IGH Rochester #170 October19

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Drawn to the Finger Lakes



For Chicago native physician, Jonathon V. Lammers, main draw to relocate to Clifton Springs was the Finger Lakes area


October 2019 • ISSUE 170


When the breast cancer surgeon is the patient things you can do to keep your heart strong, according to the chief of cardiology at Rochester General

n How to help when cancer strikes a loved one n Mammography: What you need to know n Organizations help patients during cancer journey n Mammography for men? You bet n A novel approach to treating incurable cancers

Coming Soon: ‘Pot Breathalyzer’?

P. 18

University of Pittsburgh scientists are working to develop a THC breathalyzer for marijuana

Rochester Among Most Stressed Cities in U.S.

Running Red Lights a Deadly Practice

Flower City included on list along with Syracuse, Buffalo

There were 939 people killed in red light-running crashes in 2017, a 10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012

P. 18

Medical Schools & Minority Students

Minorities underrepresented in medical schools: Study

Chia Seeds Why should we eat more chia seeds? See SmartBites column. P. 17

Marijuana Use Highest rate in 35 years among college students. P. 13

Coming Soon: ‘Pot Breathalyzer’?


riving while high on marijuana can be as dangerous and illegal as driving drunk, but unlike alcohol, there’s no way to detect pot on your breath. That could change, however, as University of Pittsburgh scientists are working to develop a breathalyzer that can measure the psychoactive ingredient in pot. Although the technology may work, many questions must be answered before police start checking drivers. “We envision that this sensor can be produced as a breathalyzer like an alcohol breathalyzer,” said lead researcher Alexander Star, a professor of chemistry and bioengineering. As more states legalize pot, it’s likely more drivers will get behind the wheel stoned.

Since Washington state legalized marijuana in 2012, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana rose from 8% in 2013 to 17% in 2014, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since current testing relies on blood, urine or hair samples, it can’t be done in the field when a driver suspected of being high is pulled over. Using carbon nanotubes, however, Star’s team has found a way of detecting tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient in marijuana that creates a high, in a user’s breath. These hollow nanotubes are 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. The electrical components of molecules in the breath bind to the

tubes. Since different molecules bind at different speeds, the type of substance, including THC, can be detected. Star said these sensors can detect THC with the same accuracy as mass spectrometry, the gold standard for detecting it. So far, the device, which resembles a breathalyzer used to test for alcohol, has only been tested in the lab, using breath samples that also contained carbon dioxide, water, ethanol, methanol and acetone. Before the device can be made available for use by police, it will have to be tested on hundreds, if not thousands, of people, Star said. Right now, unlike alcohol, no standard for THC intoxication exists or is written in any state driving

laws. Setting a standard for how much THC is too much is a job for medical professionals, not chemical engineers, Star said. So don’t expect to have your breath tested for pot anytime soon. Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, which advocates for the legalization of marijuana, said establishing a standard for THC intoxication is no simple task. “There is zero scientific data addressing the question of correlating the detection of THC or its metabolites in breath with psychomotor impairment, nor am I aware of any serious scientific investigations that have sought to do so,” he said. Experts, such as AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), oppose imposition of such a per se limit, Armentano said. “Some researchers and the NHTSA have observed that using a measure of THC as evidence of a driver’s impairment is not supported by scientific evidence to date,” he said. Moreover, studies haven’t been able to consistently correlate THC levels with levels of impairment, Armentano said. “Ultimately, if law enforcement’s priority is to better identify drivers who may be under the influence of cannabis, then the appropriate response is to identify and incorporate specific performance measures that accurately distinguish those cannabis-influenced drivers from those who are not, and to prioritize greater officer training in the field of drug recognition evaluators,” he said. The report was published in August in the journal ACS Sensors. Star is its editor-in-chief.

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

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Serving Monroe and Ontario Counties A monthly newspaper published by Local News, Inc. Distribution: 33,500 copies throughout more than 1,500 high-traffic locations. In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2019 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. P.O. Box 525, Victor NY 14564. Phone: 585-421-8109 • Email: Editor@GVhealthnews.com Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo • Writers: Jim Miller, Deborah J. Sergeant, Gwenn Voelckers, Anne Palumbo, Chris Motola, George W. Chapman, Amy Cavalier, Lori Parker (Esq.) Jennifer Faringer, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Beth Parry, Eva Briggs (MD), Aaron Gifford, Rebecca Kant (MD) • Advertising: Anne Westcott, Linda Covington • Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office manager: Nancy Nitz 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.

Nov. 1

Author discusses journey ‘From Hunter to Vegan”

UR School of Nursing to address DNP impact

The October meeting of the Rochester Area Vegan Society will feature Mylan Engel, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy at Northern Illinois University, who will speak on “My Journey From Hunter to Vegan.” The event will also feature a vegan potluck dinner, where guests bring a dish with enough to serve a crowd, and a serving utensil. Vegan means no animal products — no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or honey. The meeting will take place starting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Brighton Town Park Lodge, 777 Westfall Road, Rochester. The program will follow at 7 p.m. Free to members of the Rochester Area Vegan Society; $3 guest fee for non-members. For more information, visit rochesterveg.org.

Feel Like New Again

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Oct. 20

Oct. 5, 12

Walk to End Alzheimer’s scheduled The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on Oct. 12 at the Frontier Field in Rochester. A similar event will take place Oct. 5 at the Granger Homestead in Canandaigua. The events are designed to help the organization raise awareness of the condition and funds to fight the disease. Walk participants will complete a 1-mile or a 3-mile walk and learn about Alzheimer’s and other dementias, advocacy opportunities, clinical studies enrollment and support programs and services from the Alzheimer’s Association. Walk participants will also honor those affected by Alzheimer’s or another dementia with a poignant Promise Garden ceremony. The event is sponsored by Wegmans, St. Ann’s Community, Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, St. John’s, Elderwood, The Village at Unity and The Village at Mill Landing, Cognivue, Amica Insurance, Rochester Regional Health, Lawley Insurance, Buffalo Sabres, Jewish Senior Life and Kodak Alaris, Inc. The event’s media sponsors are WROCTV and 98,9 The Buzz. In New York state alone, there are more than 400,000 people who live with the disease and more than 1 million caregivers who provide unpaid care to their loved ones with dementia. Alzheimer’s dementia is the sixth-leading cause of death and the only disease among the top 10 causes that cannot be cured, prevented or even slowed. To sign up as a team captain, a team member or an individual, visit alz.org/walk.

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

The University of Rochester School of Nursing, an early proponent of the practice doctorate, continues to lead the national dialogue about how nurses can help transform health care. The school will host its fourth annual Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Summit on Friday, Nov. 1, bringing together advanced practice nurses, nurse leaders, policymakers and scholars for an all-day conversation about the impact of DNP-prepared nurses on clinical practice, care delivery and health policy. The theme for the 2019 summit is “Progress, Promise, and Possibilities.” Ruth Kleinpell, Ph.D., assistant dean for clinical scholarship and Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing Education at Vanderbilt University, will be the summit’s keynote speaker. A well-known expert on assessing outcomes of advanced practice nurses, she will present her research showing the multitude of ways that DNP-prepared nurses are contributing to better access and higher quality of care across numerous health care settings. She will be joined by other dynamic speakers with a broad range of expertise in quality and safety, health policy, and executive leadership. For more information, or to register for the event, visit the DNP Summit page: urson.us/dnp-19.

Nov. 30

Muscular Disorder Foundation holds event Friends & Families Muscular Disorders Foundation will host a “Holiday Art, Crafts & More Sale” event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30, at RIT Inn & Conversation Center, 5257 W. Henrietta Road in Henrietta (minutes from exit 46 on I-90). The muscular dystrophies are a group of diseases that cause weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles, according to Muscular Dystrophy Association. Examples include ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), cerebral palsy, multiple scleroris and over 200 disorders. The group doesn’t receive any government funding. For more information, call or text 585-519-1917 or send an email to friendsnfamiliesmdf@gmail.com.

Got a health-related event to share? Email the information to editor@GVhealthnews.com Deadline: the 10th of the month preceding the event.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Autism Rates Increasing Fastest Among Black and Hispanic Children


Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Jonathon V. Lammers, M.D.

After mid-2000s plateau, prevalence For Chicago native physician, main among white draw to relocate to Clifton Springs was children is also rising the Finger Lakes area


utism rates among racial minorities in the United States have increased by double digits in recent years, with black rates now exceeding those of whites in most states and Hispanic rates growing faster than any other group, according to new University of Colorado Boulder research. The study, published in August in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, also found that prevalence of autism among white youth is ticking up again, after flattening in the mid2000s. While some of the increase is due to more awareness and greater detection of the disorder among minority populations, other environmental factors are likely at play, the authors conclude. “We found that rates among blacks and Hispanics are not only catching up to those of whites — which have historically been higher — but surpassing them,” said lead author Cynthia Nevison, an atmospheric research scientist with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. “These results suggest that additional factors beyond just catch-up may be involved.” For the study, Nevison teamed up with co-author Walter Zahorodny, an autism researcher and associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, to analyze the most recent data available from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. IDEA tracks prevalence, including information on race, among 3 to 5-year-olds across all 50 states annually. ADDM tracks prevalence among 8-year-olds in 11 states every two years. The new study found that between birth year 2007 and 2013, autism rates among Hispanics age d 3-5 rose 73%, while rates among blacks that age rose 44% and rates among whites rose 25%. In 30 states, prevalence among blacks was higher than among whites by 2012. In states with “high prevalence,” one in 79 whites, one in 68 blacks and one in 83 Hispanics born in 2013 have been diagnosed with autism by age 3-5. “There is no doubt that autism prevalence has increased significantly over the past 10 to 20 years, and based on what we have seen from this larger, more recent dataset it will continue to increase among all race and ethnicity groups in the coming years,” said Zahorodny.

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Q: What brought you to Clifton Springs? A: I’d say the main draw was the Finger Lakes area. I lived in Ohio and had a pretty good practice there. We decided we wanted a little more outdoor activity options than we’d had in there. Ohio is very flat, pretty rural, lots of cornfields. We decided we wanted to go somewhere with more to do. All the lakes nearby, skiing, fishing, all the opportunities to take advantage of the outdoors was a big, big draw for us. Q: You got your undergraduate degree from Cornell, so I take it you were already pretty familiar with the area? A: Yeah, I enjoyed all the hiking and fishing around. My family are big concord grape fans, so we’re looking forward to having that readily available. The views as you’re driving around are just beautiful. None of my family has ever skiied because we’ve lived in relatively flat places. I’m looking forward to trying it again after 25 years. Q: You’re in primary care, but you have a bit of a focus on sports medicine. What got you interested in that? A: Yes. I did a fair amount of that. I was in the military for 14 years. That was all primarily young, healthy adults who hurt themselves on the job or off-duty.

Lots of knee and shoulder exams. So I both enjoy it and I was in a position where I ended up having to do a lot of it. Q: How does practicing in the military differ from practicing on civilians? A: A big part of it is what I said; you’re mostly dealing with young, healthy patients. Being in family practice there, I saw a lot of kids, a lot of OB-GYN. I don’t do OB-GYN anymore. But the medical problems are a little different in young people compared to older people. And the stresses on military families are a little bit different than those on civilian families with deployments and the uncertainty that goes with that. There are stresses on civilian families, but they’re different. But the bigger change for me was seeing patients with a diverse age range and keeping in mind some of the illnesses that happen as people get older. I very rarely saw cancer and heart disease in the military. Q: What experiences were the most transferable between military and civilian practice? A: I don’t know if was specific to the military, but listening to patients and not jumping to conclusions. Making sure to follow up. Readdressing issues if the patient comes back. None of that’s probably unique to the military, but I was new to being a doctor so that’s where I learned it.

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

Q: What does your local patient base look like? A: I’m taking

over for an internal medicine doctor, Dr. [Zbigniew] Lukawski, who had been established here for years. Typically what happens is your patient population ages as you do, but because I’m picking up his patients, I predominantly have an older population. I’m hoping to also bring in a lot of younger families. I like taking care of older patients, but I also like the variety brought in by kids as well. Q: What kind of impact do you want to have on the local community? A: My understanding is there’s not a whole lot of pediatric capability in town, so I would like to bring that capability to the town of Clifton Springs. Q: One of your other big focuses is treating diabetes. What’s your approach to dealing with the disease? A: So a lot of that is motivational. A lot of control of diabetes can be done with diet and exercise. I’m not saying that’s easy to do, of course. But for many people it can be managed with those. Increasing activity or changing lifestyle choices that led to the development of diabetes in the first place. So trying to work with them to find ways to improve those habits is pretty rewarding. So that’s what I try to do instead of just telling them that they need to be on more medicine. Q: What are some the tricks to helping people get over the hump with lifestyle changes? A: That’s a tough one. It’s different for everyone. You never know what’s going to turn the light on for a particular person. I try to make some kind of connection with my patients that can allow me to do that. I know that’s kind of a wishy-washy answer, but it really is different for everybody. Q: You’ve lived in a variety of places. You’re from Chicago, you grew up in Marion in Wayne County. You’ve been with the military. How has that helped attune you to the needs of different types of patients? A: Some things are the same. Medical problems are the same everywhere, but there are some small but important differences. We lived in Seattle, and the community there was pretty active. You’d drive through town and there were people walking around all over the place. That was a big part of the culture there, just hiking and being active. I think that’s similar to here in some places. In Ohio, most of the active people were going to the Y. If you don’t have lakes, hills or an ocean to play on, it does limit your options.

Lifelines Name: Jonathon V. Lammers, M.D. Position: Family medicine physician, Midlakes Medical Care, affiliated with Thompson Health Hometown: Chicago Education: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; SUNY Buffalo; Cornell University Affiliations: FF Thompson Hospital; University of Rochester Medical Organizations: American Academy of Family Physicians Family: Married (Noelle), two daughters and two sons. Hobbies: Reading, time with family, skiing, watching football

1 IN 13 CHILDREN HAS A FOOD ALLERGY PAINT A PUMPKIN TEAL. The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to provide non-food items for trick-or-treaters so that kids with food allergies can participate without facing risks to their health. Some of the treats that are handed out include glow sticks, rubber balls, vampire fangs, etc.

October 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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Running Red Lights a Deadly Practice That’s Becoming More Common


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

veryone has done it: breezing through a red light at the last minute. But a new report shows that deaths caused by drivers taking that chance are on the rise in the United States. There were 939 people killed in red light running crashes in 2017, a 10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety researchers. “Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said David Yang, executive director of the foundation. “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures,” he urged in a foundation news release. Arizona has the highest rate of such deaths, while New Hampshire has the lowest rate, the researchers said. The study found that 28% of deaths that occur at intersections with traffic lights are caused by drivers blowing through red lights. But the majority of those killed are innocent passengers, pedestrians or cyclists. Nearly half (46%) of people killed in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles, and more than 5% were pedestrians or cyclists. Drivers who ran

the red light accounted for just over 35% of the deaths. Despite the deadliness of the practice, many still do it, the report found. Even though 85% of drivers say that red light running is very dangerous, nearly one-third admit to going through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely, according to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture

Index. More than two in five drivers believe they’re unlikely to be stopped by police for running a red light. While police can’t monitor every intersection, proper use of red light cameras reduced the rate of red light running crash deaths in large cities by 21%, and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signaled intersections by 14%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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Medication Drop Box Locations: Bristol: Town Hall

Farmington: State Troopers

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

Clifton Springs: Hospital (Lobby)

Geneva: Police Station North Street Pharmacy Richmond: Town Hall CVS Pharmacy

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

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Medical Schools Still Short on Minority Students


espite calls for more diversity among doctors in the United States, a new study shows that minorities remain underrepresented in medical schools. Researchers found that between 2002 and 2017, the actual number of minority students in medical schools increased, but the rate of increase was slower than that of age-matched members of those minorities in the U.S. population. By 2017, Hispanic medical school enrollees were underrepresented by nearly 70%, and the rates of under-representation were 60% for black males and 40% for black females. “Recent studies have shown a steady increase in the enrollment of nonwhite medical students over the past decade. While those numbers are promising, they don’t tell the full story,” said co-senior author, physician Jaya Aysola, assistant dean of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania and executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Equity Advancement.

“We still have a long way to go before our physician workforce mirrors the population of patients who they serve,” Aysola added in a university news release. There’s been a decade-long effort to increase diversity in U.S. medicine so that it better reflects the patient population, Aysola noted. The study was published Sept. 4 in the journal JAMA Network Open. “Past research has shown that the medical workforce has indeed become more diverse, but it doesn’t account for how much the country is diversifying as a whole,” said study lead author Lanair Amaad Lett, an associate fellow at Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. “The efforts to increase diversity in medical education have clearly not been sufficient,” Lett said in the release. “In light of the evidence that physicians from underrepresented backgrounds are more likely to serve populations with significant health disparities, and that a diverse physician workforce improves health care for all, the need for representation is an evidence-based imperative.”

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

Minimal Waiting Among What Consumers Want


everal surveys have revealed what consumer are expecting from their healthcare providers. In no particular order, the most common expectations are: online appointments; virtual appointments; streamlined paperwork; minimal waiting; answers within 24 hours; updated waiting rooms with amenities like Wi-Fi, water, coffee; trans-

parent pricing; and extended hours. Interestingly, one of the biggest pet peeves of those surveyed was the excessive amount of “threatening” notices plastered all over the waiting area and reception. Retail providers have been quicker to deploy these expectations and have made inroads on the market share of traditional private providers.

AMA’s Position on Healthcare

of four spent $4,700 on premiums ($392/mo.) and about $3,000 on deductibles and copays ($250/mo.) That’s $7,700 a year or $642 a month which is a 67% increase from 2009. Wages increased 31% and inflation was 21% over the same 10 years.

So where does the American Medical Association stand when it comes to healthcare reform? The AMA is now basically opposed to “Medicare for All,” but it recently decided to drop out of the industry group “Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future” (PAHF) which is vehemently opposed to “Medicare for All.” Rather than start from scratch, the AMA’s position is to strengthen and build upon the existing Affordable Care Act, which it believes can be a vehicle for universal coverage. The PAHF members include hospital, insurance and manufacturing trade associations. The Affordable Care Act was developed with the input of all the major stakeholders (physicians, hospitals, insurers, manufacturers) to provide and fund care for the medically uninsured and under insured. At its peak, it covered over 20 million people.

Out of Pocket Costs Increase Dramatically

Over the last 10 years, out of pocket costs for employer-sponsored insurance have risen twice as fast as wages and three times as fast as inflation. Last year, an average family

What We Lie About

Medical Economics magazine surveyed hundreds of consumers to find out how forthcoming they were with their physician. It turns out about 25% actually admitted they are not. Forty-six percent of them have lied about smoking; 43% about exercise; 37% about alcohol consumption; and 29% have lied about their sexual partners. Why would people lie if they are seeking help? Seventy-five percent of the respondents who lied admitted they were embarrassed. Thirty-one percent lied to avoid discrimination and 22% lied believing their physician wouldn’t take them seriously if they were truthful. While lying only hurts the patient, it will eventually hurt their physician’s pocketbook when insurers begin to base their payments to providers on their patient outcomes. So, being 100% frank with your provider is critical to a successful partnership. October 2019 •

Physician Burnout

Considering the rapid-fire industry changes and continued confusion in Washington, it is no surprise that many physicians suffer from some form of burnout. Medical Economics magazine surveyed over 1,200 physicians: 92% admitted to feeling burned out at some point in their career while 68% answered they were currently feeling burned out. The most common reasons for burnout are: excessive paperwork, poor life balance; time consuming electronic medical records; and loss of control. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they have seriously considered quitting; 80% admitted they have not sought counseling. Coping mechanisms include family, exercising and hobbies. Physicians say they are increasingly powerless as medicine becomes corporatized and dictated by government and profit oriented special interest groups.

Dealing with Death

Palliative care physician B.J. Miller advocates making end of life care more “human” and less “medicalized.” His 2015 ted talk, “What Really Matters at the End of Life,” has been viewed over 9 million times. He recently co-authored the book “A Beginners Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death.” The book is targeted at the dying, their family and caregivers and their providers. Miller argues hospitals are a terrible place to die. Dying is not an emergency and there’s not much that can be done anymore; so, it is unfair to expect much from a hospital that is designed and staffed for acute care. But sometimes people do die there. He thinks hospitals and physicians need to be better at transitioning patients from acute to comfort or palliative

care. Patients and family often feel their physician or hospital abandoned them at the end. The book is highly recommended as most of us are ill-prepared for the end.

Home Care Worker Shortage Worsening

Anyone who has had to deal with homecare for themselves or a family member is well aware of the acute shortage of home care workers. The shortage is fueled by a rapidly aging population and advanced technology which makes home care a more viable and preferable option versus nursing homes. By 2050, 19 million of us will be over 85. The president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice says some agencies are seeing 100% turnover in a year and 50% is now considered “good.” The good news bad news is there will be 1.2 million new jobs available by 2026 which is a 40% increase from the number of jobs in 2016. Home care is often a thankless job and it doesn’t pay well. Eighty-seven percent of home care workers are women; 60% are of color; 52% have a high school diploma or less; half receive public assistance like Medicaid or food stamps.

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

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 9

service; • Walk, bike or carpool to one event per week; • Bring a reusable water bottle to work or the gym “Just by talking about living more sustainably in any social group, you start the conversation and influence others to consider their own behavior and opportunities to make changes to live more sustainable,” said Putney.

Donate and shop locally

Be an Earth Hero! From recycling correctly to supporting zero waste efforts in the community, learn how you can have a positive impact on the environment By Amy Cavalier


he Brazilian rainforest is on fire and Iceland is losing ice at an alarming rate. Turn on the news and it may seem like the environ ment is doomed. But there is hope, and it starts with you. “Every little bit counts,” said Luann Meyer, a solid waste administrator with Monroe County. “If a single person Meyer makes the decision to use less materials or buy less products or recycle the right materials, then less materials will be made and less will be ultimately disposed of. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” Here are some tips on becoming an earth hero from area experts who will speak at several upcoming Rochester Minimalists meetings focused on reducing waste. The Rochester Minimalists is a group of individuals looking to explore our relationship with things, evaluate what brings value to our lives, to reduce our environmental footprint and question consumerism.

Recycle Right

You can make a difference starting with your recycling bin. One of the biggest recycling mistakes people make is putting things like plastic bags, plastic food wrap, liquid contaminants and other unacceptable items in their bin, according to Meyer. “Wishcycling,” as it’s termed, could cause your recycling to wind up in the landfill or contaminate the stream of acceptable materials. “Either way, it’s a waste of resources and can ultimately increase the cost of recycling,” said Meyer. “A quality bale of recycling is not just easier to market, but less contamination in the stream decreases the cost of processing at the recycling center.” On a yearly basis, it is estimated that Monroe County has successfully diverted 40% of the municipal solid waste generated into reuse, recycling or composting, according to Meyer. When it comes to finding a reuse for items, Meyer points to places like Goodwill, Savers, ReHouse Architectural Salvage Store, Restore, Rochester Greenovations, thrift stores and repair stores. “The main message we always try to tell people is to try to reduce their waste consumption first before

reuse or recycling,” said Meyer. For the most up-to-date information on recycling in Monroe County, a virtual tour of the recycling center and EcoPark, a Recyclopedia and FAQ, visit www.monroecounty. gov/recycling or follow the Monroe County EcoPark on Facebook for tips on reduction, reuse and recycling.

Composting made simple

Adopting a zero waste lifestyle may seem daunting. That’s where businesses like Impact Earth come in. A zero waste consulting firm that specializes in landfill diversion education, training and infrastructure development, Impact Earth assists individuals, school districts, large manufacturers and municipalities with everything from compost hauling to consulting with companies on Putney waste reduction and sustainability. In the last three years, Impact Earth has diverted just over a half-million pound of waste from the landfill according to Cassidy Putney, director of sustainability and communications. Easing into the zero waste lifestyle can start with small actions everyday including: • Replace one item that is disposable with one that is reusable or compostable each month; • Support restaurants that compost; • Compost at home in your yard or participate in a composting

Drive by Rochester Greenovation on East Main Street in Rochester and you’ll notice they don’t have a dumpster. That’s because they only generate one bag of trash a week. Quite impressive for a 22,000-squarefoot warehouse retail space where you can find or donate pretty much anything you could ever imagine. “We have saved over 2.5 million objects from the landfill based on our sales alone,” said Rochester Greenovation Executive Director Kimberly Connolly. “That doesn’t count the thousands of items donated to other nonprofits in the area, our free room and our free little library.” Rochester Greenovation is completely connolly volunteer-operated and run using the proceeds from sales of donated items. Connolly said being an earth hero starts with shopping locally. She recommends checking out the Community Wishbook to see how you can be of assistance to area nonprofits, either by volunteering time or supplies. Something as simple as picking up trash can help. “Every single person makes choices every day that can help,” she said. “There are more of us out there working to make a positive difference than we realize.”

Learn More About Recycling The Rochester Minimalists, a group of individuals looking to explore our relationship with things, evaluate what brings value to our lives and reduce our environmental footprint, is sponsoring two seminars about recycling • Recycle Right Monroe County Solid Waste Administrator Luann Meyer will discuss the global recycling market crisis, local recycling rules and more from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7, at Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave., Rochester. • Zero Waste Panel Discussion A series of panelists will share tips on reducing our environmental footprint, supporting area businesses and organizations focused on sustainability, and zero waste efforts in your community. The event will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, at Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave., Rochester.

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

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Page 11

Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

October: The Perfect Time to Turn Over a New Leaf


all is my favorite time of year. For me, it means all good things: relaxing in front of a cozy fire, making soup on Sunday afternoons, donning my well-worn leather jacket for long walks and turning my attention to all those inside projects I neglected over the summer. The brilliant colors, autumn aromas and industriousness that arrive with the falling leaves really appeal to me. But this hasn’t always been the case. After my divorce, the month of October left me feeling rather melancholy. I missed sharing the beauty of the season with a special someone. And I missed the sunshine as the daylight waned. Nostalgia and wistfulness would creep in, and I just wanted to retreat into myself. For those who live alone, the month of October has its unique challenges. Not one to wallow in a “poor is me” state of mind, I began to develop and employ some strategies to rekindle my love of the fall season. It can be a great time to mix it up, get busy and expand your horizons. Below are elements of my annual fall “game plan.” Take a look and see if one or more of these suggestions might not add a little color to your

life pallet this fall: • Tackle indoor projects. Fall is a great time to accomplish all those nagging indoor projects on your to-do list. I have a long list and I keep it right in front of me — a daily reminder that I have plenty of fun and interesting projects to tackle. Too much idle time is not a friend at any time of year, but it can become downright unfriendly when the weather turns cold. Now is the time to get busy: organize your storage space, do some touch-up painting, update your wardrobe or clean the garage. There’s nothing like being productive to beat the October blahs. Don’t I know it? I just finished coating my flat-roof porch with a sticky tar sealant. Confession: it was messier than it was fun. But, still . . . I’m proud of my accomplishment. • Get up and get going. Staying active when there’s a chill in the air can be difficult. I can remember many a cold morning when all I wanted to do was hit the snooze button, pull up the covers and stay in bed. As nice as sleeping in can be from time to time, I don’t recommend it as a steady diet. In my experience, there’s no better way to start your day than to

wake early and start your day. In the early morning peace and quiet, there is glorious time to reflect and feel gratitude. I use this important “me time” to read, write, and plan my day. As the morning brightens, my energy grows, as does my appreciation for the precious day ahead me. • Enjoy the great outdoors. Fresh air and sunlight are invigorating if you’ve been cooped up all day. I’m grateful every day for Scout, my adorable springer spaniel, who needs to be walked twice a day. Do I feel like walking her all the time? No. Do I feel better after taking her out? Yes, without fail. Whether you have a dog to walk or not, make an effort to leave your house and enjoy the great outdoors. It can help relieve feelings of loneliness and the lure of isolation as the days grow short and get colder. • Learn something new. Going back to school and fall go hand-in-hand. Who among us isn’t reminded of the nervous excitement associated with returning to school in the fall? It’s a great time to expand your intellectual horizons. Each fall I identify a new skill or subject to learn. Last year, I researched how to divide and relocate perennials (my irises and peonies); this year, I’m learning about and practicing meditation. Continuing education opportunities are abundant in this community. Check out colleges and universities, community centers, arts and cultural institutions, your local library, and workshop listings online and in the newspaper for class and workshop offerings. • Invite people in. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few simple and manageable ways to bring people into my world and into my home. One way is to organize a gathering around a TV

show or series — yes, around the TV, as odd as that might sound. For years, I invited my single friends over to watch “Downton Abbey” with me on Sunday nights. I provided the soup and salad; they provided the good company, laughs, and kick-start to my week. And theirs. So, what’s your pleasure? Whether it’s football, a favorite weekly sitcom, or “Dancing With the Stars” — all of these and other TV shows can become reasons to bring friends and family together. The benefits? You’ll hone your cooking skills (boy, do I now have some great soup recipes!) and you’ll connect with people you care about. What better way to enjoy a nice fall evening. There are so many wonderful and meaningful strategies to enjoy the fall season and to ward off the blues that can sometimes emerge during this changing time of year. But these strategies require effort — conscious, creative effort. If you are feeling sluggish, lonely or isolated, try a few of the strategies above. They have stood me in good stead and have reinvigorated my love for the fall season. If you, too, are ready to turn over a new leaf, October is the perfect time!

chronic ear pain, complaining of noises they can’t identify, and struggling to keep up in school. “Often parents and teachers overlook the fact that a child’s behavior may be a sign of hearing loss,” Christensen said. “If parents suspect an issue, they should have their child evaluated by an audiologist. Audiologists have the tools and training to identify hearing loss, degrees of hearing loss, and can

recommend solutions,” she said. About two to three of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears, according to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. However, many cases go undiagnosed, and the total number of U.S. children with some type of hearing loss is unknown.

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Alone & Content” empowerment boot camps for women held throughout the year in Mendon. She is the author of “Alone and Content: Inspiring, empowering essays to help divorced and widowed women feel whole and complete on their own.” For information about her boot camp, to purchase her book, or invite her to speak call 585-624-7887, email gvoelckers@rochester.rr.com, or visit www.aloneandcontent.com

s d i K Corner

If a Child’s Schoolwork Slips, Don’t Rule Out Hearing Loss


alling school grades could be a sign of hearing loss in children, according to the American Academy of Audiology. “A child with just minor hearing loss can be missing a significant amount of the classroom discussion,” said academy president Lisa Christensen. “There are children who have been diagnosed with a learning disability when really what they need are hearing aids,” Christensen added in an academy news release. She works at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Along with struggles in the classroom, hearing problems can lead to behavioral issues, lack of focus and even depression in children. Many children with hearing loss don’t recognize that they have a Page 12

problem, and parents may not recognize the signs. • Look for difficulty following through with assignments and often seeming unable to understand the task. Other tipoffs include not understanding questions and either not responding or not responding appropriately. • Children with hearing problems may struggle to pronounce simple words or repeat a phrase. They may also have articulation problems or language delays. • Does your child often ask you to repeat things, watch your face intently in order to understand what you’re saying or have difficulty hearing on the phone? Those could be signs of hearing loss, too. • Some other red flags: speaking loudly when not warranted, having

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

U.S. College Students’ Marijuana Use Highest in 35 Years: Study


ollege students’ use of marijuana in 2018 was at the highest level seen in the past threeand-a-half decades, according to the University of Michigan’s annual national Monitoring the Future Panel study. In addition, vaping of marijuana and of nicotine each doubled for college students between 2017 and 2018. Researchers collected information from about 1,400 respondents, aged 19 to 22, and found that about 43% of full-time college students said they used some form of marijuana at least once in the past year, up from 38% in 2017, and previous month use rose to 25% from 21%, the Associated Press reported Thursday. The 2018 rates are the highest found in the annual University of Michigan survey since 1983. About 6% of college students said they used marijuana 20 or more times in the past month, compared with 11% of respondents the same age who weren’t in college,

the AP reported. “It’s the frequent use we’re most worried about” because it’s associated with poor school performance and can harm mental health, researcher John Schulenberg said. In the United States, marijuana use is greater among college-age adults than any other age group, the AP reported. Thirty-day prevalence of vaping marijuana also increased for college students from 5.2% in 2017 to 10.9% in 2018, a significant 5.7 percentage point increase. Among noncollege respondents, 30-day prevalence was level at 8% in 2017 and 2018. “This doubling in vaping marijuana among college students is one of the greatest one-year proportional increases we have seen among the multitude of substances we measure since the study began over 40 years ago,” said John Schulenberg, principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future Panel Study.

Conversations With Your Teen May Be Intimidating, but Don’t Ever Stop Talking By Jennifer Faringer


ith the new school year now underway concerns may be surfacing about having “the talk” about alcohol with your kids. This is a conversation that may be intimidating for you as a parent as well as for your child, yet it is so important to keep the lines of communication. Look for opportunities to talk whether that is in the car, during family meals or even while watching television together. Research has shown that teens whose parents who communicate clearly that underage drinking is not unacceptable are more than 80% less likely to drink than teens whose parents give them other messages providing unclear expectations and boundaries. To help you consider having these important conversations at every available opportunity here are several conversation starters that come directly from NYS OASAS’s Parent Tool Kit: • Use examples that are relevant and meaningful to your kids like musicians, sports figures and other celebrities who are in the news for their substance use. “I heard about…. What do you think about that?” • Be honest with them about any history of alcoholism or other drug problems in your family. Talk to them about how the use of a family member impacted the entire family. “I worry because you have a higher risk for developing an alcohol or drug problem.” • Let them know how dangerous it really is to drink and drive or ride

with someone who’s drinking. “Did you know it only takes a very small amount of alcohol before you are too impaired to drive?” • Empower your child, ask them what they think. “What do you think is the biggest issue that teens face today? How do you face it?” • Be aware of and sensitive to their transitions: starting middle or high school, the loss of a friend or even their pending graduation. “This is a difficult time for you are you scared or concerned? I went through this too, let me tell you how it affected me.” These suggestions and many more may be found at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) www.Talk2Prevent.Ny.gov. For local resources, information or to request a presentation for your community group, contact 585-719-3480 or visit https://ncadd-ra.org/resources/ awareness-campaigns/underage-drinking. Jennifer Faringer is the director, DePaul’s NCADD-RA (National Council on Alcoholism & Drug DependenceRochester Area).

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Page 13


Things You Need to Do to Keep Your Heart Strong

‘Your heart is designed to last 110 to 120 years if you take care of it.’ By Ernst Lamothe Jr


eart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart, which includes blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems and congenital heart defects. However, it is the variety or unhealthy behaviors we exhibit that can increase the probability of these symptoms. “If your heart stops for five seconds, you pass out. If it stops for eight or 10 minutes, you have permanent brain damage,” said physician Gerald (Gerry) Gacioch, chief of cardiology at Rochester General. “Even though there have been tremendous advancements in artificial heart replacements, the best solution is keeping the heart you were born with working well.” Gacioch offers five tips to better heart health.



While the adage “you are what you eat” has been battered about, it remains true. And what you eat has significant consequences to your heart, arteries and other organs. Doctors recommend a more plant-based diet while reducing the amount of red meats such as beef, pork or lamb. Medical experts believe in good fats such as avocados and low-fat yogurt. A poor diet leads to an increase of diabetes along with arthritis and musculoskeletal risk. “One of the biggest issues we have in our country is that people are eating too many calories,” said Gacioch. “We don’t eat in moderation and we consume too many carbohy-

Page 14

drates and saturated fats. Obesity can be the beginning of various health ailments.”



Many vascular issues where there are blockages lead to heart diseases. While not all of them are preventable, medical experts say lack of a good diet mixed with too-little exercise leads to a host of problems. Something as simple as walking regularly let alone going to the gym can make a world of difference. “As a country, we have become very sedentary,” said Gacioch. “When you walk, swim, run, exercise or do any continuous movement for 30 minutes a day, it can change your health dramatically. I know in Upstate New York when it gets colder, the motivation may not be there but you have to push through it and exercise has to be a part of your life all year around. I have patients in my 90s who still walk.”


No smoking

Smoking is known to lead to heart disease, stroke, cancers and death. “Simply put, there is absolutely no health benefits to smoking. That is an easy one to cut out of your life if you want better heart health,” said Gacioch. “We were having an incredible trend with the reduction of smoking. When I first started practicing in 1990, there was a 40% smoking rate in the population. It has significantly decreased.”

Gacioch added though the problem is the increase in e-cigarettes and vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and it is highly addictive. It causes you to crave a smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore the craving. Nicotine is also a toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.


Know your numbers

Gacioch said it’s essential to understand your health numbers from blood pressure to cholesterol. To understand high blood cholesterol, it helps to learn about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. However, we also put food in our bodies that elevate our cholesterol. “This is one of the reasons why we stress going to your doctor regularly and even starting this habit when you are young,” he said. “When you are 18, if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol there are so many things we can do because it was caught early. When it is caught in your 50s and older, then some of your arteries might have

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

Physician Gerald (Gerry) Gacioch, chief of cardiology at Rochester General. hardened and often the vascular issues are much worse.”


Avoid stress

While that task is easier said than done, maintaining an even keel and lowering your stress is paramount to good health, said Gacioch. “I remember when I first came to Rochester in 1990, there was a wave of layoffs from Kodak and Xerox. You always knew right before it was going to happen because you had middle managers who were the ones in charge of firing coming into the hospital having severe heart problems, heart attacks and even passing away from cardiac arrest,” said Gacioch. “Once people start losing heart muscle it may still function but you will start to see consistency issues and problems with stamina,” added Gacioch. “Your heart is designed to last 110 to 120 years if you take care of it.”

Careers in Healthcare




Lab Techs: Behind the

Scenes Yet Vital to Healthcare

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f you like science, health and technology, working as a lab tech might be right for you. The path to employment in this career is much shorter than you might think. While many medical careers necessitate lengthy education, the clinical laboratory technician and clinical laboratory technologist require only two and four years’ worth of schooling, respectively. Workers in this field receive a starting median salary of $47,390 in the Rochester area, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which combined both titles into its salary figure. After successful completion of their education, candidates for lab tech positions must pass a certification exam, which licenses them to work nationwide, and take 12 continuing education credit hours annually thereafter. Vicki L. Roberts, education manager and director of the clinical laboratory technology program at UR Medicine Labs, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, said that these roles usually attract people who like helping others through the medical field, but not necessarily as nurses or doctors. A love of science, technology aptitude and problem-solving skills also help. Lab techs who work outside of a medical setting, such as in research, a veterinary clinic, food research and development, aren’t required to have a license, but these positions don’t pay as well and aren’t as readily available. “We’re in an economy where people with a four-year biology aren’t making what they should,” Roberts said. “This provides a distinct niche specialty that opens doors for them. They make twice as much as a biology grad with the same amount of education.” A lab tech in a medical setting will likely work holidays and initially at least, get their foot in the door working evening shifts. “Many get a day job sooner than

they think,” Roberts said. Advancement to daytime working hours is based on seniority and availability of such positions. “It’s a fast-paced environment and it’s very important you do not make a mistake, but that’s the hook for some people,” Roberts said. Erika Paul manages of the core lab at Rochester General Hospital. She advises potential laboratory technologists to identify early on in their education what they want to do. “They have to meet a lot of very specific educational classes,” she said. Starting out as a lab technician and hoping to easily springboard into a lab technologist may not work out. The day to day duties of both titles are similar at entry level: analyzing different types of tissue specimens and testing them for biochemical and cellular components and testing bodily fluids for infectious disease. Paul considers lab techs part of the care team. “We do everything from helping diagnose to managing patients to monitoring patients for their whole life,” Paul said. “It’s a very integral part of what draws people into it.” She added that it’s often a second career. Few people realize this position exists. Lab techs can do far more than handle samples. “There are a number of different opportunities for a lab tech,” said Courtney Ferrell, who works in HR/ recruiting for ACM Laboratories, part of Rochester Regional Health. She listed team leader, manager, supervisor or director as in-house positions to which lab techs may advance. “A lot of medical technologists have ended up in our medical trials as project management, sales support as science subject experts, IT, and other areas,” Ferrell added. October 2019 •


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Much Fridge Food ‘Goes There to Die’ Food-waste study reveals trends behind discarded items


mericans throw out a lot more food than they expect they will, food waste that is likely driven in part by ambiguous date labels on packages, a new study has found. “People eat a lot less of their refrigerated food than they expect to, and they’re likely throwing out perfectly good food because they misunderstand labels,” said Brian Roe, the study’s senior author and a professor agricultural, environmental and development economics at The Ohio State University. This is the first study to offer a data-driven glimpse into the refrigerators of American homes, and provides an important framework for efforts to decrease food waste, Roe said. It will appear in the November print issue of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling.

Survey participants expected to eat 97 percent of the meat in their refrigerators but really finished only about half. They thought they’d eat 94 percent of their vegetables, but consumed just 44 percent. They projected they’d eat about 71 percent of the fruit and 84 percent of the dairy, but finished off just 40 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Top drivers of discarding food included concerns about food safety — odor, appearance and dates on the labels. “No one knows what ‘use by’ and ‘best by’ labels mean and people think they are a safety indicator when they are generally a quality indicator,” Roe said, adding that there’s a proposal currently before Congress to prescribe date labeling rules in an effort to provide some clarity. Under the proposal, “Best if used

Drop the Pop: Soda Tied to Higher Risk of Early Death


hether you call it soda, pop or a soft drink, a new study’s findings suggest it would be better for your health to drink water instead. The large European study found that people who have more than two sodas a day — with or without sugar — had a higher risk of dying over about 16 years than people who sipped the fizzy beverages less than once a month. “We found that higher soft drink intake was associated with a greater risk of death from any cause regardless of whether sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened drinks were consumed,” said study senior author

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Neil Murphy. He’s a scientist with the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. “Our results for sugar-sweetened soft drinks provide further support to limit consumption and to replace them with healthier beverages, preferably water,” Murphy said. How might sodas raise your risk of dying? Sugar-sweetened beverages may lead to weight gain and obesity. They also may affect the way the hormone insulin is used in the body, which can lead to inflammation, Murphy noted. All of these things can lead to health conditions that may shorten life.

by” would, as Roe puts it, translate to “Follow your nose,” and “Use by” would translate to “Toss it.” Other findings from the new study: • People who cleaned out their refrigerators more often wasted more food. • Those who check nutrition labels frequently waste less food. Roe speculated that those consumers may be more engaged in food and therefore less likely to waste what they buy. • Younger households were less likely to use up the items in their refrigerators while homes to those 65 and older were most likely to avoid waste. Household food waste happens at the end of the line of a series of behaviors, said Megan Davenport, who led the study as a graduate

student in Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. “There’s the purchasing of food, the management of food within the home and the disposal, and these household routines ultimately increase or decrease waste. We wanted to better understand those relationships, and how individual products — including their labels — affect the amount of food waste in a home,” Davenport said. The web-based pilot study used data from the State of the American Refrigerator survey and included information about refrigerator contents and practices from 307 initial survey participants and 169 follow-up surveys.

He said more research is needed to understand how artificially sweetened soda might increase the risk of early death. While it found an association, the current study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between soda and a higher risk of early death. It’s possible that soda drinkers have other habits that could add to their odds, such as smoking or a less healthy diet. This study isn’t the first to find a connection between soda and bad health outcomes. Two recent studies — one from BMJ and the other in Circulation — linked drinking soda to cancer and deaths from heart disease. The current research included more than 451,000 people from 10 European countries. Their average age was 51. Researchers followed the participants’ health for an average of 16 years. In addition to a higher risk of dying from all causes for those who drank more than two sodas a day, more sodas were also linked to some specific causes of death. • People who had more than one soda daily — sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened — compared to fewer than one a month had a higher risk of dying from colon cancer and Parkinson’s disease. • People who had more than one sugar-sweetened soda a day com-

pared to fewer than one a month had a higher risk of dying from digestive diseases. • People who had more than artificially sweetened soda a day compared to less than one a month had a higher risk of dying from circulatory diseases like heart disease. Murphy said researchers tried to account for factors such as body mass index (an estimate of body fat based on height and weight) and smoking, and still found an association between drinking more soda and a higher risk of dying. Representatives of the beverage and sweetener industries urged people not to overreact to the findings. Low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners are “an important tool for weight management and those managing diabetes,” said Robert Rankin, president of the Calorie Control Council. The council’s medical adviser, Keri Peterson, added: “The safety of low- and no-calorie sweeteners has been reaffirmed time and time again by leading regulatory and governmental agencies around the world.” William Dermody Jr., a spokesman for the American Beverage Association, offered a similar view. “Soft drinks are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet and the authors of this study acknowledge their research does not indicate otherwise.”

Ways to Cut the Fat From Your Diet


bout half of all Americans take steps to limit or avoid saturated fats, the kind found in foods like fatty red meat and cream. But fewer than one-third stick to the limit set by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to keep saturated fat intake under 10% of daily calories. You might be surprised to learn that the single biggest source of saturated fats — 35% — comes from mixed dishes, especially those with both cheese and meat. Think lasagna, burritos and pizza. A gram of fat has twice the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrate, so if you’re trying to lose weight, cutting back on fat frees

up calories for foods with greater volume. One way to scale back is by limiting prepared foods. Fat is often added to make them taste better, rather than to add any nutritional value. Home cooking lets you control fat content, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Rather than preparing complicated recipes, simplify by broiling or baking chicken or fish to serve with sides. Meat can be on the menu once or twice a week, but choose lean cuts of beef and pork, and trim away all the white fat you can. When you do make recipes that call for meat and cheese, replace half

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

the meat with vegetables or beans. Use grated parmesan, which goes farther than mozzarella, to top a dish and low- or no-fat ricotta when you want to add creaminess. Use plant-based oils for sauteeing. They’re healthier than butter, but still reduce the amount of oil you use by between one-third and one-half. You’re not likely to notice any taste difference, especially if you flavor your food with herbs or spices. And avoid dishes fried in fats, especially with breading, because it’s impossible to know how much fat is getting soaked up.


By Anne Palumbo

The skinny on healthy eating

Helpful tips:

Why We Should Be Eating Chia Seeds


hen it comes to nutrition, itty-bitty chia seeds might take you by surprise. While widely recognized for their high fiber content and omega-3 fatty acids, this superfood boasts a bounty of nutrients that do a body good. But let’s begin first with fiber, its most abundant nutrient. Just one serving (about two tablespoons) knocks off close to 50% of our daily fiber needs. Fiber promotes regularity, helps manage blood sugar, and slows digestion to make you feel full longer. It may also prevent heart disease due to its ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. What happens when we don’t eat enough fiber? We get backed up; we may gain weight because we tend to be hungrier and prone to snacking; and we may increase our risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chia seeds are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are unsaturated fats that

benefit the cardiovascular system. Although not quite as beneficial as the omega-3s found in fish, the ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) omega-3s found in chia seeds also help heart health by lowering cholesterol, decreasing inflammation, and regulating heart rhythms and blood pressure. Another reason to reach for this powerhouse food? Chia seeds brim with several nutrients that contribute to bone health: calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. In a word, calcium builds bones and helps them stay strong, phosphorous maximizes calcium’s bone-strengthening benefits, and magnesium is essential for absorption and metabolism of calcium. A trifecta of goodness! These popular seeds are an excellent source of tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes good mood, good sleep, and a sense of calm. Tryptophan also helps the body make niacin, an important B vitamin that helps convert food to energy, boosts brain function, and may prevent heart disease due to its positive affect

Get Smart About Eggs T he word on eggs changes faster than you can say “sunny-side up.” One day their cholesterol isn’t a concern and the next day it is. After a 2018 study found an egg a day was fine for healthy people, a 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that this amount could raise the risk for cardiovascular disease and early death. So what’s the answer? Moderation and balance. While eggs do have cholesterol, the cholesterol and saturated fat in meat is still likely to be more dangerous than eggs if you overdo it. Also, the JAMA study found no increased risk from eating eggs if kept at fewer


Chia Seed Pudding Adapted from Chef Giada De Laurentiis: Serves 4

1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced blueberries for garnish

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have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight; or at least eight hours. Spoon the pudding into four bowls or glasses; top with strawberries and blueberries, adding more of each if desired.

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In a medium bowl, gently whisk almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute seeds if they

than three a week. It’s important to keep in mind that egg yolks (where the cholesterol is found) do deliver a world of nutrition, including healthy fatty acids, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals, with only 70 calories apiece. The problem is when we indulge in egg dishes that contain a lot of gooey cheese, which adds hundreds of calories and, like meat, saturated fat. One answer is to pick Parmesan for recipes. It has a bolder flavor than many other cheeses, which allows you to use a lot less without sacrificing taste. Another step is adding fresh vegetables to boost the nutrition profile of egg dishes.

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on cholesterol levels: raises “good” HDL while lowering “bad” LDL. Rich in antioxidants and a good source of complete protein, wholegrain chia seeds are fairly low in calories (about 140 per two-tablespoon serving) and have no cholesterol or sodium.

Chia seeds will last two to four years if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place: a pantry or refrigerator. Unlike flax seeds, which need to be ground to reap benefits, chia seeds are absorbed and digested well in their whole form. Dry chia seeds may be added whole (or ground) to smoothies and juices, mixed into yogurt or oatmeal, or sprinkled on top of a salad. Need an egg replacement for baking? One tablespoon of whole chia seeds mixed with three tablespoons water (let sit for 5 minutes) iquals one egg.



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Interested applicants should provide a resume and send to dmantione@marycariola.org. 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York 14620 (585) 271-0761 IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Women’s Health

Cancer Services Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester 1048 University Ave. Rochester NY 14607 585-473-8177 http://bccr.org

Organizations Help Patients During ‘Cancer Journey’

Provides information and classes on breast and gynecological cancer, support groups, and other services for those who have been diagnosed with the diseases or have survived them

CURE Childhood Cancer Association 200 Westfall Road Rochester, NY 14620 585-473-0180 www.curekidscancer.com

Provides emotional, educational and financial support that can improve the lives of families coping with childhood cancer or a chronic blood disorder. CURE also offers a support group for those families.

Gilda’s Club Rochester

255 Alexander St. Rochester, NY 14607 585-423-9700 www.gildasclubrochester.org

Survivor’s day group earlier this year, sponsored by CURE Childhood Cancer in Rochester. This is one of the ways the nonprofit use to help kids diagnosed with cancer.


eceiving a cancer diagnosis is tough. Several area organizations seek to help those affected by providing support. A few of these organizations follow.

CURE Childhood Cancer in Rochester focuses on non-medical

support for children with cancer or chronic blood disorders and their families. Holly Dutcher, executive director, said that examples have included assisting with rent, making car payments, supplying a cleaning service or replacing a hot water heater, for example. These day-to-day expenses can be difficult for families facing insurance co-pays and hospital bills. During treatment, families usually have other additional expenses like parking fees. “It’s $6 every time you’re at the hospital for more than two hours,” Dutcher said. “Helping with parking fees allows parents to be in and out as much as they can.” Educational assistance helps children both with tutoring while undergoing treatment and with ongoing support as needed. “There are effects to the radiation and chemotherapy the children are receiving,” Dutcher said. “They may develop learning disabilities or need help later in life. Even if it’s been 5 or 7 years, we provide peer emotional support to assess their needs, listen to parents and be a sounding board to parents.” The organization also offers peer support groups, social gatherings and events for families. The organization receives support mostly through fundraisers and also through grants. As with any charitable organization, monetary donations help, as do gas gift cards, Grub Hub, Uber and restaurant gift cards to area eateries, and office supplies, including stamps. Gilda’s Club of Rochester offers people of all ages with cancer and Page 18

their families emotional support and enrichment activities. Mary Casselman Collazo, program director. “We know that cancer impacts not only the person diagnosed but also the family,” Casselman Collazo said. General and diagnosis-based support groups for individuals with cancer and for caregivers helps those affected by cancer to work through the emotional fall out and “to connect with someone who understands what you’re going through,” Casselman Collazo said. Both the patient and caregiver need support, as others can’t really understand what it’s like unless they have gone through that experience. Gilda’s Club also provides free art classes, fiber arts classes, community dinners, spinning exercise group and cooking classes. The organization offers families tickets to a ballgame or the New York State Fair, host a dinner and movie night, and day camp and Halloween party for the children. Fundraisers and individual donations support the organization and any volunteer efforts – whether long-term or short-term are always welcomed. “It’s great to work on the cure, but it’s not helping today’s individuals diagnosed with cancer,” Casselman Collazo said. “There’s an emotional component to the diagnosis, medical component and cutting-edge treatment. The emotional component is where we come in. The research can deal with the medical and treatment and giving them the best life and we’re there to help them live that life.” In addition to monetary contributions, Gilda’s could also use donations of paper goods, office supplies, easily cleaned toys, food, craft supplies and the time of volunteers. For example, volunteers to come in to cook its semimonthly dinners served before the support group meets.

A welcoming community of free support for the men, women, teens and children who are living with cancer, and for their families and friends.

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“It doesn’t need to be fancy,” Cassellman Collazo said. “It can be pasta and meatballs or we’ve had a salad bar. Members can relax and not worry about rushing home to fix a meal.” Volunteers could also lead classes in special skills, like sewing, yoga and tai chi. Or do things like yard maintenance or stuffing envelopes. “When volunteering, find a niche that you fit into or makes you feel good,” said Cassellman Collazo said. Some cancer support groups focus on specific age ranges, such as 13Thirty Cancer Connects in Rochester, which serves teens through young adults and their parents by providing opportunities to connect. “Our mission is to help them live their very best lives today,” said Lauren Spiker, executive director. “There’s never a good time to have cancer and being a teen or young adult is uniquely difficult. The challenges they face is unlike other age groups. It’s tough to be a healthy teen or young adult to find your sense of purpose. When that’s interrupted, it disrupts the normal trajectory kids are supposed to follow.” The group offers a peer community so participants can feel like others understand. The programs include wellness, expressive art, and social interaction. “It gives them a chance to normalize the most abnormal circumstances they can find themselves in,” Spiker said. Private grants, general contribu-

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

Free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings for men and women who reside in New York State, lack health insurance or have health insurance that might make cancer screenings and diagnostic services unaffordable, and meet age and income requirements. Call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) to find the cancer services provider nearest you.

13thirty Cancer Connect 1000 Elmwood Ave. Rochester, NY 14620 585-563-6221 www.13thirty.org

Offers the support, resources, advocacy services and recreational opportunities that help teens and young adults live with cancer.

tions, special events and third-party fundraisers support 13Thirty. The organization also welcomes donations of paper products, non-perishable snacks (preferably healthful), bottled water, coffee, gas gift cards, and, to purchase printer toner, office supply gift cards. “It takes a long time for research results to become useful,” Spiker said. “If you’re a teen or young adult, you need to know right now how to go back to school after being gone six months and now you have no hair and gained 100 pounds. Or how to tell your first boyfriend you can’t have children. Research is so important but for our kids, they have to know how to make their life normal. We feel we do a pretty good job of that.”

Women’s Health

Breast Cancer Surgeon is Breast Cancer Survivor

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


arguerite Dynksi, a medical doctor with Rochester Regional Health, had originally trained as a general surgeon, but in 1992 she decided to specialize in breast surgery only to enable herself a somewhat lighter scheduler. Never did she imagine that she would so closely identify with her patients as a breast cancer patient herself. In 2002, a routine mammogram indicated an area that looked whiter than the rest of the tissue. She was 54. The white area wasn’t on her previous mammogram. She could have a needle biopsy right away or wait six months. She chose the sooner option. “I knew I had one risk factor since I’d never been pregnant and had two great aunts with breast cancer and a cousin who was diagnosed at 24,” Dynski said. The biopsy was positive. Dynski had breast cancer. She opted for a lumpectomy and had four lymph nodes removed. The nodes tested negative for cancer, but the surgeon did not remove the whole tumor. “This one had some pathological features,” she said. “It’s a tumor that’s soft and has the same texture and density as breast tissue.”

She went back into the OR and had more tissue removed within two weeks. The amount of tumor they removed in the repeat surgery was greater than the first time. Because of the size, they thought it was stage 2 (The American Joint Committee on Cancer has designated the stages of breast cancer as from stage 0 to stage 4. The stages are based upon many factors, including size of any tumor present and whether or not the disease has spread to other areas of the body). The second pathology report showed that the margins were clear. Dynski and her care providers then discussed whether or not she should undergo chemotherapy. “I really wanted to do all I could, so I decided to do chemotherapy,” she said. She received four doses every three weeks to allow down time between doses. After that regimen, she began radiation for six and a half weeks. Throughout her ordeal, Dynski never lost any time from work. Delaying the start of her workday until 10 helped her sleep in a little during chemotherapy sessions. Staying busy caring for others helped her keep her

Marguerite Dynksi, a medical doctor with Rochester Regional Health, in 2002 was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram. After surgeries and treatment, the cancer went into remission. She remains cancer-free for 16 years. October 2019 •

mind off her own health and it also improved her ability to truly understand her patients and empathize with them. For the first five years, she saw her doctor every three months for follow-up and then annually for a clinical breast exam. As advised, she also ramped up her mammogram schedule. At a breast cancer meeting she attended, a researcher said that the paternal side of inherited genetics could be as important as the maternal side. Since she had some relatives with prostate cancer, which is linked to the same block of genes as breast cancer, she contacted the researcher and participated in the study. She tested negative for the BRCA genetic marker associated with cancers that include breast cancer. She told all her sisters to get their annual mammograms. “There’s not much else you can do,” she said. “I told all my other relatives, too. My great-aunt whose daughter was diagnosed, her one daughter was in her 30s and diagnosed and the other daughter was diagnosed around the same time.” While “ignorance is bliss” in some circumstances, Dynski felt that in this case, her knowledge of breast cancer empowered her. “Instead of my needing to hear about what we’d do, I’d explain to others,” she said. “I felt very uplifted.” The response of her family and friends helped as well. “There were any number of people saying they were praying for me,” she said. “I’ve never had that kind of support. I’d had a serious illness in 1994. This was so different.” In recent months, experts began recommending that anyone diagnosed with breast cancer should have genetic testing for up to 53 genes that affect breast cancer. Dynski’s subsequent testing came back negative. “Most cancers are spontaneous and don’t have a genetic component,” Dynski said. “And people who have family history? That still trumps genetic results. We haven’t figured out why. My guess is it’s going to be a little more complicated. There’s so much that interacts with cancer and how it progresses.” She joined a support group for breast cancer patients that reaches out to other women with breast cancer with “healing baskets” of comfort items. Although she seldom ate red meat before, she eats even less now, she said. According to reports, consuming too much red meat has been correlated with increased risk of cancer. A back injury had sidelined her, but she since has learned ways to exercise. “Exercises with weight resistance for your upper body is somewhat protective for breast cancer recurrence,” she said.

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Page 19

Women’s Health


What You Need to Know


ammograms continue to be the best primary tool for breast cancer screening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with some FDA-approved state agencies, certify facilities to perform mammography; and the FDA clears and approves new mammography devices for sale in the U.S. Congress enacted the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) in 1992 to ensure all women have access to quality mammography for the detection of breast cancer in its early, most treatable stages. Always look for the MQSA certificate at the mammography facility, which is required to be displayed, and indicates that the facility met the national baseline standards for mammography.

How Does a Mammogram Work? A mammogram is a series of lowdose X-ray pictures of the breasts. Getting a regular mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early, because it can show growths in the breast or other signs of breast cancer when they are too small for you or your health care provider to feel them. Thermograms and nipple aspirate tests are not substitutes for mammograms. Regular screenings are important, and the risk of breast cancers varies from person to person, so it’s a good idea to ask your health care provider when and how often you should schedule a mammogram. To get a mammogram, you will need to take off your shirt and bra. While standing in front of the machine, a technologist will position your breast on a small platform. A

clear plastic plate will press down on your breast while the mammogram is acquired. This compression of the breast helps spread out the breast tissue so it doesn’t overlap, allowing for a clearer look at the breast tissue. If you’re worried about how the procedure feels, you should know that most women do not find it painful. Some women may find the pressure on the breast uncomfortable, but it lasts for only a few seconds. FDA regulations already require that facilities provide patients a summary, in easy-to-understand language, of their mammography results within 30 days after the mammogram, and that they make reasonable attempts to communicate the results as soon as possible if indications of potential cancer are found. Under the proposed rule, facilities would also have to provide you with information about whether your breast density is low or high. Dense breasts have a higher proportion of fibroglandular tissue compared to fatty tissue. This is important, because dense breast tissue can make cancers more difficult to find on a mammogram, and is also now known to be an independent risk factor for developing breast cancer. In addition, facilities would be required to advise you to talk to your health care provider about breast density, risks for breast cancer, and your individual situation. The idea is to provide information you can discuss with your provider in order to make better informed decisions, including if you need to take any next steps. As a rule, you should also call your health care provider if you notice any change in either of your breasts. A lump, thickening or nipple

leakage, or changes in how the nipple or skin looks can signal a potential problem.

Why Is Facility Certification Important? Under the MQSA, mammography facilities must be certified by FDA, or an FDA-approved state certifying agency, in order to provide mammography services. Certification is important because it indicates that a facility has met the MQSA requirements for practicing quality mammography. A high-quality mammogram can help detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stages. Each mammography facility is inspected every year. During the inspection, an FDA- trained inspector checks the facility’s equipment, staff training qualifications, and quality control records. Each facility also undergoes an in-depth accreditation process every three years in order to be eligible for an MQSA certificate. The certificate, which is required to be prominently displayed, shows that the facility has met the MQSA quality standards and may legally perform mammography. When you arrive for your mammogram, look for the certificate and if you don’t see it ask where the certificate is in the


What Is the Difference Between 3-D and 2-D Mammograms? New breast imaging equipment must receive FDA approval or clearance before being sold in the U.S. In recent years, FDA has approved advanced mammography devices that create cross-sectional (3-D) images of the breast from X-rays taken from multiple angles. These devices provide informative images of the breast tissue, and are particularly helpful in evaluating dense breast tissue. Before granting approval, FDA determined there was a reasonable assurance that the new 3-D devices were safe and effective for their intended use. This determination was based on a review of clinical studies involving multiple radiologists and hundreds of cases. FDA also sought input on the safety and effectiveness of the devices from a panel of nonFDA clinical and technical experts. Ask your doctor if 3-D mammography or additional imaging methods, such as ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), are good options for you.’ Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Mammography for Men? You Bet Breast cancer screening found effective in men at high risk for the disease


en at high risk of developing breast cancer may benefit from mammography, or breast X-ray, screening for the disease, a new study shows. The study, published in the journal Radiology online Sept. 17, involved 1,869 men, aged 18 to 96, who had a mammogram at NYU Langone between 2005 and 2017. Some sought testing (diagnostic mammogram) because they felt a mass in their breast, while others had no symptoms and wanted to be screened because a family member had recently been diagnosed with the disease. In total, 41 men were found to have breast cancer, as confirmed by breast tissue biopsy. Among the 271 men who had screening exams, five had the disease. All with breast Page 20

cancer had surgery (mastectomy) to remove their tumor. Researchers at NYU School of Medicine and its Perlmutter Cancer Center conducted what they say is the largest review in the United States of the medical records of men who have had a screening mammogram. A key study finding was that mammography was more effective at detecting cancer in high-risk men than is the norm for women at average risk of breast cancer. For every 1,000 exams in these men, 18 had breast cancer. By contrast, the detection rate for women is roughly five for every 1,000 exams. Researchers attribute this result in part to the lower amount of breast tissue in men. More tissue can mask the detection of

small tumors. “Our findings show the potential of mammography in screening men at high risk for breast cancer and in detecting the disease well before it has spread to other parts of the body,” says study lead investigator and Perlmutter diagnostic radiologist Yiming Gao. Current national cancer care guidelines only recommend checking for breast cancer as part of annual physical exams, not using more sensitive imaging tests like a mammogram, for men age 35 and older with BRCA mutations, says Gao, an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone Health. Among the study’s other main findings was that men who had

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

already had breast cancer were 84 times more likely to get it again than men who had no personal history of the disease. Men with an immediate relative who had breast cancer, such as a sister or mother, but not a cousin, were three times more likely to develop the disease. “Men at high risk of breast cancer often seek out testing because a female family member had the disease,” says study senior investigator and Perlmutter radiologist Samantha Heller, an associate professor of radiology at NYU Langone Health. “In general, men need to be more aware of their risk factors for breast cancer and that they, too, can develop the disease.”

Women’s Health How to Help When Cancer Strikes a Loved One Four experts weigh in on what to do to help a loved one who just got a cancer diagnosis By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f a friend or loved one receives a cancer diagnosis, it’s only natural to want to reach out in some meaningful way to show your care. Area experts provided a few ideas on what you can do to help.

• “Ask the patient what would be most helpful for them — not everyone needs the same things or the same type of support when going through a difficult time. Finding out what would be most helpful to the patient is a good first step. • “Also ask how much they would like to talk about their diagnosis and how they would like this information shared with others. Oftentimes people who are diagnosed hear stories from friends and family about others who have gone through treatment, and this can be very overwhelming. Being mindful of these things can go a long way. • “Find ways to help with the basics of day-to-day activity — Meal Train, Grub Hub gift card, rides for kids to activities, gift card for housekeeping or yard work services, etcetera. • “Offer to accompany a patient to appointments or treatment for support, as an extra set of ears and to

take notes. • “Treat the person going through cancer the same as you did prior to their diagnosis. It is helpful to remind them that their diagnosis is something they are going through, but does not change who they are or the relationship you have with them. • “Offer to provide transportation to and from treatments.” Megan Tyo, oncology social worker with Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Pluta Cancer Center, Rochester. • “Instead of asking ‘What can I do?’ say ‘I can…’ Often the individual is overwhelmed and doesn’t know what they need. • “Offer assistance with babysitting and running errands. • “Ask what meal they would like to have. Tastes change during treatment. What was once a favorite may not be appealing or tolerated. • “Give gift cards to restaurants, Wegmans, pizza shop, coffee house, etc. • “Fill a tote bag to take to treatment. It can be filled with a book, small pillow, pen and paper, hard candies, or any favorite treat. • “Be creative and make it fun.

Movie night at home, spa day at home, a couch tailgate party, lunch from a favorite restaurant at home with a few friends, etcetera. Modify favorite activities to accommodate the health of the patient. • “Be aware of the family and their needs; they might not ask for help. • “Be just as attentive to the individual after treatment. Treatment may be over, but emotions are still raw.” Thomas Smith, social worker at Lipson Cancer Center, Rochester. • “Focus on healthy, plant-based meal ideas. Someone going through a cancer diagnosis may be embarking on new healthy dietary changes, so to be supportive of their health it’s best to try and make dishes that they can feel good about eating. Include cruciferous vegetables — especially broccoli sprouts, which are helpful for detoxification and slow tumor growth — lean proteins which help maintain muscle mass, and healthy fats are the basic tenets of a healthy meal. • “Consider making them a healthy sweet treat. Recipes like avocado chocolate pudding, chocolate

beet cupcakes that use plant-based ingredients and stevia as a sweetener can help loved ones indulge while still nourishing their body with high-quality ingredients. • “Bring them a green tea sampler kit. Green tea is anti-inflammatory, filled with antioxidants, and has anti-cancer benefits. Make sure tea is organic, but include samples of different flavor combinations such as turmeric, ginger (great for nausea), mint, etc.” Heather Carrera, doctor of clinical nutrition, office of Lesley James, MD, Rochester. • “Get in touch with them, whether calling or writing. I got a lot of notes from people out of town, which was very helpful. • “A few prayer groups put me on their prayer list. • “Provide help with house cleaning and laundry. • “Give rides to church or to go out a little bit for a ride once it’s good weather.” Marguerite Dynksi, breast surgeon with Rochester Regional Health and breast cancer survivor.

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machines. Bad news to the bikers and swimmers, although very good for your overall health, these activities don’t seem to have as positive of an impact on improving bone density. Be sure you incorporate land-based exercises to your workout regimen. Talk to your doctor if you believe you may be at risk for osteoporosis. Most signs and symptoms of osteoporosis remain silent until a fracture occurs. Fractures frequently occur in one’s spine, wrist, and hips resulting in chronic pain, loss of independence, and occasionally death. There are many ways to decrease your risk of fracture. Adding in exercises to strengthen the core and challenge your balance to prevent falls. If exercise is not already a part of your lifestyle, seek help from a professional. Hire a personal trainer at a local gym to guide you through a strengthening workout plan. Physical therapy would also be a safe and effective choice. It is important to work with a professional that understands the risks involved in exercising with osteoporosis. Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, it is a very treatable condition. Only you have the power to make positive lifestyle choices to reverse or prevent your bone loss.


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

My Turn

By Eva Briggs

A Novel Approach to Treating Incurable Cancers Using enough chemotherapy to shrink tumors by only 50%


recently read an article describing a novel approach to treating incurable cancers. It’s based on principles of evolution. Here’s a brief review of how evolution works. In any population of organisms, there is genetic variability and mutations. So there are differences, often subtle, between individuals. Any particular variation or mutation is not inherently good or bad. It depends on the environment surrounding the organism. The classic example is the finches studied by Darwin. No single beak shape is necessarily superior to another beak shape. It depends on the seeds found on the island where a finch lives. A bird whose beak shape is best for opening the available seeds will tend to produce more offspring. The baby birds’ beak shape will resemble the parents. Over time, the finches with the beak shape best adapted to that particular island’s food source will outcompete other individuals. Gradually the species evolves a particular beak shape best for that island. The same concept works with cancer cells. Cancer arises when a mutation alters the genetics of a particular cell. I remember being taught

that cancer cell mutations cause cells to grow unchecked. Eventually the rampant growth produces both localized tumors and metastatic spread. But that’s only partly true. The environment also affects cancer cells. They must outcompete healthy cells for available nutrients and oxygen in order to run amok. That’s one reason cancer is more common as people grow older. Age-associated changes reduce the normal cells’ ability to outcompete cancer cells. Even within a tumor, individual cells have genetic differences. When cancer is treated with chemotherapy, resistant cells survive. Those survivors grow, producing a tumor composed of mostly resistant cells. It’s similar to what happens with overuse of pesticides. Sensitive insects are killed. Resistant insects thrive and reproduce. Eventually the population of insects is resistant to the pesticide. Farmers have learned that practices that alter the environment to make the plants stronger enable them to better resist pests. Lower levels of pesticide are needed, preventing or delaying the emergence of pesticide resistance. The goal becomes control and not eradication. Practices to promote a healthier

environment to enable our cells to outcompete cancer include a healthy diet, exercise and not smoking. That’s not foolproof. Some scientists thinking about cancer treatment realized there’s a similarity between the evolution of organisms and the evolution of cancer cells treated with chemotherapy. The goal of cancer treatment is typically to eradicate every last cancer cell and eliminate the cancer. However, when this fails, and a patient’s cancer becomes incurable, a change in strategy might be needed. Once the cancer can’t be cured, such as prostate cancer that has metastasized to bone, high-dose chemotherapy not only has lots of side effects, but also can cause chemotherapy-resistant tumors. So they tried an alternative approach. The goal was not to kill every cancer cell, because the patients were known to have cancer not curable by current treatments. Instead, like the farmers using less pesticide, they (doctors) used only enough chemotherapy to shrink tumors by 50%. The new goal was to keep the cancer in check, and delay spread or metastasis, while using the lowest amount of chemotherapy.

The protocol was successful. In their study population, men with metastatic prostate cancer treated by conventional chemotherapy had an average survival time of 13 months. Men treated with the lower dose protocol had an average survival time of 34 months and fewer adverse effects. This approach is still experimental. Even though it appears to work in prostate cancer, it does not mean it will necessarily work in other types of cancer. And it might be difficult to convince patients, even those with incurable disease, that the best approach might be to kill as few cancer cells as necessary rather than as many as possible.

Eva Briggs is a medical doctor who works at two urgent care centers in the Syracuse region.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 23

Women’s Health

Why Women Don’t Exercise Enough Less than half of women exercise enough, says CDC By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


nly 49.3% of women over age 18 meet the federal physical activity guidelines for 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity during leisure per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health Interview Survey of 2018. The CDC figures do not include activity while working. Why are so few meeting the guidelines? Joe Delgado, co-owner and personal trainer with Max Effort Training in Henrietta, said that lack of childcare represents one important reason. “More facilities are offering childcare because that is one of the big barriers,” he said. “It just gets tough. We have so much demand on our lives and we don’t take care of ourselves.” When life gets too busy, it’s easy to rationalize inactivity and think tasks such as cutting the lawn or doing the laundry in the basement suffices, “but the heart rate has to be elevated for this to count,” Delgado said. Many women perform the lion’s share of housework while still taking care of the children and working

full time. Some also care for elderly parents or disabled family members. That doesn’t leave much time for workouts. “Being so busy, women don’t take time for themselves,” said Brittany Fendikevich, personal trainer with Elite Fitness in Rochester. She also believes that an abundance of contradictory health information can cause confusion and result in inactivity. Simone Bailey-Brown, a cardiologist at Rochester Regional Health’s Sands-Constellation Heart Institute, thinks that a lack of knowledge about the guidelines and overestimating how physical they are contribute to the problem of sedentary lifestyle. “Many consider the walking that they do during the normal course of their daily activity as adequate exercise,” Baily-Brown said. “While being active throughout the day is important it does not take the place of dedicated time for exercise.” It may not be hours at a gym, but women can get more movement in their week. Delgado said that fitness must become part of the routine. “It’s a lifestyle change,” Delgado said. “It has to be an appointment. That’s why clients make an appoint-

ment with me each week. They need to do it. It has to be a priority.” He said that it’s easier to get the workout done first thing in the morning since once his women clients arrive home, they tend want to take care of what their family needs. Fendikevich said that adding a bit of fitness through the day can help improve fitness, like 10 to 20 squats here and there, a walk during the lunch break or sets of jumping jacks. “Even if it’s 10 minutes consistently, it’s better than nothing,” she said. Choosing an activity that’s

enjoyable “will help you find time in the day to do it,” Fendikevich said. “If you hate it, you’ll make excuses around it.” Cardiologist Bailey-Brown added that engaging in an activity the children can join in may make it easier for women to get fit, whether it’s an evening family walk or at a gym that welcomes children. “It certainly requires creativity,” she said. “Perhaps go for a walk during lunch time at work, exercise early in the morning before children are awake or in the evening after children are gone to bed.”

Suicide: The New Number to Call: 988 FCC suggests new suicide prevention hotline By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


rising from the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, the Federal Communications Commission in August proposed a national three-digit hotline — 988 — for people contemplating suicide. The government studied the feasibility of a three-digit number to mimic the 911 general emergency number and replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255. Struggling to remember the long number during a mental health crisis may be limiting some people from calling it. The bill has been already approved but no timetable has been set up for launching 988. Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement at Mental Health Association in Rochester, said that since 911 is used for any type of

Page 24

emergency — and sometimes notso-urgent issues — a dedicated short number for suicide can facilitate better care. “Oftentimes, people need someone to talk with,” Funchess said. “If they feel heard and understood, that can get someone through the day.” The operators would possess training in this specific crisis and know if the case needs referral to emergency care or if follow-up with a therapist would suffice. Funchess likes that the proposed number would add yet another way for those suffering to obtain professional help, in addition to the longer number and the 741741 text line that is continually staffed. “A lot of young people may not want to talk on the phone,” she said. “Those people are really good. All the things we have are good as long as they’re resourced in a way that al-

lows them to operate effectively. I’m really excited because [the proposed number] gives people somewhere to call. People may not want to call a friend. They say that their friend won’t understand or will judge them. There’s something about talking with a ‘stranger.’” Family members and friends tend to make statements such as, “That’s a terrible thing to say” or dismiss their thoughts and feelings instead of simply listening. A new number could help deal with the recent increased volume of calls to 911 call centers. The National Center for Health Statistics states that from 2000 to 2016, the rates of suicides increased by 50% among females and 21% among males. Missy Stolfi is area director for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Western New York and Central New York, a group that

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

covers 27 counties in Upstate New York. She believes that with the 988 number, “we can accommodate the volume and have the most appropriate intervention. A mental health crisis needs to be handled differently than a physical health crisis. The 911 system is already strained as a resource.” Like Funchess, she views the new number as a way to open access to help. The new number would replace the longer number. It would not require replacing call center employees, but Stolfi hopes for adequate funding to centers as the volume of calls would likely continue to increase. She wants the old number to forward people directly to operators at call centers. “We wouldn’t want anyone to call the old number and get a pre-recorded message that this number has been disconnected,” Stolfi said.

Rochester Among Most Stressed Cities in U.S. Flower City included on list along with Syracuse, Buffalo By Aaron Gifford


pstate New York’s three largest cities are among the most stressed places in the nation, a recent study indicates. The list of the most and least stressed small, medium and large U.S. cities, compiled by the Hey Tutor organization using recent data from the U.S. Census, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and a recent Gallop Poll, recognizes Syracuse as the fourth most stressed small city, while Rochester and Buffalo were identified in the medium-sized most stressed cities list at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively. The rankings are based on a stress index ratings that factors in economic inequality, poverty, unemployment, housing affordability, mental health conditions, commute times, sleep habits, and the share of single-parent households. “With the exception of poverty and unemployment, which are at historic lows,” the report says, “most of the factors in the score are largely getting worse, which is creating a more stressed out society as a whole.” The stress index rating for Syracuse was 62.9. For Rochester, it was 68.5, and for Buffalo, it was 61.5. For the overall ranking of stressed cities, which does not factor in population, Rochester was fifth on the list,

spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and single parents tallied 32.4% of households. Thirteen percent of the city’s population was reported to be in poor mental health, and 36% of residents get less than seven hours of sleep per night. The average commute time to work for Syracuse residents is 24.7 minutes.

followed by Syracuse at No. 10, and Buffalo at No. 14. Specifically, the report listed Rochester’s poverty rate at 32.3% of the city’s population, with an unemployment rate of 9.6%. Nearly 42% of residents in the Flower City (population 210.565) spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and single parents account for 73.7 of households. Persons with significant mental health problems account for 15.9% of the population, and 39.7% of resident sleep less than seven hours per night. The average commute time for Rochester residents is 20 minutes. In Buffalo, the poverty rate was listed at 6.7%, with an unemployment rate of 4.3%. Twenty-six percent of the residents in the Queen City (population 261,310), spend more than 30% of their income on housing, and single parents account for 20.2% of households. Persons with poor mental health make up 11.9% of the population, and 35.3% of the population gets less than seven hours of sleep per night. The average commute time for Buffalo residents is 28.4 minutes. And for Syracuse, the poverty rate was listed in the report at 15%, with an unemployment rate of 4.6%. More than 32% of the residents in the Salt City (population 145,170)

Detroit, Newark among top stressed cities

The most stressed city on the large city list was Detroit (82.1 rating). Newark, New Jersey, topped the medium cities list (77.7), and Hartford, Connecticut, led the small cities (71.6). By contrast, the least stressed large city was Seattle, Washington (30.7), while Cary, North Carolina (14.8), topped the medium-sized cities list in that category, and Olathe, Kansas (10.2) led the small cities. Cities in the northeast dominated the stressed cities list, while cities in western and southern parts of the nation accounted for the majority of places on the least cities stressed list. Not surprisingly, blue-collar cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Syracuse and Allentown, Pennsylvania were tallied on the stressed lists, while vacation destinations like Virginia Beach, Chandler (Arizona),

The CDC report indicated the following information by city for adult populations (persons over 18):

ROCHESTER Annual medical check-ups

High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive







High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive







High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive







High blood pressure

Binge drinkers(alcohol)

Currently smoke

Physically inactive







SYRACUSE Annual medical check-ups

BUFFALO Annual medical check-ups


Annual medical check-ups

October 2019 •

and Centennial, Colorado were on the least stressed lists. New York City is No. 7 on the most stressed cities with an index score of 59.0. Most of the country’s other largest cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Phoenix, are not on either top 10 list. According to a recent Gallup poll, the United States is highly stressed, with 79% of Americans feeling stressed regularly. Higher levels of stress correlate with increased health risks and can exacerbate existing medical conditions. People who have chronic stress can experience changes in appetite, increased risks of heart disease, and higher levels of anxiety and depression. Among the leading causes of stress are work, money, health, and the economy. Despite this, many cities in the U.S. are actually quite conducive to reducing stress, the report says. These cities boast more equitable economies and affordable housing. In addition, their residents report strong mental health, sufficient sleep, and a higher proportion of parents remain together. In a related report, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States. These small area estimates will allow cities and local health departments to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health-related variables in their jurisdictions, and assist them in planning public health interventions.


In the absence of community outreach efforts to help stressed communities, there are plenty of free resources available online. The Mayo Clinic, for example provides guides for managing stress and emotional wellness: “Once you’ve identified your stress triggers, think about strategies for dealing with them. Identifying what you can control is a good starting point,” the Mayo Clinic advises. “For example, if stress keeps you up at night, the solution may be as easy as removing the TV and computer from your bedroom and letting your mind wind down before bed. Don’t feel like you have to figure it out on your own. Seek help and support from family and friends, whether you need someone to listen to you, help with child care or a ride to work when your car’s in the shop. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga, meditation or being in nature. Set aside time for yourself. Get a massage, soak in a bubble bath, dance, and listen to music, watch a comedy— whatever helps you relax. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you manage stress. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. Make a conscious effort to spend less time in front of a screen — television, tablet, computer and phone — and more time relaxing. Stress won’t disappear from your life. And stress management needs to be ongoing. But by paying attention to what causes your stress and practicing ways to relax, you can counter some of the bad effects of stress and increase your ability to cope with challenges,” the Mayo Clinic advises.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 25

Ask St. Ann’s

By Rebecca Kant, M.D.

How Many Prescriptions Are Too Many? Deprescribing helps patients back off medications if they are no longer required


early 40% of adults over 65 use five or more prescription medications, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) So how can people be sure they’re genuinely being helped — and not harmed — when taking so many prescriptions? Proper prescribing should maximize treatment effectiveness, minimize the risk of side effects and drug interactions, reduce costs and respect the patient’s choices. Overprescribing is most common in the elderly. As people develop new health issues, see multiple physicians or introduce over-the-counter medicines, the chance of overprescribing increases. Every added medication can lead to more side effects, more interactions with other medicines, and potentially more emergency room visits. Taking a lot of pills every day can be overwhelming and increasingly expensive. Managing this “pill burden” can also be very time consuming and can take away from things seniors truly want to be doing, such as spending time with loved ones or participating in activities they enjoy.

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Deprescribing helps patients back off medications when doses are too high or stop them entirely if they are no longer required.

The deprescribing process

The process of eliminating medications from your daily regimen should be planned and supervised by your doctor. Self-advocacy is essential to its success. Geriatricians at St. Ann’s Community recommend reviewing and updating all your medications with your primary care physician during every office visit. Be sure to include prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements to help your doctor troubleshoot potential problems and address your concerns. It can be helpful to bring a family member or friend with you when you go to the doctor’s office. He or she can help you remember what the doctor says or take notes for you. You should try to keep a copy of your medication list with you at all times in case of an emergency. For EVERY medication on your list, ask your doctor: • Why am I taking this medication? • What are the potential benefits

and potentially harmful side effects? • Will it interact with my other medications? • Can it affect my memory? • Can it cause me to fall? • How long will I need to take it?

What’s on the cut list

Be aware that as your body ages, it becomes less capable of removing waste efficiently, so medicines can take a longer time to be cleared from the body. Due to this, medicines have the potential to accumulate within the body and cause more side effects. As people age, doses may need to be reduced or certain medications may need to be stopped altogether to account for this. Medications that can increase the risk of falls, worsen cognitive impairment or lower blood sugar top the list of which ones to stop. Eliminating preventive medicines like aspirin, cholesterol medicines, vitamins and supplements may also be appropriate for some individuals.

Wean yourself safely

Certain medicines require you to slowly decrease the dose, whereas

Keeping Elders Safe in the Nursing Home Elder Justice Committee of Metro Justice to hold community forum to discuss staffing levels in nursing homes

By Lori Parker, Esq.


t’s a familiar scenario — an elder who has been living independently has fallen at home, broken a hip, and is now hospitalized. Upon discharge from the hospital, they go to a nursing home for short-term rehabilitation. When the person doesn’t improve as quickly as expected, their stay for rehabilitation is transformed into a long-term nursing home placement. Many people believe that staying in the nursing home is the only way to keep the person safe — but that is not necessarily true. Caring for nursing home residents is hard work — work that requires physical endurance

along with dedication and compassion. When a nursing home is understaffed, care providers have increased workloads. The increased workload translates into less time for each resident. At the same time, the care needs of nursing home residents are on the rise. Assisted living and memory care facilities now care for many people who, in the past, might have entered nursing homes. The result is that nursing home residents have complex care needs. When residents with complex needs meet short-staffed nursing homes, the outcome is not hard to guess: Injuries can occur. For

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

others you can stop right away. You should work with your doctor to develop a plan for you detailing how to stop a medication safely. So before you decide to pop another pill, ask your doctor if taking it is really in your best interest. Your pharmacist can also help answer any questions, especially regarding side effects and drug interactions. Receiving the best medicine for what ails you should leave you feeling better, so you have the time, resources, and energy to enjoy life to its fullest.

Rebecca Kant, a doctor of osteopathic medicine (OD), is a geriatric at St. Ann’s Community and Pillar Medical Associates in Rochester. Contact her at rkant@mystanns. com or visit www. pillarmedical. com

example, bedsores typically result when a patient is not repositioned on a regular basis. Residents who tire of waiting for a staff member may try to undertake tasks independently, resulting in falls and broken bones. For the past several years, New York’s legislators have considered the “Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act,” which would require minimum staffing levels in nursing homes and hospitals. Nursing home operators have argued that enactment would increase their costs — which in turn will be passed along to residents and families. To hear perspectives on the need for safe staffing, Elder Justice Committee of Metro Justice, a member-funded organization based in Rochester, will hold a community forum from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Oct. 17 at King’s Bend Park, North Lodge, 170 W. Jefferson Road, Pittsford. If you are interested in presenting your viewpoint, email to elderjustice@metrojustice.org.

Attorney Lori Parker is the principal at Parker Law Office, 2024 W. Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14523. To contact her, call 585-281-0717.

By Jim Miller

How to Get Social Security Disability Benefits When You Can’t Work Dear Savvy Senior, What do I need to do to get Social Security disability benefits? I’m 60 years old and have some health problems that won’t allow me to work, but I’ve read that getting disability benefits is difficult.

Laid Up Lenny

Dear Lenny, Getting Social Security disability benefits when you’re unable to work can be challenging. Last year, more than 2 million people applied for Social Security disability benefits, but two-thirds of them were denied, because most applicants fail to prove that they’re disabled and can’t work. Here are some steps you can take that can help improve your odds. Get Informed The first thing you need to find out is if your health problem qualifies you for Social Security disability benefits. You generally will be eligible only if you have a health problem that is expected to prevent you from working in your current line of work (or any other line of work that you have been in over the past 15 years) for at least a year or result in death. There is no such thing as a partial disability benefit. If you’re fit enough to work part-time, your application will be denied. You also need not apply if you still are working with the intention of quitting if your application is approved, because if you’re working your application will be denied. Your skill set and age are factors too. Your application will be denied if your work history suggests that you have the skills to perform a less physically demanding job that your disability does not prevent you from doing. To help you determine if you are disabled, visit SSA.gov/planners/ disability/qualify.html and go through the five questions Social Security uses to determine disability.

Social Security office, or to set up an appointment for someone to take your claim over the phone. The whole process lasts about an hour. If you schedule an appointment, a “Disability Starter Kit” that will help you get ready for your interview will be mailed to you. If you apply online, the kit is available at SSA.gov/disability/ disability_starter_kits.htm. It takes three to five months from the initial application to receive either an award or denial of benefits. The only exception is if you have a chronic illness that qualifies you for a “compassionate allowance” (see SSA.gov/compassionateallowances), which fast tracks cases within weeks. If Social Security denies your initial application, you can appeal the decision, and you’ll be happy to know that roughly half of all cases that go through a round or two of appeals end with benefits being awarded. But the bad news is with backlog of around 800,000 people currently waiting for a hearing, it can take 12 to 24 months for you to get one. Get Help You can hire a representative to help you with your Social Security disability claim. By law, representatives can charge only 25 percent of past-due benefits up to a maximum of $6,000 if they win your case. It’s probably worth hiring someone at the start of the application process if your disability is something difficult to prove such as chronic pain. If, however, your disability is obvious, it might be worth initially working without a representative to avoid paying the fee. You can always hire a representative later if your initial application and first appeal are denied. To find a representative, check with the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR.org, 845682-1881) or National Association of Disability Representatives (NADR. org, 800-747-6131). Or, if you’re lowincome, contact the Legal Services Corporation (LSC.gov/find-legalaid) for free assistance.

How to Apply If you believe you have a claim, your next step is to gather up your personal, financial and medical information so you can be prepared and organized for the application process. You can apply either online at SSA.gov/applyfordisability or call 800-772-1213 to make an appointment to apply at your local

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. October 2019 •

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Safe and Quality Nursing Home Care and Community Forum

To Demonstrate the Need for Safe Staffing in Nursing Homes The Elder Justice Committee of Metro Justice invites: • Nursing Home Residents • Friends and Family • Direct Care Providers

To voice your opinions about safe staffing and quality care in nursing homes Thursday, Oct. 17 10 a.m. to Noon King’s Bend Park North Lodge 170 West Jefferson Road Pittsford, NY 14534


• If you want to speak, contact elderjustice@metrojustice.org • 3-minute time limit per speaker • Disability-accessible Location IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 27

Ask The Social

Experiencing Vision Loss? Consider a Low Vision Evaluation. Macular Degeneration Diabetic Retinopathy Head Injury Stroke

Call today to schedule a Low Vision Evaluation.

Call Dr.Dr.Kornfeld,OD George Kornfeld, OD Call (866) 446-2050 www.kornfeldlowvision.com

www.kornfeldlowvision.com Dr. Kornfeld sees patients in Syracuse Rochester, Watertown, Elmira, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Scranton, PA

Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

Medicare, A Simple Explanation


ocial Security and Medicare are both programs that are household names, but do you know the true difference? Both programs help safeguard millions of Americans as well as improve the quality of life for their family and friends. While Social Security offers retirement, disability and survivors benefits, Medicare provides health insurance. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people aged 65 or older and younger people receiving Social Security disability benefits. The program helps with the cost of health care, but it doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. When you first enroll in Medicare and during certain times of the year, you can choose how you get your Medicare coverage. There are two main ways to get Medicare: Original Medicare Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). If you want drug coverage, you can join a separate Part D plan. To help pay your out-of-pocket costs in original Medicare (like your deductible and 20% coinsurance), you can

also shop for and buy supplemental coverage. Examples include coverage from a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, or from a former employer or union. Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C) Medicare Advantage is an “all in one” alternative to original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Part C plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than original Medicare. They also may offer extra benefits that original Medicare doesn’t cover — like vision, hearing, dental and more. If you can’t afford to pay your Medicare premiums and other medical costs, you may be able to get help from your state. States offer programs for people eligible for or entitled to Medicare who have low income. Some programs may pay for Medicare premiums and some pay Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. To qualify, you must have limited income and resources. You can learn more about Medicare, including how to apply for Medicare and get a replacement Medicare card, at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/medicare.


Helping the Educated Refugee Physician Deborah Rib, a local OB-GYN, helps refugees with background in health get training, jobs


personal items you probably should replace today

Medicare for All

A recent survey of 10,000 people shows a divided opinion: 30% are in support of the proposal made by some presidential candidates while 28% oppose it

Weighty Issues



Back to School

An OB-GYN in Clifton Springs The Clifton Springs area has historically been underserved when it comes to OB-GYN services. New physician, Ahmad Awada, wants to change that

n This is usually challenging time for those within the autism spectrum. Find out why n Medical groups recommend that middle and high schools should start 8:30 a.m. or later. See why n Seven myths about children’s eyes n Asthma, allergies: New school year can bring major flare-ups n Starts on p. 11

Fair Food

Mother, daughter discuss healthy weight journey

Aging Eyes


Droopy eyelids, dry eyes, floaters, cataracts and ocular migraines are just some of the eye problems we may have to deal with as we age. We talk to local experts about what to do

Find out why SmartBites’ columnist is elated when zucchini season rolls around. “It’s as nutritious as it is delicious,” she says P. 19

AUGUST 2019 • ISSUE 168

New President Physician Lisa Smith was elected the new president of Monroe County Medical Society. She wants to reduce administrative burden for doctors, among other goals. See interview on page 6



Recent news stories raise questions about effectiveness and safety of generic drugs sold in the U.S. One problem: Most of these drugs are manufactured in China and India, where oversight is not as stringent as in the U.S. or other countries. See story on page 24

Things You Need to Know About Skin Cancer Prevention

Want to Relax? Try ‘Floating’

Bodymind Float Center in Rochester takes relaxation to whole new level

A new study shows that a person taking the medicinal cannabis derivative cannabidiol (CBD) won’t fail a drug test for marijuana

Please Give Me My Zuchini


Fried dough, funnel cakes, corn dogs, deep fried cookies — should you resist to all these temptations? We’ve asked the experts about eating those delicious treats

Excessive Video Game Playing Now Considered a Disorder P. 23



Are Too Many Kids Prescribed Antihistamines?

Are You Up for the Canalway Challenge?

Baby Red Potatoes

Drugs such as Benadryl provide little benefit to kids with cold

Women’s Health by Decade Main issues women should pay attention to as they age

Free personal fitness challenge on the Erie Canal encourages families to get active. Page 8

What’s the go-to type of potato the author of column SmartBites reaches for? Yes, baby red potatoes. Find out why. Page 14

Vaccination 5 things you need to know about it, according to pediatrician Larry Denk. Page 12


JULY 2019 • ISSUE 167

Summer Fitness for Women

Do’s & Don’ts

The Top 5 Fruits to Add to Your Diet Researchers have looked at the most nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to see which provided meaningful amounts of B vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, B6 and B12, vitamins C and K, iron, fiber and protein. Most of the top spots on their ranked list of powerhouse fruits — those most strongly associated with reducing the risk of chronic diseases — were various citrus fruits with one popular berry mixed in.

The top 5 nutrient-dense fruits • Lemons • Strawberries • Oranges • Limes • Pink and red grapefruit As terrific as blueberries are considered, blackberries were actually the next fruit on the list,

followed by white grapefruit. Now this isn’t to say that blueberries, which many studies rank very high for antioxidants and other healthful compounds, shouldn’t be on your shopping list along with raspberries. Eating fruits in a rainbow of colors gets you the widest variety of nutrients and phyto-nutrients — those hard-to-duplicate compounds that go beyond vitamins and minerals. It’s also important to pay attention to a fruit’s ripeness. Studies show that ripe fruits, including all berries, offer more antioxidants than fruits that are not quite ready. Based on that criteria, strawberries topped the list, followed by black raspberries, blackberries and red raspberries in that order. Remember that fruits have more calories than vegetables, so watch your portion sizes. P. 23

Can Italian sausage be part of a healthy diet? Story on p. 15

P. 10

Story on p. 12


Number of new sexually transmitted infections cases every day among people aged 15-49 years, according to the World Health Organization.

Story on p. 7

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

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H ealth News St. Ann’s expanding adult day health care St. Ann’s Community announced it will expand its adult day health care service in 2020 to Skyview on the Ridge. Home Connection, located in Irondequoit, is one of St. Ann’s three adult day sites that provide quality care for older adults and people with McRae disabilities. “The need for adult day health care services in our community is growing and to meet that need we require more space,” said Michael E. McRae, St. Ann’s Community’s president and CEO. “Adult day health care allows seniors to stay at home longer while getting assistance with medications, meals and the opportunity to participate in social activities. We are excited to be a part of the redevelopment of the former

Irondequoit Mall and the town’s vision to build a multi-generational community.” Supported by a grant from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, this new location doubles the number of people that can be served.

Dr. Kaplan joins UR Medicine/Highland Hospital UR Medicine/Highland Hospital welcomes physician Nathan Kaplan as assistant professor in the department of orthopedics and rehabilitation. Kaplan is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in total knee replacements and total hip replacements. Kaplan He will see patients and perform surgery at Highland Hospital and will also see

patients at UR Medicine Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation in Victor. Kaplan recently completed a fellowship in orthopedic surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine. He finished his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2018 and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University at Buffalo in 2013. “Dr. Kaplan has outstanding clinical skills, an outstanding bedside manner, and is a lifelong Rochesterian. He will be a tremendous addition to the outstanding joint replacement team at the Evarts Joint Replacement Center,” said physician Paul Rubery, professor and chairman of the department of orthopedics and director of the UR Medicine Musculoskeletal Institute. “Dr. Kaplan will make an excellent addition to our orthopedic team,” said physician Bilal Ahmed, associate medical director for Highland Hospital. “Highland’s Evarts Joint Center, staffed by UR Medicine surgeons, is the only total joint surgery center in the region where every surgeon has completed a fellowship, the highest level of training available.

We’re proud that Dr. Kaplan continues in that tradition.”

Dr. Sabbota joins Highland bariatric team Physician Aaron Sabbota has recently joined Highland Hospital as assistant professor in the department of surgery. He will focus on bariatric and gastrointestinal surgeries and will perform general surgery. Sabbota recently finished a fellowSabbota ship in bariatric surgery at Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Associates Medical Group at the Fresno Heart and Surgical Hospital in Fresno, California. Prior to his fellowship, he completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2018. Sabbota also earned a Ph.D. in cancer biology as well as his Doctor

Thirty-three St. Ann’s Community employees were honored at the 12th Annual Employee Scholarship Reception held at St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge.

Scholarship Program at St. Ann’s Allows Employees to Further Their Education Thanks to generous donors, 33 employees of St. Ann’s Community received scholarships this year to help further their education. On Aug. 15, these recipients were honored at the 12th Annual Employee Scholarship Reception held at St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge. Chris Wagner, founder of the St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, was the keynote speaker. Since beginning the Employee Scholarship Program in 2008, donors have created nine endowed scholarships and donated over $580,000 in total. To date, 249 scholarships totaling $330,000 have

been awarded to the employees of St. Ann’s Community. “The program is totally donor-funded, made possible by generous gifts from grateful families, our board members and St. Ann’s employees,” said Steve Smith, vice president, St. Ann’s Foundation, which administers the program. “No one knows senior care like our employees, and we’re proud to invest in them as part of our commitment to our residents.” Following is a list of this year’s recipients: Alexander Almodovar, certified nursing assistant (CNA); Tetyana Blaga, CNA; Nichole Bradley, CNA; October 2019 •

Shamar Bradley, CNA; Jontae Bryant, hair salon technician; Kelsey Butler, licensed practical nurse (LPN); Kimberly Damian - HIM compliance technician; Natalia Davila, wait staff; Keturah Doyle, CNA; Kimiko Gilbert, occupational therapy coordinator; Kiara Grey-Bradley, pharmacy technician; Anthony Johnson, security officer; Triciajean Jones, director of life enrichment; Kemara King, nutrition coordinator; Tibett Maxey, LPN; Derek McNeil, kitchen utility assistant; Sara Mele, life enrichment partner; Cindy Milke, senior LPN; LaKeya Owens, education aide; Jasmine Radcliff, LPN; Stephany Reyes, LPN; Brooklyn Rhines, CNA;

Vianette Rodriguez, resident account supervisor; Anella Smith, registered nurse; Antoinette Starkes, CNA; Gloria Strader, nursing supervisor; Tyeesha Taylor, CNA; O’Donna Thompes, LPN; Landu Tuvibidila, housekeeping; Sarah Vandenbout, coding specialist; Sharicka Wallace, CNA; Lindsay Ward, speech pathologist; Janel Welch, director of quality. To learn more about the Employee Scholarship Program, please contact Brianna Maltese at bmaltese@ mystanns.com, or call 585-697-6306.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

Page 29

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

Health News of Medicine degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. “Dr. Sabbota is a highly skilled bariatric surgeon and will make a fantastic addition to our team,” said physician William O’Malley, director of bariatric surgery for Highland Hospital. “As the largest bariatric center in Western New York, we pride ourselves in helping obese patients achieve the best possible outcome toward curing this chronic disease. Dr. Sabbota has had immediate family members who benefited from these surgeries, so he’s seen firsthand the positive impact and how it can change people’s lives. We are excited for him to start seeing patients and changing lives here in Rochester.”

RGH to offer Focal One treatment for prostate cancer Rochester Regional Health recently announced it is now offering Focal One, the latest generation of high intensity focused ultrasound for the treatment of localized prostate cancer at Rochester General Hospital. RGH is the first in the region to use Focal One HIFU, which improves upon the first generation HIFU system the hospital has been using since 2017. Focal One HIFU allows doctors to deliver a non-invasive precision therapy to the prostate, without removing it. It reduces the likelihood of common side effects often associated with radical surgery and radiation therapy, including urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

“Having used the first generation Ablatherm HIFU device with my prostate cancer patients for the past two years, I have seen first-hand the effectiveness of HIFU in treating diseased prostate tissue while leaving the organ largely intact,” said physician John Valvo, executive director of the Polisseni Center for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery. “HIFU has been a major differentiator for our hospital, and I am very excited to begin using Focal One. Its state-of-the-art non-invasive robotic technology is the perfect complement to our existing therapies for prostate cancer patients.” “Rochester is fortunate to have world-renowned medical providers and researchers helping to advance how diseases are diagnosed and treated,” said Patrick Fisher, prostate cancer survivor and founder of Us TOO Rochester, a support, education, and advocacy group for men with prostate cancer. “I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in July 2010 and since then there have been huge advancements in diagnosis and treatments like Focal One HIFU. Patients like me can now get focused treatment on just the affected area and not the entire prostate.” Focal One received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for prostate tissue ablation in June 2018. The new HIFU device fuses magnetic resonant imaging (MRI) and biopsy data with real-time ultrasound imaging. It gives urologists integrated, detailed 3D views of the prostate on a large monitor and directs high intensity ultrasound waves to ablate the targeted area.

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personal items you probably should replace today

Medicare for All

A recent survey of 10,000 people shows a divided opinion: 30% are in support of the proposal made by some presidential candidate s while 28% oppose it

Weighty Issues

Rochester Regional Health’s Golisano Restorative Neurology & Rehabilitation Center at Unity Hospital recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with a patient reunion celebration. Survivors of traumatic brain injuries from major accidents, strokes and other life-threatening events were joined by volunteers, donors, doctors and staff to celebrate one of the leading programs of its kind in the nation. “It’s humbling to reflect on what this program has done over the course of 30 years,” said physician Mary Dombovy, vice president of Rochester Regional Health’s Neurosciences Institute. “So many people have trusted us after accidents, falls, strokes, heart attacks — some of the most devastating setbacks imaginable. It’s been our honor to help these

people rebuild their lives and we look forward to continuing our work for years to come.” After traumatic brain injuries, patients stay at the Golisano Restorative Neurology & Rehabilitation Center to learn how to stand, walk, talk, eat and care for themselves so they can go home and back to their lives. When it comes to rehabilitation after a brain injury, the center is a unique resource for the Greater Rochester region with national recognition, according to a new release issued by the hospital. The program, which started at St. Mary’s Hospital in 1989, is credited as the first step toward building what is now a comprehensive neurology, neurosurgery and neurologic rehabilitation service line at Rochester Regional Health. October 2019 •


Back to School



n This is usually challengi ng time for those within the autism spectrum Medical groups recomme . Find out why n nd that middle and high schools should start 8:30 a.m. or later. See why n Seven myths about children’s eyes n Asthma, allergies : New school year can bring major flare-ups n Starts on p. 11

Excessive Video Game Playing Now Considered a Disorder P. 23

Mother, daughter discuss healthy weight journey


A new study shows that a person taking the medicinal cannabis derivative cannabidiol (CBD) won’t fail a drug test for marijuana

Please Give me My Zuchini Find

out why SmartBite s’ is elated when zucchini columnist season rolls around. “It’s as nutritious as it is delicious,” she says P. 19

Are Too Many Kids Prescribed Antihistamines? Drugs such as Benadryl

provide little benefi

t to kids with cold P. 10

Patients of Rochester Regional Health’s Golisano Restorative Neurology & Rehabilitation Center at Unity Hospital during a recent celebration at the center.

Golisano Neurology & Rehabilitation Center turns 30



we Empo



Join the Cariola Community! A Cariola Career: Nursing Mary Cariola Children’s Center is seeking Registered Nurses (RN) in both our school and residences, providing skilled nursing care for childern with multiple disabilities and complex medical conditions. School nurses will work a regular school schedule while residential nurses will have flexibility in hours. Mary Cariola offers scholarship programs for those who want to earn a higher degree or additional certifications. Mary Cariola Children’s Center has a 70-year tradition of providing life skill solutions that inspire and empower those we serve. See if a Cariola Career is right for you. Visit MaryCariola.org/employment and follow @CariolaCareers on Facebook. Mary Cariola Children’s Center is an independent non-profit agency.

1000 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York 14620 (585) 271-0761 IN GOOD HEALTH – Rochester / Genesee Valley Healthcare Newspaper

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