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Meet Your Doctor Physician Surinder Devgun, the new president of Monroe County Medical Society, wants to retain and attract new physicians to the area, among other goals

Trim Healthy Mama

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JULY 2018 • ISSUE 155

Summer Care • Swim Safely: One-fifth of those who drown are children aged 14 and younger. Find out what you can do to push the statistics down • Sunscreen: Understanding all the lingo • Mosquito Bites: Natural ways to keep mosquitos from biting you Page 11

Pregnancy & Pot Smoking Growing number of women smoke pot during pregnancy. Local experts weigh in

The Stupid Cancer App A Rochester-based start-up has been honored for creating app that brings cancer patients together

Working to Support the Bee Population The Rochester-based nonprofit Sweet Beez is working to raise awareness about the honey bee population and provide support to those interested in keeping hives Page 22

Crack a Crab for Lean Protein and More Gloriously low in fat and calories, crab is an excellent lean protein source. See SmartBites inside

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Worse for Women? The statistics are startling: 26 percent of adults aged 30 to 70 have sleep apnea. But are women more affected than men?

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018 | (585) 394-4260 | Member FDIC

Depression: Problem Affects More Women Than Men


tudies show that depression is underreported. People aren’t getting the help they need, sometimes because they don’t know the warning signs or where to turn, or are embarrassed because of the stigma that can still surround mental health issues. But the numbers are too great to ignore. Up to 26 percent of U.S. women and up to 12 percent of men will experience major depression at some point in their lives. In any given year, that’s 16 million American adults. As many as one in 33 children and one in eight teens also struggle with depression that’s 9 percent of kids aged 12 to 17 in any given year. And new research suggests these numbers may be even higher. It’s important to recognize signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, including a child, and to get help from a doctor.

Signs of depression: • Persistent sadness, anxiety or an “empty” feeling • Hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness • Loss of interest in hobbies and favorite activities • A lack of energy and persistent fatigue • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions • Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening or oversleeping


• Appetite and/or weight chang-

• Restlessness or irritability • Physical symptoms including pain • Thoughts of death or contemplating suicide Take immediate action if you or a loved one is having suicidal thoughts. If you’re thinking of harming yourself or attempting suicide: • Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. • Call the toll-free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. • Ask a family member or friend to help you make these calls or take you to the hospital. The stigma around depression exists, in part, because it’s poorly understood. However, one study found that once people are educated about it that it’s an illness and not something those affected bring on themselves -- they are more likely to change their thinking and accept that depression can and should be treated. Family members of someone going through depression should become educated about the disease because they make up an important part of the depressed person’s support network and can help prevent a recurrence. Source: HealthDay News

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Serving Monroe and Ontario Counties in good A monthly newspaper published

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

In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2018 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. 154 Cobblestone Court Dr., Suite 121 – P.O. Box 525, Victor NY 14564. • Phone: 585-421-8109 • Email: Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo Writers: Jim Miller, Deborah J. Sergeant, Gwenn Voelckers, Anne Palumbo, Chris Motola, George W. Chapman, Amy Cavalier, Sister Mary Lou Mitchel, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Barbara Pierce, Colleen M. Farrell • Advertising: Anne Westcott, Linda Covington • Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement—not to take the place of—the recommendations of your health provider. Consult your physician before making major changes in your lifestyle or health care regimen.

July 2018 •

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Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Surinder Devgun, M.D. Depression Striking More Young People Than Ever


mericans are fast becoming a very depressed lot. New research shows there’s been a sharp spike in cases of major depression in the United States in recent years, especially among teens and millennials. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association analysis of medical claims data showed that the overall rate of major depression was 4.4 percent and that diagnosis rates rose 33 percent between 2013 and 2016. Those rates increased 63 percent among teens and 47 percent among millennials. Diagnosis rates in 2016 varied by as much as 300 percent between states, from a high of 6.4 percent in Rhode Island to lows of 2.1 percent in Hawaii and 3.2 percent in Nevada. Diagnosis rates differed by as much or more than 400 percent among cities, from a high of 6.8 percent in Topeka, Kan., to lows of 1.5 percent in Laredo, Texas, and 2 percent in McAllen/Edinburg/ Mission, Texas. Women were twice as likely to be diagnosed with major depression than men, 6 percent vs. 3 percent, according to the health insurance company’s Health of America Report, released Thursday. People with major depression are nearly 30 percent less healthy, on average, than those without depression. Eighty-five percent of people with major depression have one or more other serious chronic health conditions, and nearly 30 percent have four or more other health conditions, according to the report authors. People with major depression also use health care services more than those without a depression diagnosis, resulting in significantly higher health care spending — about $10,673 compared to $4,283. “Major depression diagnoses are growing quickly, especially for adolescents and millennials,” said Trent Haywood, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield. “The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come. Further education and research is needed to identify methods for both physicians and patients to effectively treat major depression and begin a path to recovery and better overall health,” Haywood said in a news release.

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For new president of Monroe County Medical Society, one of the challenges is to retain and attract new physicians to the area Q: What got you interested in heading the Monroe County Medical Society? A: I’ve been involved in the society as a member since 2005. They have a lot of local programs that make you aware of the offerings that they have. I was approached by the previous executive director, Nancy Adams, and exposed to a lot of the inner workings of the society. It sounded quite interesting, so she asked me to throw my hat in the ring. I started serving on some of the committees and boards. We do quite a bit of advocacy on the local and state level for providers and patients in the area. It allows us to have an impact beyond local healthcare delivery. So that was the main thing. Q: What challenges do you see in healthcare in Monroe County? A: Our main goal, of course, is patient care and delivering good quality healthcare to patients. The area’s being challenged by physician loss due to unfavorable practicing climate. It’s not particularly attractive in terms of weather, but the quality of our healthcare system is excellent. We have infrastructure in place and a lot of great providers, but the challenge is keeping them here. The key to that is helping them practice efficiently and in a happy fashion, if you will. And recruiting new folks as well. Part and parcel to that are reimbursement challenges and expenses of prac-

tices, many of which are decisions made at the state level. Q: What can the medical society directly address? A: A lot of things are out of our control. We can’t control Medicare rules and reimbursement, but we do have some input at the state level politically. We also have close contact with insurers and the hospital systems, so we’re something of a conduit for all these groups to sit at the same table. That’s really our biggest aspect. Q: What topic interests you most personally? A: There were a couple topics that were brought forth last year: physician wellness and the opioid epidemic. In terms of physician burnout, we’re looking at the aspects of practice that are bothersome to physicians. Some of those are regulatory burdens imposed by the state. Reducing preauthorization burden from insurance companies is an aspect we’d like to focus on. There’s always the pipe dream of reducing drug costs, but that’s probably best dealt with on the state and federal level, but that’s always an uphill struggle. We try the best we can locally through pharmacy benefit programs.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

Q: How do those programs work? A: Some of the proposals

that were placed included mandating that pharmacies disclose cheaper alternative drugs when available, or generics. We want to promote that as much as we can since the newest and latest isn’t always the best option. Or even if its clinical efficacy is a percentage or two better, that gain may not be worth paying triple the cost. But getting pharmacists and benefit managers to expose alternative medications will be key. Q: To what degree can you affect reimbursement rates at the county level? A: There’s always downward pressure on reimbursement rates. The reimbursements come from either governmental or private insurance. Bringing solid jobs and wages to the area is an important strategy for private insurance. Medicare rates are pretty fixed at the federal level, but regionally there are some Medicaid programs that look at patient-centered home programs to coordinate care and reduce costs, but they’ve been pulled back once the budgetary constraints were reached this year. Q: Are you still practicing fulltime? A: Usually the role of president is a volunteer one, so we usually retain our practices. I’m a gastroenterologist. I’m still in my first job! I like what I do. Q: You’re originally from the U.K., but I don’t hear an accent. A: I was born in a town called Dudley in the West Midlands. It’s working class, old mining country in the middle of England. My father’s work took us to South America, to Venezuela for a few years. I picked up speaking Spanish there. Then we moved back to the U.K. Then I moved to the U.S. for school, first to Iowa, then to Syracuse. I’ve moved around a lot, so I kind of have the accent from the private schools I went to growing up.


Name: Surinder S. Devgun, M.D. Position: President of Monroe County Medical Society; gastroenterologist with Rochester Gastroenterology Associates. Hometown: Dudley, West Midlands, UK Education: Completed his undergraduate education in electrical engineering with honors from Iowa State University. Graduated from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse and completed general internal medicine training as well as advanced training in GI motility and small bowel transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Volunteer work: Volunteers as teaching faculty at Unity Health System’s medicine residency program as well as an attending Affiliations: Rochester Regional Health; gastroenterologist at Unity and Rochester General Hospital. Established the EUS (endoscopic ultrasound) program at Unity Hospital in 2006. Clinical interests focus on general gastroenterology, pancreatobiliary diseases as well as inflammatory bowel disease Organizations: Monroe County Medical Society, American Gastroenterology Association, American College of Gastroenterology Family: Wife, two sons, one daughter Hobbies: Travel, time with family, biking, skiing

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The Stupid Cancer App A Rochester-based start-up has been honored for creating app that brings cancer patients together By Colleen M. Farrell


ave Fuehrer was just 25 when overwhelmed by his experience that testicular cancer came stormhe couldn’t find information he was ing into his life, assaulting his seeking, or couldn’t navigate what he body, wreaking havoc on his emofound. tions, and attacking his fertility. “None of us expect cancer or The experience was isolating. expect to lose our fertility or expect He quickly tried to put it behind to be in that kind of pain or expect him. But he was forced to confront memory loss,” Fuehrer said. Grapthe myriad of emotions and physical pling with cancer is “the opposite changes cancer came with when he of what we think our life is going to was diagnosed a second time five be.” years later. He returned to Rochester after He sought out a support group his father died from bladder cancer. but found the experience left him In the wake of his health challenges, wanting more. he knew he wanted to have a career “Talking about really vulnerable with a purpose. He connected with things in front of strangers is a really Stupid Cancer, an international nonhard thing,” he said.” I found myself profit organization for young adults still holding back because I didn’t with the disease. want to make somebody else too “It changed my life,” Fuehrer, 41, Bugow’s uncomfortable, or they were dealingDriver said, noting that he finally confronted with something differently.” Rehab all of the issues with which his cancer The Rochester and battles had left him. Senior adults Driver and Evaluations Rochester Institute of Technology Fuehrer assembled a team of othTeens, disabled graduate was living inDriver Michigan at & Training ers directly affected by cancer, either Evaluations the time and working as a research 315-341-8811as patients or as caregivers. They consultant. Despite his education spent the last five years developing a and background, he found himself so mobile application for cancer patients

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Dave Fuehrer, founder of GRYT Health, talks about the Stupid Cancer app his company developed at CancerCon earlier this year in Denver. CancerCon is an international gathering put on by Stupid Cancer, a young adult cancer foundation. Submitted photo  to connect with each other. “You feel so out of control and being around people you can talk openly and share ideas — that can put control back in your life.” In 2016, Fuehrer founded GRYT (pronounced “grit”) Health, a digital health start-up headquartered in Rochester, which donates 10 percent of its revenue to Stupid Cancer. The Stupid Cancer App launched last fall. It is used in all 50 states and across 65 countries. The application won best mobile app in the charity/ nonprofit category of the 2018 Appy Awards, which were presented last month in New York City. Since last fall, the app has hosted over 500,000 interactions between people, according to Fuehrer. Ellis Emerson, 32, is one of those people. The Texas resident was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma last fall. While she said she has a great support system, the Stupid Cancer App has given her an “invaluable” experience. Emerson has particularly grown close to three people she met through the app. The four recently met up and got matching tattoos. “People really do want to support you, and it doesn’t have to be about cancer,” she said. “You can talk about anything. We talk about jobs. We talk about dating. We talk about food.”

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That kind of feedback deeply moves Fuehrer. “We are definitely connecting people and we are definitely providing education and information,” he said, “but my greatest hope is that it empowers people to know that they don’t have to hide what they’re going through, and that there are all kinds of different ways to live on their terms.” Besides fostering connections, Fuehrer envisions the app as a resource for helpful information. When a user fills out some profile information, the app administrators will send information on topics that are applicable to his or her age group and diagnosis. “We can actually help educate people based on their specific situation,” he said. Most importantly, the app allows people to use it how they want to by meeting them wherever they are in their cancer journey, Fuerher said. The user can be as social and open as he or she wants. And that may change as his or her needs fluctuate. “Knowing how much I was really alone and felt broken for as long as I did, to have people tell me [this has changed their lives] has made me feel like what I went through now has a purpose,” he said.

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Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Right to Try: New Law May Help Patients — to a Certain Point


ecently signed as law, the Right to Try legislation allows patients with life threatening conditions to “request” medicines that have not yet received final approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The patient must have exhausted approved

treatment options and be unable to participate in clinical trials. Unfortunately, the law does not require drug manufacturers to honor such requests. The law also does not require insurers to pay for the requested drugs. Historically, insurers have refused to pay for experimental treatment.

DRIVe The U.S Department of Health and Human Services recently introduced the Division of Research, Innovation and Research and Ventures (DRIVe). The new initiative will accelerate innovations that address systematic health concerns by funding innovation, through grants and venture capital investment, that address systematic health concerns. The focus is to save lives lost to aberrations in our healthcare system like sepsis, which is a life-threatening complication caused by infection.   ACA 2019 Uncertainty and confusion are the bane of any business, particularly

insurance. The recent termination of the individual mandate, in conjunction with the persistent rumors regarding removing the pre-existing conditions and another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, will cause premiums to increase by as much as $1,000 on the exchanges next year. Meanwhile, President Trump is promising lower premiums and better coverage. Physicians and hospitals remain vigilant, as repealing and replacing the ACA will most likely result in loss of insurance by millions, resulting in bad debts. New Jersey became the second state to enact its own individual mandate, effective January 2019. Massachusetts has had an individual mandate, even before the ACA.

Power Trio The much ballyhooed triumvirate of JP Morgan Chase, Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway has announced the hiring of their CEO to oversee the healthcare partnership. They were expected to release the name of the CEO by the end of June. The three companies feel they can do a better job than traditional insurers have done for their 1.5 million employees. Skeptics believe the trio has no idea what they are getting into which, ironically, speaks to how bad things are in healthcare. Two of the nation’s top five insurers voiced their concerns. Not being totally naïve, the trio is allowing things to develop over 20 years. Despite some nasty phone calls, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said “we’re going to take a crack at it.”   Colon cancer About 270,000 people a year die of colon cancer. It is the second deadliest cancer behind lung cancer which kills about 800,000 a year. The American Cancer Society just released new guidelines recommending that routine screening begin at 45 years old. (It used to be 50 years old.) You should discuss this with your primary care physician. Most insurers should pay for the diagnostic/ preventive colonoscopy. If you have a history in your family, your physician might recommend screenings even sooner than 45. With proper screening, this cancer is nearly 100

percent avoidable. Even stage 1 colon cancer has a 80-90 percent survival rate. United/AARP scheme A class action lawsuit has accused the two organizations — United/AARP — of an illegal rebating or scheme. United is the country’s largest Medigap carrier. Medigap insurance covers what Medicare does not, like certain procedures and any out-of-pocket responsibilities. According to the complaint, in exchange for AARP sponsoring United’s Medigap policy, United rebates almost 5 percent of the premiums received from beneficiaries to AARP, which then uses those rebates to pay for the monthly collective group plan premium in order to bind coverage. In 2016, AARP earned nearly $600 million in royalty payments from United across all insurance products. 

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

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Page 9

Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Living Alone Can Be Simply Beautiful!


ne of the beauties (and benefits) of getting older is that I’ve gained enough self-knowledge and confidence to figure out what really matters to me and what really doesn’t. This is especially helpful when making decisions about how best to simplify my life. Now that summer’s long, warm days have arrived, I’m finally finding time for cleaning, clearing, and getting rid of all those things that clutter my conscience and physical world. With great anticipation, I look forward to shedding outdated clothing, time-worn routines, and unhealthy habits. I am ready to clean up my act and de-clutter my life. Care to join me? Here are some tips: n List your priorities. Write them down. Knowing what really matters will help you decide where to start first. One of my priorities is to live in the present. Holding onto that gorgeous, skimpy dress I wore in my 30s for old-times’ sake is not doing me any good. In fact, it only serves to clog my closet.

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Off it goes to Volunteers of America. n Start small. De-cluttering our lives can be daunting. I always begin by cleaning up one “corner” at a time. Today, it’s my desk. More specifically my desktop. I’ve gathered all the many documents, bank statements, Post-it note reminders, cards, etc. into one big pile. Later today, I’ll sort it out and discard probably 90 percent of it, in favor of making space and time for the things that need attention. n Purge your email in-basket. My “digital” life can be as overwhelming as my real life. How did I get on so many automated email lists? Oh, I remember now ... I made a fatal decision and purchased a pair of shoes online. That will do it! This morning, I spent worthwhile time unsubscribing to unsolicited email newsletters and shopping site promotions. n Clear your counter. Clear not just your clutter, but your counter. Nothing sinks my spirits faster than walking into to my kitchen and finding

the counter covered with old newspapers, unopened mail, yesterday’s coffee cup and more. Ugh. I feel so much better and in control when I come downstairs in the morning to a clean and organized kitchen counter. n Purchase help. This is so not “me.” I’m a do-it-yourselfer. But lately, I’ve made an investment in favor of efficiency and in keeping with my priorities. While I like to iron my own clothes (I find it peaceful and satisfying), I have found myself getting way, way behind. Shirts were piling up, and all my untended laundry was causing me stress! So I bit the bullet and decided to invest in pressing services offered by my local dry cleaner. It’s cheaper than full dry cleaning and I feel on top of things again. n Reduce your choices. This has made a big and positive difference in my life. One tiny example: Like most women, I have makeup samples galore and have been reluctant to throw anything out. But, I’ve changed my ways. I’ve discarded (or donated) many of the free makeup samples I’ve accumulated over the years and now only have my “go to” products within easy reach — one cleanser, one moisturizer, one mascara, one eye shadow, etc. How easy is that? My morning routine is simplified, and my bathroom counter is now easier on the eyes. • Carry around less stuff. Many of us would do well to lighten our loads.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

I used to live in a “what if?” world: What if my car slides off the road and into a ditch? What if I needed to leave my house in a hurry to help a friend? What if TripAdvisor alerted me to an incredible discounted flight to Paris? Well, you get the idea. My oversized purse and car used to be filled with boundless “just in case” provisions — a change of clothes, back-up makeup, spare boots, a hair dryer ... you name it. But, no more. I’ve simplified my life. Now, I only carry basic necessities and my AAA card. Life is much simpler now that I’ve lightened my load. • Stay vigilant. Clutter can sneak up on you. Before you know it, your desk, your inbox, your counter, car, and conscience can fill up with unwanted, unnecessary stuff. Routinely ask yourself: Will this stuff make my life simpler or more complicated? Does it bring me joy? If the answer is no, think twice, and consider making changes in favor of your priorities. It’s as simple as that.

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of Live Alone and Thrive, empowerment workshops for women and author of “Alone and Content,” a collection of inspiring essays for those who live alone. For information about her workshops, to invite her to speak, or to purchase her new book, call 585-624-7887, email her at, or visit www.

Summer Care

Natural Prevention of InsectBorne Diseases By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Swim Safely T One-fifth of those who drown are children aged 14 and younger: CDC By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


bout 3,536 people drown accidentally in non-boating related accidents in the US annually, plus around 300 people die in boating-related incidents — onefifth of those are children aged 14 and younger, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, for each child who dies from drowning, another five children receive emergency care for non-fatal submersion injuries. These can cause long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning. Physician Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, said that parents can take steps to reduce their children’s risk of drowning and submersion injuries. “Make sure you’re not distracted and under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Mendoza said. It’s easy to think that someone else at the pool party is watching the children when actually no one is. Mendoza added that parents should Mendoza understand the differences between the hazards inherent to swimming pools and other bodies of water, which can have rip currents, undertows and debris that can pull swimmers under. “Never swim alone,” Mendoza said. “Always be under the watchful eye of someone else. Know CPR. We don’t want to discourage people from swimming, but there are common sense precautions we ought to take.” Among these precautions is swimming lessons. Jay Bonafede, spokesman for the American Red Cross Western and Central New York regions, advises families to make sure everyone in the family learns to swim and swims only in designated areas under the watch of lifeguards and with a swim buddy. Swimmers should follow the rules at all times, such as no horseplay at the pool and no swimming further than the boundary at the lake. “A lot of Red Cross tips are very basic and common sense and we like to make them catchy, something people will remember,” Bonafede said.

Who’s Most Likely to Drown? • Males. Almost 80 percent of people who drown are male. • Ages 1 to 4. Children of this age range have the highest drowning rate. Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes. • Minorities. Between 1999 and 2010, the unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages with the greatest disparity among children 5 to 18 years old using swimming pools being 5.5 percent higher than the same aged whites. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC One of these is, “Sit, stay and throw; don’t go” to help someone who’s struggling to keep above water. Instead of jumping in the water, sit down to stay balanced and throw a lifeline. Securing home swimming pools is also vital to promoting water safety — and, in some municipalities, part of local ordinance. “If you own a pool, make sure you have a fence around the entire area,” Bonafede said. Bonafede “Make sure it’s tall enough and the gate is locked so your child and no neighbor’s child stumbles in.” Keep in mind that a child determined to explore the pool area may use chairs or other items to climb over the fence. Remove these from outside the pool area. For aboveground pools, removing the ladder and locking it up elsewhere can add an additional measure of safety. Pool covers cannot prevent children from drowning. If a child is missing, check the pool first. Don’t rely upon novelty flotation devices for water safety. Choose only Coast Guard-approved devices, but never leave children unattended while swimming for even a moment. Visit or call 800-RED-CROSS for information on Red Cross courses. July 2018 •

he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in May that insect-borne disease increased from 27,000 in 2004 to 96,000 in 2016 — and that’s only reported cases. These diseases include Lyme Disease, West Nile virus and newcomer Heartland virus, which has recently appeared in the .S. While using insect repellant containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) can help prevent bites that could be infectious, some people don’t want to repeatedly expose themselves to the chemicals in repellants because of toxicity, especially when used frequently. A few other strategies can help prevent bites. Joanne Wu is an integrative and holistic medicine and rehabilitation physician who specializes in wellness. She recommends using citronella, eucalyptus or tea tree oil. “Add a couple drops to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil,” she said. “It’s a natural repellent. Consider using astringents like witch hazel mixed with oils to spray.” Planting lavender around the yard and tossing a sprig of thyme in the fire on a chilly evening can also ward off mosquitoes. Why do these work? “It’s about masking your scent so it’s not attractive,” Wu said. She added that seeking a good quality oil is important for maximum effectiveness. Physician Sachiko Kaizuka, with Highland Family Health, added cinnamon to the list. Always well diluted in a carrier oil, try clove, lemongrass, rosemary, cedar, catnip (if you don’t have cats), geranium, or mint oils as well. Although some people have success rubbing the above plants on the skin, the essential oils provide a more

concentrated source of the properties that repel insects and they’re easier to apply in liquid form. Kaizuka also recommends using physical barrier strategies such as “wearing long sleeves and pants” when walking in woods or gardening, she said. Also, tuck pants into socks and check for ticks before coming indoors. Light-colored fabrics help make ticks easier to see. Tightly woven material is tougher for the insects to penetrate. In general, try to avoid areas with high grass and brushing through undergrowth and branches. That’s where insects like to live and wait for hosts. If you choose a product containing DEET, select one with 15 percent or lower concentration of DEET to minimize exposure while still providing repellant. Don’t apply repellant indoors to minimize inhalation. Use only as directed on exposed skin. Use flea and tick prevention measures on pets and check any pets that go outdoors. Ask your veterinarian before using essential oils with pets because cats and dogs can have serious reactions to them. Eliminate sources of standing water, which is where mosquitoes like to lay eggs. Keep your yard mowed and bushes trimmed. Mosquitoes aren’t as active mid-morning through early evening, so plan to perform yard work or engage in outdoor activities during those times. Check your window screens and around window air conditioners for holes and gaps.

Health Tip: Understanding Sunscreen Lingo


here may be no easy answer unless you understand sunscreen lingo, the American Academy of Dermatology says. A recent study in JAMA Dermatology found that fewer than half of people asked at a dermatology clinic understood the meaning of “broad spectrum” or “SPF.” The academy offers this primer about sunscreen lingo: • “Broad spectrum” sunscreen means it can protect you from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. This will help prevent skin cancer, early skin aging and sunburn. • Sunburn protection factor (SPF) determines how well sunscreen

protects from sun damage. SPF of 15 filters 93 percent of UVB rays, while 30 SPF filters 97 percent of those rays. • No sunscreen is entirely waterproof, but some are water-resistant. The product is considered water resistant if it stays on wet skin for 40 to 80 minutes. • Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, even if your skin stays dry. • A chemical sunscreen absorbs the sun’s rays, while a physical sunscreen protects you by deflecting the sun’s rays.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 11


The skinny on healthy eating

Crack a Crab for Lean Protein and More


ome people see crab the same way they do white pants: a summertime fancy to be enjoyed from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Me? I fancy the crustacean all year long because it’s simply too nutritious and too delicious to do otherwise. Gloriously low in fat and calories, crab is an excellent lean protein source. A 3-oz. cooked serving (about ¾ cup) has only 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, scant carbs, and 20 grams of complete protein. Slow-to-digest protein keeps us sated longer, is essential for building and repairing tissue, and is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Eating too little protein, in fact, can make us feel sluggish, irritable, and weak. What’s more, not consuming enough protein can make the struggle to lose weight even harder. Crab rocks with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals — from iron to zinc, niacin to selenium — but it’s biggest claim to nutrient fame is its vitamin B12 content: nearly 150 percent of our daily needs in an average serving. Vitamin B12 lies at the core of our body’s ability to make DNA for new cells, form healthy red blood cells, maintain sound nerves, and turn the food we eat into energy. Furthermore, vitamin B12 may help

protect against brain volume loss in the elderly, according to researchers from the University of Oxford. Looking to boost your hearthealthy omega-3s? Much like other shellfish, crabs deliver. While no omega-3 superstar (like salmon), an average serving of crab has about 400 mg, which many deem an adequate daily amount for most. A diet rich in omega-3s may help to prevent heart disease and stroke, lower inflammation, and improve cognitive function. Because crabs come from the salty sea, they do have sodium, from around 300 to 900 mg per 3-oz. serving, depending upon which kind of crab you eat (Alaskan King has the most; Blue, the least). Since too much sodium can increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease, you’ll want to monitor your intake and skip the extra salt and salty butter. Crabs also serve up about 60 mg of cholesterol per 3-oz. portion, which may or may not concern you. Although my cholesterol runs high, I’m less concerned about dietary cholesterol these days because numerous studies — including one from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health — claim that, for many, the biggest influence on blood cholesterol is the mix of fats and carbohydrates in your diet, not the amount of cholesterol in your food.

Helpful Tips

When buying fresh, choose crabs that feel heavy for their size, move when you touch them, smell briny-fresh, and look bright and clean. Cooked crab in the shell should smell fresh, with no trace of “fishy” odor. Crab meat sold outside the shell is available fresh-cooked, frozen, and canned. It’s best to cook and eat live crabs the same day they are purchased. Fresh-cooked crabmeat will keep for two days, refrigerated. Canned crab is often imported from Asia and tends to have more sodium than fresh and frozen crab.

Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

Adapted from Cooking Light; serves 4 Crab cakes:

2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried) 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions (or 2 garlic cloves, minced) ½ Fresno pepper, seeded, finely chopped (optional) 2 tablespoons canola-based mayonnaise 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning ½ teaspoon Worchestershire sauce 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper 1 large egg, lightly beaten 8 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil


½ cup canola-based mayonnaise 1 ½ tablespoons chopped shallots 2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Combine 1/3 cup panko and next 11 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring well. Add crab; stir gently just until combined. Shape crab mixture into 4 equal balls. Gently flatten balls to form 4 (4-inch) patties. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place remaining 1/3 cup panko in a shallow dish. Coat cakes with panko. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with lemon wedges or spicy rémoulade.To prepare rémoulade, whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

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

Submitted by Emery & Scuro DMP, PC, Rochester.

apnea is usually complaining about a diagnosis of sleep apnea and are snoring, dozing off during the day, struggling with CPAP equipment, waking up feeling tired and unrethere are options available to help freshed and gasping for air in the solve your dilemma. middle of the night. For more information, about Traditionally sleep apnea has options to treat sleep apnea, call the been treated with a CPAP (condental office of Emery & Scuro DMP, tinuous positive airway pressure) PC at 2184 Chili Ave., Rochester, or device which delivers a low flow of call 585-247-7110. For more informaair through a face mask over your tion, visit www.drsemeryandscuro. mouth and nose. While effective, com. these devices are cumbersome and n See ad on page 4. require quite a bit of regular routine maintenance, making travel with them especially difficult. However, thanks to with new development in the field, there is now a much more user friendly device that people can use in their mouth that works by keeping airway open. This allows the free flow of breathEssentially, the soft tissue in the ing air while rear of your throat collapses and closes during sleep. Because this can asleep, thus cause prolonged airway blockage to maintaining a the lungs if left untreated, the results healthy, quiet airway. can cause serious problems, includIf you susing headaches, depression, weight pect a breathgain, high blood pressure, cardio vascular disease, memory loss, impo- ing or snoring Dentists W. Bradford Emery, from left, Carol problem at night, tency and ADHD. A Scuro and Nicholas Emery. or already have The first recognition of sleep

Dental Practice Offers Option to Treat Sleep Apnea


ost of us don’t think of snoring as something to be overly concerned about. However, we now know that frequent loud snoring may be a sign of a much greater problem — sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep — in some cases, people may stop breathing hundreds of times per night.

Page 12

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

Is Smoking Pot While Pregnant Safe For The Baby?

Women’s Health

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


espite years of hearing the message that substance abuse during pregnancy can harm babies, the number of women smoking marijuana while pregnant is increasing, according to a December 2017 article in Journal of the American Medical Association. “Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, and its use is increasing,” wrote the article’s author, Kelly C. YoungWolff, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “From 2002 to 2014, the prevalence of self-reported, past-month marijuana use among U.S. adult pregnant women increased from 2.4 percent to 3.9 percent. In aggregated 2002-2012 data, 14.6 percent of U.S. pregnant adolescents reported past-month use. However, studies are limited to self-reported surveys and likely underestimate use due to social desirability bias and underreporting, leaving the scope of the problem unclear.” The study included 279,457 pregnant women in California. Exact figures on how many pregnant women smoke marijuana are difficult to obtain, since admitting pot smoking may attract unwanted attention from law enforcement and, for mothers, child protective services. Several factors play into the uptick in marijuana use among preg-

nant women, according to the article. Marijuana isn’t viewed as a “bad” drug, especially in light of its increasing legalization. Eight states have legalized recreational marijuana and many more, including New York, have legalized it only for different levels of medical use. Natural approaches to health have been increasing in popularity. Some people turn to marijuana to combat pain, nausea, depression and anxiety instead of prescription medication or other remedies. Some of these symptoms are often associated with pregnancy. But Donna Nothnagle, a registered nurse at Madonna OB/ GYN in Rochester warns moms that smoking marijuana can cause low birth weight, among other possible complications. “We’re not sure exactly what kind of brain issues can happen but there could be delayed learning and brain issues that can go on in the development of the brain,” Nothnagle said. “There’s no reason to smoke marijuana and many reasons to not.” She said that most patients who smoke marijuana quit once they learn they’re pregnant. Marijuana isn’t as addictive as tobacco, alcohol or “hard” drugs, so quitting doesn’t challenge patients much. It’s more about education.

What Foods Can Hasten or Delay Menopause? Study shows certain foods can delay menopause up to three years


hat women eat might determine when they enter menopause, new research suggests. After tracking more than 35,000 British women for four years, investigators found that menopause tended to start earlier among those whose diets were heavy in refined carbs. In contrast, menopause tended to begin later among those who consumed a lot of fish and legumes. “In particular, a higher consumption of oily fish was found to delay the timing of natural menopause by approximately three years, and fresh legumes — such as peas and green beans — was linked to a later menopause by around a year,” said study

author Yashvee Dunneram. “On the other hand, a higher consumption of refined carbohydrates — such as pasta and rice — hastened the onset of menopause by 1.5 years,” said Dunneram. She is a postgraduate researcher with the nutritional epidemiology group in the school of food science and nutrition at the University of Leeds, in England. The reason for the link remains unclear. But Dunneram speculated that it may have to do with the way certain foods affect hormones. “Refined carbs are one of the main culprits for insulin resistance,” Dunneram said. “A high level of circulating insulin could interfere July 2018 •

That’s why organizations like the Monroe County Department of Public Health are working to help women understand that marijuana can have negative effects on their babies. Christie Richards, bachelor of nursing, serves as the department’s public health educator. Previously, she worked in obstetrics for several years. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), “the chemical component that gives a high feeling [in marijuana smoking] does pass through placenta and through breast milk,” Richards said. “It’s important to understand THC distributes through the brain and fat and it metabolized by liver. Fetuses have a very hard time metabolizing through the liver.” She said babies born to women who smoke pot during pregnancy may have low birth weight and possibly learning difficulties later in with sex hormone activity and boost estrogen levels, both of which might increase the number of menstrual cycles and deplete egg supply faster, thus causing an earlier menopause.” But the researchers cautioned that the study does not prove cause and effect, and that prior research has linked earlier menopause to both a higher and lower risk of developing a wide range of diseases. “As such, we cannot really recommend women to consume these specific foods to influence their onset of natural menopause,” Dunneram said. For the study, the researchers surveyed a group of English, Scottish and Welsh women to establish their nutritional patterns with respect to 217 specific foods. All of the women were aged 40 to 65, and none were told to alter their eating patterns. About 14,000 women were tracked for four years post-survey, during which just over 900 experienced natural menopause. On average, menopause began at 51. But for every additional daily intake of a standard portion of refined carbs, menopause onset began about

life. A correlation has been identified between prenatal exposure to marijuana and attention deficit disorder. Richards said that with crack cocaine, paternal use can affect babies; however, “we aren’t sure if that’s true with marijuana.” The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) states that maternal marijuana use is associated with children experiencing lower test scores, visual problem solving ability, visual motor coordination and disruptive behavior. Richards said that drug exposure even at 20 weeks’ gestation will still show up in the baby’s meconium, the first bowel movement, indicating that the drug remains present in the baby’s system a long time. Marijuana is more potent than ever. Richards said that today’s marijuana can be as high as 37 percent THC, compared with the 1 to 3 percent average in the 1970s. “You can overdose on THC and it can be toxic,” she said. “It can lead to schizophrenia. I’ve heard of fentanyl-laced marijuana.” Using a non-incendiary “vape” device to get high can also bring additional problems, since they expose the mother and subsequently the baby to nickel, lead and formaldehyde. Little research exists on the effects of vaping marijuana during pregnancy because of the relative novelty of vaping and the ethics behind exposing babies to its known harmful effects. “Just don’t do it,” Richards said. “I’m concerned about the attitude that it’s OK to smoke marijuana during pregnancy. I encourage moms to quit before they get pregnant. They need to be honest with their doctors if they’re taking drugs. “There is no safe amount of marijuana, like any drugs or alcohol.” Richards encourages moms to ask their doctors for resources to help them to stop using drugs and to address underlying issues if they use them to self-medicate for other issues.

1.5 years earlier, the findings showed. By the same token, every additional daily portion of oily fish and legumes was linked to a delay in menopause of roughly three years. Higher daily intake of both vitamin B6 and zinc was similarly linked to delayed menopause. The findings were published online April 30 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 13

Women’s Health

Trim Healthy Mama. Is This Diet For You? Local experts praise new diet method By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f you’ve spent any time on social media lately, you’ve likely heard of Trim Healthy Mama (www. from the book “Trim Healthy Mama Plan” by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison. Also known as THM, it’s an eating plan that offers both pros and cons, according to area health experts. Not just for mamas, the eating plan basically involves nixing white flour, white sugar, unhealthful fats and artificial sweeteners; never eating carbohydrates and fat sources in the same meal; and eating every three hours. Those following the plan also choose for most of their carbohydrate intake fruit, vegetables or, occasionally, low glycemic index bread, such as sourdough bread. Emily Kyle, registered dietitian, owner of Emily Kyle Nutrition in Rochester and public relations chairwoman for the Genesee Dietetic Association, said that the emphasis on fruits and vegetables makes THM overall pretty healthful. “While each individual results will greatly vary, any diet that has a major focus on consuming health-promoting fruits and vegetables while eliminating or reducing less beneficial foods like sugar, will likely help an individual to achieve better health while potentially losing weight,” she said. Short-term and yo-yo dieting can lead to weight gain, as individuals return to the old habits that caused weight gain. Kyle views THM’s “lifestyle” promotion as likely more effective, providing they stick with it. “Patients are able to adhere to the program longer, making the ability to ement t States for Retir s Among Wors New York Rank


Airbnb: Locals making big bucks by renting their own homes. See how they do it

see real change more likely,” she said. But she added that the rigidity of the plan may make it difficult to follow, particularly eating every three hours. That aspect may be hard for very busy people, as well as not consuming fats and carbohydrates in the same meal. “This could be potentially difficult for someone who is not able to spend a large amount of time carefully planning and predicting their meals ahead of time,” she said. Heather Carrera, certified nutrition specialist at the integrative practice of Lesley James, MD, in Rochester, also felt impressed by the healthful aspects of THM, including the emphasis of healthful carbohydrates sources and mindful eating. She cautioned that people with complex issues involving gut health, inflammation or hormone issues may not be able to follow THM. THM’s insistence on eating fat and carbohydrates separately is something with which she disagrees. “That is one of the things that slows down the absorption of sugars from carbohydrates,” she said. “I say, always pair a carbohydrate with protein and healthy fat. It slows down the absorption. I was never taught that separating carbs from protein has any evidence of helping people lose weight. Fat helps you say satiated and full and aids with the absorption of some vitamins.” Many THM recipes listed online are dessert recipes, or ones geared to replace now-forbidden foods. Since they’re trying to improve dishes that include things like white flour, they often call for more obscure and

Emily Kyle, registered dietitian, owner of Emily Kyle Nutrition in Rochester. expensive ingredients. Carrera said that this may cause some people to decide they can live without the temptation; however, others may just cave in and go for the forbidden dessert or tempting baked good. She also thinks that losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated. “This diet may make it more complicated,” Carrera said. “You don’t have to do elaborate bread recipes. You could choose to not have bread. Most THM recipes are replacements for cravings, but I think it’s better to replace things with healthful foods and train your taste to crave healthful foods.” She said that many people can lose weight successfully by eating whole, healthful foods in modest portions, staying active, sleeping well and enjoying the occasional treat (preferably homemade with healthful ingredients, “but if it’s not, it’s OK if you’re a generally healthy person,” Carrera said).

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Marie Bieber, registered dietitian practicing in Rochester, liked the aspect that the plan recommends eating every three hours, a technique that may help keep the metabolism up and prevent overeating when famished. “Make good choices, like carrots and hummus,” she said. “If you graze and never feel hungry, or if you reach for pretzels, crackers or chips, that won’t work.” She also acknowledged that lower carbohydrate diets improves metabolic markers with weight loss. But the massive restrictions of the plan threw up a red flag to her. Many people aren’t willing to completely stop eating favorite foods or to vastly modify dishes to make them acceptable to the plan. “Focusing on what you can’t have isn’t the best option,” she said. “If you have a dessert, have one you’ll truly like, not a fake dessert. If people have a fake dessert, that’s when they will have too much.”

Being a Single Mother: A Letter to Christine

Let the real you shine through.

By Barbara Pierce


hristine just became a single mother of her children, 15- and 12-year-old sons, and a 6-yearold daughter. I know Christine and her children well, as they are neighbor to and best friends with my daughter and her children. Christine just split from Bob. Here’s what I’d like to say to her: Dear Christine: You’re now a single mom — take charge. The lives of your kids depend on you to get it to together and assure them, in both what you say and how you behave, that everything is under control. Life as a single mom will test every part of you. Expect the unexpected and take it as it comes. I’ve been there. I know how tough it is. It’s tough and can be brutally difficult, but you can do it. You have the strength within you; you just need to tap into it. Be tough, resourceful, no nonsense person I know you can be. Your kids need you to be a responsible adult, to take charge. Your kids are devastated. They can’t start to heal until you can take charge. You have to let them know that, no matter what, you’ll figure it out, make it work, and you’ll always be there for them. No matter how devastating the upheaval of your split with Bob, how deep your pain, or how frightening the road ahead, remember there is no one your kids need more than you. To be a good mom, you need to drop the things of the past, forget all the “What ifs?” and the “What might have beens,” and turn your attention to the fact that you’re now a single mom. Don’t let the bad that happened to you consume you. It doesn’t matter how you ended up a single mother; you’re in a new world now. Divorce takes a terrible toll on kids. Their family is the primary source of their security and happiness — it’s been yanked out from under them. It’s a devastating blow that their father is gone. The wounds are real and deep, doesn’t matter if they’re teens or toddlers. And, Christine, what you did last week — bringing your new boyfriend to meet your sons — what an incredibly stupid thing that was! I’m so disappointed in your poor judgment. What were you thinking? Most relationships end. So your kids get to like the latest man in your life, then you break up with him. They (and you) have to go through the pain of losing him. That’s bad enough for you, but you shouldn’t put your kids through that time and time again. Meeting a series of men who will move in and out of their lives nothing good can come of that.

Meeting your kids should be a special privilege offered to a man only when he’s proven himself to be a stable presence in your life and you’re sure he’s going to be around for a while. Evidence is overwhelming that kids raised by single parents don’t fare nearly as well as those raised in two parent families. They are far more likely to abuse drugs, do poorly in school, serve time in jail, may be chronically ill, depressed or sexually promiscuous. But having your kids raised by both parents is not an option for you. Make no mistake: dads do matter. Dads have a powerful influence over their children, just by being there and by loving them. No one can replace a dad. Kids desperately want him in their lives though he may be the last man you want in your life. What’s more, they need him. So you have to try to give them their dad in their lives. It’s a serious dilemma. You don’t want anything to do with him, but your kids love him and want to be close to him. But when it comes down to you or them, guess what? You lose; they win. Sacrifice is the central theme in the lives of all good moms. So after taking control of your own life and providing your kids a safe and secure home, the most important thing you can do for your kids, without question, is give them a real shot at a solid relationship with their dad. Don’t ever let them think they were in any way responsible for the divorce. Kids tend to blame themselves for what happens in their family. And don’t bad mouth their dad; they have half his genes, after all. Tell them good things about their dad. Let them talk about him openly. Let them see him as often as possible. Kids need to learn firsthand what a good father is. Find good two parent families and make them a part of your kids’ world. Let them learn through friends or family the critical lessons they can learn from observing good men being a husband and father. Or how can you expect them to create it for themselves and their kids? So be the great single mom I know you can be.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

Women’s Health

Bariatric Surgery: What Does It Take to Lose Weight After Procedure? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he number of bariatric surgeries in the U.S. has increased from 158,000 in 2011 to 216,000 in 2016, based on figures from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery based in Gainesville, Fla. Part of the reason that the figure is rising is that the number of candidates is increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity increased in the U.S. adult population from 30.45 percent in 1999-2000 to 35.65 percent in 2009-2010, the most recent statistics available. It’s easy to see why more and more people want to lose weight. Obesity raises the risk of more than 40 health conditions, “Obesity is associated with a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of premature death compared to healthy weight individuals,” states the Office of the Surgeon General. Bariatric surgery, which uses surgical procedures to reduce the amount of food a person can hold at a time, doesn’t equal lasting weight loss for some patients. Among other stipulations, surgeons may require patients to begin a healthful eating plan and exercise regimen before surgery, but sticking with it can represent a barrier to lasting weight loss. “As many as 50 percent of patients may regain a small amount of weight (approximately 5 percent) two years or more following their surgery,” states the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. “ The organization further stated that “successful” weight loss following bariatric surgery is described as losing at least 50 percent of excess body weight. To achieve better success in losing weight after bariatric surgery, patients need to make lifestyle changes, according to physician Rachel Conley. The new owner and program director at Rochester Medical Weight Loss, Conley previously practiced

internal medicine and saw patients undergoing bariatric surgery. “I’d tell patients, ‘This is your second chance. You can’t go back to the way you were eating. You’ve got to be active after surgery. The surgery doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t change your relationship with food.’” Meal planning with a dietitian can help patients. Conley said that keeping healthful ready-to-eat foods available makes it a snap to eat better meals and snacks. Accountability also makes a big difference, too. Journaling food and activity can help track progress. “Have a buddy so you’re accountable,” Conley said. Marie Bieber, a registered dietitian in practice in Rochester, said that many overweight people engage in disordered eating that’s not necessarily identifiable as an eating disorder. She said that some obese people use food as coping mechanism for stress or to help them handle emotions. To become successful in weight loss, patients need to develop healthful ways to manage stress and emotions. “That’s a big issue that doesn’t get enough attention,” Bieber said. “For those who still struggle with weight, a lot of them aren’t cuing in to what their body is saying, like satiety and when they’re actually hungry.” Instead, people become conditioned to eat at “official” mealtimes. Or they may eat sweets or salty foods when they’re actually thirsty. Busyness can also influence patients to slide back into bad habits. Shannon Szeles, medical weight loss director for New Genesis Center for Medical Weight Loss and Cosmetic Medicine in Rochester, said that constructing a “safety net” can help bariatric patients stay in their new lifestyle. “What we need to do to maintain is a routine of healthful food choices,” Szeles said. “Know what to do when things get out of control

Shannon Szeles, medical weight loss director for New Genesis Center for Medical Weight Loss and Cosmetic Medicine in Rochester. and spiral. Just as we have a habit of combing our hair, plan meals and healthy lifestyle and behavior modifications. The more you do them, the easier they become.” For example, planning a week’s healthful meals and snacks makes it easier to eat right than simply winging it. Szeles said that many restaurants are “very accommodating” with strategies such as boxing half a meal to take home; removing high calorie items for lower calorie items; and allowing patrons to choose from the smaller-sized portions on the children’s menu. “I love the restaurants that have the calorie counts listed in the menu,” she added.

By not adopting new ways to look at food, the old impulses can lead bariatric patients to continue to fall back into overeating eventually. Immediately post-surgery, patients can eat very little food at a time, about half a cup. “Over time, you can stretch that out, like a uterus when having a baby,” said Barb Goshorn, bachelor’s level registered nurse, has a master’s in applied clinical nutrition. She operates Goshorn Wellness Center in Webster. “If they go back to old behaviors, the weight does go back on.” “It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet that ends in November. People who think of it as such can have tremendous success.”

Mammograms Might Encourage Other Screenings


lder women who get mammograms are more likely to also seek screenings for cervical cancer and osteoporosis, new research reveals. This held true for the Medicare recipients even when their mammograms produced false positive results. “It’s encouraging that women for whom services are received through Medicare are not showing significant signs of any negative influence from mammography,” said study researcher Stella Kang, a physician. “If anything, the experience of Page 16

breast cancer screening is potentially encouraging, as it appears to increase awareness of other preventive services,» Kang added. She’s an assistant professor of radiology and population health at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. For the study, the researchers compared the use of preventive testing among more than 185,000 women who had mammograms between 2010 and 2014 and a control group of women who weren’t screened for breast cancer. They investigated the likelihood that women would

also get a Pap smear, bone density test or a flu shot within two years of having a mammogram. “There were two overarching ideas to this study,” Kang said. “First, we wanted to examine the potential for a patient’s experience with one screening to influence appointments with other preventive services. Second, we wanted to see how the potential harms from false positive findings might influence preventive service use.” The study found that women who had a mammogram were much more likely to take these preventive

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

health measures than those who hadn’t had a mammogram. “Our theory is that when patients are counseled about mammography screening, this represents an opportunity for the physician to bring up other preventive services and the health benefits of these services for women in their age group,” Kang said in a journal news release. “So, a patient’s interest in breast cancer services specifically could raise awareness in preventive services overall.” The study was published online June 5 in the journal Radiology.

Suicide in NYS: Rate Increases by 28.8 % between 1999 and 2016


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epression hits all types of people. It doesn’t matter if you are rich and famous — such as designer Kate Spade or renowned celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain — or like kids at an Ohio school district, which recently reported that six teens committed suicide in six months earlier this year. Suicide rates increased by 25 percent across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016, according to research published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30 percent and almost every state saw an increase. “When you hear a family member or friend saying ‘I wish I just didn’t wake up this morning’ or ‘I wish I was dead’, it is important not to dismiss those statements,” said Pauline Stahlbrodt, Ph.D.,who manages the mental health clinic at Rochester Regional Health’s Evelyn Brandon Health Center. Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families and communities. A combination of individual, relationship, community and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide, including family history of suicide, previous attempts, history of alcohol and substance and feelings of hopelessness, said Stahlbrodt. “Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it’s one of the three causes that is actually increasing recently so we do consider it a public health problem,” said physician Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, in a press release issued recently. In New York, the suicide rate increased by 28.8 percent between 1999 and 2016. Nationwide, the latest statistics show about 45,000 lives were lost to suicide each year. “There is a lot of shame in admitting that life is overwhelming,” said Stahlbrodt. “Because of the stigma, people often feel like they can’t turn to anyone. There is a stigma in the religious community about depression as well so some people just hide how they are feeling. It can be very isolating.” Depression isn’t selective. It is difficult to know what someone is battling with inside. Viewing their lives from the outside could offer only a glimpse into their reality. Riches and a glamorous life doesn’t always tell the entire story. Everyone has their own struggles even as they are showing off a brave outward face. “You see every type of person come to our doors to talk about depression” said Stahlbrodt. “We need to eliminate the stereotype that if you are rich, famous or just overall successful that you don’t have any problems.” Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and

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Pauline Stahlbrodt, Ph.D, manages the mental health clinic at Rochester Regional Health’s Evelyn Brandon Health Center.

“There is a lot of shame in admitting that life is overwhelming. Because of the stigma, people often feel like they can’t turn to anyone.” YouTube allow people to create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content. It also allows people to share their thoughts. And in the 21st century, people are not afraid of sharing, which could give them a window into what is going on in others lives. Facebook already created certain mechanism allowing users to flag posts from those contemplating self-harm but now it has a new feature. This feature uses artificial intelligence to detect those posts without anyone reporting that they are there. Other social media outlets are also monitoring those who may write suicidal thoughts. “People are putting in their social media posts phrases like ‘I can’t do it anymore,’” said Stahlbrodt. “They may be reaching out with those phrases so you have to pay attention. It is a clear sign of the times that we July 2018 •

are reaching people where they are at.” In addition, social media companies are also looking to create suicide prevention resources which could be a great help for the millennial generation. Even though individuals can experience depression and mental health issues in various ways, there remains some common threads and symptoms. People who experience financial or social loss, inability to sleep or sleeping too much and sudden physical illness can lead to individuals putting themselves in a dark place. “You have to watch because typically you see a distinct change of behavior,” Stahlbrodt. “People start avoiding social situations, stop hanging out with family and friends or they don’t enjoy doing the things they used to do.” Stahlbrodt also said watch for someone whose appearance has dramatically changed whether they look disheveled, lack of hygiene and personal care or just start being impulsive. In addition, dramatic life events can take a toll on everyone. Veterans made up about 18 percent of adult suicides but represent about 8.5 percent of the US adult population. Middle-aged adults had the highest increase.

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Isolation Human beings are meant to feel connection to others. But when they suddenly relish feeling isolated or try to cut themselves off from a large segment of family and friends, it is a distinct warning sign that depression may have overtaken them. Other sudden events also have been known to cause depression. “Divorce, a break up of a meaningful relationship, finding out you have an illness and losing your job can be challenging shifts in life and among some of the biggest catalyst,” said Stahlbrodt. Drug use was another cause of death that is on the rise, according to the CDC study. The rising opioids issue have caused significant dilemmas in the healthcare industry. Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. There has been some link to suicide and opioid and drug use. “The opioid addiction crisis is very powerful. You have a lot of people who become addicted quickly or even accidentally overdose,” said Stahlbrodt.

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

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Art • Music • Food • Family Fun

Join us for the 50th Annual Corn Hill Arts Festival! Featuring •

• •

• •

365+ artisans with unique, hand-crafted works of art Food trucks Beer, wine, spirits and cider gardens 4 stages of live music 10th Annual Emerging Artist Expo 6th Annual Fairy Houses Tour

Dress the part! And be sure not to miss the 1969 Revival Parade, Saturday at 11am.



10 t h A N N U A L

The Fairy Houses


at the Corn


Hill Arts Festival

Supported by:

Express Train

Come for the art, stay for it all! Page 18

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

Improving Well-Being for Older Adult Family Dementia Caregivers

Are you caring for a family member with dementia?

Caring for someone who has dementia can be challenging and stressful.  A new study is investigating two brief programs to reduce stress, and  improve the well‐being and immune health of family caregivers.   You may be eligible if you are age 55 or older and are 

By Jim Miller

How to Make a Living Will Dear Savvy Senior, What’s the best way to go about making a living will? I recently retired and would like to start getting my affairs in order, just in case.

Approaching 70 Dear Approaching, Preparing a living will now is a smart decision that gives you say in how you want to be treated at the end of your life. Here’s what you should know, along with some resources to help you create one. Advance Directive To adequately spell out your wishes regarding your end-of-life medical treatment you need two legal documents: A “living will” which tells your doctor what kind of care you want to receive if you become incapacitated, and a “health care power of attorney” (or health care proxy), which names a person you authorize to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to. These two documents are known as an “advance directive,” and will only be utilized if you are too ill to make medical decisions yourself. You can also change or update it whenever you please. Do-It-Yourself It isn’t necessary to hire a lawyer to complete an advance directive. There are free or low-cost resources available today to help you write your advance directive, and it takes only a few minutes from start to finish. One that’s completely free to use is Caring Connections, a resource created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. They provide state-specific advance directive forms with instructions on their website ( that you can download and print for free. Or you can call 800-658-8898 and they will mail them to you and answer any questions you may have. Or, for only $5, an even better tool is the Five Wishes living will. Created by Aging with Dignity, a nonprofit advocacy organization, Five Wishes is a simple do-it-yourself document that covers all facets of an

advance directive that will help you create a more detailed customized document. It is legally valid in 42 states and the District of Columbia. To learn more or to receive a copy, visit or call 888-594-7437.

caring for a family member who has dementia.   All procedures are free and subjects receive up to  $200 for participation. 

Scheduling is flexible and optional respite care is available for your loved one.  Periods of enrollment occur once a year, typically June thru August.  For more information, please call (585) 275‐6835 ,   or email us at:

Visit our website at:‐caregiving  Are you unable to work because of a severe impairment or illness? I have over 20 years experience successfully obtaining

Want Legal Help If you would rather use a lawyer, look for one who specializes in estate planning and health care-related matters. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys ( and the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC. org) websites have directories to help you find someone. Costs will vary depending on the state you reside in, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $500 to get one made. Do Not Resuscitate You should also consider including a do-not-resuscitate order (DNR) as part of your advance directive, since advanced directives do little to protect you from unwanted emergency care like CPR. Doctors and hospitals in all states accept them. To create a DNR, ask your doctor to fill out a state appropriate form and sign it. Another tool you should know about that will complement your advance directive is the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). Currently endorsed in 22 states with 24 more in some phase of development, a POLST translates your end-of-life wishes into medical orders to be honored by your doctors. To learn more or set one up, see Tell Your Family To insure your final wishes are followed, be sure you tell your family members, health care proxy and doctor so they all know what you want. You should also provide copies of your advanced directive to everyone involved to help prevent stress and arguments later. For convenience, there are even resources like and that will let you and your family members store your advanced directive online, so you can have immediate access to them when you need them.

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. July 2018 •

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19

Ask St. Ann’s

Ask The Social

By Sister Mary Lou Mitchell

Spiritual Health Helps Seniors Thrive

E life.

veryone has an inner spirit, that vital energy that animates our humanity as we move through

Seniors that keep their inner spirit alive enjoy a better quality of life, even as their bodies or minds may be diminishing. Helping your elder tend to spirit is easy to do, with such activities as: • Rituals from childhood, such as attending mass, praying together or participating in an annual family tradition to engage their memory. • A touch on the arm or hand to elicit a smile or engage their eyes. • Familiar music they can sing along with or that soothes them. • Time in nature when it’s warm outside, and bringing in holiday decorations or fresh flowers when it’s too cold to go out. Spiritual health in senior communities Tending an elder’s spirit validates their humanity. To find a senior living community that will nourish their spiritual health, look for: • Genuine hospitality. Feeling welcomed by everyone you encounter is a sign that the community could be a good fit for your loved one. It also makes the transition easier and more comfortable for everyone. • Pastoral care. Faith-based communities have dedicated staff that support the diverse spiritual needs and requests of their residents and families on a daily basis and in times of special need. The pastoral care team at St. Ann’s Community addresses the

spiritual and worship needs of residents of all faiths. Catholic tradition is celebrated, and interfaith activities allow residents to experience the commonality of different faith traditions. For example, St. Ann’s Community recently welcomed a Buddhist monk who created a sand mandala (a spiritual symbol of harmony and peace) in the lobby while sharing the teachings of his faith. • Mindfulness culture. Is everyone in the organization mindful of being present with you and your loved one? The pastoral care team at St. Ann’s Community promotes a mindfulness culture through ongoing education to ensure that compassion, love, and mercy are part of every interaction. Faith and family are important to elders and have a significant impact on their quality of life. Honoring your elders’ faith traditions enables them to be fully alive throughout all their days and to live on forever in the hearts and minds of family and friends.

Mary Lou Mitchell, Sister of St. Joseph, PhD., RN, is the director of pastoral care for St. Ann’s Community, which offers a full continuum of care for seniors. You can reach her at 585-697-6446 or mmitchell@, or visit www.

Special Golden Years Issue

Don’t miss the next issue of In Good Health.

Reach close to 100,000 readers (based on 33,500 copies distributed) Call 585-342-1182 585-421-8109

Page 20

Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

Monitoring Your Earnings Record Can Really Pay Off


ou work hard for your money. You’re saving and planning for a secure retirement. Now you need to make sure you’re going to get all the money you deserve. Regularly reviewing your Social Security earnings record can really pay off, especially when every dollar counts in retirement. If an employer did not properly report just one year of your work earnings to us, your future benefit payments from Social Security could be close to $100 per month less than they should be. Over the course of a lifetime, that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in retirement or other benefits to which you are entitled. Sooner is definitely better when it comes to identifying and reporting problems with your earnings record. As time passes, you may no longer have easy access to past tax documents, and some employers may no longer be in business or able to provide past payroll information. It’s ultimately the responsibility of your employers — past and present — to provide accurate earnings information to Social Security so you get credit for the contributions you’ve made through payroll taxes. But you can inform us of any errors


Q: What is the earliest age that I can receive Social Security disability benefits? A: There is no minimum age as long as you meet the Social Security definition of disabled and you have sufficient work to qualify for benefits. To qualify for disability benefits, you must have worked under Social Security long enough to earn the required number of work credits and some of the work must be recent. You can earn up to a maximum of four work credits each year. The number of work credits you need for disability benefits depends on the age you become disabled. For example, if you are under age 24, you may qualify with as little as six credits of coverage. But people disabled at age 31 or older generally need between 20 and 40 credits to qualify, and some of the work must have been recent. For example, you may need to have worked five out of the past 10 years. Learn more at www.socialsecurity. gov/disability. Q: What is substantial gainful activity (SGA)? A: We use the term “substantial gainful activity,” or “SGA,” to describe a level of work activity and earnings. Work is “substantial” if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

or omissions. You’re the only person who can look at your lifetime earnings record and verify that it’s complete and correct. So, what’s the easiest and most efficient way to validate your earnings record? n Visit myaccount to set up or sign in to your own my Social Security account; n Under the “My Home” tab, select “Earnings Record” to view your online Social Security Statement and taxed Social Security earnings; n Carefully review each year of listed earnings and use your own records, such as W-2s and tax returns, to confirm them; n Keep in mind that earnings from this year and last year may not be listed yet; and n Notify us right away if you spot errors by calling 1-800-772-1213. More detailed instructions on how to correct your Social Security earnings record can be found at Securing today and tomorrow requires accuracy and diligence on our part and yours. You’ll be counting on Social Security when you reach retirement age. Make sure you’re getting every dollar you’ve earned. You can access us any time at www. both. If you earn more than a certain amount and are doing productive work, we generally consider that you are engaging in SGA. For example, the monthly SGA amount for 2018 is $1,180. For statutorily blind individuals, that amount is $1,970. In these cases, you would not be eligible for disability benefits if you made over those amounts. You can read more about substantial gainful activity and if your earnings qualify as SGA at sga.html. Q: I’m trying to figure out how much I need to save for my retirement. Does the government offer any help with financial education? A: Yes. For starters, you may want to find out what you can expect from Social Security with a visit to Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at estimator. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission has a website that can help you with the basics of financial education: www.mymoney. gov. Finally, you’ll want to check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which offers educational information on a number of financial matters, including mortgages, credit cards, retirement, and other big decisions. Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at

H ealth News St. Ann’s employee completes leadership training Manny Burgio, physical therapy coordinator at St. Ann’s Community, has graduated from the IGNITE Leadership Academy as one the next generation of leaders in senior care.  A resident of Greece, Burgio joined St. Ann’s in 2002 as a physical therapy assistant. He has served as Burgio physical therapy coordinator since 2017. Presented by LeadingAge New York, the IGNITE Leadership Academy focuses on the personal and professional development of upcoming leaders in the senior care field across New York state. St. Ann’s Community is Rochester’s leading senior housing and health services provider with campuses in Irondequoit and Webster.

Hearing Loss group honors students, activists Three local high school students received $1,000 scholarships at the May 22 annual dinner of Hearing Loss Association of America Rochester Chapter held at the Cobblestone Creek Country Club in Victor. The awards assist hearing disabled high school graduates in pursuing their post-secondary studies. Honored were: • Hannah Martin of Victor Senior High School, who received the Vern Thayer HLAA Scholarship established in memory of a recently deceased founder of the organization. She has been accepted at Keuka College. • Olivia Rotoli of Irondequoit High School will attend Monroe Community College. • Ashley Jones of Sodus Junior-Senior High School will attend Nazareth College. All three women were required to apply to HLAA Rochester Chapter with copies of their audiograms, school transcripts, letters of recommendation and an essay. Initiated in 1996 with a grant by the late J. Stuart MacDonald and his wife, the HLAA scholarships have distributed $107,500 to 123 recipients. This year’s scholarships were made possible by a donation from the MacDonald Fund at the Rochester Area Community Foundation. Also honored for their work in furthering HLAA’s purpose of support, education, advocacy and information for those touched by hearing loss were: • JCC CenterStage Artistic Director/Producer Ralph Meranto, who received the Community Person of the Year, for his advocacy and installation of open captioning at the JCC’s theater • State of New York Unified

Court System Advisory Committee on Access for People with Disabilities for installing hearing systems in courtrooms as the Community Organization of 2018 • Past president Margaret Cochran was honored as the Rochester Chapter honoree Hearing Loss Association of America Rochester Chapter is the local chapter of a nationwide organization which opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, advocacy, education and support. The Rochester Chapter marks its 35th anniversary in November 2018. For more information visit www. or telephone 585-266-7890.

Ward named new director at F.F.T. Senior Communities Aimee Ward of Canandaigua was recently named executive director of F.F.T. Senior Communities, a corporation of UR Medicine Thompson Health. Ward, who first joined Thompson in 2013, was previously the director of operations and development for F.F.T. Senior Communities, which encompasses both the 84-apartment independent living community called Ferris Hills at West Lake and the adjacent, 48-apartment enriched living community of Clark Meadows. “Since arriving at Ferris Hills and Clark Meadows five years ago, Aimee has accomplished amazing things in terms of occupancy, resident satisfaction and more. She gives new meaning to the phrase ‘above and beyond,’ and we are thrilled to now have her as executive director,” said Thompson Health President/ CEO Michael F. Stapleton Jr. A native of Canastota in Madison County, Ward holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from SUNY Geneseo. She co-owned a successful downtown Canandaigua business and was president of the Canandaigua Downtown Merchants Association prior to joining Thompson. Ward is currently treasurer for the Ontario County Arts Council board of directors and is the former executive director of the Canandaigua Lake Music Festival as well as the former committee chairwoman of the Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition and Festival.

St. Ann’s Foundation adds two associates


St. Ann’s Community, Rochester’s leading senior housing and health services provider, recently announced the addition two staff members to St. Ann’s Foundation. • Cherise Jordan will serve as development officer July 2018 •

Dental Practice Provides Free Services to 78 People Greece Family Dentistry and Implantology provided over $25,150 worth of free dental treatment to 78 people during the Second Annual “Dentistry from the Heart” June 9. The services — provided by a team of dentists, hygienists and staff from Greece Family Dentistry and Implantology — ranged from dental cleaning, filling to extraction. “The heart behind this event is to serve the uninsured community with free dental treatment that they otherwise would be unable to obtain,” said dentist Oliver Cabrera, principal at Greece Family Dentistry and Implantology. “We understand hard times and challenging circumstances can sometimes get in the way of taking good care of dental needs. We enjoy doing our part to help people through these time with Dentistry from the Heart,” Cabrera said. Dentistry From The Heart (DFTH) is a registered national nonprofit organization with a simple mission – making people smile. Founded in 2001 by a dentist in New for the foundation. She will be responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing a comprehensive annual giving campaign including employee giving, special events and corporate planning. She was previously employed by Action for a Better Community Foundation, Inc. and lives in Rochester. • Tara Tiberio will serve as annual giving associate. She will be responsible for overseeing St. Ann’s signature fundraising event, FOOD FIGHT…An Epic Culinary Competition. She will also provide administrative, project and program support for the foundation’s Tiberio comprehensive annual giving program. She was previously employed by Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy in Connecticut and lives in Honeoye Falls.

Four Receive Thompson Health Guild Scholarships Four area students recently received scholarships from the Thompson Health Guild, the auxiliary of UR Medicine Thompson Health. The scholarships were presented by the guild at its annual dinner

Port Richey, Fla., DFTH was created to aid those in need, including the growing population of underinsured Americans. According to the organization, more than 100 million Americans lack dental insurance and more than 29 percent of adults have untreated cavities. “We are already looking forward to next year,” said Cabrera. Greece Family Dentistry and Implantology is located at 120 Erie Canal Drive in Rochester.

June 6 at Ferris Hills at West Lake in Canandaigua. Each scholarship, worth $2,000, went to a recipient registered in a health-related field who must successfully complete their first college semester with the intent to study the second semester in a health-related field. The recipients were as follows: • Ellen O’Neil of Livonia High School received the Deborah L. Kimble Scholarship Award and will be pursuing nursing at Roberts Wesleyan College. • Ashley Reed of Penn Yan Academy received the Phyllis Ehmann Scholarship Award and will be pursuing certification as a licensed practical nurse through Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES. • Nikolle Van Stralen of Bloomfield High School received the Gerry North Scholarship Award and will be majoring in occupational therapy at Nazareth College. •Olivia Wethington of Canandaigua Academy received the Terry Tremblay Scholarship Award and will be majoring in radiology technology at Monroe Community College. Also during the annual dinner, the Thompson Health Guild presented the health system with $60,000 as it continues to fulfill its pledges of support for both the Dr. Laurie Sands and Constellation Brands Breast Imaging Center and the new Lactation Suite on the second floor of the hospital.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 21

Meet Sweet Beez

Austin Pettigrew (from left) and Bryan Babcock, founders of Sweet Beez. On the right is Christin Babcock.

Home Is Where the Hive Is Rochester-based nonprofit Sweet Beez is supporting a healthy bee population in Monroe County and Guatemala By Amy Cavalier


ou can thank a honey bee for every third bite of food you enjoy. And the prolific pollinators are 100 percent responsible for producing some popular favorites, including blueberries, almonds and avocados. More than $15 billion worth of crops are pollinated by bees each year in the United States alone, according to the National Resources Defense Council, an international environmental advocacy group based in New York City. The Rochester-based nonprofit organization Sweet Beez is working to raise awareness about the honey bee population and provide support to those interested in keeping hives. Founded by Bryan Babcock and Austin Pettigrew, Sweet Beez assists a number of area schools, including Harley School, McQuaid Jesuit High School and School 58-World of Inquiry School. It also maintains a number of observation hives in the city, including one at Seneca Park Zoo. The nonprofit is also involved in a beekeeping cooperative with a coffee farming village in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, called El Sauce. “Traveling to Guatemala takes so much time and resources, but the friends and connections we made have been a beautiful thing to be part of,” said Sweet Beez co-founder Pettigrew. “We are hoping the coffee yield and the money they are able to make from the honey sales transforms that village.” Greg Lendeck, a teacher in the art department at McQuaid Jesuit High School, maintains two hives on the roof of the school along with the help of students and Sweet Beez. “When I tell people about the life cycle of bees, how the queen operates, how decisions are made, the democracy of the bees, they become riveted,” he said. “I think whether Page 22

it’s a child or an adult, when you can talk about just how fascinating they are, it really connects things for them.” The secret life of bees Keeping bees at McQuaid helps students understand the link between the food supply, consumption, the energy needed to produce food and the health of the environment. “The bees are part of it, because they’re pollinators, but also because they’re like a canary in a coalmine,” he adds. “They are an indicator species for the other 4,000 species of pollinators in North America.” Honey is not just for humans. Made by bees regurgitating the nectar of flowering plants, honey is a source of food for the bees and is stored it in the beehive for times of scarcity. “People don’t make the connection between what bees are doing, that the pollen and honey is necessary for them to survive,” said Kendeck. Nathaniel Mich, edible education and urban farming specialist at Foodlink, has been working with Sweet Beez since 2015 with several hives at their Lexington Avenue Urban Farm in northwest Rochester. “We got the first hive to support pollination and hopefully increase yields in our community garden and commercial growing operation,” he said. “As we’ve added more hives over the years, we hope to eventually sell raw, local, organic, urban honey through our Curbside Market at a price that’s accessible for our customers. We also love using the hives as a teaching tool and they’re a hit when we give garden tours.” Sweet Beez has been a big help with the hives, Mich said. They provided the first hive box and colony

free of charge. “They’ve installed new colonies for us and taught me how to do that and lot more on my own,” he said. “They’ve also taught workshops about beekeeping at the farm and helped teach some of our gardeners about beekeeping as well.” Beekeeping has been delightful, fascinating and inspiring, Mich said. “I’d recommend it to anybody with a big enough backyard and neighbors they can bring on board,” he said. “Whether or not you invest in a hive, there’s so much you can do to build habitat and foraging for native pollinators too.” Be a honey bee hero One of Sweet Beez main areas of focus is educating the public on the importance of a healthy honeybee population. Statistics show a rapid decline in the number of bees in the past few decades. According to U.S. National Agricultural Statistics, the number of bee hives has declined from about

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

Join the Rochester Minimalists for a tour of Sweet Beez from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, July 19. The tour stops at three observation hives, beginning at 78 Woodbine Ave., continuing at 15 Superior Terrace at 6:45 p.m., with a final stop at rooftop hives 936 Exchange St. at 7:20 p.m. Visit or for more information.

6 million in 1947 to 2.4 million in 2008, a 60 percent reduction. In the U.S. — among crops that require bee pollination — the number of bee colonies per hectare has declined by 90 percent since 1962. In order to help encourage a healthy pollinator population, Pettigrew suggests planting a variety of bee-friendly fruits, flowers, vegetables, bushes and trees in your yard or garden. “If you don’t have space in your yard for a garden, use hanging baskets or plant boxes,” he said. In addition, he encourages people to contact their local, state and national politicians to emphasize the importance of banning pesticides to protect the honeybee population. Buying local, raw honey is important to support area beekeepers and farmers. Most importantly, he said, avoid using pesticides or herbicides on your lawn or in your garden. One of the biggest misconceptions people give for not wanting to keep bees is the danger of being stung, he said. “People need to remember, whether you have bees or not, they are around and the reality of getting stung will be there whether you keep hives or not,” Pettigrew said. “The honey bee is really not concerned with you. They are focused on the hive, pollination and collection of pollen and nectar.”

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We finally got our pool. We waited our whole lives, but with all that was going on we just never had the time. Now we do—and time for a lot more. Like cooking and fitness classes, relaxing dinners, and just enjoying our time together. Best part: it all happens right here at Chapel Oaks.

Come see our indoor pool and much more! Schedule a tour today: (585) 697-6606 St. Ann’s Community at Chapel Oaks, Irondequoit Page 24

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper • July 2018

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