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A publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging

May 2017 VOL. 42 • NO. 5

ENOA 4780 South 131st Street Omaha, NE 68137-1822

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID OMAHA NE PERMIT NO. 389

New Horizons ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

From

scalpel to pen Dr. Byers (Bud) Shaw, Jr. founded the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s liver transplant program in 1985. From 1997 to 2008, Dr. Shaw was chairman of UNMC’s department of surgery. An Ohio native, he’s also a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor, a pilot, a photographer, an avid bicyclist, an educator, writer, and the author of the memoir Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey. Leo Adam Biga chronicles Dr. Shaw’s life and career beginning on page 10.

Sister act Gloria Matthews (left) and her sister, Frances Tyler (right), are volunteers with ENOA’s Foster Grandparent Program at Omaha’s Fontenelle Elementary School. Both ladies help out with pre-kindergarten students. See page 20.


Fremont Friendship Center

Written by Susan Apollon

You’re invited to visit the Fremont Friendship Center, 1730 W. 16th St. (Christensen Field), for the following: • May 5: Traveling pitch tournament @ 9:30 a.m. • May 8: Presentation on staying healthy with chiropractor Dr. Dalton @ 10 a.m. • May 10: Music with the LINKS @ 10 a.m. • May 17: Music by the Tri-Tones @ 10:30 a.m. • May 23: Get tech help for your cell phone, Ipad, notebook, or computer from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with Denise. • May 24: Music with Kim Eames @ 10:30 a.m. • May 25: Garage sale from 1 to 7 p.m. • May 26: Garage sale from 8 a.m. to noon. Proceeds from the garage sale will help pay for entertainment at the center throughout the year. • May 31: Music by Billy Troy @ 10:30 a.m. Walking in the main arena (unless the area is rented) Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Fremont Friendship Center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. A $3.50 contribution is suggested for lunch. Reservations must be made by noon the business day prior to the meal you wish to enjoy. For meal reservations and more information, please call Laurie at 402-727-2815.

Psychologist’s book can help cancer patients heal from the inside out, retain their stability

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nyone facing a cancer diagnosis is no doubt walking through one of life’s darker valleys. But amidst the doctors’ visits, unfamiliar treatments, anxiety, and fear that follow a cancer diagnosis, it’s crucial cancer patients maintain a sense of stability and peace along their journey. “Cancer is a wake-up call, and the way you choose to answer it is very important,” says Susan Apollon, author of An Inside Job: A Psychologist Shares Healing Wisdom for Your Cancer Journey. “When cancer comes into your life, it is vital to embrace the idea of healing from the inside out. Healing from cancer goes far beyond a physical approach; it is a matter of the soul.” Apollon, who survived breast cancer, explains fear is the greatest obstacle in facing and overcoming a cancer challenge. It manifests in the form of stress, depression, and anxiety, and hinders your healing potential. Learning to answer that fear by showing yourself unconditional love allows you to meet your cancer challenge head-on and gives you the best chances for beating it. “Well-being is made up of so much more than physical health,” says Apollon. “Therefore your healing potential is greatest when you care for your mind, body, and soul. You must use every possible resource to maintain a healthy and Heartland Generations Center functioning immune system. When you learn to answer You’re invited to visit the Heartland Generations Center fear by tapping into love, hope, and joy, you will make a – 4318 Fort St. – for the following: beneficial shift toward healing that so many never realize • May 1: Spring Fling Brunch. Make May baskets and they can achieve.” enjoy a delicious brunch provided by the Heartland Family Full of practical tips on how to care for your body, mind, Service Guild. Bring your family including your grandkids. and spirit; advice from cancer specialists; and true stories • May 8: Birthday party with music by the Links sponthat will validate, comfort, and support you, An Inside Job sored by the Merrymakers @12:30 p.m. Enjoy cake and ice is a valuable resource for anyone facing cancer. Read on cream with us. for a few of Apollon’s principles of healing. • May 18: Visit historic Florence including the Mormon • Choose to see cancer as a gift. When you receive a Cemetery Visitors Center and the Florence Bank (Nebrascancer diagnosis, the last thing you feel is grateful, but ka’s oldest bank). We’ll leave the center @ 10:30 a.m. and Apollon points out you have a choice in how you view evhave lunch at one of the Florence eateries. erything that happens to you. You can choose to lock onto • May 21: Clay art with Richard Chung from WhyArts? fear and negativity, and spiral into despair, or you can let @ 10:30 a.m. cancer be a catalyst for learning how to take care of your• May 24: Presentation by Timothy Lenaghan from Leself. gal Aid of Nebraska @ 11 a.m. • Allow yourself to grieve. Fully experiencing this grief, The center will be closed on May 29 for Memorial Day. instead of holding it in, is healthy and natural. Apollon Other center events include bingo, quilting, and Tai Chi. says you must allow yourself to grieve fully and points out The Heartland Generations Center is open weekdays from grieving is different from wallowing in negative thinking. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is served at noon. A $3.50 donation • Utilize crucial tools for healing. In addition to your is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the medical treatment plan, there are steps you can take to business day prior to the lunch you wish to attend. balance your energies and increase your healing. A cancer Bus transportation is available within select neighbordiagnosis signals the loss of your life as you knew it, and hoods for 50 cents each way. after grieving this loss, it’s very important to let go of linFor more information, please call 402-553-5300. gering feelings of negativity, fear, and stress. An Inside Job offers countless exercises to help you raise your vibrational energy and become fully present as you move forward along your cancer journey. Apollon says integrative practices like meditation, mindfulness, energy medicine, and energy psychology can help you better tune into your needs and encourage healing. • Use the law of attraction to affirm better health. Apollon says we live in an energetic universe and we are Immanuel Communities offers beautiful affordable energy. She also emphasizes that like energy attracts like independent apartment homes for seniors who are energy. Therefore, the words you say to yourself matter on a fixed income. greatly and affect the level at which your energy vibrates. Call today to schedule a personal visit. In order to support healing, your energetic vibrations need to be high. “If you choose to dwell in anger, bitterness, and grief,

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New Horizons

• Wills • Living Trusts • Probate • Healthcare and Financial Powers of Attorney • In-home consultations • Free Initial consultation 6790 Grover Street • Suite 100 Omaha, NE 68106 Office: (402) 558-1404 • Fax: (402) 779-7498 cdorwartjd@dorwartlaw.com

May 2017

not only will you feel bad emotionally, the low vibrations you’re emitting will also weaken your immune system and slow healing.” • Treat nutrition as medicine. If you’re dealing with cancer, please become familiar with the concept of food as medicine. It’s especially important to be vigilant about what you’re eating when you’re ill, because many illnesses, including cancer, thrive on specific types of foods—while other foods help defend against diseases. An Inside Job covers many dietary guidelines for those facing cancer. • Do something selfless. While cancer requires you to be selfish with your energy, it’s important to also realize any time you spend helping others also expedites your healing. • When choosing your healing team, think integrative medicine. Today, cancer patients have impressive options for their medical treatment, but Apollon advises you to consider an integrative approach when selecting your healing team. It’s important to take advantage of all modern medicine has to offer, but it’s equally vital to find healers who will listen to you, treat you as an individual, and help you choose a protocol that supports your body, mind, and spirit. “Though nobody wants to receive a cancer diagnosis, your perspective moving forward will greatly impact the level of healing you achieve,” says Apollon. “Answering cancer with unconditional love for yourself and giving your whole self the energy, nourishment, and peace it requires will unburden your body and prepare you for greater healing.”

Bilingual resource information Bilingual information about hospice care, palliative care, helping loved ones with grief and loss, and caregiving is available through the Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Partnership. The number for the Cuidando con Carino Compassionate Care HelpLine is (toll free) 1-877-658-8896. The service is offered weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


4780 S. 131st Street

ENOA relocates to new office

On April 25, 2017, the New Horizons and the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging moved to: 4780 S. 131st Street Omaha, Neb. 68137-1822 The telephone numbers for the New Horizons and ENOA remain as

402-444-6654 and 402-444-6536, respectively. We look forward to serving our readers, clients, and all the residents of Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties from our new location for many years to come.

Return Homestead Exemption applications by June 30

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pplicants whose names are on file in the assessor’s office in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties should have a homestead exemption form mailed to them by early March. New applicants must contact their county assessor’s office to receive the application. The 2017 forms and a household income statement must be completed and returned to the county assessor’s office by June 30, 2017. A homestead exemption provides property tax relief by exempting all or part of the homestead’s valuation from taxation. The state of Nebraska reimburses the counties and other government subdivisions for the lost tax revenue. To qualify for a homestead exemption, a Nebraska homeowner must be age 65 by Jan. 1, 2017, the home’s owner/occupant through Aug. 15, 2017, and fall within the income guidelines shown below. Certain homeowners who have a disability, are developmentally disabled, are totally disabled war veterans, or the widow(er) of a totally disabled war veteran – including those who have remarried after age 57 – may also be eligible for this

annual tax break. When determining household income, applicants must include Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits plus any income for which they receive a Form 1099. The homestead exemption amount is based on the homeowner’s marital status and income level (see below). Maximum exemptions are based on the average assessed value for residential property in each Nebraska county.

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he Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds’ office (1819 Farnam St.) is sending volunteers into the community to help older adults complete the application form. The volunteers will be located at sites throughout the county. A list of these locations will be included with your application. Assistance is also available by calling Volunteers Assisting Seniors at 402-4446617. Here are the numbers for the local assessor’s offices: Douglas: 402-444-7060, option #2; Sarpy: 402-593-2122; Dodge: 402-727-3915; Cass: 402-296-9310; and Washington: 402-426-6800.

Household income table Over age 65 married income

Over age 65 single income

Exemption %

0 - $32,500.99 $32,501 - $34,200.99 $34,201 - $36,000.99 $36,001 - $37,700.99 $37,701 - $39,400.99 $39,401 - $41,200.99 $41,201 - $42,900.99 $42,901 - $44,700.99 $44,701 - $46,400.99 $46,401 - $48,200.99 $48, 201 and over

0 to $27,600.99 $27,601 - $29,100.99 $29,101 - $30,500.99 $30,501 - $31,900.99 $31,901 - $33,400.99 $33,401 - $34,800.99 $34,801 - $36,300.99 $36,301 - $37,700.99 $37,701 - $39,100.99 $39,101 - $40,600.99 $40,601 and over

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

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New Horizons New Horizons is the official publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. The paper is distributed free to people over age 60 in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Washington, and Cass counties. Those living outside the 5-county region may subscribe for $5 annually. Address all correspondence to: Jeff Reinhardt, Editor, 4780 S. 131st Street, Omaha, NE 68137-1822. Phone 402-444-6654. FAX 402-444-3076. E-mail: jeff.reinhardt@nebraska.gov Advertisements appearing in New Horizons do not imply endorsement of the advertiser by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. However, complaints about advertisers will be reviewed and, if warranted, their advertising discontinued. Display and insert advertising rates available on request. Open rates are commissionable, with discounts for extended runs. Circulation is 20,000 through direct mail and freehand distribution.

Editor....................................................Jeff Reinhardt Ad Mgr................Mitch Laudenback, 402-444-4148 Contributing Writers......Nick Schinker, Leo Biga, & Lois Friedman ENOA Board of Governors: Mary Ann Borgeson, Douglas County, chairperson; Lisa Kramer, Washington County, vice-chairperson; Gary Osborn, Dodge County, secretary; Brian Zuger, Sarpy County; & Janet McCartney, Cass County. The New Horizons and the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging provide services without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, disability, or age.

New Horizons

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The ever-changing world of light bulbs

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he consumer landscape for light bulbs in the United States changed drastically in 2007 when Congress passed the Energy Independence & Security Act mandating, among other things, that household light bulbs in the 40 to 100 watt range needed to up their energy efficiency standards by at least 25 percent. This change effectively took the incandescent bulbs that lit up the entire 20th century out of the marketplace. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, long the first choice for those looking to save on electricity usage, rushed in to take their place. CFLs on average use about 75 percent less energy to generate the same amount of light as conventional incandescent bulbs. Consumers switching their whole houses over to CFLs could save hundreds of dollars a year on their electricity bills. While CFLs were a giant step forward in energy savings and reduced the carbon footprint of lighting up our world, they contain trace amounts of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, that’s sent airborne when they break. While CFLs still dominate domestic light bulb sales, their time on top may be short-lived

given the development of even more efficient bulbs based on mercury-free light emitting diodes (LEDs). An LED uses around 90 percent less electricity than an equivalent incandescent bulb and almost 60 percent less than a CFL to generate an equivalent amount of light. While LEDs contain trace amounts of lead and arsenic, they’re a lot less likely to break than CFLs and last a lot longer.

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he surge in popularity of LED bulbs has led to lots of innovation in the lighting field. For example, Lighting Science is using LED lights developed for NASA to help astronauts sleep better in its new line of bulbs for the rest of us to use in our homes. Meanwhile, Sengled integrates consumer electronics (Bluetooth speakers, home security cameras, Wi-Fi repeaters, etc.) with energy-saving LED lighting in order to reduce clutter while expanding smart home capabilities. Their Element bulbs can be controlled via an app to dim or turn off at certain predetermined times, and can adjust the intensity and warmth of the lighting tone depending on the time of day or other user preferences. LEDs have busted out of the bulb, too, for some interesting new lighting applications. An LED wallpaper emits a “glow” in variable colorcasts, and LED “virtual sky panels” can replace office ceiling panels and give workers the sense of being outside in the sun. Just when we were all starting to get used to these changes, incandescent bulbs are on the comeback. GE’s new energy efficient incandescent bulbs are 28 percent more efficient than their predecessors and thus just squeak past the Energy Independence & Security Act cut-off. Likewise, Newcandescent bulbs use krylon gas to extend their lifespan five to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Researchers from MIT and Purdue have collaborated on a new type of incandescent bulb that captures the waste heat from the conventional internal filament and recycles it into more light, upping the efficiency into the range of CFLs and LEDs. Given all the energy-efficient choices. If you haven’t switched out the old incandescent bulbs around the house, now might be the time. (EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Earth Action Network.)

Alzheimer’s support groups The Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter offers several caregiver support groups and specialty support groups each month in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, and Sarpy counties. These support groups offer valuable space and educational opportunities for families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia to engage and learn. For more information about any of the groups listed below, please call (toll free) 800-272-3900. CASS COUNTY • PLATTSMOUTH Second Tuesday @ 6 p.m. First Lutheran Church (chapel) 1025 Ave. D DODGE COUNTY • FREMONT Second Tuesday @ 5:30 p.m. Shalimar Gardens (second floor community room) 749 E. 29th St. DOUGLAS COUNTY • OMAHA Second Thursday @ 10 a.m. Country House Residences 5030 S. 155th St. FREE on site adult day services are provided. Every other Monday @ 7 p.m. Brighton Gardens 9220 Western Ave. First & third Monday @ 1:30 p.m. New Cassel’s Franciscan Centre 900 N. 90th St. FREE on-site adult day services are provided.

Third Tuesday @ 6 p.m. Temple Israel (media room) 13111 Sterling Ridge Dr. Caring for Your Parents Second or third Saturday @ 11 a.m. Call Teri @ 402-393-0434 for locations Spanish Language Support Group Second Tuesday @ 4 p.m. Intercultural Community Center 3010 R St. SARPY COUNTY • BELLEVUE Third Monday @ 7 p.m. Bellevue Senior Center 109 W. 22nd Ave. First Wednesday @ 1 p.m. Eastern Nebraska Vets Home (Vets and non-vets welcome) 12505 S. 40th St. • PAPILLION Fourth Thursday @ 6 p.m. Hillcrest Grand Lodge 6021 Grand Lodge Ave.

Third Tuesday @ 5 p.m. Immanuel Fontenelle 6809 N 68th Plz.

May is Older Americans Month

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etting older doesn’t mean what it used to. For many aging Americans, it’s a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a new or second start. Today, aging is about eliminating outdated perceptions and living the way that suits older men and women best.

May is recognized as Older Americans Month (OAM). Since 1963, OAM has celebrated older Americans, their stories, and their contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living, the annual observance offers a special opportunity to learn about, support, and recognize our nation’s older citizens. This year’s theme, Age Out Loud, emphasizes the ways older adults are living their lives with boldness, confidence, and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages. OAM 2017 focuses on how older adults in our communities are redefining aging through work or family interests, by taking charge of their health and staying independent for as long as possible, and through their community and advocacy efforts.

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Patients with vascular disease Among the nation’s oldest focus of study comparing the Poison center celebrating its 60th anniversary he Nebraska Regional Poison more than 20 percent over the last decade. effects of two aspirin dosages Center congratulates NebrasMany poisonings are preventable and

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he University of Nebraska Medical Center is participating in a study comparing the effects of two dosages of aspirin in patients who have a history of vascular disease. Called the ADAPTABLE trial, it’s a nationwide study that marks the first time UNMC will be able to draw extensively from electronic health records for data. James Campbell, M.D., and James McClay, M.D., are the principal investigators for UNMC. Working with the Greater Plains Collaborative Research Network, UNMC has been building and enhancing its clinical research data warehouse to help make electronic health record information reusable for clinical research and education. The study will compare the effects of two different dosages of aspirin – 325 milligrams, the normal adult aspirin dosage, and 81 milligrams, the amount in a standard baby aspirin – in patients who have known vascular diseases. “There is good evidence in clinical medicine that aspirin can be beneficial to help to prevent heart attacks and strokes,” said Dr. Campbell, who is a professor of general internal medicine. “But it irritates some people’s stomachs and causes them to bleed.” Historically, there have been studies that have studied everything from 81 to 650 milligrams, and have shown benefits of one type or another, but always with some downside. This study will examine head-to-head effects of the probably minimal effective dose of 81 milligrams and 325 milligrams, the common tablet strength. “This study is simply trying to verify whether there is a difference in outcomes, complications, and also the incidence of heart attack and stroke that differs between those two doses, to try to establish an optimal treatment,” Dr. Campbell said. “The ADAPTABLE trial is a major demonstration of PCORnet, the national patient-centered research network we’ve built over the past three years,” said Dr. McClay, who is associate professor in emergency medicine. “PCORnet pulls together electronic health record data from over 80 million patients for research.” “The vision for the use and sharing of electronic health records is to improve health care,” Dr. McClay said. “We can transform clinical research through this system.” “We’re in the process of networking all of our electronic health records so physicians can get information in a timely basis, but also so we can re-use that data – when the patient agrees – for research and public health purposes,” said Dr. Campbell, who is a professor of general internal medicine. “So, as a part of the recruitment for this study, we’ve actually pulled up our electronic health record data, and we’ve searched through historical information in order to identify patients that are likely to fit the study criteria.” In addition to using electronic health records for the recruitment of patients through their physicians, investigators – the GPC Research Network, a 13-university collaboration across the Midwest – will be periodically running queries on that data warehouse to look for outcomes in the study. “If the patient comes in and is hospitalized, and has a heart attack or stroke, we can expect to get that report out of the electronic health record abstract,” Dr. Campbell said. “That will be part of the way of reporting study results. So, it is sort of an observational study where the electronic health record is a participant, and we’re networking our electronic health records across the United States.” (UNMC provided this information.)

Affordable Living

Graceland Senior Apartments

$400 Deposit Sorry, no pets

Studios at $595 1 BR’s at $695 2 BR’s at $795 CALL TODAY

402-557-6637

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ka for 150 years of statehood while celebrating its own milestone of serving Nebraskans for 60 years. The nation’s first poison center was started in Chicago in 1953. By 1957, Nebraska had its own poison center and it remains one of the country’s oldest. Initially, poison centers answered physicians’ questions only, but over time they began taking calls from the public. By the late 1970s there were close to 700 poison centers in the United States. Today 55 poison centers operate in the U.S. Poison control centers save lives and health care dollars. While the majority of poison-related exposures occur in children under age 5, deaths among young children decreased from approximately 450 in 1961 to 24 in 2015. This is in great part to poison centers’ accessibility to the public, and their efforts to provide public education about the dangers of laundry packets, disc batteries, synthetic drugs, and the opioid epidemic in this country. More than 75 percent of poison exposure cases are managed at home greatly reducing the need for a costly emergency room visit. Nebraska hasn’t seen the numbers of opioid deaths that other states have experienced; however in 2015 there were 54 deaths from opioids in the state. Drug overdose deaths in Nebraska have increased

expert help is just a phone call away. Let’s continue living the good life in Nebraska by remembering these tips: • Save the Poison Center’s number in your phone: 1-800-222-1222. • Be sure to read and follow medicine labels. • Never share your medicine with others or use someone else’s medication. • Remember to always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. • Take only one medicine at a time with the same active ingredient. • Store all medicines up and out of the reach and sight of children. • Teach children to only take medicines with the permission and guidance from a parent or trusted adult. • Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors in your home. • Be aware of where the disc batteries are in your home. They may be found in remote controls, key fobs, watches, and toys. Keep batteries away from children. • Make sure all cleaning materials, including laundry packets, are stored in original containers up and out of the sight of children. • Text “poison” to 797979 to save the contact information for poison control in your smartphone. (The Nebraska Regional Poison Center provided this information.)

We need your

! t r o p sup

Traditional funding sources are making it more difficult for ENOA to fulfill its mission. Partnership opportunities are available to businesses and individuals wanting to help us. These opportunities include volunteering, memorials, I would like to become a partner with the honorariums, gift annuities, Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, and help and other contributions.

fulfill your mission with older adults.

ENOA

These gifts are tax exempt.

$30 = 7 meals or 1.5 hours of in-home homemaker services or 1 bath aide service for frail older adults. $75 = 17 meals or 3.66 hours of in-home homemaker services or 3 bath aide services for frail older adults. $150 = 35 meals or 7.3 hours of in-home homemaker services or 7 bath aide services for frail older adults. $300 = 70 meals or 14.63 hours of in-home homemaker services or 14 bath aide services for frail older adults. Other amount (please designate)__________________________ Please contact me. I would like to learn more about how to include the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging in my estate planning. Please ma il with thisyofour donation rm to: Eas

tern Office oNebraska n Aging Address:___________________________________ Attention : Jef

55+ Apartments

Name:_____________________________________

• All utilities included • Laundry facilities • On bus line • Secure building • Club & fitness room

City:______________State:_____ Zip: __________ Phone:____________________________________

f Reinha 4780 S rd Omaha, . 131st Street t NE 6813 7-1822 (402)

7350 Graceland Drive Omaha, NE 68134 • SkylineRC.com

May 2017

New Horizons

444-6654

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NARFE

Elder Access Line

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees’ Chapter 144 meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at the Amazing Pizza Machine, 13955 S Plz. For more information, please call 402-292-1156. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees’ Aksarben Chapter 1370 meets the second Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at the Amazing Pizza Machine, 13955 S Plz. For more information, please call 402-342-4351.

Legal Aid of Nebraska operates a free telephone access line for Nebraskans age 60 and older. Information is offered to help the state’s older men and women with questions on topics like bankruptcy, homestead exemptions, collections, powers of attorney, Medicare, Medicaid, grandparent rights, and Section 8 housing. The telephone number for the Elder Access Line is 402-827-5656 in Omaha and 1-800-527-7249 statewide. This service is available to Nebraskans age 60 and older regardless of income, race, or ethnicity. For more information, log on the Internet to http:// www.legalaidofnebraska. com/EAL.

Make an appointment today

Get help filing your homestead exemption application by calling Volunteers Assisting Seniors at 402-444-6617

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he Nebraska Homestead Exemption program can provide significant savings in property taxes for older adults who still own their home. Certain other homeowners may also be eligible for a full or partial exemption on their property taxes through this annual program. The deadline to file for the homestead exemption is June 30.

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omeowners age 65 or older on Jan. 1, 2017, homeowners with certain physical disabilities, and certain disabled veterans and their widow or widower may also qualify for the tax break. Eligibility is also governed by household income and the valuation of the property. For more information on the Homestead Exemption program, please see page 3. Volunteers Assisting Seniors will be available to provide free assistance filing the homestead application at various sites in the Omaha area during May and June. Make an appointment to meet with a VAS counselor by calling 402-444-6617.

The New Horizons is brought to you each month by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging.

Camelot Friendship Center You’re invited to visit the Camelot Friendship Center inside the Camelot Community Center, 9270 Cady Ave., for the following: • May 1: Foot care clinic @ 10 a.m. • May 2: Tea party featuring a presentation by Humanities Nebraska on The Life and Times of Peter Sarpy @ 12:15 p.m. • May 10: Birthday bash. • May 11: Book Club @ 10:15 a.m. • May 15: Field trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo. No lunch or bingo at the center. • May 16: Visit by a representative from Legal Aid of Nebraska @ 11:45 a.m. • May 17: Music from the Merrymakers @ 11:45 a.m. • May 18: Jackpot bingo @ 12:15 p.m. • May 19: Movie day @ 12:15 p.m. • May 22: Chair volleyball @ 10:30 a.m. • May 24: Visit by VNA nurses @ 11:45 a.m. The center will be closed on Memorial Day. Other activities include Tai Chi (Tuesday and Friday @ 10:15 a.m.), Bingo, pinochle, card games, other games, crafts, candy making, and scrapbooking. The Camelot Friendship Center is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. A $3.50 contribution is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the lunch you wish to enjoy. For reservations or more information, please call Amy at 402-444-3091.

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UNMC researchers working to develop new treatment for Parkinson’s disease

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n an early phase human clinical trial, researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center tested a drug that transforms the immune system for diagnostic and therapeutic gain in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The medicine was proven safe and generally well tolerated. Side effects were minimal, but included skin irritation, bone pain, and an allergic reaction. Preliminary evidence of improvement in motor skills was observed and recorded in several of the treated patients, but validation will require larger patient enrollments.  PD ravages nearly one million Americans and generates direct and indirect costs of nearly $25 billion per year in the U.S. alone. The findings – which appeared recently in the journal npj Parkinson’s Disease – mark a milestone for PD research. At the heart of the discovery was the immune transformation of disease-inciting circulating white blood cells (called effector T-cells or Teff) to cells that protect and defend against brain injury (called regulatory T cells or Treg). The research team was headed by two UNMC scientists, Howard Gendelman, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, and R. Lee Mosley, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience and head of the Movement Disorders Research Laboratory. The discovery results were from more than two decades of laboratory and animal investigation. The idea was conceived in cell studies then validated in animals. During each step, immune transformation was

UNMC physicians have seen evidence of improved motor skills in persons with Parkinson’s disease. realized with the drug granulocyte macrophage colonystimulating factor. Such drug-induced transformation has not only been successful for PD but also holds promise for a range of neurodegenerative disorders that include Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. To conduct the Phase I clinical study, scientists partnered with 14 academic and community-based physicians and neuroscientists with extensive expertise in neurophysiology, bio imaging, clinical trials execution, and movement disorders. The research was conducted in basic science laboratories at UNMC and Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. The study subjects were seen at UNMC’s clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine. Using a blinded clinical study approach for investigation, the patients, their caregivers, and their physicians could not tell whether the drug or a placebo was being administered. The drug was found to produce significant and encouraging changes in the production of Treg cells in the blood of patients. These same changes did not take place in patients who received the placebo. Initial clinical observations proved encouraging and varied in intensity between patients, Dr. Gendelman said.  During the trial, physiological brain improvements were seen in specific motor areas of the brain for those patients receiving Sargramostim. This was recorded through the use of magnetoencephalography by a research team headed by Tony Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair, basic/translational research for UNMC and director of the Magnetoencephalography Laboratory in the Department of Neurological Sciences. Doses of L-DOPA and other dopamine-sparing drugs used to treat PD were continued to all study subjects throughout the study. “To our knowledge, this study represents the first time immune transformation was performed on any patient with neurodegenerative disease,” Dr. Mosley said. Dr. Gendelman said the next step will be a broader study that will include larger patient numbers. This is being planned in the next one to two years, he said, after the manufacture of an oral medicine.  For more information on the study, call 402-559-6941.

Florence Home Rehabilitation

Rehab, renew, return home More than 375 individuals have safely transitioned to their home.

Millard Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Millard Senior Center at Montclair, 2304 S. 135th Ave., this month for the following: • May 2: Fifth grade choir concert @ noon. • May 3: P.A.W.S. Rose Theater Trip @ 9 a.m. • May 5 & 26: Elliot LaFollette quick speech @ 9 a.m. • May 5: Treat Day. Bring a treat to share. • May 9: Movie Day: Steel Magnolias @ 9 a.m. • May 15: Foot care clinic for $10. Pre-registration is required. • May 17: Burr Oak Journey. • May 18: VNA presentation @ 9 a.m. • May 19: Pack rat stuff swap. • May 23: Wear purple for Peace Day. • May 24: Fontenelle Forest field trip from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $8.50. Pre-registration and the money are required by May 17. • May 29: Closed for Memorial Day. On Wednesday, Sept. 20, the center will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The festivities start @ 9:30 a.m. The center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch is served @ 11:30 a.m. A $3.50 donation is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the meal the participant wishes to enjoy. For reservations or more information, please call 402546-1270.

Fontenelle Tours

Omaha/Council Bluffs

712-366-9596

Quoted prices are per person, double occupancy. For more information about our tours, please call Ward or Kathy Kinney at Fontenelle Tours at the number listed above.

Motorcoach “The Dixie Swim Club” at the New Theater. June 21. $139. Join us on a Wednesday trip to Kansas City to see a live performance of “The Dixie Swim Club” while you enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. This play, starring Morgan Fairchild from “Falcon Crest”, “Flamingo Road”, and “Friends”, is the story of five Southern women who became friends on their college swim team. For 33 years they’ve had a weekend reunion every August to recharge those relationships. The Dixie Swim Club focuses on four of those weekends. Nebraska State Parks and Solar Eclipse. August 20 - 25. $849 before 5/19. ($909 after 5/19.) Come along to help celebrate Nebraska’s 150th Anniversary of Statehood. Begin the trip with the Total Solar Eclipse in Kearney, which is in the direct path of the totality. Experience the beauty of Nebraska nature in several state parks, historical parks, recreation areas, and monuments, including a cookout, guided tours, cabin stays, and special highlights as we make a giant loop around the state. Branson Christmas. November 6 - 9. $699 before 8/6. ($739 after 8/6.) Enjoy Daniel O’Donnell at the Welk Theater, Pierce Arrow, The Brett Family, Neal McCoy, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits in “New Jersey Nights”, and either “The Miracle of Christmas” at the Sight and Sound Theater or the SIX Show, and Grand Village shopping. Kansas City Christmas. Dates to be determined after the New Theater announces its new season. Laughlin Laughlin in May. May 11 – 14. $329. Four days – three nights. Includes non-stop, round-trip airfare to Laughlin, Nevada, three nights lodging at the Riverside Resort and Casino on the banks of the Colorado River, and shuttle transportation to and from the airport. It is a very affordable way to get away! In Partnership with Collette Vacations Quoted prices are per person, double occupancy, and do include airfare. More destinations available! America’s Music Cities. October 1 - 8. $3149. New Orleans, Memphis, and Nashville by air. Some highlights include a French Quarter tour and jazz revue, swamp cruise, Gaylord Opryland Hotel stay, Graceland, Country Music Hall of Fame, reserved seats at the Grand Ole Opry, whisky distillery tour, Belle Meade Plantation tour, and a Louisiana cooking demo. Discover Panama. February 22 – March 2, 2018. Details to follow. Canadian Rockies & Glacier National Park. Mid July 2018. Details to follow. Spotlight London Holiday. December 2018. Details to follow. Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights. Early March 2019. Details to follow.

Call 402-827-6000

Watch New Horizons and our website www.fontenelletours.com for our trip schedule.

www.omahaseniorcare.org

11808 Mason Plaza, Omaha, NE 68154

May 2017

New Horizons

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Farmers’ Market coupons available during June

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uring June, older Nebraskans meeting income and age guidelines are eligible to receive $48 in coupons that can be exchanged for fresh produce sold at SFMNP certified Nebraska Farmers’ Market stands. The Nebraska Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program – administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ State Unit of Aging – provides fresh, nutritious, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The program also helps increase consumption of the state’s produce. To be eligible, coupon recipients must be age 60 or older and have an annual income less than $22,311 for a single person or less than $30, 044 for a two-person household.

Recipients will be given 16 coupons worth $3 each (total value $48) that can be used through Oct. 31, 2017 at certified vendors for locally grown produce. Only one set of coupons will be issued per household. The program’s appropriations are limited; therefore, not everyone requesting coupons will receive them. The produce coupons will be distributed on various days in June at ENOA senior centers. Each center will distribute the coupons at a specific date and time. Most distributions will occur during the first two weeks of June, therefore, it’s important to contact the senior center at the end of May or the beginning of June for information regarding the date and time that center has scheduled to distribute coupons. More information is

available at the ENOA senior centers. A complete list of these facilities can be found online at enoa.org by clicking on “Programs” and then clicking the “Senior Centers” link.

Omaha Computer Users Group

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ou’re invited to join the Omaha Computer Users Group (OCUG), an organization dedicated to helping men and women age 50 and older learn more about their computers. The organization meets the third Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Abrahams Library, 5011 N. 90th St. For more information, please call OCUG’s president Phill Sherbon at 402333-6529.

Read it & eat By Lois Friedman readitandeat@yahoo.com

Try these recipes this Spring Here are a variety of cookbooks with recipes that’ll turn your fancy to Spring. Naturally, Delicious By Danny Seo (Pam Krauss, $30) One hundred eat happy, delicious recipes with tips, ideas, and photos from Seo's Naturally magazine and the NYC Natural Gourmet Institute. Seven chapters including A Little In-Between Snacking to Sweet but Not Sinful Treats. The Slider Effect By Jonathan Melendez (Andrews McMeel, $19.99) Take an around the world trip enjoying one meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetarian slider at a time plus things that go with them. American Breakfast to Zucchini Favorites. Lovely photos, too. Simply Scratch By Laurie McNamara (Avery, $32) Available in hardback or eBook from this blogger with recipes without boxed, canned, or prepackaged ingredients. More than 100 mostly from scratch family recipes from a farm girl turned busy working mom. Save money and feed your family more delicious meals from breakfast and brunch through desserts. From Pelican: Nourishing Your Whole Self By Marci Izard ($29.95) The chapters are organized for you to feel refreshed, peaceful, comforted, treated, and indulged. Turn away from “disorderly eating” and learn how food affects your physical and spiritual wellness. Ancient Heritage Cookies ($21.95) Thirteen of these 50 recipes are gluten-free while the others are reinvented classic cookies using exclusively ancient whole grains and nut flours. Organized by whole grain basics and the areas where the flour originated including the Fertile Crescent, Asia, the Pacific Basin, and Mesoamerica. Cooking Coconut By Ramin Ganeshram (Storey, $18.95) Enjoy these hot food trend recipes from this award winning cookbook author and writer. Think Coconut 101 and the many coconut forms available Kick back and enjoy this fiber-dense, Paleo-friendly recipe.

Very Berry Fiber-Rich Smoothie (Makes four servings)

1 1/2 cups coconut milk 1/2 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup fresh blackberries 1/2 cup fresh raspberries 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom Combine the coconut milk, shredded coconut, blackberries, raspberries, flaxseed meal, and cardamom in a blender and puree until smooth. Divide among four glasses. Serve cold.

The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging has been providing programs and services for older adults in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties since 1975.

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New Horizons

May 2017


Total solar eclipse

Transfer your homestead exemption Alice is a 68-year-old widow who owns and lives in her own home. For the last several years, she’s been getting a full property tax exemption on her home because she’s enrolled in the Nebraska Homestead Exemption program. The homestead program allows up to a 100 percent exemption from property taxes on the principal residence of eligible Nebraskans. For more information on the Nebraska Homestead Exemption Program, please see page 3. Alice decided to downsize and bought a townhome for a little less than the value of her current home and moved in during June. Fast forward to December of the same year. Alice receives a property tax bill for her new home because, although she applied for and was granted a homestead exemption on her prior residence, she didn’t apply to transfer her homestead exemption to her newly purchased townhome. This resulted in her loss of a homestead exemption for the year because she neither lived in her previous home long enough to qualify during the year, nor did she apply to transfer the homestead exemption to her new home. Alice didn’t know she needed to transfer her exemption and, in fact, her real estate agent told her she’d get a letter from the Nebraska Department of Revenue about her property taxes and the homestead exemption for her new home. The result for Alice, who is single, over 65, with an annual net income that would qualify her for 100 percent homestead exemption, is sad because she has a property tax bill she hadn’t anticipated. Here’s the scoop—homestead exemptions can be transferred. To qualify for a homestead exemption, the person seeking it must own and occupy the residence or mobile home from Jan. 1 through Aug. 15 each year. If not owned and occupied during that time, the homestead exemption, by state law, will be disallowed for the entire year.

There’s an annual requirement the owner file an application for the homestead exemption along with an income statement, on or before June 30. However, the homestead exemption is transferable if certain conditions are met. If the owner acquires and occupies a new homestead prior to Aug. 15, he or she must file, in addition to the annual application and income statement for the original homestead, an Application for Transfer (Form 458T) with the assessor’s office in the county in which the new homestead is located on or before Aug. 15. To transfer a homestead exemption to a newly- purchased home, several things need to happen. First, Alice must have filed a homestead exemption application (and income statement) for the first house with her assessor’s office. She can file that application between Feb. 1 and June 30. Second, if the new townhome was purchased and occupied prior to Aug. 15, Alice needs to file an Application for Transfer (Form 458T) with the assessor’s office on or before Aug. 15. If Alice had completed those filings, she would have received the homestead exemption on the new home. Her old home, however, will no longer receive a propertytax exemption and will be taxable. We know the importance of the Homestead Exemption program. And we know moving brings with it a long list of things to do. Be sure your homestead exemption goes with you to your new home by filing the application on the old house and then filing the transfer statement for the new residence. You can find the homestead exemption forms at www.dcassessor.org. Click on the box for “Homestead Exemption”. If you have any questions about the homestead program, please feel free to contact the Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds office at 402-444-7060. Choose Option 2 for homestead exemption. (The Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds office provided this information.)

ENOA looking for older adults to become Senior Companions, Foster Grandparents Men and women age 55 and older who want to earn a tax-free stipend while making an impact in their community are encouraged to join the Senior Companion Program and the Foster Grandparent Program. Sponsored locally by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, the SCP and FGP are national programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Senior Service Corps. Senior Companions help other older adults maintain their independence by visiting them at home to discuss the news, read mail, play cards, run errands, etc. Foster Grandparents serve as positive role models for children who need special attention with education, healthcare, and social development in schools, Head Start programs, and child development centers. SCP and FGP volunteers must meet income guidelines and complete an enrollment process that includes references and background checks. In exchange for volunteering 15 hours or more per week, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions receive a $2.65 an hour tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement, an annual physical examination, supplemental accident insurance coverage, and other benefits including an annual recognition luncheon. The stipend does not interfere with rent, disability, Medicaid, or other benefits. For more information on the FGP and SCP, please call 402-444-6536.

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Omaha Fire Department

he Omaha Fire Department’s Public Education and Affairs Department can install free smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors inside the residences of area homeowners.

Locally, 2017 is a monumental year. In addition to Nebraska celebrating its 150th year of statehood, on Monday, Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will cross the state midday. More than 200 communities from Alliance to Falls City will lie in the shadow’s path. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth causing the moon to fully or partially block the sun. According to one database, the year 310 AD was the last time the confluences of the North Platte and South Platte Rivers experienced a total solar eclipse. Tourism officials expect thousands of visitors will come to Nebraska, which is being touted as one of the nation’s top viewing locations for the eclipse. Interstate 80 from mile marker 152 between Paxton and Sutherland to Lincoln – 251 miles away – will be in the path of the eclipse’s totality. Beatrice and the nearby Homestead National Monument will see one of Nebraska’s longest times of totality: two minutes and 35 seconds. Omaha will not be in the moon shadow’s direct path, but will see 98 percent of the total eclipse. For more information, go to greatamericaneclipse.com.

Dora Bingel Center You’re invited to visit the Dora Bingel Senior Center, 923 N. 38th St., this month for the following: • May 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29: Al-Anon meeting @ 7 p.m. • May 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26, & 31: Ceramics @ 9 a.m. • May 3: Holy Communion served @10 a.m. • May 8: Book Club @ 10 a.m. • May 17: Foot care clinic from 9 a.m. to noon for $10. Call 402-392-1818 to make an appointment. • May 19: Music by Joe Taylor from the Merrymakers @11:30 a.m. Lunch is $3. • May 26: Hard of hearing support group @ 10:30 a.m. • May 31: Birthday party luncheon @ noon. Eat for free if you have a May birthday. A nutritious lunch is served on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. A $1 donation is suggested for the meals, other than $3 for Merrymakers. Round-trip transportation is available for $3. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance for all meals. Other activities offered at the facility include: Tuesday: Matinee @ 12:30 and quilting @1 p.m. Wednesday: Devotions @ 10:30, Tai Chi at 11 a.m., Bingo @ 12:30 p.m., and Bible Study at 12:30 p.m. Friday: Joy Club Devotions at 9:30 a.m. and Bingo @ 12:30 p.m. For more information, please call 402-898-5854.

To have a free smoke and/ or carbon monoxide detector installed inside your home, send your name, address, and telephone number to: Omaha Fire Department Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Requests 10245 Weisman Dr. Omaha, Neb. 68134 For more information, please call 402-444-3560.

May 2017

The Sierra Group, LLC FREE Book & CD Call Us: (800) 309-0753

New Horizons

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Retired Omaha transplant surgeon transitions to bestselling author By Leo Adam Biga Contributing Writer

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efore Dr. Byers “Bud” Bud Shaw gained fame as a liver transplant surgeon, first in Pittsburgh, then at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, he was a writer. An adventurer, too. He’s also a veteran small engine pilot, a hang gliding enthusiast, and an avid bicycle trekker. His wonderment with words goes back to childhood. It continued during his formal education – all the way through his undergraduate and medical school studies. Even during his surgical career Shaw continued writing whenever he had down time. But since putting down the scalpel for the pen in 2008, his writing has really taken off. For decades Bud composed fiction but in recent years he’s turned to nonfiction. Some of his highly personal essays have won recognition. His 2015 book Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey was a New York Times bestseller. Shaw’s wife, Rebecca Rotert, is an award-winning poet, short story writer, and essayist whose first novel Last Night at the Blue Angel was well received. Dr. Shaw leads writing

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Byers ‘Bud’ Shaw earned his medical degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. clubs at UNMC. He advocates students and professionals take writing courses to enrich their humanities education. He cites research showing the health benefits of writing. “When you write something down as opposed to talking about it, it gets stored in long-term memory with far fewer details but

New Horizons

more indelibly. It’s in an area where your brain keeps working on it. It’s like the thing where you write something, put it away, come back to it, and you start editing it immediately when you couldn’t have done that the day before. But your brain’s been working on it.” He said studies show that in “patients who wrote for

May 2017

Dr. Shaw with his wife, Rebecca Rotert, during the couple’s 2010 visit to Utah. three days in a row their brain did some processing that somehow also helped them deal with their illness.” Prose fed Shaw’s imaginative escapes as a youth. “I read a lot. As a kid I got sick frequently and I’d end up having to stay home. We had bookshelves full of books. My mother bought a series of classics for kids: Black Beauty, Treasure Island, (and) Bambi. I would pick them out and read them, and then I got into The Hardy Boys and when I read all that I even tried Nancy Drew.” He became a familiar figure at the local library. Family trips to Crystal River, Fla. got Bud hooked on SCUBA diving and his natural curiosity and affinity for reading found him hunting for every book he could on the subject. “My school projects were reports about the aqua lung and the difference between one and two-stage regulators and how you could get the bends and prevent that. I knew the decompression tables when I was 12.” Writing had already become an outlet for Shaw. “I began writing seriously in second grade. My mother helped me write a romantic adventure novel involving a boy and his pony. It filled 10 pages of Golden Rod tablet paper we bound with rubber cement and a cardboard cover. She died a few years later and I guess I’ve been looking for that kind of approval ever since.”

His passion for literature was stoked at Kenyon College a small liberal arts school near where he grew up in rural Ohio. There, he said, “Reading and writing were paramount and literature became a limitless world for me – a world where anything could happen. “I was a chemistry major, but I filled the other spaces with literature and creative writing courses. In the first two years of medical school, those intellectual pursuits were largely replaced with the drudgery of rote memorization. I found myself obsessively writing short stories and sending them off to Redbook, Playboy, and Reader’s Digest. It was a useful diversion and the rejections hardly mattered.” Dr. Shaw’s literary favorites range from John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner to Kurt Vonnegut, Gunter Grass, and Cormac McCarthy.

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hough his father was a surgeon, Bud at first resisted following in his footsteps. He said the fact he eventually did was probably because his dad didn’t push it on him. Shaw received his M.D. at Case Western Reserve University, did general surgery training in Utah, and completed a transplant surgery fellowship in Pittsburgh. There, he made a name for himself as a talented mav--Please turn to page 11.


Mutual commitment to transplantation united Shaw, UNMC -Continued from page 10. erick working under the father of transplantation in America, the late Dr. Tom Starzl. The two men shared a complicated relationship. “Most of the advances going on at that time in transplantation were happening in Pittsburgh,” Shaw said. “I was working with Starzl, who then was by far the most important pioneer in transplantation. I would have stayed there happily and worked with him, but it just became more and more difficult.” Shaw left the “Steel City” because he disagreed with the way certain things were being done he felt hampered surgeons’ learning and potentially endangered patients’ lives. “I wanted to change the way we did things and I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do that there as much as I wanted. I realized I didn’t want to be part of a program that was chaotic for patients.” Prestigious hospitals coveted having this hotshot young surgeon start a transplant program in what was a sexy new medical horizon making headlines. “It was a brand new field. I had probably done more liver transplants in the previous two years than anybody in the world,” Shaw said. UNMC recruited him. It didn’t have the cachet of other courters but it proved the right fit. It helped that the man pursuing him, Dr. Layton “Bing” Rikkers, knew Shaw when Bud

211 network The 211 telephone network has been established in parts of Nebraska to give consumers a single source for information about community and human services. By dialing 211, consumers can access information about: • Human needs resources like food banks, shelters, rent and utility assistance, etc. • Physical and mental health resources. • Employment support. • Support for older Americans and persons with a disability. • Support for children and families. • Volunteer opportunities and donations. The 211 network is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

trained in general surgery at the University of Utah, where Rikkers had taught. “Once I got trained in transplant I always intended to go back to the University of Utah but they just didn’t seem to want to do it (start a transplant program).” When Rikkers took the UNMC job he asked Bud to join him, but Shaw wouldn’t be persuaded – at first. “I told him I want to go someplace with a seacoast or mountains or preferably both.” Rikkers wouldn’t take no for an answer. He strategically brought Shaw in as a consultant on the ABCs of starting a transplant program. Shaw met a UNMC contingent, including Dr. Mike Sorrell and Dr. Jim Armitage, who, he said, were “incredibly enthusiastic about doing liver transplants.” “There was a stark contrast between the attitude here, which was one of ‘we understand we don’t know anything about how to do this – we need you to be the expert,’ and what I found elsewhere. “I realized this was a rare opportunity because I’d interviewed at much more famous, high-powered places. I’d told them the same thing I told UNMC – I can’t come alone. I’m going to bring a junior surgeon with me. I need to have an anesthesia team go to Pittsburgh and learn how to do anesthesia and a pathologist go learn how to read the biopsies of the liver. And all these places said, ‘No, we have

Dr. Shaw relaxes in an office inside his multi-story home near Neale Woods. experts, we’re sure they can handle this, and we have very precious faculty positions to maintain.” Shaw said other centers didn’t appreciate just what a commitment they needed to make to develop a transplant program. Some took a “let’s see how it goes approach.” “See how it goes? This is a high risk sort of thing,” Bud said. “That’s when I realized they were mainly interested in doing this not because they were interested in treating liver disease but because it was a cool thing to start doing and they didn’t want to be left out. “This place (UNMC) was clearly different. It was one of the only places in the country thinking about this as a long-term prospect they could succeed in, and that’s

why I came here.” One of Shaw’s biggest contentions with the way transplants were done in Pittsburgh that he changed in Omaha was not having the surgeons responsible for post-op patient care. Some patients get profoundly sick after transplant surgery and poor care can make already dire situations worse. “On a typical Sunday morning (in Pittsburgh) I’d find three transplant patients in the ICU and two of them would be bleeding still and I’d have to take them back and fix them in the operating room. I found myself cleaning up messes made by other surgeons who weren’t being supervised adequately and hadn’t had enough training. “I talk about this in the

book,” Shaw said. “Tom Starzl never wanted to have a routine, he wanted to change it every time, and you just can’t teach other people what works and what doesn’t work very well if you’re changing it constantly.”

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fter coming to Omaha in 1985 with his wife and establishing a world-class solid organ (liver, kidney, pancreas, and heart) transplant program here, the city became Shaw’s home. “I came here with the idea we’d spend five years and then move to one of those places with seacoast and mountains, but at the end of five years we had a really good program going. We --Please turn to page 12.

Your home. Your care. Your pace. Our program provides a complete system of health care. The service is called PACE, which stands for: Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. We provide primary and hospital care as well as prescription drugs, transportation and so much more to our participants. Services are provided in the home, at the PACE Center and in the community. PACE participants may be fully and personally liable for the costs of unauthorized or out-of-PACE program services. Emergency services are covered. Participants may disenroll at any time. For complete program details and benefits, please call 402-991-0330 or visit www.immanuel.com.

Serving Nebraska in the Counties of Douglas and Sarpy 5755 Sorensen Parkway | Omaha, NE 68152 | 402-991-0990

May 2017

New Horizons

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Physician reminisces about his life-altering adventures as a pilot --Continued from page 11. were still growing, (and) we were doing innovative things. “I got recruited to go look at a couple of jobs right around that time. I just realized it was going to be like starting over and the politics would be worse. There’s no advantage of going to those places other than geography and I can buy a plane ticket.” Dr. Shaw has bought plenty of plane tickets over the years to make bike tours with friends in scenic spots around the globe including Cuba, Argentina, Panama, Slovakia, Australia, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Then there’s his life as a pilot. He got his license at age 19. “I bought a 1939 J-3 Cub and flew it back to college. I had another airplane in Utah where I also took up hang gliding. I didn’t have any aircraft in 1981 when I arrived in Pittsburgh, but by 1984, I bought a used seaplane that I also took to Omaha in 1985. I eventually sold it and joined two other guys in a partnership in several airplanes. I plan on getting my glider rating this summer.” Shaw’s logged enough hours behind the controls to have had some harrowing moments in the air. “Every pilot with that many years experience has many stories to tell, as do I. I’ve been scared several times when weather closed in on me unexpectedly while flying cross country. I flew aerobatics for half a dozen years in the ’90s. That was always exciting but I never had any close calls doing that. I had a couple of close calls hang gliding. I describe one in the book.” More often than not, his time in the sky has afforded sublime glimpses of beauty. He recalled a Utah ridge that provided “wonderful soaring” and close encounters with Bald and Golden eagles living in the rocky cliffs. “They often came out and flew along with us, sometimes showing off their aerobatic skills.” Then there was the 1973 coming-of-age flight he made in his little Cub with an acquaintance of his from Ohio, Scottie Wilson. “The summer of ’73 was between my first and second year of medical school, which I hated. I’d restored an airplane I kept out at the local airport. Scottie had just gotten his wings for the Air Force. That summer we flew in my little Cub a lot together. Toward the end of the summer

he had to get to Tucson, Ariz. for combat training. He was going to drive and I said maybe we should fly my Cub out there. “There were multiple times during that trip where I was going to quit medical school and become a jet jockey. When the whole thing was done I had to turn around and fly back by myself. This was like two weeks before I was getting married. I had sort of abandoned ship and ran away.” The event proved a crucible for Shaw. “Right after I crossed the Continental Divide there was a storm up ahead I realized I couldn’t fly around or above so I just landed on a road. As I was sitting there watching this storm go by I started crying. I had this deep sense of loss.” Broke and out of fuel, Shaw siphoned gas from every small plane on the line at the airport. Back home, he married, started a family, and completed his studies. That summer interlude never left him but it’s only recently he tried writing about the experience. “I told Rebecca (his wife) about it and she said, ‘There’s a romance there of a kind,’ and there really was. A closeness developed in a short period of time that was very different than any experience I’ve had with another guy.” Intent on catching up with his old pal, Shaw read a magazine story about Wilson restoring a 1938 Bugatti airplane presumed lost during World War II. The plane was rediscovered and Wilson, a retired Air Force officer, was building a replica. “I tracked him down through Facebook and we ended up spending hours on the phone three or four different times over the space of a couple of months. My plan was to go see him. He was in the process of starting to test-fly this plane. I talked to him in May 2016, and in December I got an email from his brother that said, ‘I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Scottie dying.’ “He’d taken the plane up again and was barely off the ground when it happened. “He’d sent me some sample writing. He wanted me to help him write the story of this airplane.” Wilson’s passing marked the latest of four recent deaths of important people in Shaw’s life. He feels compelled to write about what they meant to him. “I have lots of starts in different directions in talking about the way your relationship with your

Dr. Shaw (far left) with (from left): Shirley Sorrell, Dr. Mike Sorrell from UNMC, and Jamie Redford at a fundraiser for the Jamie Redford Institute. The institute creates projects designed to increase public awareness of the need for organ donation.

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New Horizons

May 2017

mentors is more like a love affair than it is like a parenting relationship. It’s like seeking their love and approval more so than maybe with a parent.”

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hen Shaw was still doing transplants he was barraged by life and death events but so cut off from the events emotionally he didn’t write about them. “I was so busy and chronically sleep deprived I rarely had time or inclination to write. Except on vacation. Once I got away from work, I inevitably started writing. It was always fiction. By the mid-’90s I had the starts of five novels. I took a sabbatical in 1996 to write and came away with an 180,000-word novel that isn’t yet worthy of publication. Of course, family and friends all thought it was wonderful but nobody else did. I was afraid of getting it reviewed by anybody. “None of my writing then had any direct relationship to my work. I think it was largely a way to escape the stress of that life.” Shaw’s real growth as a writer began when he confronted his own life on the page at the 2007 Kenyon Review Workshop. “It was very educational and inspirational to actually have to write something and then to have people critique it. It was the first time I had valuable critique of what I’d written. I began to understand what I needed to do to improve things was to keep writing, to keep having people critique, and then keep changing and writing.” His next evolution came as a participant in the Seven Doctors Project that puts physicians together with writers. Shaw was in the project’s first group of doctors in 2008 and he participated in several other sessions the next few years. One session in particular proved fruitful. “I did get some wonderful stuff from the review of what I wrote that year. The most telling thing was from another writer there, Rebecca Rotert (whom Shaw ended up marrying after he and his wife split). “When it was my turn to read, everybody complimented how they liked this or liked that and then all of a sudden Rebecca said, ‘OK, here’s the deal: I don’t know what this person’s motivations are. We’re missing some of the basic things of a story and by now we should know this.’ “I started to feel defensive and then I thought, ‘Oh my God, she’s absolutely right,’ and I can fix that because I know what the answers to those questions are.” All of it spurred Shaw to explore his own life in nonfiction writing. The more he drew from his personal experience, the more he liberated himself. “I was finally able to think about some of the experiences I had and to step back from them far enough to actually write about them without having a strong emotional agenda that kept me from doing it before.” With each story he takes from his own life, Dr. Shaw puts himself on the line. “I suppose writing highly personal nonfiction stories is risky for anyone. I felt I couldn’t do it unless I found a way to be more objective about the most difficult and emotional experiences. I had to resist the temptation to ‘set the record straight.’ I had to discover instead the other stories within those moments.” His first published essay, My Night With Ellen Hutchinson is about a devastating personal and professional episode early in his career. “As I sat down to write about it, I discovered just how stubbornly I still held onto a version of that story that blamed others, that let me off the hook for the death of a patient during a liver transplant. I had to revisit that night over and over again for weeks to reconstruct a view that wasn’t about the cause of the failure so much as it was about the results of it. It wasn’t easy. --Please turn to page 13.


Writing has helped Dr. Shaw understand, accept his social anxiety

Bud’s growth as a writer began at the 2007 Kenyon Review Workshop when other writers began critiquing his work. --Continued from page 12. “That was a very straight forward operation. In my mind, I’d done everything right. I got the new liver sewn into place and blood flowing into it and everything was just great when her heart stopped. And yet, the technical details of why the woman’s heart stopped, how we should have handled it, and how today, I know she would not have died because of what we later learned to prevent the problem, none of that was a story worth recounting. I needed a fresh and far more human perspective, and that required me to do a lot of processing I hadn’t done before. Now I don’t seem able to stop.” For years Shaw erected shields warding off self-reflection when people’s lives were in his hands. “The protective mechanisms were about dealing with failure, where failure could be somebody’s death. After failure I felt it absolutely necessary to approach the next case with supreme confidence that everything is going to go well. There’s a lot of ways of getting to that point. Maybe the quickest way is to simply say, ‘That last problem – that wasn’t my fault.’ But that’s not the only way. Another way – but it’s not the one I took – is to think about it more and to recognize we’re fallible and I did play a role in that, and what can I do next time to make sure that doesn’t happen again. “It would have taken the ability of being more ‘mindful’ as they call it

Dr. Shaw wearing hip boots and a plastic apron preparing for liver transplant surgery in Pittsburgh.

now.”

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n his book Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey, Shaw reveals his own and others’ frailties as a counterpoint to the God-like status medical professionals are held in throughout society. His essays chronicle how he didn’t let things touch him, not the lives he saved or lost, not even his own bout with cancer. What opened the floodgates of introspection was the disabling anxiety that overcame him in 2006. “I didn’t have any problems with social anxiety at all until one day I was sitting in my living room and suddenly had a panic attack that eventually caused me to crawl into bed and cover up. I had no idea what was causing it. It just came out of the blue.” Some days at work Dr. Shaw couldn’t leave his office. He finally sought help. Drugs helped regulate the condition. Writing about it has been freeing. “What the writing has done is help me understand and accept the fact I have this problem. It’s also helped me recognize I did have these protective things. The question in my mind is – what if I had been as self-aware and self-reflective when I was in the midst of this incredibly intense surgical career with all this risk? Would I have been able to continue? I think the answer to that question is probably ‘yes’.

“The process of writing about my own experiences really did open up my writing in a way. That, and there were three books I read around that time that made me become much more spare, to work harder on eliminating stuff. The big problem I had was my need to make sure you understood everything, explaining everything. Being freed up from the idea that you have to explain everything was like a miracle. You can actually let people figure out stuff on their own.” Bud said a UNMC colleague objected to how much medical imperfection he revealed in Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey. “This is a huge mistake,” she said. “Nobody should pull back the curtain and expose these sorts of things.” Other surgeons, however, have provided positive reviews of the book. A notable exception was his old mentor Dr. Tom Starzl, who reacted strongly against the book. It strained the two men’s already tenuous relationship. As a show of respect and as a peace offering, Shaw attended Starzl’s 90th birthday celebration. “I gave him a big hug and he started crying. It was very emotional.” Dr. Starzl died a year later. Before Shaw could get his book published, UNMC officials made him change some details so as to avoid privacy issues.

May 2017

“A lot of the essays had been written with the names of the real people involved before I knew these stories were going to be part of a book,” Shaw said. “I had to start looking at how I could contact these people (for their permission). I knew I wasn’t allowed to look in the medical records for that purpose and I knew I couldn’t ask anybody else to do it for that purpose. “I couldn’t remember some of their names. I was in the process of trying to sort out how to contact them when the privacy officer at the hospital called and said you can’t write about any of your experiences here.” That decree made Shaw bristle. He resisted the blanket refusal, pointing out there was nothing in his contract or in UNMC’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) policy preventing him from doing it. “Eventually I could not get them to allow me to contact the people. So I went in and changed enough of the details that there’s just no way anybody could recognize the real people.”

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r. Shaw had occasion to operate on public figures or loved ones of celebrities. Such was the case in 1993 when he performed liver transplants on Hollywood icon Robert Redford’s son, Jamie Redford, in Omaha. As is often the case, patients --Please turn to page 14.

New Horizons

Page 13


Corrigan Senior Center

Dr. Byers ‘Bud’ Shaw...

You’re invited to visit the Corrigan Senior Center, 3819 X St., this month for: • May 3: Presentation by St. Peter & Paul students @ 1 p.m. • May 5: Cinco de Mayo trivia and lunch celebration @ 11:30 a.m. • May 8: Sing-a-long with the Bellevue Senior Singers @ 11:15 a.m. • May 11: Mother’s Day celebration featuring games @ 11 a.m. and bingo @ 1 p.m. Please dress in your favorite hats and accessories for this fun occasion. • May 12: Neighborhood scavenger hunt walk @ 11:30 a.m. Mothers Day brunch @ noon. The menu is a cheese omelet, a hash brown casserole, a blueberry muffin, and a fruit cup. • May 15: Presentation on ENOA’s Senior Companion Program with Elizabeth Paleogos and Chuck Udstuen @ 11 a.m. • May 16: Foot care clinic for $10 and free blood pressure checks from 10 a.m. to noon. Please call or sign-up early. • May 18: Omaha’s Dancing Grannies @ 11 a.m. Special dinner @ noon featuring roast beef and strawberry shortcake. Bingo follows @ 1p.m. Reservations are due by May 12 @ 11 a.m. • May 23: Lunch & Learn presentation on Tips for Communicating Well With Your Doctor by Kathy from the VNA @ 11 a.m. • May 25: Singer Pamela Sue, sponsored by the Merrymakers, will be here to celebrate the May birthdays @ 11 a.m. Dress in your red, white, and blue for Memorial Day. The center will be closed on Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day. Everyone, including new players, is welcome to play chair volleyball every Tuesday and Thursday @ 11 a.m. A noon lunch will follow. Join us for Tai Chi – a relaxing and fun activity that’s proven to improve your balance – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. in our spacious gym. Bingo, ceramics, exercise, woodcarving, and loads of fun are also available. The Corrigan Senior Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is served at noon. A $3.50 contribution is normally suggested for the meal. Reservations are normally due by noon the business day prior to the meal you wish to enjoy. For meal reservations or more information, please call Lynnette at 402-731-7210.

Page 14

New Horizons

--Continued from page 13. with good outcomes form an attachment with their surgeons that are one part gratitude and one part adulation. It was no different with Jamie Redford, who on Instagram recently posted a photo of himself and his lifesaver with this caption: “My hero and good friend, Dr. Bud Shaw.” Redford regained his health and produced a documentary, The Kindness of Strangers, raising awareness of the need for organ donation. Redford and Shaw saw each other last year. “Jamie and I did something at the Sundance Authors Series. I did a reading of my book and then Jamie came up and we sat on a couple of stools and we did a kind of give-andtake with each other and people asked questions. Bob (Robert Redford) was there and Jamie’s sister was there. It was standing room only.” In his essay Real Surgeons Can’t Cry, Shaw divulged how he didn’t cope well with the hero worship showed him. For him, surgery was a job to be gotten through, a task to be completed. The human dimensions of it sometimes escaped him or made him uncomfortable, and so he avoided those implications and interactions that required emotional investment. A transplant operation is always complex and requires a team of professionals. They were far riskier procedures in the 1980s and ’90s then today because there weren’t the techniques and drugs available then there are now. “The longest one in my experience was in Pittsburgh that was 27 hours,” Shaw recalled. “In that case it was a child. When we started out trying to open the abdomen it was like concrete. We had to go ahead and get the liver in there because its time out of the donor’s body was getting too high. We didn’t want it to die – the liver would be nonfunctional. So we put it in and then we had all this sorting out of stuff to do for hours and hours, trying to get the bleeding stopped. “What would happen is the patient’s own body would start dissolving its clots. That was a pretty common feature of a liver

May 2017

An avid reader since his childhood days in Ohio, Shaw’s Omaha home is filled with books. transplant.”

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he operating room is a collaborative, dynamic environment of high risk and high reward. Writing, by contrast, is a solitary experience whose rewards are more internal then external. Shaw values having a life partner in Rotert who is a fellow writer. They share everything they write with each other. “We are our own best editors,” he said. “I think I take her criticism of what I write a lot better than she takes my criticism about what she writes, and I don’t know if that’s because her criticism is more gently delivered because she’s not very gentle with it. But for some reason whatever she tells me often rings so true. “Like with these initial essays I wrote, I wasn’t sure what they were really about and she helped me figure out what they were really about.” Shaw admires Rotert’s craftsmanship. “She really writes incredibly well. She writes some beautiful sentences. She also develops characters incredibly well, each with different voices. She’s really a master at that sort of thing.” The couple lives in a multi-story home on the edge of Neale Woods. Books, magazines, paintings (by her), and photographs (by him) adorn the rustic-chic living spaces whose large windows look out on the Missouri River basin and bluffs to the east and pristine forested land to the west. Idyllic surroundings and professional accolades aren’t always salves for the demons inside us as Shaw discovered. Even at the height of his career, politics and egos found him fighting external battles. He eventually became chairman of surgery at UNMC and after 12 years in that post he headed up a large point-of-care software development project that got canceled. He’s felt a bit adrift since retiring from surgery and then having that software project killed. “There’s almost nothing like having a really difficult job to do with a lot riding on it and you’re afraid going in about what might happen, but you do it anyway and you succeed and everything’s OK. It just so happens that liver transplants is one of the best things like that. And so I lost that reward system. The other thing I lost was every day somebody telling me what to do. Even when I was chairman of the department. It’s not like I had to say, ‘What am I going to do today?’ There was always too much to do. “Not having that and having so called free time to write and to do other stuff was initially fun and easy but the longer it’s lasted the more difficult it’s become finding reward.” While a practicing surgeon Shaw once thought of leaving that career to write full-time but he wasn’t crazy or brave enough to try it. “Doing liver transplants is easier.” Ever the voyager, Shaw has worlds yet to explore in his travels and in his new vocation as an author. Having finally given himself permission to write about his past, he’s embracing new adventures as source material for future tales. With so much to draw on, his creative well should never run dry. (Read more of Biga’s work at leoadambiga.com.)


Car-Go transportation

Omaha Hearing Loss Association

he Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is recruiting volunteers age 55 and older to provide free transportation for older adults in Fremont and Blair. Sponsored locally by ENOA, RSVP is a national program of the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Senior Service Corps. RSVP’s staff realizes many older men and women live alone, are on fixed incomes, aren’t able to operate their own vehicles, and don’t have family members available to drive them to their various appointments. In response, RSVP’s Car-Go Project offers free transportation for men and women age 55 and older in Blair and Fremont through volunteers age 55 and older who use their own vehicles. Free rides can be given to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, beauty parlors, barbershops, banks, and other personal business locations. Rides for persons who use wheelchairs (must be able to transfer themselves) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Car-Go Project – which isn’t available to nursing home residents – operates in Fremont and Blair Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on becoming a volunteer driver or to make a reservation (24 hours notice is required) for a ride, please call RSVP’s Fremont office at 402-7217780.

he Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America, a support group for hard of hearing adults, will next meet on Tuesday, May 9 at Dundee Presbyterian Church, 5312 Underwood Ave. Participants are asked to enter the church on the Happy Hollow Blvd. side. The 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. meeting will feature social time and a speaker. The group meets the second Tuesday of the month from September through December and March through August. For more information, contact Beth Ellsworth at ellsworth.beth@cox.net or Verla at 402-558-6449.

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Eclectic Book Review Club The Eclectic Book Review Club, founded in 1949, has announced the date and time for its final book review of the season. • May 16: Evelyn McKnight, a Hepatitis C survivor, will review her book A Never Event: Exposing the Largest Outbreak of Hepatitis C in American Healthcare History. The meeting, which includes a noon lunch followed by the book review, will be held at the Field Club, 3615 Woolworth Ave. The cost is $13 per person. Reservations, which are due by Monday, May 15, can be made by calling Rita at 402-553-3147.

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THEOS THEOS, a social organization for singles age 60 and older, meets from 1 to 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at New Cassel, 900 N. 90th St. The May 8 meeting will feature a presentation on Dining for One by Mandy Svatos from the VNA.

Older men and women are encouraged to meet for a fun afternoon and to sign up for other activities throughout the month. For more information, please call Dorothy at 402399-0759 or Mary at 402393-3052.

May 2017

New Horizons

Page 15


Visually impaired patrons have access to audio description of shows

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utlook Nebraska has partnered with the Rose Theater, the Orpheum Theater, the BLUEBARN Theatre, and the Omaha Community Playhouse to offer audio descriptions for the visually impaired at some of the performances held at these venues. Audio descriptions allow those who are visually impaired to more fully enjoy live performances through a verbal description of the stage production through a personal headset. A trained audio describer provides live verbal descriptions of actions, costumes, scenery, and other visual elements of the live performance. The description is transmitted to the headsets so only those wearing the headsets hear the describer’s voice as well as the performance’s dialog. Visually impaired persons wishing to use the audio description service must call the venue to request the service and to purchase tickets at least two weeks in advance to ensure availability. An audio description preshow will start 30 minutes before the performance time listed below. The service is made available through the generous support of the Enrichment Foundation and the Gary and Mary West Foundation. For a complete list of audio description events, please visit outlooknebraska.org/theater. May 6 @ 2 p.m. Stellaluna Rose Theater 2001 Farnam St. 402-345-4849 May 20 @ 2 p.m. Something Rotten Orpheum Theater 409 S. 16th St. 402-661-8501 May 25 @ 7:30 p.m. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert BLUEBARN Theater 1106 S. 10th St. 402-345-1576

AARP Chapter 2269

AARP offering driving course

AARP’s Florence Chapter 2269 meets monthly at Mount View Presbyterian Church, 5308 Hartman Ave. The meetings feature a noon lunch for $8 followed by a program at 12:45 p.m. The meetings are open to both AARP members and non-members. Transportation is available by calling Ruth Kruse at 402-453-4825 or Marge Willard at 402-455-8401. Here’s the 2017 schedule through October:

AARP is offering a new four-hour, research-based Smart Driver Course for older adults. By completing the course, participants will learn research-based driving safety strategies that can reduce the likelihood of having an accident; understand the links between the driver, the vehicle, and the road environment, and how this awareness encourages safer driving; learn how aging, medications, alcohol, and health-related issues affect driving ability and ways to allow for these changes; increase confidence; know how to share the road safely with other drivers, and learn the newest safety and advance features in vehicles. The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonAARP members. No tests or examinations are involved, course completion certificates are provided, and auto insurance discounts may apply. Here’s this month’s schedule:

• May 15 HELP Adult Services Services for older adults and persons with a disability • June 19 Dr. Betty Foster Advance planning for older adults • July 17 Simon Lobo Pakistan

June 4 @ 2 p.m. Rent Orpheum Theater 409 S. 16th St. 402-661-8501

• August 15 Pastor Ner Clay Karen refugees from Myanmar (Burma)

June 17 @ 2 p.m. Peter Pan Rose Theater 2001 Farnam St. 402-345-4849

• September 18 Picnic • October 16 Environmental specialist Tim Fickenscher Elders for the Earth

You can receive your FREE copy of the New Horizons each month in any of ways!

1 2 3

3

Pick up a copy at one of the more than 100 distribution sites (grocery stores, restaurants, senior centers, libraries, etc.) Through the United States mail New subscribers should send their name, address, and zip code to: New Horizons, 4223 Center Street, Omaha, NE 68105.

May 13 @ noon AARP Information Center 1941 S. 42nd St #220 To register, call 402-398-9568

May 12 @ 9:30 a.m. Metro Community College 829 N. 204th St. Class # AUAV 004N-72 To register, call 531-622-2620

May 16 @ 10 a.m. Sunridge Village 13410 Blondo St. To register, call 402-496-0116

May 13 @ 9 a.m. The Premier Group 11605 Miracle Hills Dr. #205 To register, call 402-557-6730

May 24 @ 9:30 a.m. CHI Midlands Health 11111 S, 84th St. To register, call 800-253-4368

RSVP RSVP is recruiting persons age 55 and older for a variety of opportunities. For more information in Douglas, Sarpy, and Cass counties, please call 402-444-6536, ext. 224. In Dodge and Washington counties, please call 402-721-7780. • The Corrigan Senior Center is looking for volunteers. • The Lutheran Thrift Store needs volunteers. • The VA Medical Center is looking for volunteers for a variety of assignments. • The Low Income Ministry wants volunteers for its food pantry. • The Blair and Fremont Car-Go Program needs volunteers to drive older adults to their appointments once or twice a week.

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For more information, please call 402-444-6654. Page 16

May 12 @ 9 a.m. Immanuel Village AgeWell 6801 N. 67th Plz To register, call 402-829-3200

New Horizons

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May 2017


Study: Music therapy can decrease Tips for growing tomatoes By Melinda Myers pain for patients after spine surgery arvest and enjoy the garden-fresh flavor of

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usic therapy has been found to decrease pain in patients recovering from spine surgery, compared to a control group of patients who received standard postoperative care alone. The study, published in The American Journal of Orthopedics, included a team of researchers from The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine and the Mount Sinai Department of Orthopaedics in New York City. About 70 percent of people in the United States experience at least one episode of back pain in their lifetime, and more than 5 million are temporarily or permanently disabled by spinal disorders. “This study is unique in its quest to integrate music therapy in medicine to treat post-surgical pain,” said John Mondanaro, the study’s lead author and Clinical Director of The Louis Armstrong Department of Music Therapy. “Postoperative spine patients are at major risk for pain management challenges.” Visual analog scale (VAS) pain ratings were

collected before and after music therapy in the experimental group and within the same time period in the control group. In the control group, VAS pain levels increased slightly. In the experimental group, however, VAS pain levels decreased by more than one point. “The degree of change in the music group is notable for having been achieved by non-pharmacologic means with little chance of adverse effects,” said Joanne Loewy, DA, co-author of the study and Director of The Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. “Pain is subjective and personal, and warrants an individualized approach to care. Certified, licensed music therapists are able to tailor treatment to each patient’s musical preferences and meet their pain level.”

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usic therapists from the Louis Armstrong Center provided treatment options to each patient, including patient-preferred, live music that supported tension release/relaxation and joint singing and/or rhythmic drumming. Breath work and visualization techniques were also offered. Postoperative pain treatment, which is primarily pharmacologic, is a critical component of recovery, particularly during the immediate postoperative period, when pain and anxiety are prominently increased. For this study, researchers provided 30 spine surgery patients with a 30-minute music therapy session within 72 hours after surgery in addition to standard care. Another 30 spine surgery patients received standard postoperative care without music therapy. The 60 patients ranged in age from 40 to 55 years and underwent anterior, posterior, or anterior-posterior spinal fusion. 

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tomatoes right outside your kitchen. Grow them in containers set on your patio, balcony, deck, or stairs. You’ll enjoy the convenience of harvesting fresh tomatoes a few feet away from where you prepare your meals. And your guests will enjoy harvesting fresh tomatoes to add to their salad or sandwich. Tomatoes need warm air and soil to thrive. Containers give you the ability to jumpstart the season. Plant tomatoes in containers earlier than in the garden and leave them outdoors when it’s warm. Bring them inside whenever there’s a danger of frost. Protect your plants with the help of season-extending products like cloches, red tomato teepees, or garden fabrics. These will help warm the soil and air around the plants, reducing the number of days to your first harvest. Select flavorful and disease-resistant varieties for your container gardens. Consider “determinate” tomatoes that are more compact and generally less than four feet tall. Don’t eliminate your favorite indeterminate tomato. Just provide a strong tall support for these plants that continue to grow six feet and taller throughout the season. Grow your tomatoes in a sunny spot that receives at least eight hours of direct sunlight. You’ll grow the biggest harvest and reduce the risk of disease. Fill your container with a quality well-drained potting mix. Add a slow release organic fertilizer to your potting mix if needed. This type of fertilizer feeds the plants for several months. Give the plants an additional feeding midseason or as directed on the fertilizer package. Check soil moisture daily, water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist. Maintaining consistent soil moisture means healthier plants and fewer problems with blossom end rot. This disorder is not a deadly disease, but it causes the bottom of the first set of fruit to turn black. Reduce your workload by using self-watering pots like the Gardener’s Revolution® Classic Tomato Planter (gardeners.com). These pots have a five-gallon reservoir for holding water that moves up into the soil to the plant roots as needed. This means you’ll be filling the reservoir less often than you would normally water other planters. Stake or tower your plants to save space, increase air circulation around and light penetration into the plant. You’ll further reduce the risk of disease and increase productivity by growing vertically. So start gathering your favorite tomato recipes now, as soon you’ll be harvesting armloads of tomatoes to use in salsas, salads, sauces, and of course BLTs.   (Myers has written more than 20 gardening books.)

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New Horizons

Page 17


Stop by the North Bend Senior Center

Here are a few tips

Now’s the best time to get your pets ready for summer

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rom making plans to buying new clothes to filling your time with exhilarating or relaxing hobbies, gearing up for summer can be fun and exciting. With the hotter months ahead, don’t forget your pets also need certain preparations in advance of the “dog days” of summer. With increased dangers like infectious bugs, poisonous plants, more time around water, and the threat of heat, summer is an important time to make sure your pets are ready for the great outdoors. Start with a few simple tips that can help ensure safety throughout the summer. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to pets, so access to a clean water bowl inside and outside your home is critical in warm weather. While on the go, be sure to bring water for your pet in a suitable drinking container. Ticks and other pesky bugs can cause headaches when the weather warms and your furry friends spend more time outside. Help keep those bugs away with preventative treatments, and be sure to check your pets closely for ticks after they’ve spent time outdoors. One of the best ways to keep a dog’s coat healthy and to help prevent matting and summer skin irritation is regular grooming. The right grooming tool can dramatically reduce shedding by removing the undercoat and loose hair without sacrificing the healthy topcoat. Provide skin protection. Dogs can experience sunburn and skin cancer. To prevent sunburn, apply a sunscreen where hair is thin and skin lacks pigment (nose, ears, and sensitive areas) every time your dog is outside. Before letting dogs, cats, or other pets out into the yard to play, check for hazards that can be removed or prevented. Search the yard for poisonous plants, ensure that fences are sturdy and whole, watch the area for possible predators if you own smaller pets, and monitor your pet’s outdoor activity. When the temperature is just right, many people love to throw open doors and windows to allow fresh air to rush through screen doors. However, those screens should be checked to ensure that pets can’t push them out or squeeze through a small hole. If your pets play outside, it’s a smart investment to add an identification tag to their collars. If they were to ever make a dash for an open gate or find a way outside without attention, an ID can help significantly increase the chances they’re returned home safely. Teach them to swim. Many people increase their time around water during the summer, whether it’s a neighborhood pool, a local pond, or a lake. If you plan to bring along a pet, make sure he or she is comfortable around water and able to swim. Before hitting the road for a fun family getaway, add important pet items to your checklist. Your pet will need food and water, specific bedding, toys, treats, and more Summer can provide a great opportunity to spend ample time bonding with pets, but preparing in advance for some of the pitfalls of all of the excitement can ensure your pet is safe. (Family Features provided this information.)

Czech dinner on May 21 Are you in the mood for the kind of great Czech food you ate at the Bohemian Cafe? Join your family and friends at the Assumption-Guadalupe Catholic Church’s 33rd annual Czech Dinner on Sunday, May 21. The dinner will be held in the Assumption School Gym, 22nd and U streets from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festivities will feature a homemakers’ crafts booth, a bake sale, and a traditional pork or duck dinner served with dumplings and sauerkraut, applesauce, green beans, rye bread, and homemade kolaces. A beverage and dessert are included. Hot dogs and chips are available for kids for $5. The cost of the Czech dinner for an adult is $12 for pork and $14 for duck. Kids ages 4 to 10 are $5, and children age 3 and younger are $2. For more information, please call the Assumption-Guadalupe parish office at 402-731-2196.

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New Horizons

North Bend Senior Center visitors (from left): Jerry Jensen, Robert Nesladek, Sharon Agress, and Gloria Thege enjoyed playing 13-point pitch recently.

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ou’re invited to visit the North Bend Senior Center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a cup of coffee, some fellowship, a delicious meal, and to participate in a variety of activities ranging from crocheting, knitting, and embroidery to presentations on topics such as health, nutrition, and avoiding scams. Games like 13-point pitch, Tripoli, Aggravation, Samba, dominoes, and bridge are also popular at the North Bend Senior Center. Center manager Sherry Raymond said she’s looking into adding chair volleyball, yoga, and a book club to the facility’s monthly events listing. Raymond said each weekday an average of 15 to 20 older men and women visit the Dodge County facility. “There’s always room for more,” she added. Raymond prepares the hot noon meals

IGO hopes to raise funds during Omaha Gives event on May 24

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he Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha, a special project of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, has set a goal of raising $1,000 during the 2017 Omaha Gives campaign that’s scheduled for Wednesday, May 24. In its 33rd season, the IGO consists of musicians age 25 and younger and age 50 and older. The ensemble is raising money to help support its schedule of performances at area nursing facilities and retirement communities during 2017-18. Omaha Gives is a one-day online fundraising effort organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to help support nonprofits in Douglas and Sarpy counties. The event is designed to display the community’s spirit of giving, raise awareness about local nonprofits, and celebrate the work required to keep the Omaha area thriving. Since 2013, Omaha Gives has raised more than $27 million for 789 local nonprofits. In 2017, donors can schedule their gifts of $10 or more ahead of time or make their online donations throughout the day on Wednesday, May 25. To make a donation or for more information, please go online and log on to www. omahagives.org.

May 2017

that are approved by an Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging dietitian. Each meal meets one third of the recommended daily allowance of nutrients to comply with the dietary guidelines for older Americans. “I’m always trying new recipes and asking for input on them,” Sherry said. “If they like it, we keep it, if not, we don’t do it again.” A $3.50 contribution is requested for the meals. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the meal the guest wishes to enjoy. Guests under age 60 are charged $9.25 for the meal. “I eat here every day and the meals are very good,” said Jerry Jensen. “You can’t beat the meal for the price.” Gloria Thege said she loves coming to the North Bend Senior Center. “I don’t know what I’d do without it.” For meal reservations and more information please call 402-652-8661.

Notre Dame Housing You’re invited to visit the Notre Dame Housing, 3439 State St. for the following: • First and third Tuesday: Blood pressure clinic from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the wellness center. Use the north entrance. • Tuesday & Thursday: Tai Chi @ 10:30 a.m. Use the north entrance. • Third Thursday: The Center for Holistic Development will provide confidential one-on-one counseling from 3 to 5 p.m. Use the east entrance. • Third Wednesday: Food pantry from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please bring a picture ID and a piece of mail from last 30 days showing proof of address. Use the east entrance. • Second, third, and fourth Friday: Saving Grace from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Use the east entrance. • Wednesday, May 31: Celebrating May birthdays with music by Tim Javorsky from the Merrymakers at 1:30 p.m. Use the north entrance. The center will be closed on May 29 for Memorial Day. Notre Dame Housing is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch is served at noon. A $3.50 contribution is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by 11 a.m. the business day prior to the lunch you wish to attend. For meal reservations and more information, please call Brenda at 402-451-4477, ext. 126.


Survey: Highest earners should pay SS taxes on all their wages Nearly 80 percent of older Americans think the highest -earning workers should be paying Social Security taxes on all of their wages, just like other workers do, according to recent survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). “The issue is a top priority with older voters, many of whom are outraged at recent legislative proposals to cut Social Security benefits and cost-of-living adjustments,” says Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for TSCL.  “TSCL surveys indicate there is no support for benefit cuts among older voters,” Johnson says. “We have learned, however, that there is widespread support to boost the amount of wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax, and to provide more adequate Social Security income,” she says. “Raising the Social Security taxable maximum is a way to do both,” she adds. The primary means of financing the benefits of the nation’s 61 million Social Security recipients is a 6.2 percent payroll tax that’s paid by employees and matched by employers - a total of 12.4 percent. Current law, however, imposes a limit on the amount of wages that are taxed for Social Security purposes, which is $127,200 in 2017. “Because Social Security benefits are based on wages, the Social Security cap on earnings also limits the initial retirement benefit that higher earners receive when they retire,” Johnson explains. “In fact, all Social Security recipients are wrestling with growing income inadequacy as benefits replace a shrinking portion of wages, and this is especially true for those who earn more than the taxable maximum,” Johnson says.  The Social Security taxable maximum is tied to the wage index, but according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the limit on the amount of wages that can be taxed has not kept up with the growth of wages of the most highly paid workers. Because wages for high - income earners are growing faster than for other workers, the taxable share of the nation’s earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxes is falling — from 90 percent in 1983 to 82 percent in 2015. The trend is forecast to continue, with the CBO projecting the share of earnings subject to payroll taxation to drop to below 78 percent by 2026. The CBO estimated last November that if lawmakers wished to raise the amount of covered earnings subject to the payroll tax to 90 percent of covered earnings, then the taxable maximum would need to be set at $316,400 in 2017 and to rise to $565,000 by 2026.  “Legislation was introduced in December that would impose deep benefit cuts, but had no provisions to provide new revenues, Johnson says. “Lifting the taxable maximum cap would provide new revenues to Social Security and it could also provide a modest boost to Social Security benefits, and more adequate COLAs,” Johnson adds.  “Our lawmakers should not be allowed to hide this option under the rug,” she says. “Raising the payroll taxable maximum is the means of providing greater retirement security and long-term program solvency,” Johnson says.

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• Do you have a comment about the agency and how it serves older adults in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties? • Maybe you have a story idea for the New Horizons?

Send your questions,comments, story ideas, etc. to

DHHS.ENOA@nebraska.gov We appreciate your interest in ENOA and the New Horizons.

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May 2017

New Horizons

Page 19


Siblings Gloria, Frances are Foster Grandparents at Fontenelle School

In her third year as a Foster Grandparent, Frances Tyler assists a student in Michelle Niemiec’s pre-kindergarten class.

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loria Matthews flips through the pages of a book titled, Bread Comes to Life. “What kind of bread do you like?” she asks a group of students seated around her at a small table in Dena Klug’s pre-kindergarten class at Fontenelle Elementary School, 3905 N. 52nd St. The youngsters respond immediately. “Buns. Banana bread. Pizza bread.” “What kind of bread do you like?” one of the children asks. “I like toast with jelly,” Matthews responds. In an adjacent room, Frances Tyler is busy helping two girls and a boy with a word game in Michelle Niemiec’s pre-kindergarten class. A blank space followed by the letters “a” and “t” sits next to a colorful picture of a hat on a sheet of white paper. “What letter are we missing?” Tyler asks. A young girl picks up a lavender square with the letter “h” on it and places it at the front of the word. “Very good,” a smiling Frances says. The youngster studies the word and the picture for a few seconds, and then writes down the word “hat” in pencil on a separate piece of lined paper. Another productive morning is underway at the north Omaha elementary school thanks in part to Matthews and Tyler, volunteers with the Foster Grandparent Pro-

Page 20

gram (FGP). Gloria and Frances are also sisters who have lived together for more than 10 years. Another pair of Foster Grandparents, Otto Toney (five years in the program) and Yvonnie Boatman (four years with the FGP) helps out with first and second graders, respectively, at Fontenelle School. Sponsored locally by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, the FGP is a national program of the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Senior Service Corps. Foster Grandparents serve as positive role models for children who need special attention with education, healthcare, and social development in schools, Head Start programs, and child development centers. In exchange for volunteering 15 hours or more per week, Foster Grandparents receive a $2.65 an hour stipend, mileage reimbursement, an annual physical examination, supplemental accident insurance coverage, and other benefits including an annual recognition event. The stipend does not interfere with rent, disability, Medicaid, or other benefits.

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ach weekday during the school year, Matthews and Tyler visit Fontenelle School for four hours to

New Horizons

Foster Grandparent Gloria Matthews (above and below) with students in Dena Klug’s class at Fontenelle Elementary School. help the kiddos with their math and reading as well as at breakfast and during recess. Eric Nelson, the school’s principal for six years, says Gloria and Frances bring a lot of wisdom, life experience, and positive energy into the classrooms, hallways, and playground. “The teachers rave about them,” he continues. “They’re part of the staff.” Tyler and Matthews – who has three sons, 11 grandchildren, and three grandkids – are in their third year as Foster Grandparents. In addition to helping Klug teach the pre-kindergarteners, Gloria

serves as a type of security blanket. “The children need to know they have someone they can come to that will make them feel comfortable,” Matthews says. Frances says she and Niemiec work together as a team with the students. “She’s the teacher and I can be their friend.” Klug loves having Matthews in her classroom. “It’s like having my own grandma here. She’s a great role model.” Niemiec says Tyler is an enormous help to her. “She makes things go a lot smoother.” For more information about the FGP, please call 402-444-6536.

Fontenelle Elementary School principal Eric Nelson with Foster Grandparents Gloria Matthews (left) and Frances Tyler.

May 2017

New Horizons May 2017  

New Horizons is a publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Distributed free to people over age 60 in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Wash...

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