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in good ‘Bionic Eye’ Eye doctor Mina Chung was part of a team of physicians at UR Medicine that restored some vision to a blind woman using a new ‘bionic eye’

Surviving the Holidays Gwenn Voelcker, author of ‘Live Alone and Thrive’ column, discusses 12 tips that will help those who live alone

Perfusionist Professionals in High Demand Starting salary for new professionals is about $80K

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Things You Should Know About STDs

Incidence of sexuallytransmitted diseases reaches all-time high

Fighting Stubborn Cough?

Magic Pill GVhealthnews.com

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Is there anything that aspirin doesn’t treat? It has been used to prevent heart attack, relieve headaches, pain and many other conditions. 12 things you need to know about it. Page 10

Teen Homelessness in Rochester Solution to problem in Rochester still a long way to go, says expert

Not many things you can do if you’re stuck with cough, doctors say

Oh, pistachios ‘Along with almonds, walnuts, cashews and other nuts, pistachios play an important role in our weekly diet — perhaps even a starring role.’

­

Savings Lives The introduction of self-driving cars would save perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives over a 15- to 30-year period, according to a new study


U.S. Preemie Birth Rates Rise 2 Years in a Row U.S. preterm birth rate is among the worst of highly developed nations, says expert

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fter nearly a decade of decline, the preterm birth rate in the United States has risen for the second year in a row, the March of Dimes reports. And racial and ethnic disparities are driving the increase, the group added. The premature birth rate rose from 9.63 percent in 2015 to 9.8 percent in 2016, and the number of preterm births increased by 8,000, according to the group’s new report. The premature birth rate was 9.57 percent in 2014, according to the March of Dimes. “The U.S. preterm birth rate is among the worst of highly developed nations,” said Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes. “This report card is a public wake-up call, an urgent call to action on the health of our nation’s moms and babies.” Compared to white women,

black women are 49 percent more likely to deliver preterm. For American Indian/Alaska Native women, the number is 18 percent. “Moms and babies face a higher risk of preterm birth based on race and zip code,” Stewart said in a March of Dimes news release. A baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered premature. A full-term birth is around 40 weeks. Each year, more than 380,000 babies are born preterm in the United States, putting them at increased risk of death before their first birthday, lifelong disabilities and chronic health conditions. Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant death in the United States, the organization says. And preterm birth is associated with more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs, according to the National

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Academy of Medicine. “We must address the social and environmental factors that impact health,” said Paul Jarris, chief medical officer of the March of Dimes.

“Only by improving the broader social context for health will we be able to level the playing field for mothers and babies in every community.”

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OUR LOW AVERAGE MARGINS MEAN YOU CAN SAVE FOR OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS.

From 2012-2016, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s annual operating margin has averaged 0.3 percent, considerably lower than the average of the four major for-profit health plans. Based on a comparison of earnings before interest and taxes, we would have needed to collect $1.6 billion more in premium revenue to achieve the same level of earnings as the major carriers over that period. Because we’re a business, not a charity, we need to earn a margin. But we do not pay dividends to shareholders. That works in your favor. We’re a nonprofit health plan, so we deliberately budget for low margins to keep coverage more affordable. We know you have other important things that matter. We’re neighbors helping neighbors build healthier communities.

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


Primary care

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– Lily, Physician House Calls patient since 2010 Jewish Senior Life’s Physician House Calls program brings a team of skilled, Jewish Senior compassionate Life’s Physician House Callsand program brings a team of skilled, comhealthcare professionals a wide range of services— passionate healthcare professionals and a wide range primary of services— directly to your directly to your home. Our doctor provides one-on-one care, Jewish Senior Life’s Physician House Calls program brings a team of skilled, medical assessments, and coordination of care with other home assessments, health home. Our doctor provides one-on-one primary care, medical and coorcompassionate healthcare professionals and a wide range of services— services. The Physician Calls team will work with you to develop a dination of care with other home House health services. The Physician House Calls team will directly to your home.a Our doctor provides one-on-one primary care, care plan that will givecare you and yourthat familywill peace of mind. work with you tocomprehensive develop comprehensive plan give you and your family This program available to is individuals 65 years and older. peaceassessments, of mind. This isprogram available individuals 65 years older. medical and coordination oftocare with other homeand health

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CALENDAR of Join us on Tuesday, December 5th for two sessions: Daytime Meeting: 11:00am-1:00pm. Program begins at noon. Come Meet Mogli! Photo Credit: IHD, Inc.

Mogli is a service “hearing dog,” working with Linda and Jim Panko from Penfield. Linda will review their adoption process. Mogli will demonstrate his skills in assisting his owners. Learn how the training facility teaches the dogs and criteria to qualify. You too can forge a forever relationship with your own hearing dog!

Evening Meeting: 7:00-9:00pm. Program begins at 8:00pm. Cochlear Implants: When hearing aids no longer suffice, CIs are an option Dr. Mark Orlando, Director of Research and Education in Audiology, will discuss cochlear implant candidacy, recent technological advances, and insurance reimbursement issues. Dr. Orlando will allow time for questions and answers. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church East Avenue & Westminster Road Rochester, NY Free parking is available at the George Eastman Museum For more info visit hlaa-rochester-ny.org or call 585.266.7890 An induction hearing loop and captions will be used

HEALTH EVENTS

Dec. 1

World AIDS Day celebrated in Rochester Join Trillium Health for an evening of music and mingling as the organization observes World AIDS Day. The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., Dec. 1, at ARTISANWorks, 565 Blossom Road, Rochester and will help Trillium raise funds toward its campaign “End The HIV Epidemic By 2020.” Enjoy an open bar, hors d’oevres, and live music, all in a beautiful Casablanca-inspired space. Physician William Valenti will be signing copies of his memoir, “AIDS: A Matter of Urgency”, chronicling his experiences over the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by calling 585-545-7200 or through www.trilliumhealth.org.

Jan. 2

Hearing loss group schedules programs

Hearing Loss Association of America Rochester Chapter invites anyone interested in hearing loss to any or all of several events on Tuesday, Jan. 2. All programs are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church,

East Avenue at Westminster Road, Rochester, across from the George Eastman Museum. The schedule is as follows: • 10:15 a.m.: “Hearing Other People’s Experiences (HOPE)” in the church vestry room. Prospective or new hearing aid users can share their experiences, questions, and hearing loss journeys in an informal round table discussion. Retired audiologist and hearing aid user Joseph Kozelsky facilitates. • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Parish hall, program begins at noon. “Discovering Deaf Worlds” with Davin Searls and David Justice. Founded in 2006, Discovering Deaf Worlds is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to advancing the self-determination of signing deaf communities in developing countries” in partnership with educators, employers, and nongovernmental organizations. Executive director Searls and co-founder David Justice reveal their experiences meeting deaf community leaders around the world. • 7 to 9 p.m., Parish hall, program begins at 8 p.m. “Your significant other has hearing loss: What’s next?” featuring HLAA Rochester Chapter members Someone left water running in the sink because they couldn’t hear it or turns the TV to blasting volume. This informal give-and-take is an

DePaul Seeking Holiday Helpers Campaign wants community to “adopt” a client this season

D $50 Helps Shelter A Homeless Teenager For A Week

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ePaul, a nonprofit human service agency based in Gates, is seeking the community’s support for its annual holiday helpers program. Individuals, businesses, schools and service and faith-based organizations can “adopt” clients from DePaul’s mental health residential programs who may not have family support during this time of year. Participants can select from items on a wish list or choose to donate generic gifts such as hats, gloves, personal care items or socks for adults. Past client wishes have included items as simple as a piece of chocolate cake, boots or basic clothing items. For nearly 20 years, generous members of the community have made the season special for those less fortunate by taking part in DePaul’s holiday helpers program. DePaul serves some 5,000 people annually in programs that encompass mental health residential and support services, senior living residential services, addiction prevention and support programs, vocational programs and affordable housing. For more information about the holiday helpers program, contact Amy Cavalier at 585-426-8000, ext. 3102 or via email at acavalier@ depaul.org.

You can learn more about DePaul or make a tax-deductible monetary donation to the holiday helper program by visiting DePaul’s website www.depaul.org or by liking DePaul on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ depaul.org.

Red Cross Offers Three Ways to Make Saving Lives Easier Than Ever The holidays are known for the giving spirit and a hectic pace. This holiday season, the American Red Cross is sharing three ways to give the gift of life in less time. At this time of year many regular blood and platelet donors delay giving due to busy schedules– but the need for blood remains. To help donors fit in a donation, the Red Cross offers three easy ways to make helping save lives faster and more convenient:

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

exploration of relations with a significant other with hearing loss. Topics range from consulting an audiologist, improving communication, and the effects of hearing loss on all the person’s associates and family. All HLAA programs are free. For more information, view the organization’s website at hlaa-rochester-ny. org or telephone 585-266-7890.

Jan. 4

LGBTQ Academy sponsors workshop

The LGBTQ Academy will sponsor SafeZone training, a fourhour, dynamic, interactive workshop that includes activities and discussion around LGBTQ+ inclusive and respectful language, the process of coming out, understanding sex, gender and sexuality, taking action, respectful communication in the face of resistance, where to go for help and much more. This session will give participants the skills they need to provide support and to create environments that are safe and inclusive so that all people are empowered to reach their full potential. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jan. 4, at the LGBTQ Academy’s Education Center, located at 100 College Ave. in Rochester. There is free parking in the lot next to the building. Registration fee is $75 and includes a SafeZone manual, SafeZone sticker, SafeZone lapel pin and breakfast.  To register, go to www.gayalliance.org/programs/education-safezone/safezone-programs. For more information, email jeannieg@outalliance.org. • RapidPass – Donors can complete their pre-donation reading and health history questions online to save about 15 minutes at their donation. In September, RapidPass became available on mobile devices, giving donors the ability to complete their RapidPass from a smartphone, tablet or computer. • Blood Donor App — Through the Red Cross Blood Donor App, users can find local blood drives and donation centers, schedule an appointment, receive appointment reminders and keep track of total blood donations — all from the palm of their hand. • Online appointment scheduling – Donors can conveniently schedule an appointment and find tips for a successful blood or platelet donation at redcrossblood.org. “The Red Cross is thankful for the generosity of donors who help keep hospital shelves stocked with lifesaving blood products, but we know that the holiday activities that we cherish most can make it difficult for many regular donors to find a moment to donate this time of year,” said Patty Corvaia, communications manager, New York-Penn Blood Services Region. “We hope technologies like online appointment scheduling, the Blood Donor App and RapidPass will make it a little easier for donors to give more life for patients this holiday season.” The organization offers several blood donation opportunities through Dec. 15. To get more information, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-7332767).


Teen Homelessness in Rochester: Still a Long Way to Go

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een homelessness is often hidden, as youth are not living on the street, but have been living temporarily place to place for several weeks, months or years. They often sleep on a friend’s or family member’s couch, in spare bedrooms, or even on porches. The Salvation Army of Rochester’s Genesis House youth shelter serves approximately 150 to 200 homeless youth each year — many of whom are unable to name one stable adult they can depend on in a crisis. Some obstacles youth face in achieving independence include mental health issues, lack of a high school education, no job experience, lack of stable support systems and of affordable housing. The majority of homeless youth have suffered some type of trauma and most youth have dropped out of high school. Those who still attend school often struggle to keep up due to continuous changes in their living situations, struggles with reliable transportation, and accessing the support they need to catch up on missed work. Many youth have never worked or volunteered when they begin to search for a job, and their lack of education often inhibits them from obtaining employment. Many youth lack “soft skills,” such as punctuality, interviewing and dressing appropriately for work. Assistance from the Department of Social Services limits youth to housing for $400 a month or less — which is difficult to find in Rochester. Youth in the 16 17 year-old-range are in especially challenging situations because they are stuck in the middle considered too young to be on their own, but are often considered too old to be placed in foster care. Transitional Living Programs which provide 18-month housing with case management support are a good option, but space is often limited. Despite the obstacles they have to overcome, teens tend to be very resilient — they are resourceful, flexible and are able to adapt. To find out more information

Call 585-473-8177 or visit www.bccr.org This program is supported with funds from the State of New York.

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about The Salvation Army of Greater Rochester’s programs for homeless youth, visit Rochesterny.salvationarmy.org. April Ernisse is a program manager at The Salvation Army of Greater Rochester’s Genesis House Youth Shelter.

Liberty Resources Behavioral Health Clinic offers a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health counseling. Our experienced staff use evidence-based We treat children and adults and can treatment approaches. Services include: help with many difficulties such as: • Individual Therapy • Couple and Family Therapy • Psychiatric Evaluation and Medication Management

Health Rochester–GV Healthcare Newspaper

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@GVhealthnews.com

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

December 2017 •

Anxiety Depression Trauma Anger Issues

• OCD • Panic Attacks • Behavior Problems

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Meet

Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Mina Chung, M.D. Eye doctor part of a team of physicians at UR Doctor Burnout: Medicine that restored some vision to a blind woman using a new ‘bionic eye’ A Big Health

Threat in U.S.

Study: One in five doctors intends to reduce work hours in the next year

C

omplaining of burnout and job dissatisfaction, many U.S. doctors plan to reduce their work hours or leave medicine altogether, a new study reveals. “Our findings have profound implications for health care organizations,” according to the researchers from the American Medical Association (AMA), the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University. The study found that about one in five doctors intends to reduce work hours in the next year. And about one in 50 intends to leave medicine for a different career within the next two years. The demands of electronic health records were among the challenges leading to job dissatisfaction. If only 30 percent of those doctors follow through on their plans to leave medicine, that would mean a loss of nearly 4,800 doctors. That’s about the same as losing the graduating classes of 19 U.S. medical schools in each of the next two years, the researchers explained. Replacing physicians is expensive for institutions. One recent analysis estimated the cost at $800,000 or more per doctor. “In addition, turnover is disruptive to patients, staff and organizational culture,” the study authors wrote. “An energized, engaged, and resilient physician workforce is essential to achieving national health goals,” said physician David Barbe, president of the American Medical Association. “Yet burnout is more common among physicians than other U.S. workers, and that gap is increasing as mounting obstacles to patients’ care contribute to emotional fatigue, depersonalization and loss of enthusiasm among physicians,” Barbe said in an AMA news release. “The AMA is urging Congress, hospitals, and health plans to recognize the coming crisis as an early warning sign of health system dysfunction. America’s physicians are the canary in the coal mine,” he noted. Nearly 6,700 physicians across all specialties participated in the 2014 survey. The results were published Nov. 1 in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Q: You’ve recently used a new device to restore sight to a patient. What’s the device and how does it work? A: This new implant, which they call a retinal prosthesis, was recently approved by the FDA for use. So we went through the process to obtain it for the University of Rochester, and we’re the first in New York to put one in. Basically it works for a type of retinal degeneration which previously had no treatment and, in the most severe cases, could leave people completely blind. The implant consists of an electrode array that gets surgically implanted on top of the retina. In this condition, the rods and cones are deteriorated, but the nerves of the inner retina are still intact. So the electrode array is connected to a camera, which the person can wear on a pair of glasses and that transmits a wireless signal to a transponder that’s on the eye. Q: Does this need an external power source? How long does it last? A: It lasts permanently. The part that’s inside the eye does not need a power source but the camera has a power source that has a battery pack they can wear on their waist. ed?

Q: And that’s physically connect-

A: Yeah. So the camera is connected to the power source by a wire, but the part inside the eye is totally wireless.

retinal vitrectomy. So we do that and implant it inside the eye. It takes a little bit of doing. The team from the company that makes the device was there to make sure all the parts were working, so there are a few checkpoints along the way to make sure all the electrodes are working correctly and everything was in the right place. The process builds on techniques that are standard for retinal surgeries. Q: How much does the device cost. Is it covered by insurance? A: Luckily the device was approved by Medicare. Most of the insurance companies follow the Medicare guidance. It is quite costly. The implant costs $120,000 and the procedure and training period to interpret the images brings it to about $150,000. Q: What does sight look like for a person who receives this implant? What kinds of images are they receiving? A: The retina is a nerve that is responsible for vision. Things that stimulate the retina cause a person to see a spark or a flash. So these electrodes now stimulate the retina to create a flash image on each place in the grid array. Those electrodes are stimulated based on contrasts of images that they camera sees. So you

Q: What percentage of blindness cases can this technology help? A: This is a fairly rare case of blindness. It works in cases where the eye, the nerve and the inner layers of the retina are still intact. So it’s a fairly rare condition where only the rods and cones are deteriorated. It’s called retinitis pigmentosa. It affects about one in 50,000 people. Q: Do you see potential for broader applications? A: This is just a very first case, and it purposefully selected for people who are completely blind. It does seem to work well to help those people identify targets and navigate. They might be extending it to people who aren’t as blind. It may also work for people with other kinds of retinal degeneration. Q: How long is the procedure? A: It took about four hours for us to put it in. It’s a regular surgery. The way it works is we put the transponder on the outside of the eye. The really critical part is the electrode array that needs to lay right on top of the retina. There’s a surgery I routinely do for retinal detachments called a

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

In the News A 71-year-old woman blinded by an inherited disease recently thrilled University of Rochester doctors by reaching out and grabbing her ophthalmologist’s hand after receiving a “bionic eye.” The device allows her to distinguish light and motion, which she hasn’t been able to do in decades. She is the first person in New York to receive the FDA-approved Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System. Physician Mina Chung of the Flaum Eye Institute worked with retina specialist Ajay Kuriyan, and anesthesiologist Anil Pisharoty to implant the device Aug. 29 activate it Sept. 24.

can imagine a pixel array of dots. That’s what they see. They need to move the camera across borders, so if they look at a sidewalk, they’ll see signals about where the borders are. of?

Q: How hard is it to get the hang

A: After the implantation the eye needs time to heal, so we actually don’t turn it on for about a month. At the one month visit we turned it on, and there was a two-hour training session with the company. On that first day our patient was able to see motions and identify a sign that was on the wall by its border. So she was able to see some signals right away, but she had to practice with it when she got home. It’s been a few weeks since she turned it on. She told us she’s able to walk down the hallway of her house and see out the window. She can see the railing of her deck and items in her hallway that she used to trip over. It’s helps with independence and navigation. We anticipate people will learn how to use it better over time. Q: To geek out for a moment, this sounds a lot like cybernetics? A: Yeah, they’re calling it the bionic eye. It is kind of science fiction sounding, and it’s amazing that technology has gotten to this point. It’s really something that we had no treatment for. Q: Are you going to be training other surgeons in how to do this? A: Our group, Dr. Ajay Kuriyan and myself, did the training program at another site and then had a proctor come and proctor us the first time. The company has a network of people who have completed the training, so now we can help others and act as proctors for them.

Lifelines Name: Mina Chung, M.D. Position: Associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Hometown: Bronx, NY Education: Yale University, bachelor and medical degrees; post-doctoral training and residency: USC University Hospital; internship in ophthalmology at Greenwich Hospital Affiliations: University of Rochester Medical system Organizations: American Academy of Ophthalmology; American Society of Retina Specialists, Macula Society Family: Married Hobbies: Running


Getting Self-Driving Cars on the Road Soon Might Save Lives

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he sooner driverless cars make their way onto American roadways, the sooner thousands of lives will be saved each year, a new report suggests. For that reason, the RAND Corporation research team that did the analysis is cautioning against delaying the introduction of driverless cars — which they call “highly automated vehicles” (HAVs) — under any misplaced premise that current technology might be somewhat less than “perfectly” safe. “We were surprised by the magnitude of life savings by the introduction of HAVs,” said Nidhi Kalra. She is senior information scientist and director of RAND’s San Francisco office. The RAND report, released online early November, warns of the cost of forgoing somewhat safer self-driving cars in favor of waiting for hugely safer cars that might take many more years to develop. The safety record would improve even more by getting self-driving cars on the roadways “so that

technology that was only just better than humans when introduced could become much better, much faster,” Kalra said. Specifically, the introduction of self-driving cars that are just 10 percent safer than cars driven by humans would save perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives over a 15- to 30-year period. Those are lives that would otherwise be lost if such cars were kept off the road in anticipation of ones that are as much as 75 to 90 percent safer than human drivers, the researchers said. At issue is the fact that driverless cars will probably never be perfectly safe, experts acknowledge. Weather, traffic and cyber security issues are vulnerabilities that will endure, even if risks currently linked to human error get reduced or eliminated. But when considering when to actually launch self-driving cars on U.S. roads, the question remains: How safe is safe enough? “Nearly perfect autonomous vehicles may be extremely difficult to achieve without widespread deploy-

ment,” Groves said. “Fortunately, the industry and observers are quite confident that autonomous vehicles that are safer on average than humans can be achieved through current development procedures.” Still, “it may be a very long time before these vehicles can operate in all possible conditions at a performance that is many times better than human drivers,” he stressed. “And yet, they may offer huge benefits in some conditions, even when the

improvement over human drivers is modest.” That’s because human driving can be deeply flawed, undermined by a variety of factors such as fatigue, distraction and drunk driving. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that more than 90 percent of car crashes are the result of driver-related errors.

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Uninsured Number Goes Up

Insurance Market Dominance

Critics of the Affordable Care Act have been quick to point out that insurance choices on the exchanges in several markets are limited to only one carrier or at least a dominant carrier. But lack of choice is not limited to the exchanges. The exchanges merely reflect what is going on across the country: commercial insurance is becoming increasingly concentrated in many markets which can be bad for employers, consumers and providers. Carriers have been quick to abandon markets where they have less than a 10 percent market share, leaving even more market share for the already dominant insurer. Physicians are particularly cognizant of the increasing concentration and dominance of certain carriers in their respective markets. According to a survey by the American Medical Association, last year 43 percent of metropolitan markets had a single carrier with over 50 percent market share. It was 40 percent in 2014. Overall, 69 percent of metro markets experienced a “significant absence of health insurer competition” resulting in a “highly concentrated” rating based on federal guidelines used to assess competition. To maintain competition and reduce the risk of monopolies, federal judges have prevented the proposed mergers of Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna. To counter, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) point out that increased hospital mergers also threaten market competition. The FTC and Department of Justice remain wary of all mergers, purportedly for improved services and cost reductions, that end up increasing prices in a market.

According to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index survey, the number of uninsured increased to 12.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017 after an all-time low of 10.9 percent at the end of last year. Considering the uncertainty and confusion caused by Washington, this comes as no surprise considering: the cost sharing reduction payments (subsidies) and the individual mandate have been threatened; the enrollment period was cut in half; and outreach and advertising budgets were slashed. Open enrollment for 2018 ends Dec. 15.  

Confidence in Congress Low

In a recent poll of its members, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) revealed that 89 percent of over 1,500 respondents said they had “low confidence” in their politician’s ability to solve the nation’s healthcare problems. Ten percent expressed moderate confidence, leaving just 1 percent with high confidence. Instability, uncertainty and lack of vision were cited as reasons for low confidence.

Patient Non-compliance Costly

Most physicians rank “patient non-compliance” as a major contributor to poor outcomes. An article that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the cost of non-compliance was $100 billion a year….over 10 years ago. Non-compliance is especially high in patients being treated for HIV, high blood pressure, mental health disorders and childhood illnesses. Not taking medications as prescribed is also December 2017 •

considered non-compliant behavior leading to poor outcomes. Behavioral Economics in medicine has not come up with any easy answers for improving patient compliance. Increasing out of pocket payments, high deductibles and copays, could be a contributing factor to patient non-compliance.

Opioid Scam

One hundred forty people a day are dying from opioid overdoses. As if that isn’t bad enough, there are unscrupulous providers trying to enrich themselves at the expense, if not the life, of others. A 74-year-old physician and two of his staff were arrested in NYC for writing thousands of medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone and fentanyl thereby flooding the local community with the highly addictive opioids. The physician charged $200 to $300 cash for a “patient visit” resulting in over $2 million. The “patients” then sold the drugs to a local dealer who then sold the drugs on the streets.

Genetic Testing Closer

It is becoming cheaper and simpler all the time. Right now it costs about $100 on average. Mail order tests like “23andMe” and “Color Genomics” are practically mainstream. Experts think these tests will cost almost nothing in a few years and will be paid for by all insurances. The results of the genetic testing will help physicians to be more targeted or precise when ordering treatment plans for problems like cancer and high risk pregnancies. Patients determined to be at risk for diseases like cancer can be treated preventively which would save payers millions

over the long run.

Merger Mania

Not to be outdone by insurance company and hospital mergers, CVS Health (the pharmacy benefits management company, not the drug stores) has offered to buy mega insurance company Aetna for $70 billion. CVS Health would pay for Aetna with cash and stocks. CVS Health figures once they own an insurance company with its 52 million members, it will be able to negotiate lower prices for drugs.

Nurse Shortage

A survey of over 3,300 nurses conducted by a national recruiting firm revealed 36 percent of respondents plan to retire in a year. Other surveys show 73 percent of baby boomer nurses plan to retire in the next three years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts nursing jobs will increase 15 percent from now until 2026. The healthcare industry will be hard pressed to replace all the experience and institutional knowledge that will retire with the baby boomer nurses.

George W. Chapman is a healthcare business consultant who works exclusively with physicians, hospitals and healthcare organizations. He operates GW Chapman Consulting based in Syracuse. Email him at gwc@gwchapmanconsulting.com.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7


Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Surviving the Holidays: 12 Tempting Tips

W

hether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the winter solstice, the holidays can be anything but merry if you are newly divorced or widowed. I know I dreaded the month of December after my divorce. That was until I made a deliberate decision to fight the Bah Humbugs and instead embrace good tidings and joy. Inspired by the holiday favorite, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” I offer the following 12 tips to help those who live alone rediscover some meaning and merriment this time of year. Slow down. Better yet, stop what you’re doing altogether. Take a few moments to ask yourself what the holidays really mean to you. Rebirth? Hope? Peace and love? Generosity and goodwill? Revisit your most deeply held beliefs about the season and make a conscious decision to participate in the holiday rituals that align with your values and spiritual underpinnings. Be realistic and give yourself a break. For those who live alone, some degree of loneliness can

1.

2.

be considered normal during the holidays. It’s a good time to remember that feelings of loneliness aren’t terminal, nor are they a “state of being” reserved for single people. Loneliness has very little to do with being alone. It has everything to do with your state of mind. Now’s a good time to remind yourself that your happiness is in your hands, and that there are positive, healthy steps you can take to avoid the chill of loneliness. Create new holiday traditions, especially if you’re bemoaning the loss of irretrievable traditions of a “past life.” Consider instituting your very own signature tradition of helping others. When you give of yourself, you reap two big rewards: First, you’ll develop connections with people who share your spirit of giving and second, you’ll nurture your soul. Volunteering, especially this time of year, can be as fulfilling as it is uplifting. On that note, if volunteering doesn’t fit into your schedule, bake some holiday goodies

3.

4.

s d i K Corner

What Really Works to Fight a Stubborn Cough?

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f you’re looking for a cough remedy this cold season, you might be out of luck. Nothing has been proven to work that well, according to a new report from the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). After reviewing clinical trials testing everything from cough syrups to zinc, an ACCP panel came to some less-than-positive conclusions: Overthe-counter medicines — including cold and cough products and anti-inflammatory painkillers — cannot be recommended. Nor is there evidence supporting most home remedies — though, the group says, honey is worth a shot for kids. Every season, most people probPage 8

ably battle at least one cold-induced cough, said report author, physician Mark Malesker. And they apparently want relief. In 2015, Americans spent more than $9.5 billion on over-the-counter cold/ cough/allergy remedies, according to the report. “But if you look at the evidence, it really doesn’t support using those products,” said Malesker, a professor at Creighton University in Omaha. Unfortunately, he said, there have been no big advances made since 2006 — the last time the chest physicians issued guidelines on treating cold-related cough. So what do you do when a hacking cough keeps you up all night? A couple of studies have found

for your colleagues at work or leave a little something on a neighbor’s doorstep. When you are thinking about and doing for others, you get outside yourself and feel less lonely — more a part of the world and of this season of giving. Be the instigator. Identify a holiday concert or event you’d like to attend and invite family or friends to join you. Take on the role of social secretary and you’ll gradually feel your holidays and social life becoming more active and interesting. Decorate your home or apartment. Do it for you. It will help put you in the spirit of the season. Hang a wreath on your door. Accent your mantel. Bring the holidays inside your home and you’ll feel its essence inside your heart. Invite people over. It will give you an incentive to decorate, if you don’t feel motivated to do it for yourself. No need to plan a party or go overboard. Just having a few friends over for brunch or to watch a holiday special on TV can lift your spirits (and theirs). Send holiday cards. Take this occasion to say “hello” and make connections. I love getting an unexpected card from a longlost friend, and I delight in tracking down and sending out season’s greetings to those who might be surprised to hear from me. Sure enough, good things come from reaching out to others. I encourage you to address a few envelopes this season.

5. 6.

7. 8.

that honey may bring some relief to children age 1 and up. (Honey should not, however, be given to babies younger than 1 year, the physicians’ group says.) There was also “weak evidence” that zinc lozenges might help ease adults’ coughing — but it wasn’t enough to recommend them, according to the report. Plus, it says, zinc can have side effects, including a bad taste in the mouth, stomach cramps and vomiting. What about storied home remedies, like Grandma’s chicken soup or neti pots for nasal irrigation? There’s no strong evidence for them, either, the review found. On the other hand, Malesker said, if your favorite tea or soup makes you feel better, use it. “It’s very frustrating that we haven’t found a good way to address this,” said David Beuther, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health, a Denver hospital that specializes in respiratory diseases. A simple cold-related cough is generally something healthy people can wait out - but it can be miserable, Beuther pointed out. And while a quick fix might be tempting, simply slowing down could help, Beuther said. “Sometimes you just need to take a day off and let yourself rest,” he noted. Beuther also recommended that people drink enough water to stay hydrated — which may help break up any thick mucus that is causing the cough.

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

9.

Include yourself on your gift list and spoil yourself with comfort. Read a best-seller by the fire. Schedule a massage. Treat yourself to that luxurious bathrobe you’ve admired for weeks. Welcome children into your home. Children add a wonderful dimension to the holidays. Host a cookie party or otherwise put yourself with children. Their silliness, curiosity and wonder will add to your joy this season. Let go of the notion that you need to be married or in a romantic relationship to enjoy the holidays. Life is all about personal connections, and there are plenty to be found in friends, neighbors, colleagues, even people you meet in passing. No final tip. No “drummers drumming.” Just my warmest wishes to all of you who live alone. Have yourself a merry little “whatever” and enjoy the season to the fullest. You have a choice. Choose to be with people rather than isolate. Choose to appreciate what you have rather than focus on what you’re missing. I promise you this: Embrace even half of the tips above and you will find more joy this season. Cheers!

10. 11. 12.

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 585-624-7887 or email: gvoelckers@rochester.rr.com.


Healthcare Carrers

Americans

Love Their ER About half of Americans get health care in ER

W Perfusionist Professionals in High Demand Starting salary for new perfusionists is about $80K By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

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ost laymen don’t know that a perfusionist is the person who operates heart and lung equipment and monitors patient vitals during major surgery or while they await healing or major organ transplant. Though not a well-known title, the position is hard to fill, like many health care specialties. Gary Baker, CEO at Cochran, Cochran & Yale, a health care recruiting company in Rochester, said that the demand for specialty positions in health care are incredibly high. “I’ve been in this business 38 years and I’ve never seen as much demand in any industry as in health care in the past five years.” Many health care organizations employ 25 to 30 people, just recruiting. It’s a very competitive environment,” Baker added. He said that organizations tend to recruit employees from other organizations and students directly from school before graduation. Baker believes that part of the reason is the aging baby boomer population. Along with other health issues, heart and lung issues need surgical intervention and thus would require perfusionists. SUNY Upstate in Syracuse offers the only training for perfusion in the state, except for in Long Island. According to Bruce Searles, an associate professor and chairman of the department of cardiovascular perfusion at SUNY Upstate, only 16 schools nationwide teach profusion and they produce 120 graduates per year. At Upstate, about 70 people apply for the six to seven openings for new perfusion students each year. “Employers have quite a shortage,” Searles said. “All of our graduates in this program get jobs, many

before they graduate.” He attributed the shortage to the number of retiring perfusionists, rather than a lack of interest in the career path. Although enlarging the program at SUNY Upstate and other schools may seem an easy solution, Searles said that the school focuses on quality rather than quantity. “It’s discouraging to me as a program director to hear people say, ‘We’ll hire any graduate and train them,’” Searles said. “An issue with such a young field is we went from no training to on-the-job formalized training to the curriculum we have now. Some busy heart centers have schools and have been around a long time, but there are big cracks in the process. “The career as a whole is just over 50 years old. Some remember being trained in the hospital by their surgeon.” SUNY’s 21-month program requires a bachelor’s degree, though not necessarily in medicine (though that certainly helps). “We’ve even had people with a bachelor’s in English,” Searles said, “but a background in nursing, anatomy or biology is best. We cast a wide net and sort out the net later.” The applicants’ personality type matters also. Searles said that those who can remain calm and pay attention to details over a long period of time perform better. He likens it to the same skills as required for flying a plane, along with monitoring lots of technical and physiological data. After completing the coursework successfully, students sit for two certification examinations offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Profusion, offered every six months online at testing centers. Those who December 2017 •

pass both tests are credentialed as a “certified clinical perfusionist” Starting salary locally is about $80,000. Those who are on-call or work in more urban areas can make about $100,000 within a few years. “Their employment is a matter of life or death,” Searles said. “You have to be ready for emergency. Be prepared every day for the most unlikely event. It can be stressful, but with proper training and experience, you have confidence to know whatever goes wrong, you can solve it.” He compared the risks to that of driving a car. Many things can go wrong on a serious level, but most of the time, it doesn’t, and the proper precautions reduce the risk. In addition to managing job related stress, perfusionists must also feel comfortable with a varied schedule. Emergencies can pop up at any time, requiring a level of flexibility from perfusionists. A scheduled eight-hour shift can change to a 16hour shift with little notice. “If you really want a predictable life, knowing you’ll punch out at 3:30 every single Thursday for 25 years, this is not the right job,” Searles said. Despite the stress and sheduling demands, Searles said that the work is “extremely satisfying.” Though he spends plenty of time at the college, he also maintains his skills and credentials in the OR. “I never have to wonder if what I did that day was important,” Searles said. “All cardiac patients consider they might not wake up. I make sure they do wake up. Sometimes the work is easy, sometimes it’s hard but it really matters to the patient. They come in sick but go home with a better quality of life.”

hen Americans need medical care, almost one in two people choose the emergency room, a new study reveals. “I was stunned by the results. This really helps us better understand health care in this country,” said physician David Marcozzi. He is an associate professor in the University of Maryland’s department of emergency medicine. “This research underscores the fact that emergency departments are critical to our nation’s health care delivery system,” Marcozzi said in a university news release. “Patients seek care in emergency departments for many reasons. The data might suggest that emergency care provides the type of care that individuals actually want or need, 24 hours a day,” he added. The analysis of data from several national sources showed that there were more than 3.5 billion emergency department visits, outpatient visits, and hospital admissions during the 1996 to 2010 study period. U.S. emergency department visits increased by nearly 44 percent over the 14-year period, the findings showed. Outpatient cases accounted for nearly 38 percent of visits, and inpatient care accounted for almost 15 percent of visits. In 2010, there were nearly 130 million emergency department visits, compared with almost 101 million outpatient visits and nearly 39 million inpatient visits, according to the report. Black Americans were much more likely to seek emergency department care than other racial/ ethnic groups. In 2010, black people used the emergency department almost 54 percent of the time. The rate was even higher for black people in cities, at 59 percent, the researchers said. The study also found that Medicare and Medicaid patients were more likely to use the emergency department. Certain areas of the country also appeared to have a fondness for the emergency room. Rates of emergency department use were much higher in the South and West — 54 percent and 56 percent, respectively — than in the Northeast (39 percent). The findings suggest that increasing use of emergency departments by vulnerable groups may be due to inequality in access to health care, the study authors noted in the news release. The study was published online recently in the International Journal of Health Services.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Aspirin: The Magic Pill People use it to prevent heart attack, to fight headaches, relieve pain a new study now shows it also reduces the risk liver cancer for certain patients By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

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our medicine cabinet likely holds a pill that reduces cancer risk, risk of heart attack, and acute damage during a heart attack. It also relieves aches and pains. Is there anything aspirin can’t do? The humble white pill seems to live up to Bayer’s claims that it’s a “wonder drug” on many levels. Recent research from Taiwan indicates that taking a low dose of aspirin daily may reduce risk of liver cancer for certain patients. Presented at The Liver Meeting hosted by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in October, the research indicates that daily aspirin therapy appears to significantly reduce risk of liver cancer that’s related to hepatitis B. Current therapies such as antiviral medicine reduce liver cancer risk; however, the therapy is not appropriate for many hepatitis B virus patients. Prescribing aspirin could provide a more widely tolerated and inexpensive treatment. The Taiwan researchers reviewed data from patients seen between 1998 and 2012 as the basis for their study. They compared 1,553 patients receiving daily aspirin for a minimum of 90 days with 6,212 patients who never did. The cases of liver cancer in the treated group proved markedly

lower than the control group in five years. Further clinical research will be needed to confirm the initial findings. Physician William M. Healy, in practice in Williamsville through MDVIP and offering personalized medical care throughout Western New York, said that research indicates daily aspirin may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. “If you read guidelines, it takes five to 10 years before you have benefit from taking daily aspirin,” Healy added. Patients beginning at age 50 would receive benefit by age 60. “For breast cancer and cervical cancer, it didn’t show a benefit,” Healy said. For decades, aspirin has been used to reduce heart attack risk. Healy said that he recommends an aspirin a day — usually 81 mg. —

if a patient has experienced a heart attack and is not contraindicated. “If they have lots of risk factors, it may be worth taking aspirin daily to prevent a heart attack,” Healy said. Risk factors may include high blood pressure, family history of heart problems and diabetes. Taking an aspirin acts as a sort of first aid for heart attack. People experiencing a heart attack can also experience less heart damage by taking aspirin. Many times during a heart attack, small bits of plaque in an artery break loose and partially clog the blood vessel. Platelets signal the blood to clot. The clot can completely block the rest of the artery. A dose of 325 mg. of uncoated aspirin helps protect the heart from damage by inhibiting those platelets from forming clots, thus buying time for physicians to physically clear the blockage or use clot-busting drugs. How the patient takes aspirin makes a difference. Swallowing an aspirin whole slows its benefit, since it needs more time to enter the blood stream. Chewing the aspirin takes less time — only five minutes — to begin providing benefit, compared with 12 minutes for swallowed aspirin. Patients should discuss their health concerns with their health care provider before taking daily aspirin or making any other changes with medication.

12 Things You Need to Know About Aspirin In “12 Things You Should Know About Aspirin” (US News & World Report: Oct. 28, 2017), writer Sarah Baldauf listed a few of aspirin’s emerging benefits and a few caveats, summarized below: Aspirin can: 1) Cut pre-eclampsia risk during pregnancy. 2) Reduce risk of developing colorectal cancers. 3) Lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer. 4) Throw off test results for prostate cancer. 5) Offer some protection against Alzheimer’s disease. 6) Help prevent strokes—unless you also take ibuprofen 7) Prevent asthma in middle-aged women. 8) Protect against Parkinson’s disease. 9) Provide zero protection against heart attacks in people with diabetes. 10) Offer no protection to sufferers of heart attack or stroke who are “aspirin resistant.” 11) Cause stomach troubles such as gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach ulcers—particularly with long-term use of the drug. 12) Be less effective in women.

I’m ready to live. That’s why I’m making the move—while I’m still young enough to enjoy the pool, the fitness center, the excursions, dining, entertainment and all the friendly people. Lots of people my age want to slow down. Not me, I’m just getting started.

Caring for the Most Important People on Earth To tour St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks and enjoy a complimentary lunch for two, call Al Brumagin at (585) 697-6606. Page 10

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


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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

Phelps: Community Center

Richmond: Town Hall

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Victor: Mead Square Pharmacy Questions, please call us at 585-396-4554.

Things You Should Know About STDs By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

Incidence of sexually transmitted diseases reaches all-time high

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ew cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States reached an all-time high in 2016, according a recently released annual report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 1.6 million cases of chlamydia, 470,000 cases of gonorrhea and 28,000 of syphilis reported last year. The diseases are on the rise in many groups, including women, infants and gay and bisexual men. Local health agencies are aware that the issue continues despite consistent education and proactive medical testing. “People must understand that you can have STDs without having symptom[s],” said physician Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Health Department commissioner. Mendoza, physician Roxana Inscho, manager of HIV/STD program at Monroe County Health Department, and John Ricci, senior public health educator, share five tips on getting ahead of the STD/HIV issue.

1.

Talking It’s a simple step but often the first one ignored. Having a frank and candid discussion with your partner, partners and physicians about the issue can be uncomfortable. However, not as uncomfortable as actually having a sexually transmitted disease. “You cannot be blind to the fact that you need to have an open and non-judgmental conversation,” said Mendoza. “We understand it is not

an easy topic, but too often people hide the situation, which only makes it worse.” Mendoza said many people continue to be shy about discussing the issue. But failing to bring up the topic simply because the conversation is not easy only deepens the problem. “Not talking about it is one of the largest issues that leads to spreading the disease. And, of course, another factor is the lack of people getting tested,” he said.

2.

Testing Young women account for nearly half of all diagnosed chlamydia infections, but syphilis and gonorrhea are increasingly affecting new groups of people. Between 2015 and 2016, syphilis rates rose nearly 18 percent, according to the CDC. Most cases occurred among men, especially gays and bisexuals. Half of the men in those two groups also had HIV, according to the report. “We are making it as easy as possible for people to get HIV testing,” said Inscho. “There is testing in emergency rooms and you can get tested at health events throughout the year. We continue to encourage people to know their status.” The need for testing is real. “Because you can be asymptomatic, there are people who continue to pass the disease onto others without knowing it,” said Mendoza. “People believe you can only get HIV if you behave in stereotypical behavior, but anyone can get it.” December 2017 •

3.

Treatment If left untreated, sexually-transmitted diseases can lead to serious health problems such as infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and increased risk of HIV infection. Gonorrhea rates rose among both men and women in 2016, but the largest increase (22 percent) was among men, and many new gonorrhea cases were among gay and bisexual men. “Whether the numbers are going up or down, we will remain diligent regarding our education about STDs and HIV,” said Ricci. “As much progress that we see being done, we also understand that it remains an issue that we must continually keep our focus on.” Mendoza said it’s essential once you get tested to follow the instructions of your physician. “What we have found is that some people decide to take their partner’s medication without consulting with a doctor. They just assume if it was prescribed to their partner it must be fine for them to take it as well and that is not necessarily true,” added Mendoza.

4.

Health literacy Medical professionals are encouraging people to increase their health literacy, which is the ability to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. “When it comes to STDs, HIV

Physician Michael Mendoza is Monroe County Health Department commissioner. and healthcare overall, we must understand the situation thoroughly and how to prevent health issues in our lives when possible,” said Inscho. “We have patients who are passing back and forth their infections.” Inscho suggests that once patients have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease that they refrain from sex for a minimum of a week.

5.

Practice safe sex According to the experts interviewed for this story, using some type of barriers work because they can block many viruses, bacteria and other infectious particles. Male latex condoms are the most common barrier used for safe sex. If your partner refuses to use a male condom, you can use a female condom, which fits inside the vagina.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Paleo for Type 2 Diabetes? Proceed With Caution By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

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ietary changes to manage Type 2 diabetes may seem confusing and hard to handle. Following a well-known and publicized paleo diet may seem an easier way to manage the disease. Paleo emphasizes meat, whole fruits and vegetables and tree nuts, eschewing dairy, processed foods, sugar, juice, alcohol, caffeine and grains. Research from City of Hope National Medical Center studied the effects of paleo diet on Type 2 diabetics. While some patients lost weight while eating paleo, some of the foods banned by the plan may cause deficiencies. Local experts agreed. Denise Mitchell, certified fitness personal trainer with Chili Fitness Center said that restricting processed foods is a good idea for people who need to lose weight. “Paleo takes you back to garden-to-table and takes people back to what people used to eat,” Mitchell said. “You get away from high sodium and high sugar, two areas we try to stay away from.” She added that since paleo restricts grains, that could help diabetics, who need to cut back on high glycemic index foods that cause blood sugar to spike. Registered nurse Jane Giambrone, certified diabetes educator and clinical diabetes care manager for Rochester Regional Health’s Unity Diabetes and Endocrinology

Services, agrees that “eliminating processed foods, refined grains and refined sugars may improve blood sugar levels.” She added that research indicates a moderate to significant decline in blood sugar, depending upon the study. Other positive effects of effective dietary changes can include weight loss in about three months and improved insulin resistance. “That helps control blood sugar and also helps with reducing cancer and heart disease risk per Dr. Raynald Samoa, an endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at City of Hope,” Giambrone said. Paleo comes with some drawbacks. Though more and more foods are labeled as “paleo-friendly” and followers can download apps to help them decide if foods fit the plan, it is highly restrictive. Many people would find this difficult to follow long-term. The narrowness of paleo diet may make it harder to eat enough natural sources of calcium since dairy’s off the menu. The only exception is heavy cream and butter. Animal fat is also fine. All of these contain high levels of saturated fat, which the American Heart Association states raises LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Paleo also forbids numerous

foods rich in nutrients, such as cereal grains and legumes such as soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, split peas and blackeyed peas. For people on a budget, the paleo diet may be more difficult to follow since many of its permissible foods are expensive, such as wild-caught salmon, coconut oil, more costly pasture-raised meat, and organic foods.

“Everyone is different and what may be right for one person, may not be right for another person,” Giambrone said. “I do believe this may be an ideal option for some. With any diabetes meal plan it is important that the food plan is individualized. “It’s best to talk with a primary care physician to see if this is a meal plan worth trying if you have diabetes.”

Want to Avoid Salt? Turn Up the Spice

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f your taste buds lean toward spicy, you might be doing your heart a favor, new research suggests. Spicy foods may increase salt sensitivity, thereby dampening the desire to consume heart-harming salty food, researchers in China say. “High salt intake increases blood pressure and contributes to cardiovascular disease,” said study author Zhiming Zhu, a physician. “Thus, reducing salt intake is very important for health. “We find that the enjoyment of spicy foods significantly reduced individual salt preference, daily salt intake and blood pressure,” he added. Zhu is director of Daping Hospital’s Center for Hypertension and Metabolic Diseases at Third Military Medical University in Chongqing. The research team conducted a mouse study alongside a human trial of more than 600 Chinese adults. Both correlated blood pressure levels with intake of spicy and salty dishes. Foods like chili that dial up the heat essentially change the way the brain interprets salt, or sodium, intake, explained Zhu. As spice consumption goes up, the result is a notably reduced craving for salt, according to his study. The World Health Organization Page 12

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

(WHO) has identified salt reduction as the “key dietary target” in a push to cut the risk of dying from non-communicable illnesses by 2025. Zhu and his associates pointed out that people in most of the world routinely take in far more than the WHO’s recommended limit of 5 grams of dietary salt a day. The American Heart Association advises consuming no more than a single teaspoon of salt — about 2,300 milligrams of sodium — a day. In the United States, three-quarters of all sodium consumption comes from processed and packaged foods and/ or restaurant meals. For the new study, the researchers assessed participants’ preferences for salty and spicy flavors, and linked those tendencies to blood pressure levels. The biggest consumers of spicy food were found to consume about 2.5 fewer grams of salt daily, compared to those with the blandest palates. The spice lovers also had systolic (upper) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure levels that were 8 mm Hg and 5 mm Hg lower, respectively, on average, the findings showed. The findings were released online Oct. 31 in the journal Hypertension.


SmartBites

The skinny on healthy eating

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Pistachios Do a Heart Good

very December, my husband and I get a gift tin of roasted pistachios from my aunt. No surprise, they’re gone in a day, what with the way we swarm and crack and devour the tasty kernels. Not too long ago, Auntie’s tin would have provided our pistachio fix for the year. But these days, December isn’t the only month we eat pistachios. Along with almonds, walnuts, cashews and other nuts, pistachios play an important role in our weekly diet — perhaps even a starring role. We frequently reach for pistachios because they’re so good for hearts. Numerous studies have shown that pistachios in particular can help reduce bad cholesterol and that the omega-3 fatty acids present in pistachios can help lower blood pressure and protect against abnormal heartbeat. What’s more, pistachios are rich in L-arginine, an essential amino acid that makes arteries more flexible and less susceptible to blood clots. On top of everything, pistachios contain a decent amount of cholesterol-lowering fiber. If you’re worried that pistachios — and their high fat and calorie content — are bad news for health

and weight, it’s time to refresh your thinking. Most of pistachios’ fat is good-for-you unsaturated fat; and, relative to other nuts, pistachios have fewer calories than most (about 160 per 50 kernels). According to a Harvard study, in fact, frequent nut eaters were less likely to gain weight. “Nuts are high in protein and fiber, which delays absorption and decreases hunger,” said physician Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Compared with other nuts, pistachios boast a roster of nutrients and are an especially good source of protein, vitamin B6, copper and manganese. And while pistachios may not pack the antioxidant punch of walnuts or pecans, they do dish out two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—that promote eye health. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil baking sheet (if using a baking rack, line sheet with foil and then lightly oil rack). Finely grind nuts in food processor. Add breadcrumbs and all the spices up to the chicken breasts and blend, using on/ off turns. Transfer mixture to a plate. Coat chicken with nut mixture (lightly pressing mixture into chick-

December 2017 •

en), and place on prepared baking sheet or rack. Bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips (if desired). While chicken is cooking, whisk together remaining ingredients for yogurt sauce; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken on a bed of fresh or sautéed greens; drizzle with sauce; garnish with chopped pistachios.

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced in half, horizontally) ½ cup plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced ½ teaspoon ground coriander salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup chopped, roasted pistachios

Helpful Tips

Pistachio-Crusted Chicken Breasts with Zesty Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

¾ cup shelled pistachios ¼ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs (suggest panko) 1 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Monitoring your weight? Sodium intake? Opt for unsalted pistachios in their shells (studies show you’ll eat less). When buying in bulk, look for pistachios that have their shells opened at one end and an intact kernel (the greener the kernel, the fresher the nut). And take a whiff: If they smell off, they’re probably rancid. Pistachios will last longer when stored in a cool, dark, dry place. They can also be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months or the freezer for up to a year.

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

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

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13


Maintain Mental Health By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

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at right. Exercise. Get medical check-ups. All of these may help you maintain better physical health. But what about mental health? Of course, genetics affect health, but by good self-care, you can reduce your risk of experience issues.

Try these tips from two local experts: From Daniel Rosen

Licensed clinical social worker in practice in Rochester

• “The research I’ve been integrating into my practice is by Carol Dweck, who developed the concept of ‘growth mindset’ versus ‘fixed mindset.’ Some people grow, change and move forward and others seem to not get very far or reach a plateau and not develop farther. Many factors go into it, but it relates to what is your mindset. If you don’t have a growth mindset mentality, that can change. At age 30, can you become a concert pianist? Maybe not, but you can learn to play better. The idea that we’re as smart or talented as we are and that’s it works against our mental health. We want to grow, and develop and change and improve. The fascinating thing about this is if you have a fixed mindset, it’s harder for you to learn new things. • “’Fake it till you make it,’ to

a great extend, has some truth to it. Smiling and faking that you’re happy does trigger emotional components that make you feel happier. • “Research says gratitude and forgiveness are healthful. • “People who have a spiritual life, which doesn’t necessarily mean religious affiliation, are a little more resilient in their mental health. Spiritual life is an awareness that there’s something bigger than myself. • “The New Age model of ‘Don’t get too tied up in other people’s opinions of you’ and ‘Don’t compare with others’ opinions of you’ is a self-centered mindset. People who are happy are socially connected. It’s almost a problem to think you’re going to lift yourself out of your woes and think and solve and meditate your way out of it alone. • “Strong interpersonal connections help us tolerate when life keeps up down. Satisfying relationships where we are appreciated and feel valued is antidote to many mental health problems. • “Learn how to set boundaries and have mercy on yourself when it comes to diffiRosen

cult people. Identify what your needs are, and set boundaries and do not take on too much of other people’s stuff or try to do too much. People do get drained because they’re not able to say, ‘I need to focus on something different.’”

From Gail A. Kolb, PhD Owner of Coach for Change Unlimited in Rochester • “If people can develop the idea of emotional hardiness or resilience within themselves, it helps them to cope with stress. • “Having positive relationships both in the family and outside of the family and mutual support and caring. • “Another thing I work on is developing strategies for coping with life’s challenges. We develop strategies and goals together. • “It helps to have a person who’s in your life and able to give you feedback. It could be a coach, therapist or someone else you really respect. • “Have a sense of control over your life in whatever ways you can. It makes you feel more confident and at ease. • “Develop an ability to see change as a positive thing — a challenge you want to master. That helps you feel less anxious.  • “Relaxation and progressive

relaxation, and guided imagery can help people feel less stress in their lives. • “Look into your higher self. Stay grateful and realize that what you have going for you is good and you have the ability to grow and become a more positive person. • “Don’t sink into thinking about the past or the difficulties of the past. Move forward toward making better choices today and for the future. • “Always have options so you don’t feel stuck. Don’t leave out any options. If you can’t find them, go to someone who can help you think them through. • “Develop an overall coping strategy so when stress happens, you won’t have a relapse of ‘I can’t cope or think.’ • “Enjoy life. Don’t take it so seriously. Some people can’t think in the positive. Try to be as positive as possible. This is a great day for challenge and fun. Don’t dread it. Kolb • “Notice you’re starting to get depressed or anxious and not able to relax. Talk with a therapist or coach. If you’re not coping well, you may need help.”

The Hidden Dangers of Heartburn By Jim Miller

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lmost everyone experiences heartburn or acid indigestion from time to time, but frequent episodes can signal a much more serious problem. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips and treatments to help relieve symptoms. It’s estimated that more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, with around 15 million people who suffer from it daily. If you are plagued by heartburn two or more times a week, and it’s not responding well to over-the-counter antacids, you need to see a doctor. Frequent bouts may mean you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can severely irritate and damage the lining of your esophagus, putting you at risk of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer if it’s not treated.    

Lifestyle Adjustments

Depending on the frequency and severity of heartburn, there are a number of lifestyle adjustments you can make that can help provide relief and avoid a more serious problem down the road. Consider these tips: • Avoid problem foods: Certain foods can trigger heartburn symptoms like citrus fruits, tomatoes, fatty foods, chocolate, garlic, onions, spicy foods, mints, alcohol, coffee and sodas. Your should keep a food diary to track which foods cause you the most problems and avoid them. Page 14

• Eat smaller, slower and earlier: Smaller portions at mealtime and eating slower can help reduce heartburn symptoms. You should also wait at least three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed.  • Lose weight: Having excess weight around the midsection puts pressure on the abdomen, pushing up the stomach and causing acid to back up into the esophagus. • Quit smoking: Smoking can increase stomach acid and weaken the valve that prevents acid from entering the esophagus. If you smoke, the National Cancer Institute offers a number of smoking cessation resources at SmokeFree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.  • Sleep elevated: To help keep the acid down while sleeping, get a wedge-shaped pillow to prop you up a few inches. If that’s not enough, try elevating the head of your bed six to eight inches by placing blocks under the bedposts or insert a wedge between your mattress and box spring. Wedges are available at drugstores and medical supply stores. Sleeping on your left side may also help keep the acid down.   

Treatment Options

If the lifestyle adjustments don’t solve the problem, or if antacids (Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta or Alka-Seltzer) aren’t doing the trick, there are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that

can help, along with surgery. Your doctor can help you determine which one is best for you. Treatment options include: • H-2 Blockers: Available as both over-the-counter and prescription strength, these drugs (Pepcid, Tagamet, Axid and Zantac) reduce how much acid your stomach makes but may not be strong enough for serious symptoms.  • Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPI): If you have frequent and severe heartburn symptoms, PPIs are long-acting prescription medications that block acid production and allow time for damaged esophageal tissue to heal. They include Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Zegerid, Protonix, Aciphex and Dexilant. Prevacid 24 HR, Prilosec and Zegerid OTC are also available over-the-counter. But be aware that long-term use of PPIs can increase your risk for osteoporosis and chronic kidney disease.  Surgery: If the medications don’t do the trick, there are also surgical procedures that can tighten or strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter so gastric fluids can’t

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

wash back up into the esophagus. Jim Miller is the author of Savvy Senior, published every month in In Good Health.


How to Make Achievable New Year Resolutions By Kimberly Blaker “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” --Hal Borland The New Year is a great time to take inventory, set goals and take charge of your life. But if you’re like most, making resolutions is much easier than keeping them. Rather than focus on the idea of a new beginning, which can lead to disappointment at the first slip, keep in mind that self-improvement is an ongoing endeavor. Setbacks are not failure; they bring wisdom and insight for future success. Before making a split decision as to this year’s resolutions, make a list of goals and changes you’d like to make. Then review your list, and cross off any you do not feel truly devoted to. Whether you resolve to spend more time with your family, quit smoking or lose weight, you’re more likely to succeed if you feel a strong personal commitment rather than ‘I should.’ One reason people don’t keep resolutions they make is the resolutions are often made to silence the pestering of a loved one. If you decide to quit smoking to get your husband off your back, you’re less likely to succeed. If you decide to

quit smoking to feel healthier and be able to enjoy physical activity without being winded, you’re more likely to experience success. Choose one or perhaps two of the resolutions on your list to which you feel most committed. Then choose one or two you feel confident you can do with ease. These last couple can be used as positive reinforcement for the more challenging first choices. The next step is to make a clear plan for adhering to your resolutions. Put each resolution in writing and detail the steps to achieve them. If your resolution requires a routine or schedule such as an exercise routine, a new diet, or steps toward completing your education, then create a goal chart, a detailed plan, and a checklist to track your progress. Also, post notes in strategic places such as the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or steering wheel as reminders of your resolutions with tips on how to overcome temptation. Make certain your family understands the importance of your resolutions. Family support and their positive reinforcement can be most helpful. If your resolution is something your family has been nagging you about, ask for their encouragement but explain that pressure and pestering, particularly during setbacks, could undermine your

resolve. Determine how each family member can help you to achieve your goal perhaps by taking on additional household chores or through affirmations of your continued success. Adjust your environment to enable success. If eating healthier is your goal, don’t fill the cupboards with junk food for other family members. Find healthy snacks they’re willing to substitute. If you’re trying to quit smoking, avoid people, places, and things that remind or tempt you, at least until you have it well under control. Don’t go it alone. If you have a friend with a similar resolution, make a pact. Work together to create a plan, and then make a point to check in with each other regularly for encouragement, praise, and support. If you resolve to get more exercise,

do it together. Having a commitment and someone to accompany you will go a long way in helping you to succeed. Finally, reward yourself, not just once you’ve achieved your goal, but periodically for your success so far. Small, periodic rewards can be motivation enough to keep you strong when you’re ready to throw in the towel. Remember, whatever New Year resolutions you choose, success awaits you if you resolve to never give up trying. Kimberly Blaker, of Michigan, is a freelance lifestyle writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 250 newspapers, women’s and parenting magazines, and other publications throughout the U.S.  

Avoid Chapped Skin By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

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t’s chapped skin time. But you don’t have to endure flaky, red, irritated skin this winter. Local experts offer a few tips for avoiding chapped skin. The most important means of staying smooth is moisturizing, but you have to select the right product. “Something that smells pretty and is perfumed isn’t going to functionally moisturize you the same way for someone with a skin problem,” said Elizabeth Arthur, dermatologist at Helendale Dermatology in Rochester. Lotion is too thin. Arthur likes Cetaphil and CeraVe, available over-thecounter, and Avene by prescription. Cream and ointment-type of products work better than using standard lotion, baby oil, cocoArthur nut oil or olive oil. “Some people swear by these, but they have limitations based on the molecule size as to whether it will moisturize or leave your skin dry 10 hours later,” Arthur said. She said that shea butter products, as long as no artificial scents are

added, also moisturize well. Applying products before bed and after hand washing helps restore moisture; however, people who wash and use hand sanitizer often, such as those in health care and food service, will need to remain vigilant with moisturizing. “It’s not washing our hands that’s problem,” Arthur said. “Soap is often a problem.” Fragrant or deodorant soaps can further dry and irritate chapped skin. Arthur recommends milk, unscented soap. Long, hot showers can also dry skin. Though cold showers are hardly welcome in winter, moisturizing afterward can mitigate its effect. “You seal that water in and that’s the best time to do it,” Arthur said. “If that’s not convenient, I’ll take any other time of the day for moisturizing. The biggest thing is establishing a routine. You have to find what works for you and for your time.” She also keeps hand cream near her bed to remind her to apply some before she goes to sleep. Many find that keeping moisturizer near the sink, in their bags and on their desks, keeps it handy all the time. Some people apply heavy moisturizer and then don gloves before bed; however, if the gloves cause their hands to sweat in the night, that can aggravate skin problems, so use lightweight cotton gloves. These are available in the skin care aisle. December 2017 •

Cream and ointment-type of products work better to keep skin from cracking because of the cold weather. Plan ahead for housework. Most household cleaners can dry out hands, as can dishwashing, so wear latex gloves. “If you can’t wear gloves, wash afterwards with a mild soap and lukewarm water, and put on that good moisturizer afterwards,” Arthur said. Using milder, more natural cleaners can also help prevent drying. Keeping skin covered while outdoors aids in retaining moisture in the skin, so don gloves each outing - no matter how brief - and wear a

scarf around the face for prolonged exposure, such as for a day of sledding. Elise DeLuke, dermatologist with DeLuke Dermatology in Amherst, near Buffalo, recommends using a humidifier to help improve skin condition. “People get dry skin because there’s no humidity in the air,” she said. “Drink plenty of water, too.” Try a vitamin E supplement to help support healthy skin.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15


Hand Washing Curbs Seasonal Sniffles By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

T

he best way to reduce your risk of catching a cold or influenza doesn’t cost a thing and is something you already know how to do: hand washing. “Hand washing prevents the spread of viruses and bacteria from person to person,” said physician Nancy M. Bennett, director of the URMC Center for Community Health and Prevention and chairwoman of the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices. “Proper hand washing can prevent 80 percent of diarrheal and respiratory disease.” Most colds and flu aren’t transmitted through the sneezes of sick people. They’re spread through germs left behind on hard surfaces that people pick up later. Good, old-fashioned hand washing removes viruses from the hands so they aren’t transmitted into the body.  Unfortunately, people don’t wash as well or as often as they should. Quick rinses, just rubbing the fingers together a moment or skipping soap don’t work that well.  “Some people don’t wash their hands at all,” said to Mary Beer, RN, public health educator with Ontario County Public Health”People don’t wash as thoroughly as they should.” She said that proper hand washing means using warm water and soap, vigorous rubbing and scrubbing the fronts and backs of the hands, between the fingers and under the fingernails. Anti-bacterial soap isn’t necessary to kill germs.

“It’s the friction that’s really important,” Beer said. Duration also makes a difference. She recommends washing for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. After rinsing, drying on a towel applies more friction to the hands rather than using a hand dryer. “After you dry your hands, don’t reach for the door handle to get out of the bathroom in a public place,” Beer said. She covers the handle with her jacket or shirt to avoid contaminating her hands by touching the handle. Beer said that using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when a sink isn’t available can also help reduce exposure to germs. Since most people pick up a cold or case of the flu by transferring the germs from their hands to their eyes, nose or mouth, it’s important to avoid touching the face while in public. “It’s a hard thing to never touch your face in public,” Beer said. Living in a germ-free bubble isn’t advisable — or possible. Beer said that it’s all about cleanliness balanced with sensibility. Simply avoiding people known to be sick and staying home when sick can help reduce the spread of illness. In addition, managing stress, eating a balanced diet and exercising all help support overall health, including a healthy immune system, which can also help the body fight off colds and flu.

Whatever Happened to Inhaled Flu Vaccine? For the needle-phobic, inhaled flu vaccine provided an easy way to acquire vaccination. A quick sniff and you’re done — no pain and no bandage required. Injected flu vaccine reduces risk of flu “between 40 percent and 60 percent among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends annual flu vaccination for anyone older than 6 months of age; however, only about 40 percent of the US population receives vaccination. Fear of needles may be partially

to blame, but inhaled flu vaccine isn’t coming back this year. The “mist” style flu vaccine has not been recommended since the 2015-16 flu season since investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered it ineffective, according to physician Nancy M. Bennett, director of the URMC Center for Community Health and Prevention, and chairwoman of the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices. “Therefore, the advisory committee on immunization practices recommended against its use until the manufacturer could provide new evidence of its effectiveness,” Bennett said.

How to Treat a FirstEliminate waste in Degree, Minor Burn advertising Reach only the audience A you want Consider placing your ad with In Good Health — Rochester’s only monthly healthcare newspaper. Most of our readers are people who care about their health. They are health professionals, administrators, nurses and a variety of professionals who work in the healthcare industry. • 33,500 papers distributed monthly • Available at most health-related ADS START AT $87 facilities in the region, including PER MONTH. hospitals, clinics, dental offices and ADVERTISE ONCE, more (nearly 2,000 drop-off locations) GET RESULTS ALL • Mailed to about 1,900 health-related MONTH LONG professionals • Available at all WEGMANS locations 585-421-8109 in the area editor@GVhealthnews.com • All health-related content

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ccording to dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology, first-degree burns are very common and frequently occur after one accidentally touches a hot stove, curling iron or hair straightener. Sunburn can also be a first-degree burn. Unlike second- or third-degree burns, which are more severe, first-degree burns only involve the top layer of the skin. If you have a first-degree burn, your skin may be red and painful, and you may experience mild swelling. “Most first-degree burns can be treated at home; however, it’s important to know what to do,” said board-certified dermatologist Darrell S. Rigel, a clinical professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at New York University. “Although first-degree burns aren’t as serious as higher-degree burns, they can hurt quite a bit and can leave a scar if not properly treated.” To treat a first-degree burn, Rigel recommends the following tips: • Cool the burn. Immediately immerse the burn in cool tap water or apply cold, wet compresses. Do this for about 10 minutes or until the pain subsides.

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

• Apply petroleum jelly two to three times daily. Do not apply ointments, toothpaste or butter to the burn, as these may cause an infection. Do not apply topical antibiotics. • Cover the burn with a nonstick, sterile bandage. If blisters form, let them heal on their own while keeping the area covered. Do not pop the blisters. • Consider taking over-thecounter pain medication. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation. • Protect the area from the sun. Once the burn heals, protect it from the sun by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This will help minimize scarring, as the redness from a burn sometimes persists for weeks, especially in those with darker skin tones. “First-degree burns usually heal on their own without treatment from a doctor,” said Rigel. “However, if your first-degree burn is very large, if the victim is an infant or elderly person, or if you think your burn is more severe, go to an emergency room immediately.”


By Jim Miller

Assistance Dogs Provide Help and Love Dear Savvy Senior: What can you tell me about assistance dogs for people with disabilities? My sister, who’s 58, has multiple sclerosis and I’m wondering if an assistance dog could help make her life a little easier.

Inquiring Sister Dear Inquiring, For people with disabilities and even medical conditions, assistance dogs can be fantastic help, not to mention they provide great companionship and an invaluable sense of security. Here’s what you and your sister should know. While most people are familiar with guide dogs that help people who are blind or visually impaired, there are also a variety of assistance dogs trained to help people with physical disabilities, hearing loss and various medical conditions. Unlike most pets, assistance dogs are highly trained canine specialists — often golden and labrador retrievers, and German shepherds — that know approximately 40 to 50 commands, are amazingly well-behaved and calm, and are permitted to go anywhere the public is allowed. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of assistance dogs and what they can help with.

Service dogs

These dogs are specially trained to help people with physical disabilities due to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, chronic arthritis and many other disabling conditions. They help by performing tasks their owner cannot do or has trouble doing, like carrying or retrieving items, picking up dropped items, opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, assisting with dressing and undressing, helping with balance, household chores and more.

Guide dogs

For the blind and visually impaired, guide dogs help their owner get around safely by avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps, negotiating traffic and more.

Hearing dogs

For those who are deaf or hearing impaired, hearing dogs can alert

their owner to specific sounds such as ringing telephones, doorbells, alarm clocks, microwave or oven timers, smoke alarms, approaching sirens, crying babies or when someone calls out their name.

Seizure alert/response dogs

For people with epilepsy or other seizure disorders, these dogs can recognize the signs that their owner is going to have a seizure, and provide them with advance warning, so he or she can get to a safe place or take medication to prevent the seizure or lessen its severity. They are also trained to retrieve medications and use a pre-programmed phone to call for help. These dogs can also be trained to help people with diabetes, panic attacks and various other conditions.

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Finding a Dog

If your sister is interested in getting a service dog, contact some assistance dog training programs. To find them, Assistance Dogs International provides a listing of around 65 U.S. programs on its website, which you can access at AssistanceDogsInternational.org. After you locate a few, you’ll need to either visit the website or call them to find out the types of training dogs they offer, the areas they serve, if they have a waiting list, and what upfront costs will be involved. Some groups offer dogs for free, some ask for donations and some charge thousands of dollars. To get an assistance dog, your sister will need to show proof of her disability, which her physician can provide, and she’ll have to complete an application and go through an interview process. She will also need to go and stay at the training facility for a week or two so she can get familiar with her dog and get training on how to handle it. It’s also important to understand that assistance dogs are not for everybody. They require time, money, and care that your sister or some other friend or family member must be able and willing to provide. 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. December 2017 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17


Ask St. Ann’s

The Social Ask Security Office

By Kim Petrone, MD

When Is Assisted Living the Right Option?

W

e all value our independence, our ability to manage daily life on our own. As we age, it can be difficult to admit we need help with everyday tasks that were once routine, such as bathing, dressing, or taking medications. For seniors who want to remain independent and healthy but need a little extra help, an assisted living community may be the answer.

From the Social Security District Office

A

Person-centered care

A senior ready for assisted living needs help with activities of daily life but does not require the level of intensive medical care provided by a nursing home. Assisted living — a state-licensed housing alternative — provides a secure community environment along with person-centered care that includes: • Assistance with bathing and dressing • Medication reminders and administration • Meals, housekeeping and laundry • Healthcare management and monitoring • Recreational activities • Transportation Most local senior housing and retirement communities offer assisted living. For example, St. Ann’s offers assisted living (as well as enhanced assisted living, the next level of care) at St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge in Webster. Here are some things to consider as you explore the options: • Feeling at Home: Can you bring your belongings to make your new home feel comfortable and reflect your taste? • Active Lifestyle: Are there cultural, educational, and social opportunities to help you stay active and engaged? • Individualized Care: Will the facility accommodate your lifestyle, needs, and social life and help you stay connected to friends and the community? • Familiar Staff: Is staff scheduling consistent so that you can get to know your caregivers and develop trusting relationships? • House Calls: Is there a private medical practice that sends a doctor to your home for check-ups and sick

visits? Are lab services and other medical screenings available on site or do you have to leave the campus to get them? • Enhanced Care: Does the facility have an enhanced care license? As your needs change, a licensed facility can provide you with routine skilled nursing services such as assistance with medical equipment, mobility, and incontinence so you can “age in place” (stay where you are as your health needs change).

Do your homework

Start your search by asking friends and family for recommendations. Then schedule a tour; most assisted living communities are happy to show you around to get a feel for what they offer. Before you sign a contract, contact the NYS Department of Health, NYS Long-Term Ombudsman, and/ or Better Business Bureau to find out if the community has any license infractions or complaints. Transitions are inevitable; make the change on your terms. A high-quality assisted living community can help you remain independent while providing that extra support where you need it.

Physician Kim Petrone is the medical director of St. Ann’s Community and the Rochester General Wound Healing Center at St. Ann’s. She is board-certified in internal medicine and geriatrics and is a certified wound specialist. Contact her at kpetrone@mystanns.com or visit www. stannscommunity.com.

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Is It Medicare Or Medicaid?

lot of people have a difficult time understanding the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Both programs begin with the letter “M.” They’re both health insurance programs run by the government. People often ask questions about what Medicare and Medicaid are, what services they cover, and who administers the programs.

Medicare

Let’s start with Medicare. Medicare is the national healthcare program for those aged 65 or older and the disabled. You pay for some Medicare expenses by paying the Medicare tax while you work. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the agency in charge of both Medicare and Medicaid, but you sign up for Medicare A (hospital) and Medicare B (medical) through Social Security. You can apply for Medicare online from the convenience of your home at the link on our website: www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/. If you’re already receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you reach age 65 or are in the 25th month of receiving disability checks, we will enroll you automatically. Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drug) plans are available for purchase in the insurance marketplace. Social Security administers a program called Extra Help to help people with low income and low resources pay for premiums, co-pays, and co-insurance costs for Part D

Q&A

Q: My daughter is 19 years old. In her senior year of high school, she had an accident that paralyzed her. It doesn’t look like she will be able to work in the near future, and since she has never worked she hasn’t paid Social Security taxes. Can Social Security still help her? A: Your daughter may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI is a needs-based program paid for by general revenue taxes and run by Social Security. It helps provide monetary support to people who are disabled and who have not paid enough in Social Security taxes to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify for SSI, a person must be disabled, and have limited resources and income. For more information, visit our website and check out our publication, You May Be Able To Get SSI, at www.

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

plans. You can find out more about Extra Help and file for it at www. socialsecurity.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp. Each year, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publishes Medicare and You available online at its website at www. medicare.gov/medicare-and-you/ medicare-and-you.html. This publication is a user’s manual for Medicare.

Medicaid

Each state runs their own Medicaid program under guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicaid offers care for the most vulnerable among us. While it does not require paying taxes while working, it does have guidelines about how much income and resources you can have to qualify. Medicaid provides coverage for older people, people with disabilities, and some families with children. Each state has its own eligibility rules and decides which services to cover. The names of the Medicaid program may vary from state to state. You can read about each state’s Medicaid program at www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/ by-state/by-state.html. You can find each state’s Medicaid contact information at www.medicaid.gov/aboutus/contact-us/contact-state-page. html. Medicare and Medicaid are two of the major insurance programs that provide healthcare to the American public. Understanding each program, as well as how the two programs differ, can help you and those you care about find the right healthcare program.

socialsecurity.gov/pubs. Q: I usually get my benefit payment on the third of the month. But what if the third falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday? Will my payment be late? A: Just the opposite. Your payment should arrive early. For example, if you usually get your payment on the third of a month, but it falls on a Saturday, we will make payments on the Friday prior to the due date. Find more information about the payment schedule for 2017 at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs/calendar. htm. Any time you don’t receive a payment, be sure to wait three days before calling to report it missing. To ensure that your benefits are going to the right place, create a my Social Security account. There, you can verify and update payment information without visiting your local office. Please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount to create your account.


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By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

I

ndividualized care is important at any age; however, medical researchers tend to lump together people in their 70s, 80s and 90-plus. A few legitimate factors make it more difficult to study people over age 70. Many older adults take medication for multiple health conditions which makes it hard to include them in a study. People who go to live in a nursing home may be difficult to interview subsequently because of access. A sizeable number of participants in a study of people over age 70 may die from unrelated conditions before the study concludes. Some experts suspect that researchers who focus on younger people do so because they believe their time is better spent on people with a potentially longer lifespan. “Ageism, unfortunately, still exists in every segment of society,” said Mary Rose McBride, vice president marketing and communications for Lifespan in Rochester. Unlike in research, when it comes to providing medical care, age is only a number. “It’s crucial that medical professionals interact with the person, not their age,” McBride said. There’s a huge difference between someone who’s 70 and active and healthy and someone who’s a frail 90-year-old who needs more assistance. But on the other hand, treating the person regardless of age represents good care. McBride said she recently accompanied her 89-year-old father to a doctor’s appointment. He had lost a significant amount of weight in the last year, and the family felt concerned. “When I noted his age, the doctor’s response was, ‘It doesn’t matter if he’s 89, that shouldn’t happen.’” I was thrilled to hear her treat my dad, not his age,” McBride said. “It shouldn’t matter if someone is 70 or 90.” Unfortunately, McBride’s good experience may be exceptional. Marsha Raines, licensed master social worker and founder and president of Marsha Raines and Associates in Rochester, aids clients with elder care consulting and care management and long-term care insurance. She said that in general, “our society and community really devalues older people.” She added that negative stereotyping of older people as out of touch and unable to learn becomes self-fulfilling for older people because of how they are treated. “Many of our medical professionals have internalized this message that devalues older people,” Raines said. “We need to look at their functional ability, not age.” Though most people have two to three chronic medical conditions requiring medication by the time they’re 75, that’s not the case for all older adults. And many people younger than 75 have as many or more health conditions. Raines recommends older adults to seek care from a geriatrician, since this medical specialty provides care

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Marsha Raines, licensed master social worker and founder and president of Marsha Raines and Associates in Rochester. “Many of our medical professionals have internalized this message that devalues older people,” with a more holistic approach. “Their philosophy isn’t just to treat the specific condition or illness but to look at the whole picture,” Raines said. “With a geriatrician as a member of the care team, generally the outcome for the elder is much greater because we take a look at the older adult’s nutrition, family support, activities, and informal supports such as how they get to appointments and grocery stores and follow-up exams.” Raines also encourages older adults to be more proactive in their health care. They need to follow their care providers’ advice regarding medication, diet and exercise. Just as with people of any age, older adults need to make a list of their medication and any questions they have for their care providers before the visit. Otherwise, the provider may not think to ask the question or may run out of time to address their needs. “A lot of older people are reluctant to bring concerns to their doctors because of society feeling that when you’re older, it’s inevitable you’ll be in pain,” Raines said. “I’m hoping that people feel they need to develop a mutually respectful relationship where the elder feels free to discuss their concerns and the physician will treat the elder without ageism.” Bringing along a trusted friend or relative can also help in asking sufficient questions and in recording the conversation. “We’re hopefully moving towards a place where number age isn’t as important as where we are,” Raines said. “What we really need is more geriatricians in our community. Geriatricians receive the training to really understand common issues facing older adults.” December 2017 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19


Op/Ed

Doctors Deserve the Right to Collectively Negotiate By Peter Ronchetti, MD

A

re you concerned about the availability of physicians in your community? You should be. A recent report from the Healthcare Association of New York State noted that 86 percent of Upstate New York hospitals indicated that there are times when they have to transfer patients from their emergency departments because of insufficient specialty care availability. Over 70 percent of hospitals noted their lack of primary care capacity. New York state is notorious for its hostility to doctors. With its exorbitant liability costs, practice mandates, high overhead costs and low reimbursement for patient care delivery, New York recently received the dubious distinction from WalletHub as being the worst state in the entire country to be a physician. No wonder New York state loses more than half the medical residents we pay to train to other states with more favorable practice climates.  We used to retain a much higher percentage of these residents. Thankfully, legislation has been introduced by state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R, C, I) from Nas-

“New York recently received the dubious distinction from WalletHub as being the worst state in the entire country to be a physician.” sau County, and Assembly member Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) to help reverse these disturbing trends. It would encourage physicians to remain in communities across New York state by permitting them to negotiate collectively with health insurers, especially in regions of the state where certain insurers have a dominant market share. Such joint negotiations are now strictly prohibited by law. The Hannon-Gottfried bill would allow these negotiations to occur on a limited basis, provided that the negotiations are closely monitored by the state to assure the outcome is in the public’s best interests. Collective negotiation rights would be the first big step in pushing back against the huge administrative barriers imposed by health insurers that interfere with patient care. For example, a recent study by Milliman noted that insurers’ (over)use of burdensome prior authorization and step therapy requirements for many prescription medications nearly doubled in New York state between 2010 and 2015.

And a recent Annals of Internal Medicine study reported, astoundingly, that physicians spend two hours on administrative work for every hour spent with a patient. Moreover, collective negotiation rights would help to assure that our patients have a much broader choice of physicians in their insurance networks. Over 25 percent of physicians responding to a survey conducated by Monroe County Medical Society noted that, in the past two years, they were completely dropped from an insurer’s network. Of greatest concern, nearly 80 percent of physicians reported situations where their patients could not receive care promptly because the insurer lacked an adequate network of physicians. We are often powerless to challenge insurers when we have been unceremoniously dropped from a health insurer’s network, ignoring the obvious hardship to patients who want to stay with their preferred physician. In these cases, although the patients are covered by an insurer, they have no rights either.

Physician Peter Ronchetti is the president of Monroe County Medical Society. Physicians must be given a realistic opportunity to negotiate these patient care delivery terms with insurers. The Hannon-Gottfried legislation is a good start. We urge the Senate, Assembly and the Governor to work together to enact this measure into law. New York residents deserve to have comprehensive health care options available for them in their own communities.

Can You Trust the Labels on Your Supplements? T

hink you know what’s in your favorite supplement? Think again. More than half of the herbal and dietary supplements analyzed by researchers contained ingredients that differed from the list on their labels. Some had hidden ingredients that might actually harm health, researchers said. Bodybuilding and weight-loss supplements, in particular, tended to contain ingredients not listed on their packaging, said lead researcher Victor Navarro, and physician who serves as chairman of hepatology for Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Chemical analyses found that product labels did not reflect ingredients for 80 percent of bodybuilding and performance enhancement supplements, and 72 percent of weight-loss products, the researchers reported. Page 20

“We found that half of the bodybuilding supplements in our analysis contained undeclared anabolic steroids,” Navarro said. The researchers and health experts are concerned that these mystery ingredients can cause lasting liver damage. More than 20 percent of liver damage cases reported to the U.S. Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network are attributed to herbal and dietary supplements, the researchers said in background notes. Sonya Angelone is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She said, “Your liver is your major detoxification organ. That’s why you’re going to see liver problems with these products.” Angelone, a San Francisco registered dietitian, wasn’t involved in the new study. Navarro and his team analyzed more than 200 supplements reported

to the liver injury network by hundreds of patients, to see whether their labels reflected the actual contents. Only 90 of 203 products had labels that accurately reflected their content, the investigators concluded. In one case, a bodybuilder who became very ill from liver damage had taken a supplement that contained tamoxifen. That’s an anti-estrogen drug typically taken to prevent a recurrence of breast cancer, Navarro said. The FDA does not regulate the supplement industry as it does phar-

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

maceuticals and medical devices, Navarro and Angelone noted. “It’s up to the public to complain, otherwise no one’s going to go in and check, as they do proactively with drugs,” Angelone said. “Unless there are adverse effects, nothing’s going to get done. There’s a lot of money to be made.” The findings were presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, in Washington, D.C.


H ealth News Companion Care of Rochester celebrates 20 years Companion Care of Rochester (CCOR) is celebrating 20 years of providing quality home care services to older adults and individuals with disabilities in Western New York.  “During the past 20 years, we have been able to assist families and individuals in some of their most trying times and circumstances,” says CEO Al Gauvin.  After his own unsuccessful attempt to obtain adequate home care services for his sister, Gauvin founded CCOR to offer a solution to others facing the same dilemma of finding care for a loved one.  Since the beginning, CCOR’s goal has remained the same: to treat those they care for and their families like their own, at times when they can’t be there. CCOR is a licensed home care services agency (LHCSA) with offices in Rochester, Batavia, Buffalo and Geneva to support a 18-county service area.  CCOR’s staff includes more than 500 direct employees and 200 clients, and as the demands for home care increase, these numbers will continue to grow, according to CEO Gauvin.

The company provides companion services, personal care, nursing services and care management to keep their clients safe and independent in their homes for as long as medically possible.

Excellus earns top marks in Corporate Equality Index Excellus BlueCross BlueShield received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian,gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Excellus BCBS joins the ranks of 609 major U.S. businesses which Searles also earned top marks this year.

“We’re proud to be recognized for the fourth year in a row as one of the ‘Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality,’” said Joseph Searles, corporate director of diversity and workforce inclusion, Excellus BCBS. “Diversity and inclusion is an important part of our business and culture, and we value the background, experience, and creativity of all our employees. “We’re proud of our cultural competence training programs,” Searles added, “and value our involvement with the greater LGBTQ community in upstate New York.” The 2018 CEI rated 947 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Excellus BCBS’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. For more information on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/cei.

Highland Hospital Opens First Hybrid Operating Room  Highland Hospital recently open its new state-of-the-art hybrid operating room. The largest operating room Highland Hospital has ever had at 1,100 square feet, the room includes an advanced imaging system that will enable Highland to address more diverse patient needs and offer an expanded vascular surgery service.  The ARTIS Pheno, the new operating room’s imaging system, is the first of its kind in Upstate New York and only the eighth one to be installed in the U.S. The machine will be used to create real time, multi-dimensional images that will help surgeons perform advanced endovascular (inside the artery) procedures such as angioplasty, stent placement, and endovascular treatment of aneurysmal disease. These procedures can often be done in a minimally invasive way, allowing for either outpatient procedures or overnight hospital stays for conditions that historically have required longer inpatient admissions. It can also be used for regular, nonvascular operations.  “This new operating room shows that Highland Hospital is committed to using cutting edge technology and the latest in surgical techniques to provide the best care patients can receive in a community hospital setting,” said Cindy Becker, vice president and chief operating officer of Highland Hospital.  Using funds raised at the Highland Hospital gala in April and other fundraising sources, the hybrid operating room is part of the hospital’s ongoing modernization efforts. 

URMC gets $6 million to study bone infections

New York Chiropractic College’s New President Inaugurated Michael A. Mestan becomes the sixth president of 98-year-old college Thomas De Vita, chairman of the New York Chiropractic College board of trustees, recently administered the presidential oath of office to Michael A. Mestan, who became the NYCC’s sixth president. “As NYCC approaches its 100th anniversary in 2019, we embrace our legacy even as we look toward the future,” he said in his inaugural speech. “I will work enthusiastically to build on the excellence of what we are doing now, to set a course to achieve goals to which

we are committed, and to demonstrate by evidence and action the extraordinary value the New York Chiropractic College offers to its stakeholders and the public.” Mestan studied higher education leadership at the University of Rochester’s Warner Graduate School of Education, where he earned Master of Science and Doctor of Education degrees in educational administration (with a specialty in higher education). He and his wife, Jill, are the parents of three children. December 2017 •

Bone infection, while relatively rare, can be debilitating and potentially fatal. In recent years, researchers in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center have made several discoveries that position them to advance new treatments and possible cures for bone infections. Now, a nearly $6 million, five-year award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease at the National Institutes of Health, will allow the group to create a new multidisciplinary research program devoted to studying bone infections. Of the millions of Americans who have joint replacement surgeries each year, less than 5 percent come away with an infection. But this minority of patients must endure a long and difficult road to recovery, if they recover at all. The vast majority of these infections are caused by a type of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, including the dreaded methicillin-resistant strain (MRSA), which causes sepsis and death in 13 percent of infected patients.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21


H ealth News Balanced Body Foods expands into Rochester market Balanced Body Foods—Western New York’s premier meal preparation service featuring quality, nutritious foods—has expanded into the Rochester region, offering shipping and weekly meal pickup options through Elite Fitness Personal Training on Linden Avenue.  Balanced Body Foods offers a rotating menu of five, eight, 10, 12, 15 or 18 weekly breakfast, lunch or dinner options; all meals are portioned in regular or large options, suitable for men and women. On a weekly plan, meals average $6.25- $6.50; each meal is created by a professional chef,

RRHA renamed as Pandion Optimization Alliance Rochester Regional Healthcare Association Family of Companies is changing its name to Pandion Optimization Alliance to better reflect its four organization’s overarching mission and shared values.  “The RRHA name has a rich history dating back to 1926 as a hospital association, and later in 1946 as a pioneer in the group purchasing industry,” said President and CEO Travis Heider. “But over time, we’ve expanded our offerings and geographic footprint, which is the catalyst for rebranding under the Pandion name. We believe it

macronutrient-balanced and boasts fresh, never frozen flavor. Balanced Body Foods prepares dishes such as: pepper steak with jasmine rice, teriyaki chicken with vegetable fried rice, protein pancakes, Greek turkey burger, BBQ chicken pizza and more. “Since launching less than a year ago, Balanced Body Foods has quickly grown in popularity with people of all ages and lifestyles in Western New York, and our expansion into Rochester is a testament to that success,” said Ashley Draper, Balanced Body Foods founder. “We’re humbled and excited to connect with and help even more Western New Yorker’s choose healthy meal options and make smart decisions that impact their lives.” 

Mendon Pediatrics receives NCQA recognition

embodies our unique ability to bring individuals and organizations together, and harness their collective power for the benefit of all.” Effective Jan. 1, the companies currently known as Seagate Alliance, LLC., RRHA Joint Ventures Corporation, Rochester Regional Healthcare Association Inc., and the Rochester Regional Healthcare Advocates Inc. will all fall under the Pandion Optimization Alliance brand. Under the new name, there will be three Pandion branches: Sourcing and Purchasing; Consulting; and Healthcare: Education & Advocacy. The company’s corporate structure will not change. “While our look will be different, our promise remains the same,” says Heider. “Our company has the ability to bring like-minded organizations

together to leverage their collective strength — whether it’s by providing healthcare education and advocacy to members through its nonprofit, leveraging billions in spending and negotiating competitively-priced contracts through group purchasing, or providing cost-cutting solutions through our expanded consulting services.” The decision behind the change, according to Heider, stems from a perceived need to avoid confusion with Rochester Regional Health, a member of the company’s hospital association. The organization’s healthcare association is comprised of 17 hospitals and healthcare systems across Rochester, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier and provides a forum for the discussion

Mendon Pediatrics, PLLC, located in Mendon, has received the highest level of recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition program. Working with RMS Healthcare in Baldwinsville, Mendon Pediatrics has successfully received PCMH recognition under the 2014 standards, requiring increased rigor in operational processes to achieve and sustain recognition. Providers at Mendon Pediatrics, PLLC include physicians Jennifer Lesic, Donna Meyer and Rebec-

ca Gargan. RMS Healthcare assists practices across the country in navigating the PCMH recognition process. Since launching the assistance program in 2010, RMS Healthcare has assisted more than 350 practices in achieving recognition.   Mendon Pediatrics met key program components in the following areas: patient-centered access; team-based care; population health management; care management and support; care coordination and care transitions; and performance measurement and quality improvement

of best practices and educational programs for its members. On the for-profit side, the company’s group purchasing side boasts more than 1,800 members in 30 states, making the Rochester Regional Healthcare Joint Ventures Corporation name no longer relevant, as the organization serves a much wider geography. “We are excited for this new phase in our company’s rich history. Pandion Optimization Alliance will help us to achieve our longterm goals of meeting our members’ constantly evolving needs.” For more information, visit www.PandionAlliance.com.

American Legion Riders from three local chapters raised money Oct. 7 for the Community Transportation Fund at Thompson Health’s Dr. Laurie Sands and Constellation Brands Breast Imaging Center.

Motorcycle Ride Raises $5,000 for Patients More than 100 participants in an Oct. 7 motorcycle ride raised approximately $5,000 for the Community Transportation Fund at the Dr. Laurie Sands and Constellation Brands Breast Imaging Center operated by UR Medicine Thompson Health. The 100-mile ride, which set off from Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, was organized by the Canandaigua, Lima and Sonyea chapters of the American Legion Riders. The Community Transportation Fund at the Breast Imaging Center assists patients who do not have access to reliable transportation. It is intended to Page 22

provide for gas cards, cab rides or other specialized transportation to eliminate barriers of receiving health care like mammograms, bone density testing, and other services provided by the center. The three American Legion Riders chapters have already scheduled next year’s benefit ride, for Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. According to the American Legion Riders’ website, members are Legionnaires, Auxiliary members and Sons of the American Legion who are motorcycle enthusiasts known for their charitable work. There are currently more than 110,000 American Legion Riders in over 2,000 chapters.

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


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