July 2024 issue • Northern Connection Magazine

Page 1

Saturday, July 20, 2024 2 and 7:30 p.m.

The Sonny and Cher Show A Musical Tribute



Wonka (PG, 116 MIN.)

JULY 1, 2024

The Boys in the Boat (PG-13, 123 MIN.)

JULY 8, 2024

Saturday, Aug. 10, 2024 2 and 7:30 p.m.


The Carole King Songbook

Saturday, Sept. 14, 2024 2 and 7:30 p.m.


Once More A Tribute to The Carpenters

Argylle (PG-13, 139 MIN.)

JULY 15, 2024

The Color Purple (PG-13, 141 MIN.)

JULY 22, 2024

Bob Marley: One Love (PG-13, 107 MIN.)

JULY 29, 2024

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2024 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Ruby Shooz Oldies Band

Thank you to our sponsors! Located on the UPMC Passavant campus at Cumberland Woods Village. Find us on Facebook: The Legacy Lineup or TheLegacyLineup.com

The Book of Clarence (PG-13, 129 MIN.)

AUGUST 5, 2024

Arthur the King (PG-13, 90 MIN.)

AUGUST 12, 2024

One Life (PG, 110 MIN.)

AUGUST 19, 2024

Ordinary Angels (PG, 118 MIN.)

AUGUST 26, 2024




The Holdovers (R, 132 MIN.)




Stars and Stripes – History of the American Flag

July 2, 2024

Speaker: Steve Cicero, former history instructor, Butler Area School District

The Underground Railroad and the Pittsburgh Connection

July 16, 2024

Speaker: K. Carol Braun Kunz, former Pittsburgh Public School teacher and Heinz History Center education coordinator

Audrey Hepburn: Our Fair Lady

July 30, 2024

Speaker: Wendy Whittick, president, Pittsburgh Classic Movie Club and film historian

Pittsburgh: City of Poetry

August 13, 2024

Speaker: Dr. Jake Grefenstette, president and executive director, International Poetry Forum

Downsizing Your Home

August 27, 2024

Speaker: Paul Regan, local organizing and moving expert

NC Features

6 Wexford Public is the Place to Be Janice Lane Palko

7 NC Profile: Deb Walton, Coldwell Banker Realty, Employs

Comprehensive Marketing Strategy to Sell Your Home

Janice Lane Palko

2024 Doctors & Physicians Guide

8 Cover Story: Empowering Patients Through Discharge Management Genesis Medical Associates

10 Genesis Medical Physicians

14 MyoWay Centers for Kids Opens in Wexford

Janice Lane Palko

16 Understanding Dravet Syndrome Janice Lane Palko

18 Women’s Health: A Lifelong Journey UPMC

22 Summertime Sadness: The Flipside of Winter Blues

Maura L. Johnson

Kids & Education

28 School Movers & Shakers

In Every Issue...

5 Mover & Shaker of the Month: Megan Tomaino

Paula Green

26 Support Our Troops: World War I – Looking Back 110 Years Paula Green

29 From the Editor: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another

Janice Lane Palko

30 July Adventures Ron Eichner

32 July Happenings

36 Trivia Connection: Mixed Berries Trivia Paula Green

Mars, Pa. 16046

Phone: 724-940-2444

ncmagazine@northernconnectionmag.com www.northernconnectionmag.com

President & Publisher

Laura Lyn Arnold

Publisher Emeritus & Contributor

Marion Swanson Piotrowski

Executive Editor

Janice Lane Palko


Managing Editor/Public Relations Coordinator

Paula M. Green


Marketing & Account Executive

Mary L. Simpson

Design & Production Kostilnik & Associates Graphics, Inc.

Web Master Swanson Publishing , LLC

Core Writers

Maura Brown

Belinda Burchick

Ron Eichner

Paula Green

Janice Lane Palko

Sofya Stearns

Northern Connection is published twelve times a year by Swanson Publishing, LLC (P.O. Box 425, Mars, PA 16046, (724-940-2444) and is distributed free of charge to the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Subscription can be purchased from the publisher at $25 for one year.

The mission of the Swanson Publishing, LLC is to connect the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh by publishing the area’s finest community publication, Northern Connection. The publication is dedicated to the people, communities, educational, religious, travel, and recreational needs of the area.

The contents of Northern Connection magazine may not be reproduced or copied in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Northern Connection magazine reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertisements that do not meet the standards of this publication. P.O. Box 425


The New School Experience

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) offers students in grades K-12 an alternative to traditional education. Families look beyond their local school district for a range of reasons, and sometimes it’s necessary to try a new school experience. After 24 years of perfecting online education and with a legacy of 22,000 graduates, PA Cyber has demonstrated that online learning works for many students.

As a public school, PA Cyber is similar to traditional schools in many ways. Where PA Cyber stands out is how students learn—they find learning online to be the best option for them. Students’ experiences can be customized because of their virtual learning environment. Each student has their own reason for choosing PA Cyber, but they all benefit from the flexibility of cyber school. They can attend in-person events at one of nine

regional offices, and afterward resume classes with their school-provided laptop and headset. They gain more time for family, work, volunteering, athletic training, and creative pursuits. They are empowered to never stop learning. Enroll your child in PA Cyber today and watch them thrive. Visit pacyber. org or call (724) 643-1180 to find out if PA Cyber is a perfect fit for your student. n

MEGAN Tomaino

Physician Assistant, Expert UPMC Passavant Department of Anesthesia & Center for Perioperative Care (CPC)

Surgery patients can sometimes suffer from nerves and even some angst. But rest assured, there are plenty of people working behind the scenes to ensure that dayto-day operations flow smoothly. One of those professionals is Megan Tomaino, MPAS, PA-C of UPMC Passavant Department of Anesthesia & Center for Perioperative Care (CPC).

With a career spanning 16 years, Megan has amassed a wealth of experience in various medical fields. Her journey as a physician assistant has taken her through anesthesia, orthopedic and neurosurgery, and pediatric intestinal failure. Her tenure at UPMC Passavant, which began in 2013, is a testament to her dedication and expertise.

Megan works on a team of Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) within the Department of Anesthesia at UPMC Passavant. “Within my role, I evaluate inpatients added on to the OR schedule to ensure they are prepared and optimized for anesthesia. Additionally, I evaluate outpatients scheduled for surgery in our Center for Perioperative Care (CPC). We focus on health optimization, such as nutrition and protein intake, smoking cessation, weight loss, cardiopulmonary conditioning, and diabetes management, to improve post-operative outcomes,” Megan said.  Megan’s leadership and organizational skills are demonstrated in her role in the APP Council. She is pivotal in coordinating philanthropic activities for APPs, fostering a sense of giving back to their patients, hospitals, and communities. Their partnership with the Passavant Hospital Foundation is instrumental in many of their events and activities.

Megan’s dedication to patient care and community involvement is evident in her active participation in the UPMC Minutes Matter initiative.

“In 2019, I attended a “Stop the Bleed” lecture by UPMC Presbyterian surgeon Dr. Raquel Forsythe.  Her lecture moved me to become an STB trainer and advocate in the North Hills community.  By partnering with the Passavant Hospital Foundation and connecting with fellow volunteers Donna Galbraith, RN, and Jeanmarie Dougherty, RN, we were able to collaborate with the UPMC Minutes Matter campaign to develop a free comprehensive community class teaching hands-only CPR, AED use, Heimlich, Stop the Bleed, Narcan and EpiPen use, stroke and seizure awareness, and more.  We offer the class to various groups across the community, including churches, recreational sports teams, and general community education classes. Our goal is to empower community members with life-saving skills to support victims from injury/arrest until emergency response providers arrive,” Megan added.

Megan was raised in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. She graduated from Chatham University’s Master of Physician Assistant Program in 2008 and has a Bachelor of Science from Allegheny College. She is pursuing a Doctor of Physician Assistant Studies (DPAS) degree from the University of Pittsburgh, with an anticipated graduation date of December 2024.

Megan resides in Hampton Township with her husband and two children. She previously coached Girls on the Run at Wyland Elementary and plans to continue this in the fall.

Northern Connection thanks Megan for all the work she does in the community. If you know someone making a difference, please nominate them to be Northern Connection’s Mover and Shaker of the Month by emailing info@northernconnectionmag.com. n

Wexford Public Is the Place to Be

If you’re looking for a restaurant that combines quality cuisine with fresh ingredients, a friendly staff, one that has a cozy atmosphere, that is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two or a fun night out with friends, then look no further than Wexford Public.

Located at 12087 Perry Hwy., in Wexford, the restaurant is owned by Wexford residents John and Melanie Dober. In opening Wexford Public, John and Melanie bring to the table what they do best. John has been a part of Pittsburgh’s dining scene for over 20 years, opening and operating some of the most well-respected restaurants in the area as the executive chef, general manager, and has experience running large dining operations in Tampa, Florida. Melanie has a talent for connecting with people, and in her many roles interacting with folks she’s found her true passion: delivering a sense of genuine hospitality to the community. She’s worked in financial management for multiple places around the city and has been in and out of the restaurant business since her college days. When you dine at Wexford Public, you can expect quality and excellence in every aspect of your experience. From the moment you walk through the door, their team is dedicated to ensuring your visit is nothing short of incredible. The menu boasts items to

fill anyone’s appetite from sandwiches, to Black Angus steaks, to a selection of the freshest seafood available. There are daily chefinspired features to ensure you’ll never get bored when you dine at Wexford Public. The wine program is just as well thought out as the food, with selections carefully chosen to fit anyone’s desires. The main focus is on California wines, with selections from France, Italy, and elsewhere to round out your selections. The bar has an incredible selection of bourbons, and tequilas, and crafted signature cocktails. This is a must-try Happy Hour location, with so many food and drink discounts, you may have a hard time deciding what you want! The restaurant also has a kids’ menu, and pups are welcome on the patio on Wednesdays and the last Sunday of every month. Wexford Public is the place to be whether you are having a lucky night out alone or feeding the family. Visit the website at www.wexfordpublic.com. There you can salivate over the menu and make reservations. n

Melanie and John Dober

Deb Walton, Coldwell Banker Realty, Employs Comprehensive Marketing Strategy to Sell Your Home

Gone are the days of a REALTOR® simply putting a For Sale sign on the lawn of your home and waiting for a buyer to appear.

Deb Walton, of Coldwell Banker Realty, has been a REALTOR® for 10 years and previously worked for another decade at Eastman Kodak Company as a sales executive for the military accounts. She knows that it takes more to find the right buyer for your home, and she employs Coldwell Banker’s comprehensive marketing strategy to maximize your home’s exposure.

“I use Coldwell Banker’s Listing Concierge service on every listing of mine, regardless of price point. This package includes Professional Photography, Single-Property Website, Just Listed E-Flyer, YouTube Advertising, High Gloss Property Brochures, Mobile Brochure, Silver Envelope Home Announcement mailed to area radius, Area Realtor Notification, Targeted Online Advertising, and extensive online exposure,” said Deb.

Whether you are selling a lower-priced home or a multi-million-dollar estate, Deb gives you the same expertise needed to find you a qualified buyer. “I hold real estate broker tours and public open houses, and I utilize Northern Connection magazine to feature my listings. I also have a network of business professionals who help me connect with the right people when looking for a buyer for my listing. My photographer also offers drone photography and branded video tours,” said Deb, who customizes the marketing based on her clients’ needs.”

Deb services all areas of Metro Pittsburgh, but she mainly does business in Butler, North Allegheny and Beaver Counties.

Not only does Deb utilize the latest technology and marketing strategies when selling your home, but she also brings expertise that others may lack.

“I have a Senior Real Estate Designation and a Military Relocation Professional Certification. Both required additional education and course work. The SRES® Designation program educates REALTORS® on how to profitably and ethically serve the real estate needs of the fastest growing market in real estate, clients age 50+. Military Relocation Professional certification focuses on educating real estate professionals about working with current and former military service members to find housing solutions that best suit their needs and take full advantage of military benefits and support,” said Deb.

Her dedication to her work is evidenced by her commitment to integrity, professionalism, and outside-the-box thinking that she brings to her real estate business. “I prioritize effective communication, follow-up, and resourcefulness, ensuring that my clients are informed and well-supported throughout the home buying or selling process. In addition, I provide an easy-going approach, allowing my clients to make decisions at their own pace, fostering a high level of comfort and satisfaction. Loyalty, flexibility, and a sense of humor are the cornerstones of my service, creating lasting relationships with clients who often become lifelong friends,” said Deb. n

Contact Deb at 724-776-2900 (office), 724-480-6690 (mobile), Deb.walton@pittsburghmoves.com or www.RealtorDebWalton.com

Empowering Patients Through Discharge Management

What is Discharge Management?

When you leave the hospital, skilled nursing, or other inpatient facility, it is extremely important to develop a plan for a smooth transition home. Discharge Management involves in-depth discussions with your care team designed to enhance quality of life, optimize your time while inpatient, and ensure you have the proper care and understanding of any changes that occurred during your stay as you settle back home. While people often think about specialists when it comes to hospital stays, Primary Care providers play a vital role in this process.

What are the key components of Discharge Management?

One of the first key elements of discharge management includes involving you and your family in the discharge process. Since the risk of returning to the hospital can occur at any time, a series of discussions may be had about home support, how to take medications, how to identify warning signs, and proper follow up. Education is also very important to make sure you fully understand any changes that occurred, who you should follow up with, and alerting you to support services in the community if you may need them. Discharge Management does all of this and more!

Why is Discharge Management needed?

Effective Discharge Management is crucial for your recovery now as well as your health in the future. Patients with multiple chronic illnesses or complex medical histories are more likely to become hospitalized and may require extensive discharge planning to prevent it from happening again. Discharge Management often occurs during the first few days at home and through the first 30 days after discharge, as this is the period when readmissions are most likely to occur.

What is Genesis’s role?

Genesis Medical Associates has a multidisciplinary team who provides valuable input to ensure successful transitions home. As a Primary Care group, we have a team dedicated to engaging patients in shared decision making to create the best care plan moving forward. Our team ensures your PCP is aware of hospitalizations that occur, informs you of medication changes during your stay, and works directly with providers to ensure continuity of care. Discharge planning often takes a variety of healthcare professionals such as nurses, socials workers, physicians, and pharmacists. At Genesis our clinical pharmacists and nurses can review your current medications and compare this list with the discharge summary provided by the hospital. They assess the accuracy of the updated list with you and, based on other labs and results, work with the provider to adjust therapy as needed and address other barriers like cost.

In summary, Discharge Management is a comprehensive, patient-centered process aimed at ensuring smooth and safe transitions back home from inpatient facilities like the hospital. It involves detailed planning, education, coordination, and follow-up to support patients in their recovery and reduce likelihood of readmission or further health decline. Discharge Management is meant to make leaving the hospital a seamless process for you and any caregivers you may have. If you have any questions about your medications, community resources, or your care plan, do not hesitate to reach out to the Genesis team. Speak to your provider if you have any concerns regarding the process and if there is anything we can do to make you feel more empowered about your health. n

Genesis Medical Physicians Caring For You

Rachelle Atrasz, MD is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has recently joined Schogel and Fardo Family Medicine in Cranberry Township. She was born and raised in the city of Detroit. She graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and competed on their Division I swim team. She continued her academic career completing three years of research at the University of Michigan and later received her master’s degree. Dr. Atrasz graduated medical school in 2023 and moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 to marry her husband (Dr. Scott Heyl). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two children and golfing with her husband. She is excited to have the opportunity to serve the Cranberry Township community as the newest primary care physician in Genesis Medical Associates.

Karen Bucher, DO is a Pittsburgh native and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Allegheny College. She attended medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV and completed her Family Medicine Residency training with the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. She is board certified in Family Medicine and has a special interest in women’s health but is also passionate about treating the whole family and patients of all ages. Dr. Bucher worked as a staff physician and medical director of the 19th Medical Group, Family Health Clinic on Little Rock Air Force Base, AR and served active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years. Dr. Bucher is the Medical Director at Kane-Ross Nursing Home and is on the medical staff at UPMC Passavant Hospital. She also sees patients at Passavant Retirement Community in Zelienople. Dr. Bucher received one of the Top 40 Physicians under 40 Awards for Pennsylvania in 2022 by PAMED. She prides herself on individualized, high quality and evidence-based patient care, as well as authentic collaboration with each patient regarding their medical care. Dr. Bucher resides with her husband, Jonathan, and their son in Mars, PA..

Jessica Buriak, DO is one of the newest members of Genesis Medical joining earlier this year with Primary Care Associates. She has been practicing with Primary Care Associates since 2014. She is board certified in internal medicine. She received her doctorate at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and did her residency at Allegheny General Hospital. She enjoys running, reading, gardening and baking. She is married with 4 children.

Joshua Dalessio, MD is new to Genesis Medical Associates and is board certified in Family Medicine. He was born and raised in NJ where he did his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University with a major in Chemistry and a minor in music. He then attended Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (then part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ). He completed his Family Medicine residency at Hunterdon Medical Center, whereupon he finally moved out of NJ to Pittsburgh and has been here ever since. He worked as a hospitalist at UPMC Passavant for 12 years but wanted to get back to his Family Medicine roots and was excited to have the opportunity to join Northern Area Family Medicine, a division of Genesis Medical Associates. He is on the medical staff at UPMC Passavant and Kane-Ross Nursing Home. He also serves as the Medical Director for the new Physician Assistant program at Carlow University. Outside of medicine he enjoys learning about the history of many different eras, particularly because of what we can learn about human nature and the nature of causality. He is married to his beautiful wife Samantha and is raising his three children to be Steelers fans.

Ashim K. Dayalan, MD attended Bangalore University Medical College as well as St. Joseph’s College and graduated in 1988. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and is currently a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the Allegheny County Medical Society. Dr. Dayalan is also certified by the American Academy of Addiction Society to treat patients in the throes of the opiate epidemic and drug addiction. Dr. Dayalan currently serves as a preceptor for both the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy and the Duquesne University School of Nursing, Graduate Program. He has also attained recognition in diabetic care and office systems under the “Bridges to Excellence” program. Services provided within his practice include primary care, wellness, chronic disease management, behavioral health, addiction treatment, osteoporosis management and joint injections. Dr. Dayalan is the proud father of his son Raj, and in his free time enjoys playing squash, cooking, bike riding and sports cars.

William DiCuccio, MD is a board-certified family medicine physician who feels privileged to see patients in the Butler office. He is a graduate of Butler High School with high honors, and subsequently matriculated to St. Vincent College where he graduated valedictorian in 1997. He completed medical school at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 2001. He completed residency in Family Medicine at Latrobe area Hospital in

2004, serving as Chief Resident in his final year. He was presented with the Excela Health Latrobe Hospital Family Medicine Residency Graduate of Distinction award in 2018. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. He enjoys continuing his family legacy of providing service and care to people in his hometown of Butler and the surrounding areas. His grandfather served as a barber in the Butler community beginning in the 1930s. His father opened a primary care practice in the 1970s, which ultimately grew to the practice known as Primary Care Associates of Butler. The maintenance of the relationships formed through three generations of “Bill DiCuccio’s” has been the greatest professional calling he could have imagined. He feels there is no greater privilege than caring for the community that raised him. When out of the office, he cherishes spending time with his wife Jennifer and daughter Delaney, and their three rescue dogs..

Barbara Fardo, DO is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who specializes in Family Medicine at Genesis Medical Associates in Cranberry Township, PA.  Dr. Fardo is board certified by the American Academy of Family Medicine. She also serves as a medical director for the East Liberty Women’s Care Center. Her focus is to engage patients to participate in self-health as part of their care. She has a holistic approach to patient care and disease prevention, for patients from conception until death. She has been selected as the Community Choice Award Winner - Best Physician name in the Cranberry Eagle for 2013, 2014 and 2015 as well as being awarded as one of Pittsburgh Top Doctors in 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024.

Jesse Gabriel, MD joined Koman and Kimmell Family Practice in 2022, bringing with him a wealth of experience spanning over a decade. Originally from western PA, Dr. Gabriel completed his medical schooling and internship at the University of Pittsburgh before pursuing family medicine training at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, GA. He served on active duty in the US Army Medical Corps for 6 years and then transitioned to civilian practice in Santa Fe, NM, where he worked in a non-profit, community health clinic and served in the NM National Guard. Deployments to austere and combat environments provided him with invaluable clinical skills, capabilities, and leadership opportunities. And providing care to diverse groups – from elite soldiers and their families to veterans; from the underserved and economically disadvantaged to influential leaders – has been a humbling and grounding privilege. Dr. Gabriel adheres to a clinical philosophy focused on preventing or slowing chronic diseases, alleviating suffering, and promoting wellbeing. He is adept at employing complex medical treatment regimens and holistic natural and lifestyle approaches across all stages of life. During his leisure time, Dr. Gabriel treasures moments spent with his young children, Sophia and Lucas, his wife Emily, and their extended family. He indulges in a variety of hobbies, including reading, gardening, home restoration and backcountry adventuring.

Eric S. Griffin, DO, MPH has been a physician with Genesis Medical Associates since 2014 and was once again selected as one of Pittsburgh Magazine and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors this year. He was educated at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (formerly University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) and completed his residency at UPMC St. Margaret’s Hospital. He is board certified in family medicine. Before his doctorate, he served as a public health volunteer for the United States Peace Corps and earned his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Griffin realized medicine was his

calling during his Peace Corps service where he created health programs for preventative care and traffic injury prevention in Kiribati. His experience during this formative period started him down the path to his medical career. Dr. Griffin is married with two children. When not working, he spends time with his family and enjoys hiking, swimming, and gardening as well as attending the theatre, a museum or sporting event. Dr. Griffin was previously recognized as one of the Top 40 Physicians Under 40 in the state by the PA Medical Society. When asked what keeps him motivated in his career he stated, “l am passionate about preventative health, immunizations and putting into practice the concept of Value and Quality Based Healthcare.”

Daniel K. Grob, MD has been in practice for over 25 years with Genesis Medical Associates.  He was educated at the University of Pittsburgh and completed his residency at UPMC St. Margaret’s Hospital.  Dr. Grob serves as the Medical Director at Concordia at Rebecca Residence in Allison Park and is Board Certified in Family Medicine and a Certified Medical Director in Long Term Care.  Dr. Grob is married to Carla, and they have three children who keep him busy, but he does find time to hunt and fish.  Dr. Grob was mentored early by Dr. J. Ferrante at St. Margaret’s Family Practice, and who showed him the rewards of long-term relationship building and caring for entire families across generations.  He enjoys making teaching a part of his practice, and is an Associate Professor at the Chatham School for Physician Assistants.

Kurt Heil, MD is a Pittsburgh native. He attended high school at North Allegheny where he was part of the Western Pennsylvania championship wrestling team. Outside of school, he was an Eagle Scout and active leader in the Boy Scouts of America. This helped forge his love of the outdoors. He attended the University of Notre Dame, went on to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and completed medical training at the Fairfax Family Practice residency program of Northern Virginia. He is proud to be part of Northern Area Family Medicine, a division of Genesis Medical Associates for over 20 years. He enjoys practicing family medicine for the great joy it brings him to care for multiple generations, seeing them through good times and bad. Medicine has gone through many tremendous changes lately, but the shift has favored primary care, allowing him to focus on preventive medicine and promote quality healthcare. Dr. Heil is on staff at UPMC Passavant and Allegheny General Hospitals, Kane-Ross Regional Nursing Home, and The Haven Assisted Living Facility.

Louis Heyl, MD is a second-generation family practice physician at Heyl Family Practice. Starting as a physician alongside his father, Dr. Frank Heyl, in 1982, Dr. Heyl continues to provide care to local families in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Over the span of his over 40-year career, Dr. Heyl has held many roles within the medical community including his position as past president of Genesis Medical Associates, Inc. Currently, Dr. Heyl is an active member of the Allegheny County Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. In 2023, Dr. Louis Heyl earned the “Everyday Hero Award” through the Pennsylvania Medical Society for his dedication to patient care and the medical field. Additionally, Dr. Heyl played an active role in earning the practice their ”Best of the Best” designation in 2023. In his free time, Dr. Heyl enjoys spending time with his wife, his two sons, and his three beautiful grandchildren. When he’s not working and spending time with his family, he is traveling and fly fishing! (Continued on next page)

Scott Heyl, MD is a third-generation family practice physician at Heyl Family Practice, following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps. Dr. Heyl joined his father, Dr. Louis Heyl, at the practice in July 2016. Over the last eight years, Dr. Heyl has earned various accolades in the medical field including Top Physician Under 40 in 2019 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society and Top Doctor designation the last four years. In addition to that, he individually earned the “Best of the Best” designation in 2020 and earned it collectively with his team at Heyl Family Practice in both 2021 and 2023. As a board-certified practice physician, he combines his passion for quality patient care with his focus on furthering effective patient care management and preventative measures. When he is not in the office, Dr. Scott Heyl and his wife enjoy spending time with their two children and spending time together on the golf course!

Joseph Kimmell DO is a Family Medicine physician and is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. Dr. Kimmell has been with Genesis Medical Associates since 2007 and currently serves on its board of directors. Dr. Kimmell was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and is married with two children. Osteopathic medicine provides all the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. DOs are trained to look at the whole person from their first days of medical school, which means they see each person as more than just a collection of organ systems and body parts that may become injured or diseased. This holistic approach to patient care means that osteopathic doctors integrate the patient into the health care process as a partner.

Christopher G. Koman, MD, CMD, FAAFP has been a member of Genesis Medical Associates since 1998 and is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at IJPMC Shadyside, is board certified and is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is a certified medical director in long-term care by the American Medical Directors Association and serves as the medical director of Vincentian Home and Vincentian Personal Care. His professional interests are in family medicine, geriatrics, and healthcare quality. His practice is a Level Ill Patient-Centered Medical Home, and he has been selected as a 2021 ’Top Doctor’ for several years in Pittsburgh Magazine. Dr. Koman and his wife have four children and are active in their parish. He also enjoys outdoor activities, volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America and is a private pilot.

Dr. Joann Lamb, MD is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and has practiced in New Castle since 1999. She earned her B.S. from Penn State University and M.D. from Penn State College of Medicine at Hershey before completing her internship and residency training at Heritage Valley Health System. She is also certified by the HMDCB (Hospice Medical Director Certification Board) and serves as medical director of Allegheny Healthcare at Home Hospice agency since 2016. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and Pennsylvania

Medical Society. Dr. Lamb is married and has 3 children. In her free time, she enjoys golfing, traveling, and attending her children’s sporting events.

Matthew Macken, MD has been part of the Heyl Family Practice team since 2017. Since then, Dr. Macken has put in significant effort alongside his partners to help grow and establish a new patient base at our new McCandless location, where he spends most of his time. Dr. Macken is a member of the Allegheny County Medical Society, the Western Pennsylvania Geriatric Society, the American Society of Family Physicians, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians. Additionally, Dr. Macken currently serves as the medical director of Reformed Presbyterian Home. His affiliation with these organizations further reinforces his dedication to patient care at every stage of life. Additionally, Dr. Macken has earned various accolades during his tenure at Heyl Family Practice including designation as a Top Doctor and Rising Star on Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor List the last four years. Dr. Macken takes pride in spending quality time with his wife and four beautiful children when he is not in the office.

Brian Nolen, MD joined the Heyl Family Practice team in January 2024. Prior to his time with us, he worked at Heritage Valley Health System Sewickley and Beaver campuses for over 5 years as a hospitalist, specializing in Internal Medicine. Since his start at the practice, he has enjoyed establishing relationships with the patients and having an ongoing role in their healthcare. That is one aspect of medicine that he was most excited to experience. He is eager to learn new things at the practice and bring his knowledge and passion as a board-certified internal medicine doctor to the patient community at Heyl Family Practice. When he is not in the office, Dr. Nolen enjoys spending time with his wife and children, as well as doing do-it-yourself projects and traveling.

John Rocchi, MD , FAAP, FACP, CMD is a Pittsburgh native. He was educated at the West Virginia University School of Medicine and completed a combined internal medicine and pediatric residency at The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospitals. He is board certified in pediatrics, internal medicine and hospice/ palliative care. He is also a board-certified medical director through the American Board of Medical Directors. He has practiced in Butler, PA as a member of Primary Care Associates in the same location for the past 25 years. He is also the medical director at Sunnyview Nursing and Rehab Facility and a hospice medical director. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Janet, and sons, Nick and Jake as well as fishing and exercising.

Stephen Sargent, MD is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. He has worked in the Butler area since 1988. He is a new member of Genesis Medical joining this year with Primary Care Associates. He attended Temple University School of Medicine where he received his doctorate and did his residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is a fellow ofthe American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the National Ski Patrol. He volunteers at Hosanna Industries Construction as well as a Seven Springs Ski Patrol. He enjoys golf, hiking, biking, skiing, scuba diving, sailing and running. Dr. Sargent is married with 4 grown children and 3 soon to be 4 grandchildren.

Tad D. Scheri, MD has been a member of Genesis Medical Associates for more than 20 years and President of Genesis since 2019.  He was once again selected as one of Pittsburgh Magazine and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors this year.  Dr. Scheri was educated at the University of Pittsburgh and completed his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry at the University of Virginia. He completed his residency at UPMC St. Margaret’s Hospital. Dr. Scheri serves as the Chair of Primary Care at UPMC Passavant Hospital. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Dr. Scheri is married to Dedee and they have two children. He enjoys gardening, hiking, traveling, and cooking.

Karen L. Schogel, MD is a board-certified internist who has practiced in the Cranberry area since 1994. She has cared for multiple generations of families over the years and finds this to be the most fulfilling part of her practice. She served the UPMC Passavant Medical Staff in multiple leadership roles for over 10 years. She spent 15 years leading Genesis Medical Associates Health Information endeavors. She is now a member of the Genesis Board of Directors. Dr. Schogel has been named one of “Pittsburgh Top Doctors” 4 years in a row. She was honored with “Legacy of Caring Award” from the Passavant Hospital Foundation in 2022. In the community, she is a board member of the UPMC Passavant Hospital, the Passavant Hospital Foundation, Grace Community Church and is a Medical Director of Choices Pregnancy Services. Her most valuable title is to be called Nana by her grandchildren.

Thomas Shetter, MD is a board-certified general internist caring for patients in Butler since 1987. He is a new member of Genesis Medical, joining this year with Primary Care Associates. He attended Gannon College, graduating in 1978. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1982. He completed his internal medicine training at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1985. He has been on staff at Butler Memorial Hospital since 1987. He has served numerous leadership roles at the Butler Hospital including Chairman of the Utilization Review committee, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Medical Staff President and has been a long-term member of the Credentials Committee. In his free time, he likes to exercise and spend time with his wife and 3 adult children.

Donald Shoenthal, MD joined the Heyl Family Practice team in 1990. Dr. Shoenthal holds many accolades including his designation as a Top Doctor on Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor List since 2020 and a board-certified director through the American Board of Family Medicine. He is also a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the Allegheny County Medical Society. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community in Cranberry alongside his duties at the McCandless and West View offices. When Dr. Shoenthal is not in the office, he is spending time with his wife and daughter traveling.

Prashan Thiagarajah, MD is a Board-certified physician in internal medicine. Dr. Thiagarajah joined Genesis Medical in 2019 after working within the Allegheny Hospital Network for 10 years. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Yale, followed by graduate studies at Columbia University, he received his

medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine. Dr. Thiagarajah has a strong background in patient education, preventative medicine, and continuity of care. He is a strong proponent of patients being engaged with their healthcare. Outside of medicine, Prashan enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Michael R. Trotta, MD is a Board Certified Internist and a Board Certified Pediatrician who has practiced in Butler since 2000. He is now one of the newest physicians at Genesis Medical as part of Primary Care Associates, joining earlier this year. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from West Virginia University, then stayed in Morgantown to attend the West Virginia University School of Medicine. He trained in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Kentucky before practicing, initially, in Erie, PA. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the America College of Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Trotta has dedicated his time to serving his community as a member of Seven Fields Borough Council. He is married and has four grown children.

Nicole Waltrip, MD has been a gynecologist with Genesis Medical Associates since 2018 and was once selected as one of Pittsburgh Magazine and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors this year. She was educated at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD after graduating as valedictorian at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She then completed her residency at Magee-Women’s Hospital in obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Waltrip is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has been practicing gynecology In the Pittsburgh region for the last 23 years. She has a true passion for providing quality patient care and actively involving patients in decision making. Dr. Waltrip is married to Robert Waltrip, MD who practices orthopedic surgery and they have three children in high school and college. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, water skiing, and activities with her family and church.

Mark Woodburn, MD solidified his desire to enter medicine when his mother passed away of breast cancer at age 43 (when he was nine). Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he graduated from North Allegheny High School. The first one to go to college in his family, he received a full scholarship to attend Denison University in Ohio, then went on to attend Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Woodburn returned to Pittsburgh and completed family medicine residency at UPMC St. Margaret’s. Board certified in family medicine; he enjoys caring for patients of all ages including geriatrics. He has a special interest in dermatology and sports medicine and injections. Dr. Woodburn currently lives at home with his wife Kiley (who has a harder job than he does as a stayat-home-mom) in Wexford, where their three children are in the Pine Richland School District. He currently is the medical director at both North Hills Skilled Nursing and Rehab and ProMedica Arden Courts North Hills. Dr. Woodburn was once again selected as one of Pittsburgh Magazine and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors this year. He was previously voted as the top medical provider in Wexford by the Cranberry Eagle and recognized as one of the Top 40 Physicians Under 40 in the state by the PA Medical Society.

Grow Right, Breathe Right, Live Better

Opens in Wexford

Since the arrival of COVID, we’ve all become aware of pandemics, but there is one pandemic that is flying under the radar, and it is wreaking havoc on our children’s health. “Ninety percent of children show signs of small jaw syndrome,” said Leslie Pasco, D.M.D., “which can lead to a host of sleep-related breathing disorders such as ADHD symptoms, behavioral and learning issues, snoring, poor sleep, fatigue, teeth grinding, crowded teeth, mouth breathing, headaches, digestive issues, poor posture, bedwetting, and general anxiety.” These issues follow children into adulthood if the root cause is not addressed.

Dr. Leslie spent 26 years as a general dentist, treating hundreds of thousands of patients over her career and observing the serious pandemic of small jaw syndrome afflicting the developed world. Therefore, she decided to dedicate the remaining years of her career to preventative myofunctional therapy to help children grow right, breathe right, and live better by opening MyoWay Centers for Kids, which debuted on May 1 at 100 Bradford, Suite 200, Wexford.

MyoWay offers myofunctional therapy, a non-invasive approach to support jaw growth and enhance breathing patterns in children, empowering them to develop healthy oral habits and alleviate respiratory issues.

“Small jaw syndrome was written about in the 1800s and is a product of our times. Basically, our genetic code has not changed to keep up with our modern way of life. Today’s industrialized societies are plagued by small jaws leading to restricted airways and crooked teeth,” said Dr. Leslie. “This is a result of a faster pace of life, agriculture producing softer processed foods, and environmental pollutants leading to restricted nasal breathing and increased mouth breathing.”

Of all the bodily systems, respiration is imperative. We can’t go for long without breathing, and Dr. Leslie explained that our sympathetic nervous system—the fight or flight response—is designed to protect us when confronted with danger. One of the physical responses besides increased heart rate produced when in fight or flight mode is a switch to mouth breathing.

“However, if a child is mouth breathing instead of nasal breathing, this can tell the child’s brain that they are in danger, and their little bodies respond with increased heart rate, inability to focus, irregular blood circulation and oxygenation. When this happens, the brain diverts from other functions like digestion and the brain’s ability to focus. Fight or flight

is meant as a short-term response not as a way of living,” said Dr. Leslie. “This is why children are being diagnosed more and more with the inability to focus and pay attention.”

“Unfortunately, when a child has small jaw syndrome, instead of breathing through their nose and conveying a sense of well-being and peace to their brain, they breathe through their mouth, signaling to the brain that they are in a constant state of danger. This can result in a variety of problems,” said Dr. Leslie, who notes that if you studied indigenous tribes, you’d discover that they breastfeed their children longer, which develops the muscles of the airways, and the fact that they don’t eat processed foods, it strengthens the child’s jaws. That’s why in those types of cultures you typically do not see small jaws.

Although small jaw syndrome is widespread, the good news is that it can be treated. “We prescribe non-invasive, comfortable medical-grade silicon appliances that the child wears for one hour every day and overnight. We also recommend simple exercises that strengthen the muscles of the airways,” said Dr. Leslie, who observed that one of the primary indicators of a child having small jaw syndrome is snoring.

“While snoring may be cute in a baby, it actually indicates that child is not breathing properly,” said Dr. Leslie, who advises parents to call for a free evaluation even at an early age. MyoWay Centers for Kids treats children from ages birth on up in a very child friendly, non-clinical style environment that children love. With special patented appliances and regular activity sessions in a super environment, children thrive with the MyoWay programs.

“Our mission is to help children from birth and older to reach their full growing and breathing potential that God intended, giving them a better quality of life,” said Dr. Leslie. n

Understanding Dravet Syndrome

Dravet syndrome is an intractable developmental and epileptic encephalopathy that occurs once in every 15,700 births. It is characterized by seizures that usually begin during the first 2-15 months of life. Patients experience a variety of seizure types that generally evolve and change with age with the seizures becoming prolonged, frequent, and more difficult to treat. In addition, patients experience a host of associated health issues, including behavioral and developmental delays as well as a 15-20% mortality rate.

In 2009, a group of parents with children who have Dravet syndrome formed the Dravet Syndrome Foundation (DSF) to raise funds for the syndrome and related epilepsies; to support and fund research; increase awareness; and to provide support to affected individuals and families.

Jen Marasco-Kuhn, 38, and her husband Chris Kuhn, 39, of Verona, are parents of a child named Cora who has Dravet syndrome. Jen is a Family Network Ambassador for DSF, and she agreed to answer some questions about Dravet, what it is like to have a child with this syndrome, and how we can help.

1. When did Cora’s seizures begin?

Cora had her first seizure in October of 2020 when she was just five months old.  It came out of nowhere on a beautiful sunny afternoon after we picked her sister up from preschool.  We had no idea what it was and had to call 911 who sent EMTs to our home.  Her seizure presented as jerks on the left side of her entire body.  After the seven-ish minute seizure ended, she had left sided weakness.  We had no idea what had happened, but as a trained geriatric social worker, I was concerned that she’d had some sort of stroke due to the left sided weakness.  That was, thankfully, ruled out after testing.

2. How frightening was that for you?  When did you receive the Dravet Syndrome diagnosis? And was it difficult identifying a diagnosis of what Cora had?

It was terrifying and made me feel so helpless.  Cora was born in April right as the pandemic started, which was scary and stressful to begin with.  When she had her seizure, we had no idea what was happening.  Doctors had no real answers for us even after extensive testing for the first seizure.  She ended up having three more seizures, each resulting in hospitalizations before she was given a diagnosis of Dravet syndrome.

3. How did you cope with the diagnosis? Was there anyone to offer support for you?

Our journey to diagnosis was not easy, and sadly, a lot of that was due to miseducation provided to us by the various medical professionals who initially treated Cora.  I spent days doing online

research about Dravet syndrome, and I joined the Dravet Syndrome Foundation’s online caregiver support group, which introduced me to amazing parents from all over the world who literally are experts on their children and the intricacies of this disease. I credit them and their support for saving my sanity and my child’s life multiple times when she was hospitalized, and doctors were not sure how to manage this rare disease.

4. What is daily life like with a child with Dravet Syndrome?

Daily life has changed over the last four years with Cora as we have gone through various phases.  First, we were managing Cora’s care along with many early intervention supports coming into our home.  Then, we received weekday nursing care in our home who helped us manage Cora’s care while we tried to establish new working routines.  Cora lost seizure control when we established nursing care, which meant multiple hospitalizations and PICU stays.  We lived a lot of the early years in a haze and with extreme PTSD.  We were always waiting for the next seizure or medical crisis.  Things started to get better in 2022. We found stable nursing care, had amazing early intervention support (PT, OT, Developmental, Vision, Dietary) and were seeing months between seizures.  We had a big transition in 2023, when Cora started preschool with her nurses’ support.  We were anxious but optimistic. It has made all the difference in her growth and development. We also have begun to think of things other than Cora and attempt things as a family that seemed impossible within the early years of Dravet.  This includes taking Cora on her first airplane ride to visit friends in Denver this past March.

5. What prompted you to become a Family Network Ambassador?

I decided to apply to be a Family Network Ambassador in 2022 because 2020-2021 were two of the worst years of my life, and without the support of people like the DSF Family Ambassadors, DSF staff and other parents, I’m not sure where my own family would be.  Part of the mission of DSF is to aggressively raise funds to support research in hopes of finding a cure for Dravet syndrome.

I helped create the Dye it for Dravet fundraiser in 2022. The fundraiser is in its third year and has raised over $40,000 to date. Through our fundraising efforts, we have two genetic trials that could be disease modifying, and we have the hope to one day have a cure for Dravet.

6. What would you like our readers to know about Cora and living with Dravet Syndrome?

Cora is an amazing little person who continually teaches everyone around her many life lessons.  One thing that she reminds us of is that people are more than just their diseases.  June is Dravet syndrome awareness month, and we are motivated to share Cora’s story to raise awareness and support for all those living with Dravet syndrome. I imagine a world WITHOUT Dravet syndrome and through our efforts, I hope to see it in my lifetime!

To read an expanded version of the interview, visit our website. To learn more about how you can help, including the Dye It for Dravet fundraiser, visit: www.dyeitfordravet.org/ n

Concordia Lutheran Ministries

Women’s Health: A Lifelong Journey

During a woman’s lifetime, there are many milestones, including in health care. From adolescence to menopause, women’s medical needs evolve over time.

Samantha Erin Vilano, MD, ob-gyn with UPMC Greater Pittsburgh OB/GYN, discusses examinations, screenings, and other preventive measures for women and at what age they should make each a priority.


According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, teenagers should have their first visit with a gynecologist between 13 and 15 years old. This first visit focuses on preventative care and does not typically involve an internal examination. “We spend time preparing them for what to expect, so when they come in at age 21, they’re not seeing a complete stranger,” Dr. Vilano says.

Discussions during the teen years may include:

• Period regularity and any concerns they may have.

• Managing premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

• Pregnancy prevention and birth control. Some teens may be prescribed birth control for reasons other than pregnancy prevention, such as heavy menstrual bleeding, cramps, or acne.

• Information about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), recommended beginning in the preteen years, which can help prevent cancers such as cervical cancer.

20s and 30s

Age 21 marks the beginning of cervical cancer screening and when patients can expect to have their first Pap smear. But the Pap test is just one part of the visit. “We’ll spend the majority of the time talking about health history, which is important for preventive care,” Dr. Vilano says.

Visits to women’s health providers for patients in their 20s and 30s typically include:

• Breast exams (recommended by age 25).

• Vaccination for HPV, for patients who were not vaccinated as pre-teens or teenagers. The HPV vaccination is approved for women up to age 45.

• Preconception health, for patients who are planning a pregnancy.

• For pregnant patients, prenatal care including healthy eating and exercise, as well as physical and emotional changes associated with pregnancy.

At age 30, many women can begin to space out their Pap tests to every five years. However, an annual gynecology visit is still important. “We encourage a yearly visit,” Dr. Vilano said. “A preventive care visit doesn’t always have to include a comprehensive exam.”

40s and 50s

Patients in their 40s and 50s can expect to discuss the following during their yearly visits:

• Breast cancer screening. While guidelines vary and may depend on a patient’s health history, women should expect to have a mammogram every year to two years once they turn 40.

• Perimenopause and menopause symptoms, including menstrual irregularity, hot flashes, night sweats, weight changes, mood changes, and trouble sleeping.

• Sexual health and how it is affected by midlife changes.

60s and Beyond

Bone health and the risk of osteoporosis are important for patients in their 60s. Bone density scans are recommended for women ages 65 and older. For women who reached menopause early, they may need to start bone density scans sooner.

Osteoporosis risk factors include: Family history of osteoporosis

• History of fractures

• Low body mass index (BMI)

• Use of certain medications

To keep bones healthy, patients should maintain an active lifestyle that includes plenty of weight-bearing exercise and avoids alcohol and tobacco. Many patients will also benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement. n

To find a women’s health provider near you, visit UPMC.com/DeliveringMore.

Samantha Erin Vilano, MD


For generations, UPMC Magee-Womens has been advancing women's health care.

As one of the largest gynecologic programs in the country, we're delivering more research, innovative therapies, and treatments for women everywhere.

And, of course, we're still delivering more babies.

With more than 160 locations, virtual care options, and online scheduling, access to renowned care has never been more convenient. Visit UPMC.com/DeliveringMore.

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Summertime Sadness: The Flipside of Winter Blues

Several months ago, I wrote about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as it is experienced by many—periods of low mood associated with decreased daylight hours. While I did mention the less-common and lesser-known summer SAD experience, I recently began to consider the potential benefits of exploring it further.

Summer seasonal affective disorder, also known as summer depression, is a subtype of seasonal affective disorder that occurs during the summer months. Unlike winter SAD, which is more universally known and treated, summer SAD is characterized by symptoms of depression that occur at the same time each year, typically beginning in late spring or early summer and lasting until fall.

So, what are some of the symptoms of summer SAD? These may include but are not limited to:

1. Insomnia or Sleep Disturbances: People with summer SAD may experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia), or they may sleep too much (hypersomnia).

2. Poor Appetite or Weight Loss: Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss can be symptoms of summer SAD.

3. Agitation or Anxiety: Increased anxiety, restlessness, or feeling on edge may occur.

4. Mood Changes: Feeling depressed, hopeless, or moody, along with a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, are common symptoms.

5. Physical Symptoms: Some individuals with summer SAD may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, sweating, or increased heart rate.

Unfortunately, the exact cause(s) of summer SAD are not completely clear; however, several factors may contribute, including:

• Light Sensitivity: Some individuals may be sensitive to the longer daylight hours and increased sunlight during the summer, which can disrupt their circadian rhythms and melatonin production.

• Heat Sensitivity: High temperatures and humidity can contribute to discomfort and exacerbate symptoms in some people.

• Biological Clock Changes: Changes in the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) may affect mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

• Social Factors: Factors such as body image concerns, social pressures related to vacations or outdoor activities, or changes in routine can also impact mood.

If you suspect you may be experiencing summer SAD, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment plans/suggestions may include:

• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Therapy techniques such as CBT can help identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with summer SAD.

• Medication: In some cases, antidepressant medications may be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of depression.

• Lifestyle Adjustments: Managing stress, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, staying physically active, and avoiding excessive heat can all contribute to improving symptoms.

• Support Network: Talking to friends, family, or support groups can provide emotional support and understanding.

It can be a rather isolating experience to find ourselves feeling saddest during a time of year many people seem to enjoy. It’s important to realize that if you are struggling with this, your experience is valid and manageable. You are definitely not alone in preferring cooler days and longer nights! Try what you can to support your body and mind and focus on what brings you peace and happiness. n

Maura Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker currently in practice at Cranberry Psychological Center. She is a certified perinatal mental health provider, as well as a contributing staff member with Postpartum Support International. While her primary focus is treating PMADs, she also treats a variety of conditions and clients of all ages. She resides in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Brendan, daughter, Sloane, and dog, Max.

Little patients have little patience.

AHN Wexford Hospital has kids care close to you, including an ER with short wait times. Because the sooner they get seen, the sooner you’ll both breathe easier. See all our pediatric services at ahn.org/wexfordkids.

World War I Looking Back 110 years

It was billed as “the war to end all wars,” but we know that wasn’t true. World War I broke out in the summer of 1914 and raged on until 1918. The “Great War” saw the Triple Alliance – Germany, AustriaHungary, and the Ottoman Empire fight against the Allied Powers – Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States. By the time the four-year battle ended, more than 16 million peoplesoldiers and civilians alike were dead.

World War I began on July 28, 1914, following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand a month earlier on June 28. The war raged across Europe’s western and eastern fronts. When the war broke out in Europe, the US remained neutral. However, public opinion about neutrality started to change after the sinking of the British ocean liner Lusitania by a German U-boat in 1915; almost 2,000 people perished, including 128 Americans. Along with news of the Zimmermann telegram threatening an alliance between Germany and Mexico against America, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. The United States officially entered the conflict on April 6, 1917.

The fighting stopped in the fall of 1918. On the morning of November 11 in Compiegne, France, an armistice was reached between the Allies and Germany, declaring a cessation to hostilities on the western front effective the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The Allied Powers claimed victory. The war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

Some noteworthy events occurred during the “Great War.” American hamburgers (named after the German city of Hamburg) were renamed Salisbury steak. Frankfurters, which were named after Frankfurt, Germany, were called “liberty sausages,” and dachshunds became “liberty dogs.” Schools stopped teaching German, and German-language books were burned.

Interestingly, a few inventions that came out of WWI include trench coats, blood banks, sanitary napkins, Kleenex, Pilates, stainless steel, zippers, and daylight savings time. Come November, most Americans gain an extra hour—and then lose it again the following March. Daylight Saving Time was first implemented in Germany in April 1916 as a wartime measure to conserve coal by having an extra hour of daylight in the evenings. Weeks later, the United Kingdom and other European countries followed suit. The United States implemented Daylight Saving Time in 1918.

As United States troops entered the trenches in World War I, the Allies referred to them as Yanks or Sammies. Back home, they were known as Doughboys, and they carried that name with them to the front lines.

In 1917, when America marched off to join the fight in World War I, it did so to the rhythm of popular songs. With the tune Over There, Americans were enthralled by the patriotic soundtrack that accompanied the war effort. Another hit that captivated soldiers was It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary.

Remarkably, a song that is still prevalent today is God Bless America. It was written in 1918 by Sergeant Irving Berlin who was stationed at Camp Upton in New York. In a 1940 interview, Berlin commented, “It’s not a patriotic song but an expression of gratitude for what this country has done for its citizens, of what home really means.”

God Bless the troops and those who defended our freedom during World War I. May they rest in peace! n

Sources: www.historyextra.com/facts-first-world-war-one-ww1-armistice-dates-triple-alliance-triple-entente/, www. history.com/topics/world-war-i/u-s-entry-into-world-war-i-1, www.abmc.gov/day-history-november-11-1918-world-wari-ends, doughboy.org/25-mind-blowing-facts-about-world-war-i-that-shaped-the-world/, istory.com/news/world-wari-inventions-pilates-drones-kleenex, www.wglt.org/show/wglts-sound-ideas/2017-11-09/songs-of-world-war-i-revealchanging-american-attitudes, www.kennedy-center.org/education/story-behind-the-song/the-story-behind-the-song/ god-bless-america/

School Movers & Shakers

Aquinas Academy

The Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh’s High School Mock Trial team advanced to the State Finals competition for the second consecutive year, which took place March 22–23 at the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg. Aquinas Academy were again the local co-champions after winning four rounds of competitions and qualifying as one of fourteen teams for the State Finals. Aquinas Academy’s Mock Trial team included Isabel Giancola, Elizabeth Swift, Anne Dolan, Vincenzo Flati, Lucy Fowler, Samuel McGowan, John Ortiz, Clara Yuo, and Alexander Beaven. Timothy Waxenfelter has coached Aquinas Academy’s Mock Trial team for four seasons.

Fox Chapel

Seven Fox Chapel Area High School students won awards in the State Meeting of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS).  Fox Chapel Area first-place state winners were  Lakshanya Rajaganapathi, Anna Delale-O’Connor,  Etash Jhanji,  Varnujah Rengaramanujam Kanagaraj; and Rachel Kim The second-place state winner was freshman  Heidi Stiger.  Additionally, Lakshanya received a Perfect Score Award, an Excellence in Biology Award, and a Perseverance Award; Etash won a Perfect Score Award; and senior  Adhitya Thirumala received a Perseverance Award.



Mars Area High School Boys and Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team were both crowned 2024 WPIAL Class 2A Lacrosse Champions. The boys team ended the regular season with an overall record of 14-3 and went undefeated (10-0) in section, earning the 2024 Section 2-2A title. The girls team ended the regular season with an overall record of 14-2 and 11-0 in section play, earning the Section 2-2A title. Both teams advanced to the first round of the 2024 WPIAL Class 2A Lacrosse Championships.

Fox Chapel Area High School sophomore  Mira Owens was named the firstplace winner in Congressman Chris Deluzio’s second annual Congressional Art Competition.  Mira’s artwork, titled JOY, is an abstract painting that contains imaginative depictions of her daily life in Western Pennsylvania.

Mars Area High School junior Isabella Gillette was selected for a 2023-2024 Region 4 subregion Air Force JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) Cadet of the Year Leadership Award.

Five Fox Chapel Area School District students placed in the 2024 regional CalcuSolve tournament.  Individually, Dorseyville Middle schooler Brian Xu tied for second place and Fairview Elementary School student Elena Brown was awarded third place.  Additionally, the Fairview Elementary School team of Elena,  Dante DiNardo, and  Prisha Jhanji, and Daniel Wu won second place.

Mars Area High School freshman Paige Lauten was selected for a 2023-2024 Western PA Positive High School Athlete Award. Lauten, a member of Mars Area High School Varsity Softball Team, was seriously injured when she was struck by a vehicle in November 2022. She is also a member of the River City Venom travel softball team.

Mars Area Middle School eighth-graders Nicholas Babeo and Gemma Fratto were selected for 2023-2024 American Legion Awards.

A team of Fox Chapel Area High School students was named the national grand champion in the ‘Burgh Bash national invitational tournament, sponsored by the Southwestern PA BotsIQ, a workforce development program by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Foundation.  The Fox Chapel Area team was awarded first place in documentation, first place in competition (battle), and was crowned the national grand champion. Team members are Eduardo Phelan-Vidal, Aiden Purcell, Jackson Hagler, Benjamin Sun, Ava McCaffrey, Lucy Rygelski, Riley Puklus, Graeson Santucci, Keegan Scanlon, Jackson Biehl, Krisztian Salvador, Jacob Williams, Zhanyu “Eric” Jiang, Mikhail Lukichev, Ayush Patel, Mateo Phelan-Vidal, and  Georgy Pistsov

The Dorseyville Middle School Honors Band performed at the Festival of Music adjudication at Cedar Point.  The band earned the highest rating of “Superior” and also brought home the Overall Best Junior High Band Award.  The band was given two trophies for its performance.

Dorseyville Middle School student Jonah Driver placed first in the regional eighthgrade History Bee competition, and Thomas Pohl was named the first-place winner in the regional seventh-grade contest.  Both students qualified for the IAC National History Bee and the IAC International History Olympiad which will be held in London, England, in July 2025. In addition, Jonah also won first place in the eighth-grade regional Science Bee.  He then qualified for the IAC National Science Bee and the International Environmental Science Olympiad which will be held in Puerto Rico in December.

Students in two Mars Area Primary Center classrooms had an opportunity to cover their building principal in silly string on May 17. During the school’s 2024 American Heart Association fundraiser (Jan. 29-March 1), which collected $15,031.72 for the cause, Jessica Semler set forth a Principal’s Challenge. She offered the class in each grade level, that brought in the highest number of registrants for the Kids Heart Challenge an opportunity to “silly string” their principal. The winning classrooms were Christine Duff’s AM kindergarten class ($1,964) and Maria Rios’s first grade class ($1,832). Semler also presented first-grader Cole Caruso with American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge medal for raising $1,409.50 through the fundraiser.

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another


Several years ago in a previous column, I detailed my run-in with bats in my attic, and last year for some reason, the deer in the area decided I was running a better salad bar than Eat ‘n Park as they nibbled my hostas down to nubs. And every time the hosta leaves grew back, the deer ate them to the soil line. But recently, things have gotten out of hand.

This spring my husband bought some deer repellent, and thankfully, it worked. They haven’t touched a leaf to date. But in some sick revenge, it seems the other woodland creatures are striking back in support of their four-legged whitetailed friends.

Last week as I was planting my flowers, I heard my next-door neighbor, who was also working in the yard, call my name. It seems a four-foot snake had slithered out of my retaining wall and was making its way into their yard. The great white hunter I’m not. And luckily my fearless neighbor grabbed a hoe and sent the snake to a reptilian repose.

Then, this week as I was sitting in my recliner, out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird outside my sliding glass door perch on the edge of the urn I have that I just planted with a variety of annuals including this vining, cascading plant, whose name I don’t know. I’ve never had a problem with a robin before. They build nests in our trees and bushes annually, and outside of them leaving droppings on my car, we’ve led a peaceful coexistence. But this bird was pulling out strands of the vining plant with all the relish of a hipster going after a plate of arugula. Outraged at this bird’s boldness, I pounded on the window, but this bird keeps coming back, much to my dismay.

My husband said watching me and this robin is like a cartoon character battle between the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. Sadly, I’m Wile E. Coyote. I always seem to be on the losing end of the battle with Mother Nature.

In fact, these varmints are now invading my space.

A few days ago, as I was unloading groceries in my garage, I saw a chipmunk run into it. I stomped my feet and made loud noises only to see its little nose peek out from behind the lawn mower, then appear by my bicycle tire, then show up behind a shovel.

So, I spent 15 minutes sitting in a lawn chair outside my garage waiting and watching for this little interloper to vacate my premises. They are so fast, I saw one scurry by and jump in the hostas, (maybe I should have let the deer eat them, then Chip wouldn’t have any place to hide), so I hope this was the little trespasser. But I’m not sure so I’m as cautious as Inspector Clouseau waiting for Cato to spring an attack when I go into the garage.

Presently, all is quiet on the wildlife front, but I’m not letting down my guard. I know lanternfly season is just around the corner. n

July Adventures

Hi folks, July is the first full month of summer and can be a month of adventures for families and friends of every age.

A puzzling question is why is July 4, and not July 2, actually Independence Day? The Continental Congress declared American Independence on July 2, even though the Declaration of Independence’s final wording had yet to be approved. The approval came two days later, which is why American

Independence is celebrated on July 4. The day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence signed by all 13 colonies, which marked the beginning of American independence from British rule. This year marks 248 years of our independence from British rule.

Around July 4, on most family farms are celebrated with the flourishing of livestock, dairy cows, poultry, laying hens, fruits, and vegetables with seasonal harvesting. The fourth on the farm gets you ready for the fifth. Now when it comes to the government, banks, and most businesses, you can close your offices down for a holiday and pick open for business three or four days later. Using the great example of two great comics Abbott and Costello with their famous skit, “Who’s

on First?” When July 4 falls on the weekend, the government and alike get the following Monday off. If July 4 falls on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, they just get July 4 off. If July 4 falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, they get July 4 off and the corresponding Monday or Friday. It’s all about getting a four-day weekend.

July 9 is Cow Appreciation Day, which is celebrated on the second Tuesday in July. This event has been designed to raise awareness about God’s creation of dairy and beef cows and appreciate everything they do. If you want to give a cow a hug, feel free to stop by our farm. Rib Eye is a Jersey steer that is as meek as a puppy.

July 17 is National Hot Dog Day, which is the third Wednesday in July. This day

pays homage to the frankfurter, wiener, and wienerwurst. We sell Thoma Meat Market’s natural casing wieners and cheese wieners, which truly redefine “serving a wiener for a steak.”

July 28 is National Parent Day, and in 1994, Congress unanimously passed the Parent Day Resolution, establishing the fourth Sunday of July as a perennial day of commemoration to honor all parents. No matter where your parents may be, this day serves to celebrate their important role in our lives, and it recognizes that responsible parenting is essential in a family. It also serves as a reminder to express gratitude and affection to parents or parental figures, recognizing their unwavering dedication in meeting the challenges of parenthood and their profound impact on the well-being and success of their children and society.

I don’t take for granted what this monthly opportunity to write for this great magazine can do for our community. I always ask God for continued inspiration and for being my co-writer. There is an old saying, “If you don’t understand history, history can repeat itself!”

Our family farm fields, like most farms, are coming to life with various fruits and vegetables in our fields. The crops are grown by looking at the fields and understanding a wellplaced seed, timely rain, and average summer temperatures, as well as keeping God’s creation

of critters that can be very destructive. So, July is the start of summer harvesting, and if you are seeking out the ‘Farm to Table” experience and are a step away from the supermarket stores, local family farms can be a destination. I often say, “Family farms are here to support our community; all we need is community support.” Local sweet corn is a popular vegetable, and I plant sweet corn seeds in the field or strips every seven days to keep the sweet corn available from mid-July into October or if a killing frost comes that ends the season for sure.

July is the start of grilling, and we have a meat case full of locally grown and processed meats by Thoma Meat Market in Saxonburg and our homemade sausages, bratwurst, kielbasa, lamb, goat, beef, and four-pound roasting chickens. If you want to experience farm fresh, our family farm can be a destination. We are open seven days a week. We offer seasonal fruits and vegetables, our high-energy eggs, homemade meats, four-pound roasting chickens, homemade cookies by the dozen, fudge, candy for the sweet tooth, local honey, maple syrup, Creamline milk, and cheeses. We have livestock and poultry for your kids and grandkids to see.

Visit us at 285 Richard Road, Wexford, and make Eichner’s Whole Farm and Greenhouses a destination, experience a working farm, and discover “the rest of the story.” n

July Happenings

Adventures in Training with a Purpose (ATP) Annual Golf

Outing, 8:00 am-3 pm (shotgun 9 am), July 29, at Diamond Run Golf Club, Laurel Oak Drive, Sewickley. For details, visit www. adventurestraining.org.

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will once again fill the streets of downtown State College and the adjacent Penn State campus with a celebration of the arts beginning Wednesday, July 10, through Sunday, July 14. For info, visit www.arts-festival.com.

Cranberry Township 55+ Club meets 1 pm the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. Members must be residents of Cranberry Township. The Club features activities, social opportunities, and visits to nearby points of interest. For info, contact Frank at (724) 316-5807.

Divine Grace Parish Family Festival, August 9-11, at St. Ferdinand Church, Cranberry Twp. Carnival, games with prizes, dunk tank, food booths, raffle baskets, 50/50 drawings, bingo, nightly meals, entertainment, white elephant sale, Kiddieland area with bounce houses, train rides, and a $15,000 cash raffle. For details, visit divinegracepgh.org.

Dollar Bank is offering Cinema in the Park on various dates & locations throughout Pittsburgh.

For a complete list, visit cityofpittsburgh.macaronikid. com/2024-dollar-bank-cinemain-the-park-schedule.

Dravet Syndrome Foundation

Dye it For Dravet fundraiser. Visit the link for info on Dravet and how you can donate for this epileptic seizure disorder, secure.qgiv.com/ event/2024dyeitfordravet/.

Flea Market, 8 am-4 pm, July 12 and 8 am-3 pm, July 13, (half-price sale starts at noon on the 13th), Sts. Martha and Mary Parish at St Richard Church Social Hall, 3841 Dickey Rd, Gibsonia. Huge selection of kitchen & dining items, small furniture items, jewelry, purses, books, toys, holiday and home decor and much more.

Flea Market, 8 am-1 pm, July 20 and 9 am-2 pm, July 21, Saint Aidan Parish (the old St. Alexis Church), 10090 Old Perry Hwy. For info visit saintaidanparish.org or call (724) 935-4343 x225.

Flea Market, Bake Sale, hotdogs, nachos & cheese, 8 am-1 pm, July 20, Glenshaw Presbyterian Church, 300 Glenn Ave., Glenshaw. Rain or shine. $25 a parking space. Call Iris at (814) 720-2868 to reserve your spot.

Free Community Meal First Monday Meal, 5-7 pm each 1st Monday of the Month at

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1719 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw, PA.   Meal includes entree, starch, vegetable, salad, homemade dessert, drink. Open to the public. For info, call (412) 486-0550.

Free Matinee Movies on Mondays: 2 pm, July 1, Wonka; July 8, The Boys in the Boat; July 15, Argylle; July 22, The Color Purple; July 29, Bob Marley: One Love, at the Legacy Theatre at Cumberland Crossing in McCandless Twp. For details, visit TheLegacyLineup.com.

Greater Pittsburgh Civil War Roundtable, Hood’s Defeat Near Fox’s Gap presented by Curtis Older. 7 pm, Monday, July 17, at Hampton Township Community Center, 3101 McCully Road, Allison Park. Presentation is free and open to the public.

Glenshaw AARP 3744 meets at Elfinwild Presbyterian Church, Mt. Royal Blvd. 2 pm, second Tuesday of the month. Call (412) 487-1041 for more info.

Korean War Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony, 10 am-4 pm, (recognition ceremony 1 pm) July 27, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum). For details, visit soldiersandsailorshall.org.

Ingomar Garden Club monthly meetings 10:30 a.m., the 1st Wed. of the month, light lunch

and guest speaker, March through November at Northmont Church, 8169 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh 15237. For details, visit www.ingomar-garden-club. com for additional information.

Martinis with Monet Art Expo art exhibition kicks off Cranberry Township Community Days. Show dates July 10 – Aug. 22. Opening reception 7-9:30 pm, July 10. The show will be open at the Cranberry Township Community Center, 2525 Rochester Rd. For details, visit www.cranberryartistsnetwork. com.

McCandless Crossing free outdoor concerts 6-8 pm, Mondays & Thursdays, through Sept. 30, under the canopy tent on the Town Green between Old Navy & Ethan Allen. A new jazz offering the 2nd Sunday of each month, 1-3 pm. North Hills Community Outreach food donation drive at concerts on June 13, July 11, Aug. 15 & Sept. 12. Northland Public Library volunteers will host children’s activities at concerts on June 20, July 18, Aug. 29 and Sept. 16. F or details, visit www.mccandlesscrossing.com.

Northland Library has numerous events scheduled for July including a Summer Reading program. For a complete list of events, visit northlandlibrary.org.

(Continued on page 34)

(formally St. Alexis Festival) July 31 & August 1, 5-10 pm  August 2 & 3, 5-11 pm 10090 Old Perry Hwy.

Four nights of indoor dining New carnival rides

Live entertainment including: Dancing Queen, Throttle Junkies, The Vogues & BB Steal www.saintaidanfestival.com

Giant Flea Market: July 20, 8 am-1 pm & July 21, 9 am-2 pm – St. Aidan Activities Center (former St. Alexis Church)

Save the date: Annual Harvest Home Dinner September 8 – 12:30-6:30 pm – 221 Church Rd.


Open Up inclusive summer camp is focused on movement and mindfulness, art. and centers students living with disabilities. Camp for students ages 5-12, runs 9 am -12 pm on Aug. 6-8, 13-15, & 20-22. For Info, visit www.open-up.org.

Rummage Sales, 8 am-2 pm, July 6, and 11 am-2 pm, July 7, St. Matthew Parish at St. Aloysius Church, Mt. Troy Rd., in Reserve Twp. Sale, 9 am.2 pm, July 20, at Holy Spirit School. Huge selection of kitchen items, jewelry, books, seasonal items, clothing etc. Bake goods available on Saturday. If you have furniture to donate, call Deb at (412) 3371713 or Claire at (412) 360-9866.

San Rocco Festa, August 9-11, in the field adjacent to the Beaver Valley Automall (750 Beaver Valley Mall Blvd). Italian festival rooted in faith, love and community. Entertainment & food booths. For details, visit www.sanrocco.org or call (724) 252-7732.

Summer Staycation with the RAD Pass. Free Admission to select venues with an Allegheny County Library Card & Reservation through August 31. For details, visit RadPass.org.

UPMC Passavant Hospital

Auxiliary Membership Opportunities! Are you looking for a stimulating opportunity for social interaction with other dedicated people in support of our community hospitals— UPMC Passavant McCandless and Cranberry? Then join the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary’s long tradition of caring. The Auxiliary meets at 10 am the 2nd Monday of each month (Sept. through June). New members are always welcome!  For more info, visit passavanthospitalfoundation.org/. Call (412) 748-6639 if you plan to attend a meeting.

Vintage Market is a non-profit store in Shaler that benefits The Blessing Board. Open 10 am-3 pm every Th/F/Sat in the Shaler Plaza, 880 Butler Street & Rt. 8 (look for the gray door between Rite Aid & Planet Fitness).

Cindystock 21 - Hope on Wheels, August 16 & 17

Bike Ride hosted at Helicon Brewing, 4- 9:30 pm, Friday August 16. Pick your distance, ride the Panhandle Trail, and then party at Helicon Brewing with pizza and music by Trinity Wiseman. Register to Ride or Support a Rider. Don’t Ride? Join the party as a spectator. Music Festival in Wexford, 3:30 – 10 pm, Saturday, August 17, Back to the ‘burg. Featuring music by Brooke Annibale, Trinity Wiseman Band, Guaracha, and Blues Attack along with great food, silent auction and raffle. Buy Music Festival Tickets - early bird discount in place. For details, visit www.cindystock.org/. n

Mixed Berries Trivia

July is National Berry Month since we see the peak of these delicious fruits during this month. It’s also the height of berry-picking season. There are numerous types of berries found in nature. It’s challenging to provide an exact number, as countless species of plants produce berries. There are hundreds of them. We’re going to focus on more common ones, and for added fun, we’ll also look at some famous folks named Barry/Berry.

Berries are delicious and nutritious. They are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Berries can also help reduce inflammation. As a bonus, berries are low in calories. The very appearance of berries should give you clues that nature’s candy is good for you.

Strawberries are the most popular choice because they’re sweet and juicy. They are the only fruit with seeds on the outside, and an average strawberry contains about 200 seeds. Blueberries rank second in popularity. They are native to North America, and 95% of the world’s commercial crop is grown in North America.

Raspberries are red but come in black, purple, and gold. If you’re a bird lover, plant an elderberry shrub which is known to feed more than 30 bird species. Speaking of birds, the Thanksgiving turkey is accompanied by tasty cranberry sauce; the cranberry is another beloved berry.

Obviously, not all berries taste the same. Some are super sweet, and others are sour and tart. Berries are some of the most vibrantly colored fruits, and they come in plenty of shades.   Salmonberries and cloudberries are orange. Try barberries, bearberries, lingonberries, tayberries, teaberries, thimbleberries, or wineberries if you crave red berries. Bayberries come in red or blue varieties. Another popular choice is the reddish-purple boysenberries. There are plenty of purple-to-black-colored options in berry land. Some great choices include bilberries, blackberries, dewberries, huckleberries, olallieberries, and youngberries. Berries are so versatile, you can eat them in salads, cereals, pies, muffins, tarts, and cakes. You can also transform them into syrups, jams, jellies, and smoothies—the possibilities seem endless!

A few famous people have Berry as their last name. In the entertainment realm, there are actors Ken Berry, Fred Berry, actress Halle Berry, and musical great Chuck Berry. There’s NASCAR driver Josh Berry. We also have actress Drew Barrymore and politician Marion Barry.

Famous first named Barrys include singers Barry Gibbs, Barry Manilow, and Barry White. The athletic department has former Pittsburgh Pirate Barry Bonds, former Cincinnati Red Barry Larkin, and former NFL Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders.

Since we have explored the different types of berries that add sweetness to our lives, we must now delve into this tasty query. Get set to put on your thinking caps because it’s time to get a little berry-trivial.

1. What dark-colored berry is still used to treat colds and flu?

2. Where did Fats Domino find his “thrill” on?

3. What do you get when you cross a raspberry with a blackberry?

4. Name the fruit-themed Beatles tune on Penny Lane’s flip side.

5. This smartphone shares its name with a dark-colored fruit that grows on a bush.

6. What’s the name of the 70s band that featured Eric Carmen as their lead vocalist?

7. Name the actor who portrayed Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch.

8. Which singer released the tune Raspberry Beret in 1985?

9. Mark Twain wrote a novel about this character whose friend was Tom Sawyer.

10. This fruit is named after a month; it is grown in Canada and resembles a blueberry.

11. He was a former US senator from Arizona. He was also a major general in the Air Force, and ran for President in 1964.

12. This 60s rock band was from California. They sang the hit Incenses and Peppermints

13. A kid’s nursery rhyme – “Here We Go Around the ______Bush.”

14. This bright red berry grows on bushes and is a prominent Christmas decoration.

15. Located in our region, Butler County, this area is north of Warrendale and south of Zelienople. n

Sources: www.mapquest.com/travel/wilderness/5-most-common-edible-wild-berries-in-u-s.htm, strawpoll.com/most-delicious-berry, triviabliss.com/berries-trivia-questions/, www.birdsandblooms.com/ gardening/fruit-and-vegetable-gardening/berry, thewholeu.uw.edu/2017/06/28/a-quick-and-juicy-guideto-berries-of-the-northwest/

Barry Williams
Huckleberry Finn
Barry Goldwater
Strawberry Alarm Clock
holly berries
Cranberry Township

Fif ty years. That ’s how long we’ve been building new homes But not just any new homes: your home. On your land. One that reflects your needs and wants perfectly … because that ’ s how we work. And it’s no different right here in Pittsburgh, where Midwest manners and seasoned craftsmanship come together for one great custom homebuilding experience. So, what can we build for you?

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Marshall Township

North Allegheny School District

Can Be Yours!

This magnificent estate is situated on over 3 acres of lush land and offers 5 bedrooms/6 bathrooms, and 6 garages with car lift for the automobile enthusiast. The large foyer with curved staircase creates a dramatic entrance and leads to a loft area with custom built-ins; a book lover’s dream. The main floor features a well-appointed eat-in kitchen, classic dining room, parlor, great room, and den showcasing beautiful woodwork. Access the custom stone patio from French doors in every room. The luxurious primary bedroom offers an enviable ensuite and two custom walk-in closets. A full suite and three more bedrooms can be found on the 2nd floor, one bedroom offering extra large flex space! With 6 fireplaces, you can cozy up in any room. A rooftop deck offers breathtaking views. Indulge in the ultimate movie-watching experience in your own theatre. The lower level game room features a pool table and full bar. Rejuvenate in the sauna or indulge in a steam shower after a workout in the lower level gym. The additional building on the property offers a hot tub, full bath, kitchenette, and fireplace!

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