination, hunger, jitters or irritability, it may be a warning sign to see your doctor. Fortunately, environment and lifestyle are the most common triggers of Type 2 diabetes, so there are ways to change your prognosis: • Be active. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. • Eat well. Choose the diet that is right for you. • Maintain a healthy weight. Keep body fat (body mass index or BMI) within a healthy range for your profile. • Sleep well. Strive for eight hours per night. • Do not smoke. Quitting is the single best thing you can do for your health. • Limit alcohol. Have only one or two, 5-ounce drinks per day, depending on your gender. • Work closely with your doctor. Review your medications regularly to identify side effects. While we cannot avoid aging, we can adopt a healthier lifestyle to stave off or manage diabetes with minimal medical intervention. For more information, contact the American Diabetes Association: www.diabetes. org or 1-800-DIABETES. Brian Heppard, a certified medical director (CMD), is a physician at St. Ann’s Community and Pillar Medical Associates, PC, which provides outpatient care for seniors in assisted living and independent living. He is board certified in family medicine, geriatrics, and hospice & palliative care. Contact him at bheppard@stannscommunity or visit

Social Security Benefits Up 2 Percent in 2018 Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration recently announced. The 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 29. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined

by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

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The Social Ask Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

One Fact You Should Know About Disability Disability is something many people aren’t faced with in a direct way. The reality is, a 20-year-old worker currently has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. That makes Social Security disability benefits something you should learn about and understand. One fact you should know is Social Security’s definition of disability: the inability to work because of a severe condition that is expected to last for a year or end in death. Social Security disability benefits replace part of your income when you become disabled and are unable to work. Other disability programs may have partial disability or short-term disability, but federal law requires a stricter definition of disability for Social Security benefits. The definition of disability used to qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance is generally the same one that is used for Supplemental Security Income benefits. Most people focus on the medical severity of their condition when filing for disability benefits. They provide medical records that show how severe the condition is. Since Social Security defines severity in terms of being unable to work, we also need complete work information. You can read a description about the process of evaluating whether you can work or not and the severity of your condition in our publication, Disability Benefits at, under the section, “How we make the decision.” Understanding how we make the disability decision helps you see the importance of information you provide about your condition and the types of work you have

Q&A Q: My aunt is considering applying for Extra Help with Medicare Part D prescription drug costs, but she has about $10,000 in the bank. Would she still be eligible with this much money? A: Based on the resources you mentioned, it sounds like she may qualify. However, there are other factors to consider. In most cases, recipients of Extra Help are limited to $13,820 (or $27,600 if married and living with a spouse) in resources in 2017. Resources include the value of the things you own, such as real estate (other than the place you live), cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and retirement accounts. To learn more, visit the Medicare link at www.

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

done. For more information about how we evaluate your work, you should review this section on our website: disability/step4and5.htm. Remember, when you provide the details about your condition and your work, you’re creating a picture of your individual situation. These details show the extent of your disabling condition. These are examples of some of the types of specific information we need about your prior work: • Main responsibilities of your job(s); • Main tasks you performed; • Dates you worked (month and year); • Number of hours a day you worked per week; • Rate of pay you received; • Tools, machinery and equipment you used; • Knowledge, skills and abilities your work required; • Extent of supervision you had; • Amount of independent judgment you used; • Objects you had to lift and carry and how much they weighed; • How much you had to sit, stand, walk, climb, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, balance; • How you used your hands, arms, and legs; • Speaking, hearing and vision requirements of your job(s); and • Environmental conditions of your workplace(s). Disability is an unpredictable element in our lives. Help us help you by educating yourself about disability benefits, and by providing all the specific information we ask for when you file for benefits. Social Security continues to secure today and tomorrow by providing benefits and financial protection for millions of people throughout life’s journey. or call us at 1-800772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Q: If I get approved, how much will I receive in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? A: The amount of your SSI benefit depends, in part, on the amount of other income you have. For 2017, the basic, maximum federal SSI payment is $735 per month for an individual and $1,103 per month for a couple. However, some states add money to the basic payment. Other monthly income you have would begin to reduce the basic SSI payment. Other things, such as where you live and who you live with, can affect your payment amount. Learn more about SSI by reading SSI publications at

H ealth News Thompson Health welcomes new OB-GYN Francis V. Finneran, an obstetrician/gynecologist, recently joined the medical staff of UR Medicine Thompson Health. After receiving his medical degree from Albany Medical College, Finneran completed the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Finneran He is a junior fellow with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology, with areas of special interest including vaginal surgery, vaginal birth after cesarean section and operative delivery. Finneran sees patients at the Canandaigua Medical Group on Parrish Street in Canandaigua.

MVP Health Care has new VP for quality MVP Health Care has named physician Bernard M. Cohen vice president of quality. He is charged with strategic and operational over sight of quality management processes for all lines of business. Cohen has 24 years of experience consulting with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and Cohen recently served as a consultant to MVP, reviewing quality programs for MVP’s chief medical officer, physician Elizabeth Malko. During that time, he worked to implement strategies for maximizing MVP’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) performance. In his current role, Cohen’s focus is identifying gaps in the health care services MVP members are receiving and helping providers close these gaps. “Looking at the data we can identify members who would benefit from a visit with one of their doctors. We can help schedule a recommended service, or even refill their prescriptions,” Cohen said. “Flagging these members and letting providers know they need special attention make for a healthier community in the long run.” “Dr. Cohen’s expertise and insight have proven to be very valuable to MVP in ensuring our members’ health needs are being addressed,” said Malko. “With him as part of our team, I’m confident that our quality initiatives will have an even greater

positive impact on our members’ health.” Cohen is a board-certified family physician and previously served as regional chief medical officer at Evolvent Health in Arlington, Va. He also served in vice president roles with WellCare Health Plans in Tampa, Fla., for quality management and care management. Earlier, he had leadership roles at WellCare of Georgia, Coventry Health Care of Georgia, the University of Florida Jacksonville Health Care Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, Healthcare USA, AvMed Health Plan, and Capital Health Plan in Florida. He also spent time serving as a U.S. Navy physician and a private practice physician. He received his undergraduate degree from Tulane University, his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Florida. Cohen lives in Elmsford, Westchester County.

Gala nets more than $120K for Thompson The annual gala recently hosted by UR Medicine Thompson Health raised more than $120,000 to benefit the new observation unit and a telemetry fetal monitor at Thompson Hospital. Held Sept. 8 at the Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua, with music by The Skycoasters, the sold-out event had more than 300 people in attendance. The majority of the money raised will go toward the new, 12-bed observation unit which recently opened at Thompson Hospital. The unit is designed to provide high-quality, personalized care for patients who require evaluation and treatment for a period of time between eight and 24 hours, allowing the hospital to reserve inpatient and emergency department beds for those patients who have immediate, critical needs. Approximately $31,000 raised during a “cash call” at the event will fund a telemetry fetal monitor, which uses wireless technology to continuously monitor at-risk moms and babies, giving them the best possible chance for a safe, natural delivery. This monitor allows the mom to walk, to use the shower and Jacuzzi, and take advantage of all of the non-medicinal pain management techniques to help improve comfort and enhance the progress of labor without restrictive wires keeping her confined to bed. Constellation Brands and The Boev Clinic were the major sponsors of the event.

Al Brumagin joins St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks St. Ann’s Community announced the addition of Al Brumagin as marketing representative at St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks in Irondequoit. November 2017 •

Jewish Senior Life Opens New Long-Term Care Homes Jewish Senior Life recently announced the opening of nine new long-term care homes on its campus, a key milestone in its ongoing $83 million campus transformation project. “We’re setting an example of what the future of care can and should look like for our elders,” said Mike King, president and CEO of Jewish Senior Life. “We’ve adopted this new model of care so that we can serve the community better than ever before, providing high satisfaction for our staff and an even higher quality of life for residents, as well as peace of mind for their families. Our values of honoring our mothers and fathers are woven into the fabric of our culture of Jewish Senior Life.” The nine new long-term care homes are housed in three modern three-story buildings, called Green House Cottages. These buildings were built in conjunction with The Green House Project, a nationally-accredited organization representing a new standard in long-term care, according to a news release issued by Jewish Senior Life. There are more than 200 Green House communities in the country A resident of Webster, Brumagin previously worked as a manager for retirement communities in Massachusetts and Fairport. In his new role, he serves as the primary connection between prospective new residents and Chapel Oaks, providing information and assistance to help them make a successful transition to Brumagin independent senior living. St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks is Rochester’s premier rental retirement community. Located on 14 secluded acres in Irondequoit, Chapel Oaks offers luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments, a maintenance-free lifestyle, and a wide range of first-class amenities.

with another 100 being built. The Jewish Home project is the third largest Green House community in the country, according to the news release. Key features and benefits include: • Homelike environment: Each floor in the three new Green House Cottages is its own home, complete with a kitchen, common areas and private suite rooms with showers • Access to secure outdoor spaces: All three Green House Cottages have courtyards and walkways that contribute to a real sense of home and community. • Self-managed care teams: Specially-trained certified nursing assistants staff each home and provide a wide range of assistance, including personal care, activities, and meal preparation, as well as light housekeeping and laundry. Each home also has a nurse on duty as well as a clinical support team. The opening of the Green House Cottages represents a major milestone in the total campus transformation project timeline. Several additional updates are slated to be complete by spring 2019.

MCMS now offers program for board-certified docs The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recently announced that Monroe County Medical Society (MCMS) has joined ABMS’ multi-specialty portfolio program.  MCMS physicians who are board-certified by one of the 21 of 24 ABMS member boards participating in the portfolio program can now earn maintenance of certification (MOC) improvement in medical practice (part IV) credit for their involvement in the society’s quality improvement (QI) program. With 1,200 members, MCMS serves Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates counties. A core role of MCMS is to advocate for physicians and patients for the betterment of both medical professions working in the area, as well as the overall health of the community.

The MCMS ABMS portfolio program will reside within the MCMS quality collaborative, which is responsible for developing and

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Health News updating community-wide clinical guidelines, increasing awareness of those guidelines, and working collaboratively with other community partners focused on addressing QI and health care disparities. MCMS guidelines have been recognized at the local, state and national levels. MCMS promotes innovation among its stakeholders — health care providers, health care and community-based organizations — across the community by reviewing clinical variability, which can be targeted and reduced to improve guidelines and patient care. “As an ABMS portfolio program sponsor, MCMS will ensure that we provide meaningful QI project opportunities to the physicians in our region, bringing expertise of the quality collaborative and physician leadership oversight to the program,” said Christopher Bell, executive director of MCMS. “We will encourage physicians to be innovative in their project designs or participate in projects developed within the quality collaborative and will welcome their feedback during the process to ensure they have input throughout it.” The initial focus of the program by MCMS will be guideline implementation, working to increase awareness and establishment of a consistent, regional approach for the use of evidence-based clinical guidelines. MCMS anticipates that approximately 250 primary care physicians will participate in its first QI activity. “We are pleased to welcome the Monroe County Medical Society as a portfolio program sponsor. Physician engagement is essential to the long-term success of QI initiatives,” said physician David W. Price, executive director of the portfolio program. 

Cone named nursing director at two facilities Michele A. Cone of Geneseo was recently named director of nursing for the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center at UR Medicine’s Thompson Health and the center’s medical adult day program, The Brighter Day. Cone Cone had previously served as assistant director of nursing as well as director of nursing and health services for Kirkhaven in Rochester. Prior to that, she held various nursing positions during several years at McAuley Manor in Hornell, Steuben County. With an associate’s degree from Alfred State College, Cone graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2004 with her bachelor’s in nursing. She has certifications from the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination in Minimum Data Set (MDS) and in wound care from Wound Educators. In 2017, she gradPage 22

uated from the IGNITE Leadership Academy offered by LeadingAge New York, formerly the New York Association of Homes & Services for the Aging (NYAHSA). “Michele brings 24 years of experience in long-term care, from direct patient care to management. With expertise in person-centered care and proven ability to engage and lead teams, she will ensure exceptional care for the residents of MM Ewing as well as the participants of The Brighter Day,” said Amy Daly, Thompson Health vice president of long-term care.

Culinary event at St. Ann’s sets fundraising record A record $127,000 was raised to benefit residents of St. Ann’s Home thanks to community support of FOOD FIGHT — An Epic Culinary Competition, the annual signature event of St. Ann’s Community. The sold-out event, held Sept. 15, featured two of St. Ann’s own executive chefs and two local chefs, each competing in a 30-minute cooking challenge to make an entrée from mystery ingredients. The winner of the competition was Kim Roth, an executive sushi chef at NOSH who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. The proceeds benefit Annie’s Angel Fund, established in 2002 to provide quality-of-life activities for St. Ann’s Home residents with limited financial means. The fund provides such things as lunch out with friends, tickets to a baseball game, a trip to the hair salon or a food truck rodeo, and other simple pleasures to enrich residents’ lives. Key support for the event came from corporate partners, some of whom include Alesco Advisors, Burke Group, GMR Associates, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP, LECESSE Construction and SWBR Architects along with Antithesis Advertising.

Tour de Thompson raises over $3,100 The 14th annual Tour de Thompson raised more than $3,100 for rehabilitation services patients of UR Medicine Thompson Health, bringing the total amount generated by the annual event to over $42,000. Starting and ending at Onanda Park in Canandaigua, the bicycle tour through the Bristol Hills was held July 29 and offered riders a choice between three routes, ranging from 15 to 62.5 miles. Proceeds will help participants in Thompson’s “aftercare” program, which helps people with chronic disease maintain their level of function and independence in the community by providing them with continued services after their insurance benefits have ended or they have reached a maintenance level in their therapy. Sponsors of the event were Constellation Brands, Inc., Seneca Foods Foundation, Wegmans, CDGA Sailboard, Leonard’s Express, Cindy’s Pies and physician Geoffry Hallstead.

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Earn $100 by participating in our study! Waterpipe/Hookah Study Two visits ($50 per visit)- anytime 3-4 weeks apart from the first visit for blood draws (two teaspoons) and urine collection You may be eligible if: l You are between the ages of 21-65 years l You have been using Waterpipe/Hookah only or smoking cigarettes only, or smoking cigarettes and waterpipe/hookah together (dual use)


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our Research Coordinator on (585) 273-2843 if you are interested or if you have any questions. Thank you!

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e all know to check with people how a charity raises Better Business Bureau money, how that money is spent before making a purand more. The evaluation process chase, hiring for the home or buylooks to ensure that the organizaing a car, but did you know that tion’s board of directors is providyou can check with BBB ing adequate oversight before you give to charities, and that it’s being truthful too? in fundraising appeals BBB knows that people among other things. have concerns and wonder Each year, BBB pubif an organization is legitilishes its Upstate New mate before they give. BBB York Giving Guide, which has verified information highlights the evaluation available to help you give conclusions of our charwith confidence. BBB’s ity reports. This year’s information isn’t just great Upstate New York Giving BBB’s Charity Review program for donors, it’s a valuable accountGuide has just been released visit works to encourage wise ability tools for charities, too. to giving read more. BBB has 20 standards for and char- increase confidence in All public charity reviews are online ity accountability. Once a charity or Not online? UpstateatNew York charities. meets all 20 standards, it’s a “BBB You can also get a report by calling Visit or to look Accredited Charity.” The reports 1-800-828-5000. show how charities performed for a charity. against the 20 standards for charity Submitted by the Better Business Bureau. contact If you work with a charity, accountability. BBB’s Charity reports show us at

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

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Two visits ($50 per visit). The second visit will be 6 months after the first.

If you’re an experienced Registered Nurse, Physical Therapist or Certified Home Health Aide it’s time to make your rewarding career even more rewarding — by becoming part of our growing home care team!

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Why should your family have to pay for parking when they visit you in rehab? At the Wegman Transitional Care Center at St. Ann’s, they don’t have to. We also offer complimentary shuttle service from Rochester General Hospital, private rooms, free wi-fi, cable TV with premium channels, and delicious menu items in our sunlit bistro. And with an expert staff focused solely on your recovery, you’ll be back on your feet before you know it.

Discover the benefits of pre-planning your rehab stay with us. (585) 697-6565

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