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PRICELESS

5

Things You Need to Know About Vaping

FIGHTING AIDS Medical director at Evergreen Health, physician Fatai Gbadamosi, talks about the fight to contain the spread of HIV in WNY

BFOHEALTH.COM

DECEMBER 2019 • ISSUE 62

Surviving the

Holidays

3 Guide for a stress-free holiday season 3 Dodging dietary dangers 3 Healthful holiday gifts Page 14

Mellow Out, Buffalo

Or how to be less stressed and survive the holidays. P. 15

CHEERLEADING Of all sports, football sends the most U.S. males to the emergency room, while cheerleading and gymnastics most often do the same for women and girls

PHARMACIES Closures affect 1 in 8 pharmacies in the US: Urban, independent pharmacies in low-income neighborhoods most at risk

Turning the Tide Against HIV/AIDS Members of the Evergreen Health peer group work to prevent the spread of HIV in Western New York. Story on page 18 ­

Roast beef It is packed with good-quality protein and it sizzles with impressive amounts of selenium, several B vitamins, zinc and iron. Page 13

Drowsy Driving Have you ever found yourself falling asleep behind the wheel? Unfortunately, you are not alone. A new study shows too many Americans admit to driving while drowsy. P. 13


Survey Shows Americans

Feel Stressed

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ass shootings, health care and the 2020 presidential election are significant causes of stress for American adults, a new survey finds. The poll of more than 3,600 U.S. adults found that 71% of them said mass shootings are a major source of stress, an increase from 62% in 2018. Hispanics were most likely to say mass shootings are a significant source of stress (84%), followed by blacks (79%), Asians (77%), Native Americans (71%) and whites (66%). Health care is a significant cause of stress for 69% of the respondents. Among the 47% who experience stress about health care at least sometimes, the cost of health care is the most common source of that stress (64%). Adults with private insurance (71%) were more likely than those with public insurance (53%) to say the cost of health care causes them stress. Overall, 55% worry that they won’t be able to pay for health care services they may need in the future, according to this year’s Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association (APA). The online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, also found that 56% of respondents have significant stress

about the 2020 presidential election, an increase from 52% in the period before the 2016 election. Stress related to climate change rose to 56% this year from 51% last year. Stress associated with widespread sexual harassment rose to 45% this year from 39% last year. Immigration was cited as a stressor by 48% of respondents in the new poll, which was conducted between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3, 2019. It was most likely to be a source of stress among Hispanics (66%), followed by Asians (52%), Native Americans (48%), blacks (46%) and whites (43%). Discrimination is a source of stress for 25% of respondents in the new poll, compared with 24% in 2018, 21% in 2017, and 20% in 2016 and 2015. The majority of people of color (63%) in the 2019 survey said discrimination has hindered them from having a full and productive life, and a similar proportion of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) adults (64%) said the same thing. In 2015, 49% of people of color said discrimination prevented them from having a full and productive life. The new poll also found that while only 38% of respondents feel the United States is on the path to

being stronger than ever, 73% feel hopeful about their future. “There is a lot of uncertainty in our world right now from mass shootings to climate change. This year’s survey shows us that more Americans are saying these issues are causing them stress,” Arthur Evans Jr., APA’s chief executive officer, said

in an APA news release. “Research shows us that over time, prolonged feelings of anxiety and stress can affect our overall physical and mental health. Psychologists can help people develop the tools that they need to better manage their stress,” he said.

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TAKE CHARGE Get Informed More than 60 million Americans have some form of heart disease. Heart disease is hereditary in some cases. But in many cases, making healthy lifestyle choices may help reduce the risk of getting heart disease. If you have more questions, you should talk to your provider.

Partner with Your Provider To determine whether you have a heart condition, your health care provider will do diagnostic tests and procedures. If you have heart disease or have had a stroke, members of your family may also be at higher risk of having the disease. It’s very important to make healthy choices now to lower risk.

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Always talk with your doctor(s) about the care that is right for you. This material does not replace your doctor’s advice. Source: www.Heart.org.

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December 2019 •

©WellCare 2015 NA_03_15_WC IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • Page 3


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that adults with ADHD had higher rates of health care use and sexually transmitted infections. Meanwhile, ADHD diagnoses among children aged 5 to 11 rose from 2.96% in 2007 to 3.74% in 2016, a 26% increase. The study was published online Nov. 1 in JAMA Network Open. “More work needs to be done to better understand why rates are higher in white adults, particularly whether there are deficiencies in detection and diagnoses among non-white adults,” Milham said in a journal news release. “And,” he added, “we must develop more effective diagnostic tools and standards for adults, who, in general, remain more challenging to diagnose than children.” Study lead author Winston Chung, a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, noted that people in some cultures are less likely to regard certain behaviors as a disorder or to seek help for them. “It’s always been just understood that different cultures and races might vary in meaningful ways in how they cope with stress or expressing emotions,” Chung said. However, “this is something we don’t actually have definitive answers to,” and more research is needed, he added.

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healthy meals

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f the latest statistics are any indication, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is no longer an issue for children only. Over a 10-year period, ADHD rates more than doubled among American adults, new research shows. However, the rate among children remains much higher than in adults. “While we can’t pinpoint the source of the increase in ADHD rates in adults, we can surmise that it has to do with growing recognition of ADHD in the adult populations by doctors and service providers, as well as increased public awareness of ADHD overall,” said study co-author, physician Michael Milham. He is vice president of research at the Child Mind Institute, in New York City. For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 5 million Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients, and found that the percentage of adults with a diagnosis of ADHD rose from 0.43% in 2007 to 0.96% in 2016. White adults showed a larger increase — 0.67% to 1.42% — than those in other racial/ethnic groups. Adults with other mental health conditions — such as depression, and bipolar, anxiety or eating disorders — were more likely to have ADHD. The researchers also found

Alcoholics who are deaf can access A.A.’s program of recovery in an updated American Sign Language translation of Alcoholics Anonymous

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ith over 35 million printed copies sold, the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” is now available in an updated abridged translation into American Sign Language (ASL). Commonly referred to as “The Big Book,” this basic text of the worldwide fellowship that bears its name is now available on DVD to the deaf community, the hard-of-hearing community and the hearing community as well. DVD features: • Professional ASL signers and DVD video production; • Updated translation inspired and reviewed by A.A. members who are deaf • Audio track and subtitles for use among ASL and non-ASL users; • The basic principles and practices of the fellowship that have provided a pathway to recovery for alcoholics for over 80 years; • Can be ordered at www. aa.org or may be available through a local A.A. office near you. A.A. has always been committed to making its program of recovery available to anyone, anywhere who reaches out for help with a drinking problem. This translation has been updated with current language and signing most familiar in today’s deaf community. Founded in 1935 on the principle of one alcoholic helping another to achieve sobriety, A.A.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

is an effective and enduring program of recovery that has changed countless lives. As explained in the book, A.A.’s recovery program of 12 suggested steps was formulated through the experience of its first 100 members and has reached millions of sufferers around the world. For more information about A.A. resources for alcoholics who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, contact the accessibilities and remote communities coordinator at the general service office at access@aa.org or by phone at 212-870-3344. For additional information about Alcoholics Anonymous, visit www. aa.org.


December 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 5


Meet

Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Fatai Gbadamosi, M.D. HIV: Stigma and reaching the under-served population, particularly the trans population, is the main challenge faced by Evergreen Health, says its chief medical officer Q: Can you give me an overview of the services Evergreen Health provides? A: Treating the under-served population with HIV, that’s how we got started. We’re broader than that today. Today, we provide medical, supportive and behavioral services, especially for those who are living with chronic illness. So, apart from treating patients with HIV, we also treat patients who use substances and who need mental health services, to name a few. All of what we do is toward achieving the goal of ending the epidemic of HIV.

Q: What are some newer developments in HIV treatment? A: We offer rapid treatment for HIV, which is something new and exciting to be involved in, just how quickly you get someone’s infection suppressed, or become undetectable. We used to have to wait months to start medication. Now someone can walk in the door and get evaluated and, if they’re ready to start medication, can be provided medication as soon as possible. Q: From other specialists I’ve talked to, it seems like the big focus with HIV treatment right now is to stop

the transmission. What are the most effective ways of doing that? A: The first thing is diagnosis. About 30% of people living with HIV don’t know they’re infected; they assume they’re negative. So we need to identify them and treat them. And if we can get them and keep them in care, we are good. Outside education helps. Beyond that, we want to keep people from being infected at all. Promoting condom use. Preventing risky behavior. Using PrEP. Using clean needles. Q: It sounds like one of the harder parts is getting people into the system in the first place. A: We have people who go out into the community. They go out to the clubs. It’s still hard to do though, because sometimes you don’t know how it will be perceived by the recipient. But we’re working hard day-today to engage the population we just talked about. But there can be trust issues. An example, without getting too far off track, would be people who are anti vaxxers. But our main goal is getting to the at-risk population to provide education programs to get them engaged and understand what they’re dealing with. Q: As HIV has become more manageable, we don’t hear about it quite as often as we used to, but my impression is there’s still a lot of stigma attached to it. How do you work around that? A: Well, you know what, you’re

very right. If you can take the stigma off the table, it goes a long way toward solving the problem. You can see how tough it is for an individual with HIV to come here or talk to their family members. It’s no longer frontpage news, because we’ve done a pretty good job keeping people alive, but that also makes it easy for us to become complacent. We have some cultural barriers, especially within some high-risk communities who are very resistant to outreach, but sometimes it just takes one person from a community or family to be affected and say, “uh oh.” I’ve seen that often in my own experience. Q: Containing the disease is a global effort. Having come from Nigeria and now working in the United States, do you see ways countries can collaborate to stop transmission? Are they cooperating? A: My Nigerian background and experience does help me understand the disease from a certain perspective. I see the two sides. I talk with colleagues back home about what they’re doing and how they are doing it. There are a lot of issues they have to struggle with that we don’t with getting medications to patients. Q: What are some of the challenges particular to Buffalo? A: Dealing with the stigma and reaching the under-served population, in particular the trans population. They’re dealing with a stigma double whammy of being transgender and living with HIV. We do provide inclusive care for transgender people to help keep them healthy. I think we’re better than a lot of the places that I do know, but we could still be better. Q: As medical director, what kind of impact do you want to have on Evergreen? A: The impact I’m always trying for is to keep growing, and making sure I’m providing as much as I can for our patients. We do our best here. I work with a team that makes it possible. My patients are part of the team. Without that teamwork, there would be no success.

Lifelines

Name: Fatai A. Gbadamosi, M.D. Position: Chief medical officer at Evergreen Health Hometown: Nigeria (cities of Jos, Osogbo and Lagos) Education: University of Ibadan College of Medicine; Columbia University Affiliations: Erie County Medical Center, University at Buffalo Career: in the U.S.: Evergreen Health chief medical officer (since June 2017); Evergreen Health, medical director (from 2005 to June 2017); Jordan Health Center, Rochester (chief internal medicine, attending physician (2001 to 2004); attending physician at Geneva B. Scruggs Health Center in Buffalo (1999 to 2001) Organizations: American College of Physicians, American Academy of HIV Medicine Family: Married, two children Hobbies: Travel, jazz concerts, driving Page 6

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019


Closures affect 1 in 8 pharmacies in the US

Urban, independent pharmacies in low-income neighborhoods most at risk

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n a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that despite an overall increase in the number of pharmacies in the U.S. from 2009 to 2015, one in eight pharmacies, or 9,654, had closed during this period. The researchers examined how pharmacy, community and market characteristics influenced the risk of a pharmacy closing. According to their analyses, independent pharmacies in both urban and rural areas were three times more likely to close than chain pharmacies. “Independent pharmacies are often excluded from preferred pharmacy networks and 340B contracts, which are both increasingly important aspects of the pharmacy market, so it is not surprising that independent stores are at greater risk for closure,” said Dima Mazen Qato, senior author of the study and associate

professor of pharmacy systems, outcomes and policy at the UIC College of Pharmacy. “Efforts to improve access to prescription drugs have focused almost exclusively on reducing drug costs, but affordable medications aren’t easily accessible when a local pharmacy closes. We need policies that specifically address pharmacy closures because such closures negatively impact access and adherence to prescription drugs,” Qato said. In prior studies, Qato and her colleagues have shown that pharmacy closures are associated with non-adherence to prescription medications. These declines in adherence also were shown to be worse in patients using independent pharmacies that subsequently closed. “Although efforts to promote pharmacy access have focused on addressing pharmacy closures in rural areas, we found that pharmacies located in low-income, urban areas are

at greater risk for closure,” she said. They report that approximately one in four pharmacies located in urban, low-income neighborhoods closed, compared with one in seven pharmacies located in rural, low-income neighborhoods. In urban areas, pharmacies serving disproportionately more uninsured or publicly insured residents with Medicare or Medicaid were two times more likely to close than other pharmacies. These market factors did not influence the risk of closure in rural areas. “Pharmacies located in rural areas may have financial incentives, including tiered pharmacy reimbursement rates for Medicaid prescriptions and critical access pharmacy payments, that are lacking in urban areas,” Qato said. The researchers say these analyses have important implications for policymakers seeking to address barriers in access to prescription drugs

in the U.S. According to Qato and her colleagues, payment reforms — including increasing reimbursement rates for Medicaid and Medicare prescriptions — and strengthening the regulation of pharmacy access standards, preferred pharmacy networks and the 340B Drug Pricing Program are necessary in order to protect pharmacies most at-risk for closure, specifically in urban areas. “Such policies may also protect pharmacies in predominately black and Latino communities and reduce disparities in access to prescription medications in urban areas,” said Jenny Guadamuz, first author of the study and UIC graduate student. “Our findings also indicate that pharmacy retailers, in partnership with health plans and pharmacy benefit managers, may need to consider more innovative, targeted and efficient strategies in the delivery of pharmacy services,” Qato said.

less innovation and new drugs entering the market. No one is begrudging drug manufacturers a fair profit. Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) incredibly said, “You are putting too much weight in the hands of the government dictating price.” But isn’t that how negotiations work? Isn’t that the whole point? Why can’t CMS be the 800-pound gorilla at the negotiation table when it comes to drugs? We’re talking 130 million lives. Congressmen like Tom Reed seem to have no problem dictating hospital and physician prices. And to exacerbate this total inequity, commercial insurers were quick to jump on the CMS fee control bandwagon and mimic CMS payments to hospitals and physicians. We’re basically most of the way to a single payer system since CMS and commercial insurers are already paying hospitals and physicians about the same fee per procedure.   Instead of a bill with some teeth that would simply and broadly allow CMS to negotiate prices for drugs, bipartisan bickering has watered down the bill to the point where they are actually debating how many drug prices CMS will be allowed to negotiate. Right now, the bill would

allow CMS to negotiate a whopping 25 prices. But Congress has magnanimously allowed CMS to negotiate (ready?) 35 whole drug prices … by 2033. Thirteen years from now? Despite the almost unanimous consensus that drugs cost too much, you can thank the drug lobby the next time you are at a fundraiser for a friend who can’t afford their cancer drugs. CMS indifference to providers continues. No negotiating here. The 2020 fee schedule at least gives physicians a paltry 1-2% increase, but then alters the hoops they have to jump through to get paid. Physical therapy fees will be cut 8% and psychology fees 7% in 2021. 

Healthcare in a Minute

By George W. Chapman

Lower Drug Costs: What’s Been the Holdup in Congress?

B

efore we overhaul our expensive healthcare system, we have to start with drug prices. So, Congress needs to get this seemingly no-brainer bill done first. It’s called the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. It is well documented, almost ad nauseum, that we pay way more for drugs (and use way more drugs per capita) than most countries. We spent $345 billion or over $1,000 per person on drugs last year. In countries with a single payer or universal healthcare model, the government uses its purchasing power to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers.

But not the U.S. Our government — through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — covers 60 million people on Medicare and 70 million people on Medicaid. That’s a staggering 130 million people or 40% of the U.S. population. Canada negotiates drug prices and pays far less than we do. The purchasing power of our northern neighbor is a less than staggering 30 million people. CMS literally sets the fees for hospitals and physicians. There really isn’t any negotiation per se, unless CMS “listens “to hospital and physician trade associations counts. So why doesn’t CMS use its staggering 130 million people purchasing clout to negotiate drug fees? What’s the holdup? Simply: the drug lobby. It is the No. 1 lobby on the Hill, by far, spending $4 billion over the last 20 years and employing almost 1,300 drug lobbyists. That’s 2.4 lobbyists per congressperson. How are they

Why drug prices are so high and still going up? Blame the drug lobby. They are the largest of all lobbies in Washington D.C., spending $4 billion over the last 20 years and employing almost 1,300 drug lobbyists. That’s 2.4 lobbyists per congressperson. not tripping over each other as they enter and exit congressional offices? The ubiquitous drug lobby has succeeded in making this no-brainer issue into a partisan issue by contributing heavily to campaigns. Curiously, by comparison, there is little to no partisan bickering or compunction when it comes to setting prices for hospitals and physicians. By doing so, Congress has unwittingly limited its ability/cash to spend like the drunken sailor drug lobby. The drug manufacturers attribute their high prices and exorbitant profits to research and development, the cost of going through FDA approval, getting the drug to market and potential lawsuits. All debatable, but I’ll concede those points. So, this begs the question: why are they negotiating prices with anyone? Apparently, the U.S. government and U.S. consumers — paying anywhere from four to 120 times the price paid by other countries — are bearing most if not all of the costs of drug development. A lot of congressmen continue to parrot the drug lobby mantra that controlling drug prices will lead to

December 2019 •

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

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 7


Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Those Who Live Alone

T

his column is for all of you who have friends or family members who live alone. While the holidays can be a joyous time filled with laughter, cheer and gift giving, this time of year may not feel so “merry and bright” for singles. Feelings of loneliness and anxiety are not uncommon and may give way to the holiday blues for those on their own. What can you do to brighten the holidays for those who live alone? You can give the gift of time together — probably the most welcome and cherished gift of all. You can also give a thoughtful gift to lift a spirit, safeguard a loved one and warm a heart. Below, I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas for you. Some are practical, others personal, all are designed to put a smile on the face of someone who lives alone:

For fun

• An invitation to join you on New Year’s Eve. This can be a challenging night for those who are newly divorced or widowed. I popped the cork with my sister and her husband after my divorce and was deeply grateful for their invitation to spend the evening together. It got my new year off to a great start.

• Tickets or gift certificates to movies, concerts, art openings or the theater. Include an invitation: “Be my guest.” And insist on doing the driving. • Dancing, cooking or art/craft classes. Do you have a single friend with two left feet? Dancing lessons might be in order. A widowed father who eats supper directly from the container? Consider a cooking class. Or a divorced sister who’s been looking for a creative outlet? A workshop in jewelry-making might delight her. There are so many possibilities!

For safety

• An AAA membership. I don’t leave home without it. A flat tire, an empty tank, a lost key – I’ve been there! This is a gift worth its weight in gold. • Handy tools for emergencies or life’s unexpected moments. Consider a compact “no-battery” wind-up LED flashlight with a hand crank. This is one of my prized possessions. How about a Swiss Army knife, complete with screwdrivers, scissors, a toothpick, and tweezers? It even comes with a nail file, can opener, and corkscrew. Or, consider a motion-activated doorbell that sounds a chime or

s d i K Corner

These Sports Are Most Likely to Send Young Americans to the ER ERs see about 2.7 million patients with sportsrelated injuries each year

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f all sports, football sends the most U.S. males to the emergency room, while cheerleading and gymnastics most often do the same for women and girls, a new report finds. And, overall, U.S. emergency departments see about 2.7 million patients between the ages of 5 and 24 for sports-related injuries each year, Page 8

according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some cases, these injuries might even be a gateway to opioid addiction: Opioid painkillers were given to ER patients suffering from a sports injury in about one in five cases, the study found. That number rose to nearly half (46%) among

alarm when a visitor (or perhaps Santa?) arrives. Those of us who live alone need to be prepared for whatever life offers up. • A gift certificate for car washes. While not necessarily a “safety gift,” I always feel better when my car is clean (and that can’t help but make me safer on the road). Who doesn’t enjoy a clean, sparkling car? Choose a car wash near your recipient’s home or work place.

For pampering

• An opportunity to be “treated like royalty.” How many of your friends who live alone indulge or pamper themselves? My guess is not many, if they’re like me. Who has the time or money? But that’s what makes this the perfect gift! Why not surprise her with a spa certificate for a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure? Or make his day with a certificate for a gentleman’s facial or deep tissue/sports massage. You might also consider an extra toasty and colorful pair of socks. One World Goods in Pittsford Plaza features Maggie’s Organic Merino Wool Snuggle Socks with whimsical winter-themed designs. A fair-trade producer and distributor, Maggie’s is the oldest surviving organic apparel company in the US. • For women in particular who live alone — fresh flowers delivered. Do you know a single woman who lives by herself? When’s the last time she got flowers? It’s probably been years ... don’t I know it. So, delight her with a bouquet of yellow roses or tulips. The color yellow has been closely associated with sunshine, making these flowers excellent for cheering people up. • And speaking of deliveries, check out Gift of the Month clubs. Coming home alone at any time of year may feel a little empty, but it can really feel lonely during the holidays. Discovering a package on the dooryoung adults aged 20 to 24. “As we have learned from the opioid crisis, many patients move from appropriately prescribed opioid medications to misuse of opioids,” noted physician Teresa Amato, who directs emergency medicine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, in Forest Hills, New York. She wasn’t involved in the new research. “I would encourage any parent with a child that has a sports-related injury who is being evaluated in an emergency department to have an open and frank discussion about pain control and if opioids are needed,” Amato said. “Of course, in some cases there will be a need for these medications, but the discussion prior to dispensing or prescribing opioids may prevent misuse later on.” The new analysis of 2010-2016 national data was conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. According to the report, football, basketball, cycling, soccer, ice/roller skating, and skateboarding are the leading causes of emergency department visits for sports injury for young Americans. Among males, just over 20% of these visits were due to a football-linked injury, while gymnastics and cheerleading accounted for the highest percentage among females (nearly 12%). In terms of where on the body the injuries occurred, kids aged 5 to

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

step can change everything. Go online and check out gourmet gifts and food clubs. You won’t believe the variety of delicious items that can be delivered on a monthly basis: chocolate, hot sauce, cheese, tea, cigars, wine, beer, pastas, olive oil, cookies, popcorn, pancakes, you name it. I love this idea so much I might treat myself.

For inspiration

• A gift of charity. Making a donation in someone’s name is a gift you can both feel good about. Think about your friend or family member who lives alone. What do they care about? Choose an organization that supports his or her values. • An invitation to join you in a volunteer activity. Helping others is a great holiday tradition. • Early on in my solo journey, a dear friend invited me to join her for a holiday gift-wrapping event to support the Humane Society. It felt wonderful to be out of the house and surrounded by other volunteers and staff who embraced the spirit of giving. • A subscription to “In Good Health” and/or “55 Plus” produced by editor and publisher Wagner Dotto. Both periodicals are filled with inspirational articles and trusted health information. Consider gift subscriptions for your friends and family who live alone. Chances are good your holidays and theirs will be healthier and happier for it. Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Alone & Content” empowerment boot camps for women held throughout the year near Rochester. She is the author of “Alone and Content: Inspiring, empowering essays to help divorced and widowed women feel whole and complete on their own.” Contact her at 585-6247887, email gvoelckers@rochester. rr.com

9 were more likely to have injuries to the arms and upper body than young adults aged 20 to 24, who were more likely to have lower-extremity injuries. Three-quarters of sports-related emergency visits for young patients needed scans, such as x-rays or CT scans, the report found. Opioid and non-opioid pain medications were given or prescribed at nearly two-thirds (64%) of visits. Non-opioid pain medication was given or prescribed nearly twice as often (41.4%) as opioid painkillers (22.5%), the CDC team found.


Q A &

With Laurie Reger Executive of Western New York BloodCare talks about blood disorders and how her organization is helping patients By Michael J. Billoni

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aurie Reger, executive director of Western New York BloodCare, and who has been with the organization for seven years, is a Daemen College graduate and has practiced as a New York state licensed physical therapist for 25 years. She received her Master of Science degree in health services administration from D’Youville College and has worked many years managing outpatient services for Wyoming County. She is a 2016 Fellow from Cohort V through the Health Foundation of Central and Western New York.

What is the WNY BloodCare mission? Formerly the Hemophilia Center of WNY, we are a nonprofit New York state licensed diagnostic and treatment center offering a variety of specialized diagnostic, health maintenance, lab and pharmacy services for people with blood disorders. This comprehensive treatment center strives to improve the quality of life for people affected by these conditions. Our comprehensive clinics provide evaluations by a team of experts including hematologists, nurses, a physical therapist, dentist, social worker, genetic counselor and nutritionist.  Our specialty hemostasis thrombosis lab offers physicians, hospitals and patients state-of-the-art local lab services with up to a twohour turnaround on special coagulation testing. The 340B Pharmacy

provides patients the option to obtain their clotting factor and support the comprehensive care provided through the Hemophilia Treatment Center.   Why did you re-brand the organization? WNY BloodCare was rebranded in 2018 to more accurately reflect the bleeding and clotting populations we support. Not everyone one we serve has hemophilia. There are other bleeding and clotting disorders we serve at the center. Formerly the Hemophilia Center of WNY, we turned 50 years old this year and also moved into our new location adjacent to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and across Main Street from the Conventus Office Building and the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.     What is the S.H.E. Clinic? This monthly clinic, hosted by our specialized hematology experts [S.H.E.], includes a gynecologist who provides evaluation and comprehensive treatment plans to support young girls and women suffering from heavy menstrual bleeding. It has been found that of the girls and women with heavy bleeding, as many as 30 percent could have a bleeding disorder that can be treated, which drastically improves their quality of life.    What is your relationship with the University at Buffalo School’s Jacobs

Laurie Reger: “WNY BloodCare was rebranded in 2018 to more accurately reflect the bleeding and clotting populations we support.” School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences? WNY BloodCare and the Hemophilia Foundation of WNY have donated $1.5 million to the school to fund research into non-malignant hematology, the study of non-cancerous blood related conditions, and support a fellowship to provide a fourth year of training for physicians, growing interest and encouraging doctors specializing in hematology to stay in the region.  How prevalent are blood disorders in WNY and how do people with bleeding and clotting disorders treat their condition? Most blood disorders are hereditary. Prevalence for hemophilia is small. There are an estimated 20,000 affected with hemophilia in the country. However, due to the hereditary nature of this condition,

it is very important to get genetic testing for family members. In the past, hemophilia was treated after the individuals had a bleed. Now they are treated preventively with medications that improve the quality their lives and allow them to experience its fullest. Additionally, other bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand disease is more common and affects males and females. Treatments to help manage their conditions are accessible and fairly easy to manage. Is there anything the public can do to support you? The public can help through spreading awareness and referring people who have symptoms of easy bruising, heavy menstrual bleeding, excessive bleeding after dental procedures.

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The Problem with RSV Respiratory illness can have severe implications for young children — and is common this time of year By Julie Halm

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espiratory syncytial virus, more commonly referred to as RSV, is a respiratory illness that can have severe implications for young children and is common this time of year. The contagious illness is spread just like the common cold, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, through direct person-to-person contact, unclean hands or unclean surfaces. While being coughed or sneezed upon by someone with the virus can spread RSV, there are other ways in which a person can come down with the illness. According to physician Gale Burstein, Erie County commissioner of health, one of the factors which makes RSV problematic is its ability to remain contagious on surfaces that individuals might come into contact with. “It’s pretty hardy, so it can survive for 24 hours, so it can be transmitted by coming in contact with areas that somebody else who had the virus might have touched,” she said. This can include anything from a doorknob to a tabletop. Burstein advised that simple steps can reduce one’s risk of contracting or spreading the virus, including frequent hand washing, which is also good practice to avoid other contagious illnesses such as influenza this time of year. “Hand washing is the number one prevention in any sickness,” said Sierrha Pless, a registered nurse who works at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital. “Also, staying away from other people who are ill,” added Burstein. “If they look sick, that means they are sick. We call this social distancing.” Pless noted that while sick individuals should be kept away from

particularly infants, in cases where that is unavoidable such as parents or siblings, regular disinfecting of surfaces can help. The same rule, however, does not hold water for those who look well, which is why preventive measures such as hand washing are so important. “Even though an individual might feel well, they may be shedding the virus, so it’s better to think about prevention,” said Burstein. With young children who are particularly at risk for serious complications, the commissioner advised that adults wash their hands before playing with children and both before and after diaper changes. According to the AAP, children under 12 weeks and premature and low birth weight infants are particularly at greater risk for severe RSV infections. Even for healthy babies, their small airways and lower baseline volume of bodily fluids put them at higher risk of severe complications than older children and adults. This risk exists on a continuum, according to Burstein, and each child is different, so there is no exact age cap at which greater risk ceases to exist. According to Pless, it is best to try to limit visitations with infants this time of year in order to avoid potential risk. “Of course, around the holidays it’s hard unless you keep yourself holed up,” added Pless, who is a mother of two herself. “So again, making sure that there is handwashing and you’re not around people who are sick [is important].” Pless added that even when visitors are around, they should not touch the hands or face of a baby and that keeping sick young ones home from daycare or school can help in

preventing the spread of RSV. Infants, however, are not the only ones who must be cautious of this virus. Any individual with such chronic conditions as asthma, chronic lung or heart disease or compromised immune systems can be at higher risk for severe complications. While parents might do every thing they can to protect their children from contracting RSV — there is no vaccine at this time — children might still become infected and it can be difficult to know when a situation goes from needing mom’s TLC, to requiring professional medical attention. According to the AAP, parents should look for symptoms of bronchiolitis, dehydration, pauses or difficulty breathing, grey or blue color in the tongue, lips or skin and significantly decreased activity and alertness to know when to give the pediatrician a call. Bronchiolitis symptoms include fast breathing, flaring of the nostrils, head bobbing when breathing, rhythmic grunting during breathing, belly breathing and wheezing. The AAP also notes that, “some children with RSV may be at increased risk of developing a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection.” Parents should consult a doctor if their child’s symptoms worsen or do not begin to improve after seven days, fever reaches 104 degrees for a child of any age or reaches 100.4 in

County task force expands access to Narcan for opioid overdose reversals

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Sierrha Pless, a registered nurse who works at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital: “Hand washing is the number one prevention in any sickness.”

Erie County Commissioner of Health Gale Burstein: “[The RSV virus] is pretty hardy, so it can survive for 24 hours, so it can be transmitted by coming in contact with areas that somebody else who had the virus might have touched.”

Erie County Tackles Opioid Epidemic he Erie County Department of Health is expanding access to a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, with a program to make Narcan available in area businesses, restaurants, bars and other places where people gather. Funding for 500 red metal boxes containing two doses of Narcan nasal spray was provided by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The boxes were introduced at the quarterly meeting of the Erie County opiate epidemic task force in November. “This new program will make Narcan available in the same way that a first-aid kit or an AED device would be available: for an emergency response to keep an overdose victim alive until medical help arrives,” said Erie County Department of Health

children 12 weeks and under, or if they experience chest pain, ear tugging or ear drainage. According to Burstein, there is no cure for RSV and treatment is entirely symptom management. If a child comes down with the virus, nasal saline and gentle suctioning, cool mist humidifiers, lots of fluids and frequent feedings and acetaminophen or ibuprofen can all help a child be more comfortable. So with another Buffalo winter upon us, you can help reduce the spread of viruses such as RSV by keeping your hands well-washed and admiring the infants around you from a bit of a distance, even if you are feeling well.

Commissioner, physician Gale Burstein. “Our goal is to get these boxes delivered and installed by the end of the year.” “This program is designed to make Narcan accessible for emergency use.” Said Burstein. “We have about a dozen other locations set up as community access Narcan sites for people to pick up a Narcan kit for personal use, to carry with them or to keep in their home. They can also contact our office directly or come to one of our opioid overdose recognition training classes for a free kit.” The boxes measure 6.5 inches x 4 inches x 7.5 inches, and are easily installed on a wall or cabinet. Interested businesses can apply to receive a box online or by contacting 716858-7695 or opiatetaskforce@erie.gov. When approved, the box can be installed in a visible spot that is accessible to the public or patrons.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

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Things You Should Know About Vaping By Ernst Lamothe Jr

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aping has been an issue that continues to concern medical professionals, especially after several states reported unexplained teenage hospitalization, lung injuries and deaths. This year, more than 1,500 lung injury cases associated with the use of vaping products have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nationwide. Thirty-three deaths have been confirmed in 24 states. All patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette or vaping, products. Vaping works by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs. The liquid can contain nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives. THC is the psychoactive mind-altering compound of marijuana that produces the “high.” “There has been a cluster of lung injuries that has resulted in people being hospitalized and it is something that we have to pay attention to because this could become a serious epidemic,” said Sanjay Sethi, a pulmonary critical care and internal medicine physician who see patients at the Buffalo VA and at clinics at at Conventus in the Downtown Medical Campus and at Youngs Road in Amherst. Sethi, who is also the division chief for pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine at UB, offers five facts about vaping that he wants the public to understand.

1.

No evidence that vaping is safe.

There are some that say vaping is a safer version than smoking because it may produce fewer toxins and chemical compared to a traditional cigarette. But with the sudden rash of reported deaths, there has been a hyper focus on investigating these cases. Since the specific cause or causes of lung injury are not yet known, the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues is to consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products. “There is no evidence that vaping is safe. It does have undesirable effects, especially since we don’t know all the substances that are put inside e-cigarettes,” said Sethi. “For some time, it wasn’t regulated to an extent, and when it came to the market, stores just opened up and were selling them as a natural alternative.” The Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Drug Administration have not identified the cause or causes of the lung injuries in these cases, and the only commonality among all cases is that patients report the use of

e-cigarette, or vaping, products. “There is a huge black market of vaping that contain large amounts of THC and other chemicals that we don’t know. It is such a burgeoning market that people started to gravitate to it because they didn’t know all the possible damages and now, they are seeing the consequences.”

2.

Vaping and teens are connected

People remember the cartoonish Joe Camel advertisements that many believed helped usher in the wave of teenage smoking. Medical experts see the same thing happening with vaping. More than 150 various vape flavors exist, including gummy bear, cotton candy, Pina colada, tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake, watermelon, Doritos, kiwi and grape. “We know that teens are starting to move toward these e-cigarettes and this could lead to tobacco addiction,” said Sethi. “There was a dramatic decline in teen smoking for some time, but vaping has reversed the trend. When you have flavors like gummy bears and cotton candy, it is not difficult to see why teens are gravitating towards it.”

3.

There is too much misinformation about vaping

While vaping may be common on college campuses and among groups of teens and smokers, in general there isn’t a lot of awareness about the trend. There are people who suggest it is inherently safer and more natural and others who say it is a successful way to quit nicotine. “There are some health professionals that believe e-cigarettes could

help people who want to quit cigarette smoking. We know cigarettes have so many different components, so I understand how people might see this as a reasonable step toward quitting. We just have so much misinformation and unknown information about vaping that I would caution telling someone that is a guaranteed way to handle smoking cession.”

4.

There is no benefit to vaping

Because vaping or e-cigarettes contain some form of ingesting nicotine into the lungs, smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases and affects the health of smokers in general. Avoiding vaping lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life. Smoking causes stroke and coronary heart disease, which are among the leading causes of death in the United States. There is no safe tobacco product. All tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, carry a risk. “A high level of nicotine can have incredible effects on the brain,” Sethi added. “It could hinder brain development, cause attention deficit disorder and other issues. Also, anytime you put something addictive into your system, issues can arise.”

5.

The sickness is real

People are reporting toxic inhalation syndrome, which includes coughing and shortness of breath. Inhaled substances may cause injury in pulmonary epithelium at various levels of respiratory tract, leading from simple symptoms to severe disease. “We are seeing a spectrum of lung issues from patients not just one,” said Sethi. “There have been

Sanjay Sethi is pulmonary critical care and internal medicine physician who see patients at the Buffalo VA and at clinics at at Conventus in the Downtown Medical Campus and at Youngs Road in Amherst. people are seeing serious problems with their lungs. Then you have people who started vaping for fun and are not addicted and don’t want a substitute or are now not interested in quitting.”

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Can Intermittent Fasting Work For You? Diet has been in the news after actress Jennifer Aniston said she follows it By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

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raditionally, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but don’t tell actress Jennifer Aniston that. According to numerous media outlets, the svelte star relies upon intermittent fasting to keep her figure trim — despite having turned 50 years old in 2019. The eating plan as Aniston uses it involves eating nothing from 6 p.m. until 10 a.m., although she does drink beverages such as celery juice in the morning. Danielle Meyer, clinical director of the dietetic internship program in the department of exercise and nutrition sciences from the School of Public Health and Health Professions at University at Buffalo, said that people naturally “fast” all night while sleeping and extending that period a few more hours likely isn’t harmful. “There’s a lot of people who skip breakfast who are still pretty healthy,” she said. “Maybe they feel

better because they restrict their caloric intake.” While for many people eating less is better for their health, fasting 16 hours a day for life isn’t sustainable. The inability to make this a lasting habit concerns Meyer, since maintained weight loss should come from a lifestyle — not changing behavior, which leads to cycles of weight fluctuation. Meyer added that there’s no magic in when one restricts calories; however, the timing can influence diet negatively. “The pitfall is people are prone to unhealthful binges once they’re supposed to eat,” she said. Indulging in nutrient-void, high calorie foods can negate any benefits gained from intermittent fasting. Mary Jo Parker, registered dietitian and owner of Nutrition and Counseling Services in Buffalo, wants to see more research on intermittent fasting. “Basically, what we know about

the effectiveness of intermittent fasting is based primarily on data from animal studies,” Parker said. “The animal studies suggest there are metabolic shifts that can contribute to weight loss and improved health. There is a lot of controversy over whether human metabolism reacts similarly and if so, are the results generally applicable across large groups of people.” She also questions whether any weight lost is because of not eating for 12 or more hours, or if it’s simply because people aren’t eating as much overall (providing they don’t overindulge once they do eat). “Anecdotally, if people feel better, feel more in control of their eating, and their weight and health improve, it may be positive,” Parker said. “Right now it’s too soon to make sweeping statements about whether it’s good for people across the board. We need more good human studies with controlled trials.”

Intermittent Fasting: Foolproof or Fad?

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ad diets and exercise routines seem to come and go as often as the refrigerator calls out to people looking to lose a few pounds. The latest method gaining traction in some circles is intermittent fasting. Rather than restricting how much food you eat or cutting out entire food groups, this way of eating limits consumption to certain days or times of day. Christopher Sciamanna, an internal medicine physician at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, said there are two methods of intermittent fasting. The first is something like the 5-2 plan, where you eat normally for five days, but then consume only a quarter of your normal daily calories two days of the week. “It’s the weekend warrior verPage 12

sion of dieting,” he said. “You just eat a couple of avocados for the whole day and that’s it.” Those he knows who have tried this method haven’t been able to sustain it. “When people fast for long periods, the first two days are the hardest. Then, oddly, it gets easier,” he said. “With this method, you are always restarting those two hard days.” Sciamanna said the 5-2 method could even be dangerous for those who take medication to lower their blood sugar: “If you think you’re going to skate by on 500 calories a day, you might be asking for trouble. You can get ill very fast.” The other method is time-restricted feeding, where you consume all of your calories for the day within a

6-, 7- or 8-hour window rather than spread out over 12 or 14 hours. Sciamanna said a study of time-restricted feeding done in past year looked very promising. “It looked like for people with diabetes, it might help with insulin resistance,” he said. “Also, there is really good evidence that insulin is the signal to store calories as fat, so in theory, if your insulin level is lower over the course of the day, that might be enough to lose weight by itself.” Although intermittent fasting may be the hot new thing, Sciamanna points out that most articles on the subject don’t point out how little evidence there is to endorse the practice. “Until there is good science behind it, I don’t think these are smart,” he said. “If you are going to do something that hasn’t been studied much,

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

you are your own guinea pig, and I don’t think that’s a good idea.” He said the key is to find a way to eat fewer calories without being miserable so you can sustain longterm change. He often recommends that his patients focus on eating foods that have fewer calories per ounce so they can consume about a pound of food at each meal without overdoing it on calories. That will keep them satiated and provide enough energy. “You can’t possibly do this without optimizing fruits and vegetables in your diet,” he said. “You can hide vegetables in soups and sauces and you don’t even notice.”


SmartBites

Helpful tips

By Anne Palumbo

The skinny on healthy eating

Roast Beef Rounds Up Crucial Nutrients T o beef or not to beef? That is the question that plagues many as red meat has come under fire. Does its consumption cause cancer? Heart disease? Type 2 diabetes? Conversely, what benefits do we reap from eating beef? While the answers to these questions are complex, varied and continuously being investigated, the bottom line, according to leading experts and health organizations is this: It’s still a smart idea to reduce your red meat intake in order to reduce your risk of the diseases mentioned above.

Reduce. It’s doable advice. For both health and environmental reasons, I don’t eat a lot of red meat. But I do eat some; and, at this festive time of year, I probably indulge more than I normally do. Roast beef, especially the leaner cuts, offers clear nutritional benefits. Not only is it packed with good-quality protein, but it also sizzles with impressive amounts of selenium, several B vitamins, zinc and iron. An average 3.5-oz serving of roast beef has about 25-28 grams of complete protein, which, for many, tackles over half of our daily needs. Protein helps to keep our muscles

and bones strong, which is important for maintaining balance, mobility and independence as we age. Roast beef is a selenium superstar, with an average serving providing 50% of our daily needs. A powerful antioxidant, selenium fights oxidative stress and helps defend our body from chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. This essential mineral is also important for the proper functioning of our thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism and controls growth and development. Healthy doses of immune-boosting zinc, energy-producing iron and vitamins B-6, B-12 and niacin provide more good reasons to eat beef. Working together, the B vitamins strengthen our immune system, convert food to energy, keep our nerves in tiptop shape, and help make red blood cells. So, why do leading institutions, including the American Institute for Cancer Research, say we should limit our consumption to no more than about three portions per week (total: about 12-18 oz)? Strong evidence suggests a link between the regular consumption of red meat and colon cancer.

Garlic-Rosemary Roast Beef with Horseradish Sauce Adapted from Diabetic Living Magazine

3 pounds beef eye of round roast 1 teaspoon salt, divided ¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1 shallot, minced (1/4 cup) 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried) 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1½ tablespoons prepared horseradish 2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more if prefer • Preheat oven to 400°F. • Season roast with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet (see Tip) over medium-high heat. Add the roast and cook, turning every few minutes, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. • Combine butter, shallot, rose-

Choose lean cuts, which run lower in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. Anything with “round,” “chuck” or “loin” in its name is usually either extra lean or lean. For example, eye round roast has only 4 grams of total fat, l.4 grams of saturated fat, 54 mg of cholesterol, and about 165 calories per average serving versus prime rib that has 17 grams of total fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 77 mg of cholesterol, and 265 calories. If “char”—a potential carcinogen— develops during the cooking process, scrape it off. mary, and 3 cloves minced garlic; spread on top of the roast. Transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until a thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 125-130°F for medium-rare, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. • Meanwhile, whisk remaining garlic, yogurt, horseradish, mustard, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice if needed. Slice the beef thinly and serve with the sauce. • Tip: If you don’t have a large ovenproof skillet, you can brown the roast in a large skillet and transfer it to a roasting pan for Step 3.

Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle colum-

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

Too Many Americans Admit to Driving While Drowsy 45% of Americans have struggled to stay awake while driving

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ave you ever found yourself falling asleep behind the wheel? Unfortunately, you are not alone. A new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that 45% of adults have struggled to stay awake while driving. Drowsy driving is a serious public health concern. Each year in the U.S., drowsy driving causes an average of 328,000 motor vehicle accidents, including 6,400 fatal crashes, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Driving while drowsy is similar to drunk driving with regards to the delays in reaction time and impairment in decision-making,” said AASM President Kelly A. Carden. “Drowsy driving can be deadly, yet it is 100 percent preventable.” The September 2019 survey of 2,003 U.S. adults asked participants if they have ever struggled to stay awake while driving a vehicle. Only 48% of respondents indicated that they have never driven drowsy. Another 7% reported that they don’t

drive. To combat and prevent drowsy driving, the AASM recommends that drivers: • Ensure that you get enough sleep before driving so that you can stay alert behind the wheel. • Avoid driving late at night or while alone, if possible, and share the driving with a passenger on long trips. • Use caffeine for a short-term boost in alertness. • Pull over at a rest stop and take a nap if you begin to feel drowsy. “Caffeine can provide a shortterm boost, but if you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open, then it’s definitely time to pull over,” said Carden. “Turning up the music or rolling down the windows will not keep you alert while driving. The best option is to get off the road and take a nap if you feel sleepy behind the wheel.” Be aware of these warning signs of drowsy driving: • Frequent yawning or inability to keep your eyes open

• Catching yourself “nodding off” or having trouble keeping your head up • Inability to remember driving the last few miles • Missing road signs or driving past your turn • Following too close to cars in front of you • Drifting into the other lane of traffic • Driving onto the “rumble

December 2019 •

strip” or the shoulder of the road “There is no substitute for healthy sleep,” said Carden. “Regular, healthy sleep is essential for staying awake at the wheel and protecting yourself and others from avoidable, potentially life-threatening accidents on the road.” To learn more about ways to stay awake at the wheel, visit SleepEducation.org.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Holiday Greetings

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Healthful Holiday Gifts By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

“Health is wealth” as the saying goes. Why not give healthful gifts this season? While giving something as obvious as a diet book is likely not a great idea, gifts to promote good health come in many forms.

1.

Fruit basket. Most grocers

sell beautiful arrangements of fruits. Or, you can make your own with a large basket or other festive container. I like to cushion the interior with a new kitchen towel or shredded red and green paper and fill it with a variety of fruit to about 1/3 above the container’s capacity. Placing firmer fruit on the bottom, like apples, helps ensure it will last longer, as will cradling softer fruit in a few layers of tissue paper. For the lack of a nicer container, I’ve even wrapped a sturdy cardboard box with Christmas paper. Include more exotic fruits and also favorites like apples and oranges so if feels more special. Party stores and dollar stores cell cellophane shrink wrap bags that will keep the goodies inside. Then top with a bow. Fruit baskets make great thank-you gifts to a family hosting your celebration. Also consider people who may seldom have fresh fruit, like a relative living in a nursing home. An elderly person who has enough “stuff” may also enjoy an edible gift.

omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid the glazed varieties, as they’re high in sugar. Nuts roasted and sprinkled with sea salt offer a better option. Or just plain nuts are good, too. Grocery stores usually provide containers of nuts in the shell this time of year in the produce section. Add a nutcracker and pick and you’re all set. Or peruse the store for shelled nut gift sets.

4. 2.

Chocolate. Select a high-qual-

ity dark chocolate. Despite its decadence, chocolate’s antioxidants can provide a boost to the immune system. Skip milk chocolate, which contains a much lower level of antioxidants, and white chocolate, which isn’t really chocolate at all. Whether it’s a stack of bars wrapped and tied off with a ribbon (children especially love this), a fancy holiday gift package or a seasonal box of candies, chocolate is always welcomed and when eaten in moderation, a treat that provides some health benefits.

3.

Nuts. Providing

allergies aren’t an issue, fancy nuts represent a terrific present, as they’re delicious sources of minerals, protein and healthful Page 14

Maple syrup. Most people love it but consider it a special treat because of its price. With its bevy of minerals (even calcium!) as an all-natural sweetener, maple syrup represents a very healthful food. I’ve found that shopping at a maple farm’s store can offer a wider variety of decorative glass bottles and even seasonal containers instead of the taupe plastic jug or plain glass bottle.

5.

Tea or coffee. Both bever-

ages offer antioxidants. But among teas, white tea has the most, followed by green and then black. Fruit tea is usually made with a black tea base. Some herbal teas purport to support the immune system’s health.

Many stores sell tea or coffee packaged nicely. Or, as with the fruit, choose a few varieties and package them up yourself. As a nice touch, include a set of nice mugs in a style appealing to the recipient or accessories like a tea cozy or a French press and grinder.

6.

Community supported agriculture membership. Also

known as a CSA, this membership gives your recipient a share of a local farmer’s freshly harvested crops all summer and fall. Some also offer winter shares, which tend to include more root crops. That should expand the recipient’s produce consumption, since most CSAs offer a vast array of fruits and vegetables. Some CSAs include items like eggs, honey and meat. Before you purchase, make sure that the pick-up location — which may or may not be on the farm — is close enough to your recipient.

7.

Healthful gift cards. Support your recipients’ interest in a new activity, whether it’s dance lessons, martial arts school membership, golf club membership or anything else that gets them moving. But as with the aforementioned diet book, don’t make it as obvious as a gym membership unless they have explicitly stated that kind of gift would be welcomed. Along with the membership certificate, package up an accessory such as a vacuum-sealing, stainless steel insulated water bottle.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019


Holiday Greetings

THE PRESENCE STUDY

We don’t don’twant want miss to to miss outout on life’smost most precious moments. on life’s precious moments. The PRESENCE Study if is currently You may qualify you: looking for

participants to evaluate a new treatment q Are between the ages of 40investigational and 85 to improve memory and thinking in people with q Are experiencing a change in memory and thinking dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease or q Have anwith existing of Parkinson’s disease Dementia Lewydiagnosis Bodies (DLB).

Mellow Out, Buffalo Or how to be less stressed and survive the holidays By Jana Eisenberg

I

n Good Health reported in October that a study by Hey Tutor (using recent data from the U.S. Census, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Gallup) ranked Buffalo as the country’s fifth most stressed medium-sized city. The article noted factors like economic inequality, poverty, unemployment, housing affordability, mental health conditions, commute times, sleep habits and the share of single-parent households contribute to stressed communities; those factors also make society as a whole stressed. For communities and individuals, it’s important to know that there are resources and tactics available to help manage stress and feel more emotionally well, even if some of the stressors continue to exist. The holidays — with pressure to spend money on gifts or entertaining, to be joyous and present a uniformly happy family — are known to be even more stressful for many people. Especially if you or a family member or friend is challenged with mental health issues, or even feeling slightly anxious. Overall, the biggest message is that you shouldn’t feel you have to figure it all out on your own. Seek help and support from family, friends and community, whether it’s planning a festive potluck holiday dinner with neighbors to take the pressure off, asking for help with childcare, or a ride to work when the car’s in the shop. Look for other resources. Many community centers offer low-cost or free homework help, youth and senior programs, exercise classes, employment workshops, life skills assistance and more to help individuals feel, if not completely at ease, that they can find support. Sometimes that touch of empathy (and services) can go a long way. The city of Buffalo offers many programs, including free youth recreation centers and exercise classes. Senior citizens looking to save money can join the Mayor’s Senior Discount Card Program. Call the Division for Senior Services at 716851-4141, or visit the city’s website to fill out an application and you’ll receive a card and a booklet with many participating businesses that offer money-saving deals.

There are other types of help to relieve stress. Crisis Services of Buffalo and Erie County offers a 24-hour hotline — you don’t have to be suicidal or even in crisis to call (716-834-3131); trained volunteers are there to listen and suggest resources if you want them. It’s common knowledge that exercise, even a little bit, can reduce stress overall. Walking a few minutes a day, at lunchtime, in the evening, in a nearby park, with your partner or a friend, is a way to literally step away and clear your mind, while moving your body. Experts also suggest identifying what makes you feel the most stressed, then considering solutions. Have trouble sleeping? Don’t watch TV or look at your computer, phone or other device right before trying to sleep. Do something more soothing, like read a book, write in a journal, sip some herbal or decaf tea, or try a simple breathing exercise as you nod off. Another way of alleviating whatever you’re worried about or stressing over is to write it down, experts suggest — maybe even try completely changing your perspective: make a list of things for which you are grateful. Being healthier can reduce stress; try to eat as well as you can. This means: less-processed foods, fewer sugary drinks and desserts, and more, higher fiber whole foods. Simply eliminating sugary beverages like sodas “energy drinks,” and juice, and taking in more water and whole fruit is a great place to start. It’s not easy to give yourself permission to relax, but it’s important. Especially if you are caring for others—you won’t be as effective if you are always running on high stress. Laugh with a friend (in person if possible). Go to an exercise class, try tai chi or yoga, listen to music for 15 minutes (great for the brain!) or even just give yourself time to enjoy a therapeutic shower or bath. Dance in the kitchen. Once you start implementing some of these things as habits, even if your stresses haven’t gone away, it might be just a tiny bit easier to handle life, and the stresses it may bring. Even in Buffalo.

or Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) You may qualify if you: q a studythe partner 4 Have Are between ages ofwilling 40 andto 85attend clinic appointments with the study participant  4 Are experiencing a change in memory and thinking 4 Have an existing diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) 4 Have a study partner willing to attend clinic appointments with the study participant

The PRESENCE Study is currently looking for We don’t want to miss out on life’s most moments. participants toprecious evaluate The PRESENCE Study is currently looking for a new investigational participants to evaluate a new investigational treatment to improve memory and thinking in people with treatment to improve dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease or Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB). memory and thinking in You may qualify if you: Are between the ages of 40 and 85 people 44with dementia Are experiencing a change in memory and thinking 4 Have an with existing diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or associated Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) 4 Have a study partner willing to attend clinic Parkinson’s disease or appointments with the study participant All study-related care willLewy be provided at Dementia with no cost. Health insurance is not needed. us today. Bodies Contact (DLB). 123.456.7890

thepresencestudy.com All study-related care will be provided at no cost. Health THE PRESENCE STUDY insurance is not needed.

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All study-related care will be provided at no cost. Health insurance is not needed. Contact us today.

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FRANK QUIT AFTER SMOKING 22,000 PACKS OF CIGARETTES OVER 30 YEARS

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December 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15


Holiday Greetings

Holidays: Dodging Dietary Dangers By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

W

ith family gatherings, work parties, cookie exchanges and food gifts, the season can feel full of dietary hazards if you have food restrictions. Whether it’s an intolerance or allergy, your dietary restrictions may not seem important to others. From a “forgotten” ingredient in a side dish or a relative who thinks it’s “all in your head,” here’s how you can dodge dietary dangers. We spoke with two experts from Buffalo. Here’s what they suggested. TIPS from Danielle Meyer, clinical director of the dietetic internship program in the department of exercise and nutrition sciences from the School of Public Health and Health Professions at University at Buffalo: • “For people newly diagnosed with a food allergy attending holiday gatherings, one of the easiest thing to do is to bring a dish they know they can eat. It looks as if they’re contributing to the party as a good guest but they’re also ensuring there’s something they can have. • “Always feel you can check with the host or hostess to see what will be served. Tell them about your concerns. Ask questions; don’t dictate what the host can offer.

• “If you’re going to a restaurant or a work function, always check the menu ahead of time. If you have a concern, you can always call the restaurant or catering service. Most places do put the menu online they’re very happy to address concerns, especially ahead of time, as opposed to just asking the waiter. • “Always bring emergency medications regardless, like an Epipen, in the event that something can happen. • For food gifts, be very gracious and say, ‘It looks so great, but since I can’t have walnuts, I gave it to a friend who absolutely loved it.’ Or, ‘My husband said it was the best thing he ever had.’ If you give them that feedback and someone else said it was wonderful, it takes the sting out. TIPS from Mary Jo Parker, registered dietitian nutritionist with Nutrition and Counseling Services, Buffalo: • “A lot depends how close you are with the people you’re going to be dining with. If you know the people well, then you can educate them and request that they prepare something separate for you that wouldn’t be in contact with the other food. Cross contamination is a big thing.

Survival Guide For a Stress-Free Holiday Season By Kimberly Blaker

D

o you dread the hustle and bustle of another holiday season? Between shopping, wrapping, baking, holiday cards, parties, and many other obligations and tasks, surviving the season can be a feat, let alone finding the time to enjoy it with your family. This year, why not make a pact to eliminate stress by following these tips?

Early planning — First, close your eyes and think back to the previous couple years and how hectic and stressful they felt. What percentage of holiday activities and tasks would you need to eliminate to make the season truly enjoyable and relatively stress-free? During this process, don’t think about what you can’t eliminate. Just determine the percentage of reduction you need to make. Next, make a list of everything you need to do during the holiday season, to which parties you’ll be invited, and how much money you’ll spend. Now cross off the least important, least necessary and least desirable events and tasks. Then review the list, and calculate how much time and expense you’ve shaved off. If you haven’t reached your predetermined reduction, go through your Page 16

list again. Once you’ve decided which parties you’ll attend and the commitments you’ll make, plan how you’ll say ‘no’ to all the others, so you’re not caught off guard.

Share in the preparation — Enlist your family to help prepare for the holidays, and divvy up the tasks. Don’t expect perfection from yourself or your family. Remember, you probably don’t notice or mind the imperfections in others’ holiday gatherings. They’re just as unlikely to see any in yours. Also, keep in mind the holiday season isn’t the time to be head cook. Plan potluck gatherings. Then, either suggest what each person should bring or, to avoid duplicates, ask guests to let you know what they’ll bring. Save time — in gift wrapping by setting up a station in a spare room or the basement. Or stock a large box or basket with wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, tags, tape, scissors, and pens, so everything is stored in one place. Have extras of everything on hand. Keep cleaning to a minimum during the holidays. Dismiss unused areas guests won’t see or use, and

• “If you educate the host and let the host know the dietary restriction is real and that they have to be careful, it takes the host off the hook. • “If it is buffet style so the toppings and dressings of food are on the side, that helps. Buffet style is ‘safer.’ People can assemble their own plates and add the sauces and toppings or leave them off. • “Some families decide to make the entire meal gluten free for everyone. That way there’s no danger in cross-contamination. Or they say no nuts in anything served if there’s a

nut allergy. • “A few bakeries are entirely gluten free. Hosts could order items in advance. Rather than taking a risk, they could buy something. • “It’s tricky to cook gluten-free, but it’s so much easier than it used to be. Experiment with cornstarch to thicken gravy, for example, instead of flour. Look for substitutes on the internet at sites like www.Celiac.com. Flourless cakes are outstanding. The downside is that it’s typically more expensive.”

clean only the obvious in rooms that will be seen. The barely-visible layer of dust on your baseboards is unlikely to be noticed with all the holiday decorations and festivities. Make everyday meals quick and simple throughout the season. Soups, sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables, cottage cheese, pre-cut veggies and dip, and other prepared or semi-prepared healthy foods will suffice for one month of the year. Do your holiday shopping early in the day on weekdays while your energy is high and crowds are small. Shop online or by catalog. If an item lacks details, search for a manufacturer’s website to get the information you need. Give gift cards. Hard-to-shop-for recipients will appreciate something practical. Gift cards to restaurants, department stores, sporting good outlets, and specialty shops, or for a massage, pedicure, or round of golf make great gifts. Don’t overdo the baking. Your guests will likely have had their fill of holiday treats long before your gathering arrives. As for the warm gesture of taking a plate of baked goodies to friends or neighbors, instead, show they’re in your thoughts by visiting or calling them to wish them a happy holiday season. Money saver — Does your gift list grow each year? Decide with whom it’s essential or important to exchange gifts. Then talk to extended family, friends, coworkers, and others about forgoing gift exchanges, putting a cap on the price, or doing a drawing instead. You’ll likely learn many feel the same as you do.

Care for yourself — Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. High fat and sugary foods and the lack of healthy meals can lead to tiredness and stress. Keep goodies stored in the freezer where they’ll be less of a temptation. Have plenty of convenient, healthy snacks such as raw vegetables and nuts on hand. Prepare low-fat meals that won’t bog you down. Pace yourself, and don’t try to do everything in one day. Finally, give yourself a break. Get plenty of exercise such as a brisk walk in the fresh air, and set aside time for relaxation, like a long bubble bath. Things to do for next year — Start your shopping early. Create a new tradition with a friend or family member and set a monthly shopping date for the upcoming year. By making a scheduled commitment, you’ll be more likely to follow through. Keep the early holiday shopping fun and choose a different town or shopping center for each trip, focusing on unique malls or trendy towns. Also, get a label printing software program or app early in the year and enter all of the addresses on your holiday card list. When the holidays roll around, you can print the labels and eliminate the most time-consuming aspect of sending out holiday greetings. Finally, remember the holiday season should be a joyful time for everyone, including yourself, to join in the good cheer with family and friends. Maximize ways to ease your stress to keep the ‘happy’ in your holidays!

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019


Ditching Braces: Use of Orthodontic Aligners Expanding Clear aligners, such as the brand name Invisalign, offer the advantage of nearly imperceptible orthodontic treatment, unlike traditional braces

Once the aligner is totally in place, it is very difficult to see unless one is looking for it. It’s like contact lenses for orthodontia.

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

C

lear orthodontic aligners have improved a lot since the late 1990s. “The technology has advanced and the materials we use and the design of the attachments that are bonded to the teeth allow ways to apply force to the teeth,” said Matt Walla, orthodontist with Owl Orthodontics, which has several locations in the Buffalo area. “They act as little handles. By developing better plastic materials, we get much better results.” Clear aligners, such as the brand name Invisalign, offer the advantage of nearly imperceptible orthodontic treatment, unlike traditional braces. Once a patient at an orthodontic office completes an intake, exam and measurement protocol with the orthodontist’s team, a series of aligners is made specific to that patient and tailored to the treatment goals. As prescribed, the patient exchanges one aligner for the next in a series of incremental changes. “The introduction of aligners is the single greatest thing to happen in the world of orthodontics,” Walla said. “Typically, adults who’d never had treatment would not seek treatment if they had to have braces on. They will go for it with clear aligners. It’s made being an orthodontist really fantastic.” Since the devices are removable, patients can take them out for eating,

which means they won’t face dietary restrictions like no sticky or hard foods. This also makes cleaning the teeth much easier — a big reason aligners are important for patients who are not as scrupulous with their at-home care. Patients must remove aligners only for eating and brushing or for occasional short periods of time. “The aesthetics are amazing as is the ability to keep them clean,” Walla said. “If you have a special occasion and want to not have them in a couple hours, that’s okay.” Aligners can correct most problems patients bring to their orthodontist’s office, but not all. “At this point, nearly anyone is suitable,” Walla said. Amy Richter, owner and orthodontist at Amy Richter Orthodontics in Buffalo, also said that aligners have improved. “Not everyone is a candidate, but we can better treat more complex cases,” Richter said. She said that people with impacted permanent teeth may not be good candidates, for example. Another example of a disadvantage of aligners is the orthodontist’s ability to adjust the plan with the patient in the chair. Standard braces may be infinitely adjusted on the spot to suit the patient’s comfort level and how the oral plan unfolds. Teeth aren’t always compliant to the plan.

It’s not either/or. Some patients have an aligner on one arch and traditional metal braces on the other. They may begin with one appliance and end their treatment with the other. With increasing interest in aligners and orthodontics in general, a number of companies have begun selling FDA-approved appliances for a do-it-yourself approach to orthodontics at home. Clients buy a kit to create their dental impressions and purchase the resulting aligners which they use in succession until their plan is complete, all without visiting an orthodontic office one time. There’s no professional assessment or measurements, X-rays or radiographs. The reason many go the DIY route is financial. Traditional braces and aligners can cost around $6,000. The “DIY” services like SmileDirectClub offer a series of aligners for $1,895. But the professionals warn buyers to beware of services such as this. “The biggest concern we have is there might be undiagnosed, underlying problems that won’t be identified prior to starting orthodontic treatments, whether periodontal problems or decay on the teeth,” Walla said. The kits cannot replicate all the services and procedures orthodontists routinely do to help correct appearance and function, such as tooth reshaping to help oddly shaped teeth fit together better. DIY aligners lack

Report Shows Burnout Prevalent in Health Care Community C linician burnout is affecting between one-third and onehalf of all of U.S. nurses and physicians, and 45 to 60% of medical students and residents, according to a National Academy of Medicine (NAM) report released in October. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is among 32 institutions and foundations that sponsored the 296page report, “Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being,” which investigates the causes of widespread clinician burnout and offers solutions to address the problem at its source.  “There’s an all too direct connection between clinician burnout and health care safety and quality.

While clinician burnout isn’t a new problem, its worsening prevalence and impact are due to system factors inherent in the modern health care system,” said physician Matthew Weinger, professor of anesthesiology and Norman Ty Smithchairman patient safety and medical simulation at VUMC, and a member of the NAM authoring committee for the new report. “The committee came to realize that addressing clinician burnout will require a deliberate and substantive health care system redesign with a focus on those activities that deliver the most value to patients while enabling and empowering clinicians to deliver high-quality care,” he said.  The report discusses key issues that need to be addressed: 

• Clinician burnout needs to be tackled early in professional development and special stressors in the learning environment need to be recognized. Leaders in health care and health professions education have a responsibility to foster, monitor and continuously improve work and learning environments. • While some health care technologies appear to contribute to clinician burnout (poorly designed electronic health record systems, for example), there is real potential for well-designed and implemented technologies to help reduce burnout. • Federal and state governments, other payors and regulators and the health care industry itself have important roles to play in preventing clinician burnout. Increasing admin-

December 2019 •

attachments that help them properly rotate a tooth into alignment. Should a DIY-er run into problems, they don’t have a means to correct them except for going to an orthodontist, which incurs more expense than if they went there initially.

Orthodontist Matt Walla: “The introduction of aligners is the single greatest thing to happen in the world of orthodontics.”

istrative burdens and distracting clinicians from the care of their patients can directly affect burnout. • Medical societies, state licensing boards, specialty certification boards, medical education and health care organizations all need to take concrete steps to reduce the stigma for clinicians seeking help for psychological distress and make assistance more easily available.  The report concludes with goals and recommendations centered on creating more positive work and learning environments, reducing administrative burden, enabling technology solutions, providing more support to clinicians and learners, and investing in research to address clinician burnout. The new report is the latest in a series that includes the landmark volumes, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System” (2000) and “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century” (2001).

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17


Members of the Evergreen Health peer group help spreading the word that medication is available to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.

Evergreen Health: Turning the Tide Against HIV/AIDS By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

S

ince the early days of the AIDS epidemic in 1981, Evergreen Health has been part of the fight against the infection’s spread. Based in Buffalo with several satellite locations, Evergreen represents the largest HIV/AIDS programs Western New York. Matt Crehan Higgins is the associate vice president of enhanced medical services at Evergreen Health. He said that Evergreen has made great headway in recent years. “We have forward thinking about adopting best practice,” Higgins said. “By being innovative and culturally aware, we’ve established ourselves as the regional leader where people can come to get every service or if they’re at risk, learn how to reduce their risk.” Since 2014, New York state has promoted End the HIV Epidemic by 2020 (EtE2020). Though there are a number of other similar initiatives going in the US, New York state’s was the first EtE2020 initiative. The US and the World Health organizations’ initiatives are very similar, except a target year of 2030 to achieve their goals. Evergreen offers HIV positive patients a test that can measure the level of viral load within the blood. If it’s below a certain level — thanks to medication suppressing the virus — Page 18

the patient cannot sexually transmit the virus to anyone else. Among Evergreen’s 1,500 HIV positive patients, 90% have undetectable viral load. Nationwide, only 85% of HIV patients have an undetectable viral load, which means they cannot transmit HIV. The other emphasis is preventive medicine, pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis (PrEP). Taken daily, pill can prevent infection among HIV negative people who may be at risk for HIV.

Matt Crehan Higgins: “We have forward thinking about adopting best practice,” he says.

According to Evergreen’s website, this includes people who have had more than one sex partner, have had sex without a condom, are in an ongoing relationship with someone who has HIV, are not sure of the sex partner’s HIV status, are men who have sex with men, are transgender people who have sex with men, have been diagnosed with an STI/STD in the past six months and have injected drugs and shared needles, among other indicators. “We’ve seen a major expansion in that over the past few years,” Higgins said. Three years ago, only 200 took PrEP. At last count, that has increased to more than 700. “We have increased community awareness through medical providers, social groups in the region and college campuses to make sure they’re aware of what’s available and make sure they’re tested and get into treatment,” Higgins said. To break down stigma about HIV, he likes to say, “’We all have a HIV status, whether known positive, negative and on PrEP, negative and unaware.’ “We want them to work toward achieving positive outcomes,” he added. The success of patient compliance with taking PrEP is especially

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

notable since many in the population taking it have one or more risk factors — multiple sexual partners and lack of condom use — yet they consistently remember to take a pill every day to make PrEP effective. “People who use drugs are actually good at taking medication,” Higgins said. “We never tell people how to live their lives but tell them every way they can live their lives and let them make their own choice about perception of risk. “The population we serve are capable on their own, often far more than the medical community gives them credit for. When people come and say they’re not condom users, that’s OK. We want to know about it and we’re aware the paradigm has shifted.” PrEP and the patients receiving medication to suppress their viral load are encouraged to visit the office every three months to discuss how they’re doing and to receive further information about their health. The office staff also helps patients overcome any obstacles to taking their prescriptions. Evergreen has a team of prevention navigators who work with patients to take down their sexual histories, talk about education, and give them information. Evergreen’s operating budget of $80.1 million comes from grants and patient billing. The organization works to get all its patients on health insurance so Evergreen can bill for services as needed or allowed. Evergreen employs 414 agency-wide. “We’ll continue to work to reduce stigma in the community and testing and getting into care are the keys to ending the epidemic,” Higgins said.


Experiencing Vision Loss? Consider a Low Vision Evaluation.

By Jim Miller

How to Create an

Ethical Will

Macular Degeneration Diabetic Retinopathy Head Injury Stroke

Dear Savvy Senior, Can you write a column on ethical wills and how to make one? The attorney that made up my will recently suggested I write one as a tool to explain the intentions of my will, as well as express my thoughts and feelings, but I don’t know where to start.

Interested Senior

Dear Interested, An ethical will — also referred to as a legacy letter — can be a valuable complement to your legal will, as well as a wonderful gift to your family or other loved ones. Here’s what you should know along with some tips to help you make one.

Ethical Wills Unlike a last will and testament, which tells your loved ones (and the legal world) what you want them to have, an ethical will (which is not a legal document) tells them what you want them to know. With an ethical will, you can share with your loved ones your feelings, wishes, regrets, gratitude and advice, as well as explain the elements in your legal will, give information about the money and possessions you’re passing on, and anything else you want to communicate. Usually no more than a few pages, the process of writing an ethical will can actually be quite satisfying. But be careful that you don’t contradict any aspects of your legal will or estate plan. And, if you’re having trouble with the writing, there are resources available to help you, or you can express yourself through an audio or video recording.

Where to Start To craft an ethical will, start by jotting down some notes about

what’s really important to you and what you want your loved ones to know. Take your time and remember that you’re not trying to write for the Pulitzer Prize. This letter is a gift of yourself written for those you love. After you’ve gathered your thoughts you can start drafting your letter. You can also revise or rewrite it anytime you want. And for safekeeping, keep your ethical will with your other legal documents in a secure location but be sure your executor has access to it. A safe-deposit box or fireproof filing cabinet or safe in your home is a good choice.

Call today to schedule a Low Vision Evaluation.

Call Dr.Kornfeld,OD (866) 446-2050

www.kornfeldlowvision.com

Get Help If you need some help, there are numerous resources available like Celebrations of Life (CelebrationsofLife.net), which offers how-to information and examples of ethical wills, along with a “Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper” book, and the Ethical Wills/Legacy Letters workbook that you can purchase for $16 and $10 respectively. Another good resource is Personal Legacy Advisors (PersonalLegacyAdvisors.com), a company that offers ethical will writing classes and workshops, along with personalized services like coaching, editing, writing and/or audio or video recording your ethical will. Prices will vary depending on the services you choose. They also sell a do-it-yourself guidebook “The Wealth of Your Life: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Ethical Will,” by Susan Turnbull for $24. You also need to know that many people choose to share their ethical will with their family and friends while they’re still living so they can enjoy their reactions, while others think it should be read after their death. It’s up to you. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. December 2019 •

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 19


Why Weight Gain Often Comes With Age

I

t happens to most aging Americans: Excess pounds pile on, despite efforts to eat right and exercise. Now, research in fat cells reveals why it’s so tough to stay slim as you get older. The new findings could point to new ways to treat obesity, Swedish investigators say. A team led by Peter Arner of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm analyzed fat cells taken from 54 men and women over an average of 13 years. People in the study who consumed the same or more calories as they got older had an average 20% weight gain. Why? According to Arner’s group, fat cells showed agelinked declines in the rate at which fats — lipids — were removed and stored from the cells over time. It’s a process called “lipid turnover.” The researchers also assessed lipid turnover in 41 women who had weight-loss surgeries, and how their lipid turnover rate affected their ability to maintain their weight loss four to seven years after surgery. Only the women who had a low cellular lipid turnover rate before the surgery had increases in their rate after the surgery and were able to keep pounds from coming back in the years after the surgery. The Swedish team suggested that these women may have had more “room” to increase their lipid turnover compared to women who already had a high turnover rate before weightloss surgery. That gave them an advantage in terms of being able to stay relatively slim. “The results indicate for the first time that processes in our fat tissue regulate changes in body weight during aging in a way that is independent of other factors,” Arner, a professor of medicine, said in an institute news release. One U.S. expert in weight loss said the findings make sense, but many other factors are probably involved. “A normal process of aging is slower metabolic rate. Our body uses less energy to function, and as a result there is less ‘lipolysis,’ or breakdown of fat,” said registered dietitian Sharon Zarabi. She directs the bariatric program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. But, “ultimately, what influences weight loss is our metabolism, microbiome, hormones, nutrient intake, genetics, muscle composition, exercise and environmental toxins – yes, that’s a mouthful,” Zarabi said.

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Ask The Social

Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

Social Security Covers Disabled Children Social Security program distributes about $2.7 billion each month to benefit about 4.1 million children

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hildren are our future. We share our knowledge and talent with them, we pass on our values to them knowing they will share those gifts. Social Security safeguards children all year long, but we’d like to take this opportunity to share information about our programs that provide direct support to children. The latest information available says that in 2018 the Social Security program distributed about $2.7 billion each month to benefit about 4.1 million children on average each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased. Those dollars help to pro-

Q&A

Q: I plan to retire in spring. How soon can I file for my Social Security benefits? A: You can file four months before you plan to receive benefits. Go ahead and apply now if you plan to retire when winter’s frost finally lets up. To apply, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applytoretire. Applying online has never been easier — you can do it from the comfort of your home. All you need is 15 minutes and internet access. Q: I’m retiring early, at age 62, and I receive investment income from a rental property I own. Does investment income count as earnings? A: No. We count only the wages you earn from a job or your net profit if you’re self-employed. Non-work income such as annuities, investment income, interest, capital gains and other government benefits are not counted and will not affect your Social Security benefits. Most pensions will not affect your benefits. However, your benefit may be affected by government pensions earned through work on which you did not pay Social Security tax. You can retire online at www.socialsecurity.gov. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Q: I was wounded while on military service overseas. What are the benefits for wounded warriors, and how can I apply? A: Through the Wounded Warrior program, Social Security expedites processing of disability

vide the necessities of life for family members and help make it possible for those children to complete high school. When a working parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help stabilize the family’s financial future. Children with disabilities are among our most vulnerable citizens. The Social Security Administration is dedicated to helping those with qualifying disabilities and their families through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is separate from the Social Security program. To qualify for SSI: • The child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, resulting in “marked and severe functional

claims of current military service members or veterans disabled while on active duty on or after October 1, 2001. Service members and veterans who have a Veterans Administration compensation rating of 100 % permanent and total (P&T) may also receive expedited processing of applications for Social Security disability benefits. Keep in mind, this expedited process applies to only the application for benefits. To be eligible for benefits, you must meet Social Security’s strict definition of “disability,” which means: • You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition(s); and • Your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or to result in death. You can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800325-0778). Find more information for veterans at www.socialsecurity.gov/ people/veterans. Q: My brother had an accident at work last year and is now receiving Social Security disability benefits. His wife and son also receive benefits. Before his accident, he helped support another daughter by a woman he never married. Is the second child entitled to benefits? A: The child may qualify for Social Security benefits even though your brother wasn’t married to the second child’s mother. The child’s caretaker should file an application on her behalf. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov. Q: What do I need to report to Social

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

limitations.” This means that the condition(s) must severely limit your child’s activities; and • The child’s condition(s) must be severe, last for at least 12 months, or be expected to result in death. If the parents of the child or children have more income or resources than are allowed, then the child or children will not qualify for SSI. You can read more about children’s benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ EN-05-10026.pdf. Social Security and SSI also covers many chronic illnesses and conditions. The Compassionate Allowances program is a way to quickly identify people with diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet the standards for disability benefits under the Social Security and SSI programs. Thousands of children receive SSI benefits because they have one of the conditions on the Compassionate Allowances list at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm. Keep in mind, Social Security and SSI are two very distinct and separate programs, and eligibility for each is different. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ people/kids to learn more about all we do to care for children. Social Security is with you and your children throughout your life’s journey, securing today and tomorrow. If you know a family who needs our help, please share these resources with them.

Security if I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments? A: You need to report any changes that may affect your payment amount. This includes changes in your income or resources. You must report changes of address, changes in your living arrangements, and changes in your earned and unearned income. To learn more about SSI, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi. Q: I was incarcerated for two years. Before I was imprisoned, I received SSI benefits. Will my SSI payments start automatically when I am released? A: No. You must contact your local Social Security office and provide them with information regarding your release dates. In some cases, it may be necessary to reapply for SSI benefits. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/reentry or contact your local Social Security office. Q: I am applying for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. Can state agencies help with my Medicare costs? A: When you file your application for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs, you can start your application process for the Medicare Savings Programs—state programs that provide help with other Medicare costs. When you apply for Extra Help, Social Security will send information to your state unless you tell us not to on the application. Your state will contact you to help you apply for a Medicare Savings Program. Learn more by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.


H ealth News UBMD Internal Medicine moves primary care to ECMC

UBMD Internal Medicine’s adult primary care services that were located at 1020 Youngs Road are moving to the Internal Medicine Center at Erie County Medical Center as of Dec. 2. The Internal Medicine Center’s hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Patients wishing to transfer their care to the center may contact a dedicated staff member at 716-8984751. Regular primary care questions, post-transfer, can be directed to the general center line at 716-8983152. Erie County Medical Center provides strong outpatient medical services for Western New York, currently operating over 25 specialty centers, ranging from cardiology to orthopedics, and four unique primary care centers, including both family medicine and adult medicine. Radiology, laboratory, and behavioral health ancillary services are also offered on an outpatient basis, affording patients from throughout Western New York access to high quality care in a centralized setting. “The transition of services provided by UBMD Internal Medicine at Youngs Road to the ECMC campus is an exciting opportunity to enhance the patient-centered experience,” said physician Ellen P. Rich, medical director of medicine at UBMD Internal Medicine. “Caring for patients while teaching resident physicians and medical students not only improves the continuity of care, but also helps to ensure that patients receive the most up-to-date approach. ECMC has made a commitment to creating a robust internal medicine practice on their campus and this partnership represents that goal.”

Roswell Park’s screening program earns recognition Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s efforts to provide the public with lung cancer early detection screening options have earned a prestigious Screening Center of Excellence designation from the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer. The nonprofit foundation’s designated centers ensure that screenings transform lung cancer care in the community by providing clear information on who is an eligible candidate and complying with comprehensive best practices by professional governing bodies such as the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). “We are proud and honored to be working with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as a GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence,” says foundation Co-Founder, President and CEO Laurie Fenton Ambrose.

“Their commitment to practice responsible lung cancer screening will lead to advancements in research and many lives saved They are an example to follow.” Roswell Park’s screening program focuses on people at high risk and involves detailing medical history, physical examination, and taking a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) of the chest. Experts have diagnosed 70% of cancers at an early stage, compared to national trends that detect the same percentage at advanced stages. “Our lung cancer screening team brings knowledge and passion to the care we deliver, and this designation confirms it,” said Mary Reid, director of cancer screening and survivorship. “Our comprehensive approach sets us apart because it ensures that patients have access to state-of-the art screening technology, personalized medicine, clinical trials and support from psychosocial and smoking-cessation counselors.” Roswell Park has previously received the Screening Center of Excellence designation from the Lung Cancer Alliance, a founding member of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.

ECMCC awarded hospital accreditation Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) announced in November it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its full hospital accreditation for a three-year period by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The gold seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a healthcare organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. “On behalf of the ECMC Corporation board of directors, I thank the Joint Commission for this important accreditation that confirms ECMC’s strong adherence to rigorous national standards for delivery of quality healthcare services,” said ECMCC Chairman Jonathan A. Dandes. “As important, I congratulate ECMC’s leadership team and all of its physicians, nurses, and staff who every day ensure the very best care for our community, one patient at a time. ECMC continues to evolve and grow, building on its strong legacy of clinical excellence and surveys conducted by national entities like the Joint Commission that lead to full hospital accreditation is further evidence of the fulfillment of our mission – to provide every patient the highest quality of care delivered with compassion.”

The Jack Beatty Memorial Hospice Cruise & Clambake event committee presents a check for $29,592.62 from the proceeds of the 20th anniversary held in July. From left are: Paul Beatty, III; Adam Burns, John Lomeo, Niagara Hospice president & CEO, and Paul Beatty, Sr.

Niagara Hospice House Adds New Sleeper Sofas to All 20 Patient Rooms

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o improve the comfort level of family members, caregivers and guests, Niagara Hospice announced that all 10 general-inpatient rooms and all 10 residential units at the Niagara Hospice House received new Wieland sleeper sofas, providing flexibility and convenience during patient visits and overnight stays. The multi-purpose sofas, manufactured by Wieland of New Haven, Indiana, are called “Sleep Too” and feature two seating areas separated by a table that can be raised. The bed portion folds down easily with the push of a button. “The new sleeper sofas create a family room setting while ensuring guests are available and active by offering a unique space to work, eat, play games, recharge personal devices or rest while not missing an

opportunity to consult with staff or assist their loved one,” said Janet Ligammari, director of hospice facility services at Niagara Hospice.  The purchase of the new sofas was supported by nearly $30,000 in proceeds from the 20th annual Jack Beatty Memorial Hospice Cruise & Clambake held July 12. More than 300 people attended the event, which had to be relocated from the Youngstown Yacht Club to Porteron-the-Lake Park due to the flooded shoreline.   The couches that were replaced were part of the original furnishings installed when the Hospice House opened in June 2007. Niagara Hospice has donated several couches to the Salvation Army and Goodwill and will continue to distribute the remaining couches to other organizations.

Brooke Densing named director of CAUSE Initiative

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rooke Densing has been named as the first full-time director of Daemen College’s Center for Allied and Unified Sport and Exercise (CAUSE) initiative, which provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience the camaraderie and sportsmanship that comes with athletic participation. Brook In this role, Densing will be responsible for setting the strategic direction for the center with a vision that aligns with the college’s mission and community needs. She will also lead program growth and expansion, assess results over time, and promote program successes.

December 2019 •

“We are thrilled to have Brooke on board as the CAUSE director,” said Kristen Luppino-Gholston, director of the Paul A. Saffrin Center for Sustainability and Civic Engagement, which oversees Daemen CAUSE. “Her skills, community relationships, and visionary leadership will bring CAUSE to the next level for our campus and the Buffalo Niagara region.” Densing, who has more than 10 years of program development, nonprofit, and management experience, comes to Daemen from Kaleida Health, where she served as patient access supervisor. Prior to this, she was director of the HOPE Center at the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers. A Buffalo resident, Densing earned a master of social work from the University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Stony Brook University.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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H ealth News

Kaleida employees donate hundreds of personal care, child-care and clothing items during the drive, which follows a $100,000 donation to City Mission earlier this year

Kaleida Health Foundation Leads Donation Drive to Benefit Buffalo City Mission

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he Kaleida Health Foundation recently coordinated the donation of hundreds of personal care items, child-care items and clothing to the Buffalo City Mission to benefit its women and children’s shelter, Cornerstone Manor. Hundreds of Kaleida employees participated in the collection drive. Kaleida Health leadership presented the donations to Sue Cervi, manager of volunteers at the Buffalo City Mission, during Kaleida Health’s annual strategic communication teams summit held in November at the Buffalo Museum of Science. The donation represents the Kaleida Health Foundation’s continued commitment to serving Kaleida patients outside of health facilities through its partnership with the Buffalo City Mission and other vital community organizations. The Kaleida Health Foundation committed $100,000 to the City Mission’s capital campaign earlier this year to support its future Community Center and

recently donated another $100,000 to Kevin Guest House. “Enhancing the health and well-being of our community, beyond the walls of the hospitals and care facilities, is a major focus of the Kaleida Health Foundation,” said Carol Horton, vice president, Kaleida Health Foundation. “So, through our capital campaign donation earlier this year and by engaging our employees in this drive for the City Mission and Cornerstone Manor, we can help even more people in Western New York.” The items collected will directly benefit the women and children seeking refuge at Cornerstone Manor. Through Cornerstone Manor, women and mothers with children can have the opportunity to transition safely and successfully through the Mission’s Dream Transitional Housing Program, which provides a pathway to a stable life through education and skill-training resources to lift them out of poverty.

Serving Western New York A monthly newspaper published by Local News, Inc. Distribution: 32,500 copies throughout more than 1,500 high traffic locations in the region In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2019 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. 3380 Sheridan Dr., # 251 • P.O. Box 550, Amherst NY 14226 Phone: 716-332-0640 • Fax: 716-332-0779 • Email: editor@bfohealth.com Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo • Writers: Deborah J. Sergeant, Jim Miller, Gwenn Voelckers, Anne Palumbo, Chris Motola, George W. Chapman, Michael J. Billoni, Julie Halm, Jana Eisenberg, Kimberly Blaker Advertising: Anne Westcott, Amy Gagliano, Karen Weaver Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office Manager: Nancy Niet No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement—not to take the place of—the recommendations of your health provider. Consult your physician before making major changes in your lifestyle or health care regimen.

In Good Health — WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper Page 22

ECMC, Tim Hortons Campaign Raises Funds to Support Future ER For a second consecutive year, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation and Tim Hortons restaurants partnered to support the institution’s future, stateof-the-art trauma and emergency department. In 2018, the joint effort raised close to $95,000, but this year’s total of $167,498 set a new record for the one-week campaign. As in 2018, 100% of proceeds of the September event will go to ECMC’s trauma and emergency department capital campaign. Each Smile Cookie cost $1. There are approximately 200 Tim Hortons restaurants in the eight counties of Western New York. “For Smile Cookie, we were once again honored to partner with the Erie County Medical Center, the leader in lifesaving care to families throughout Western New York,”

said Erin Mason, Tim Hortons Inc., US general manager. “Their support of Smile Cookie makes it possible to increase the positive impact to patients and families, year after year. We are incredibly thankful and humbled by the generosity of our guests, local restaurant owners and businesses throughout Western New York who support Smile Cookie each year, raising money for local charities and organizations.” ECMC Corporation President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., said, “Thanks to Tim Hortons and the thousands of Western New Yorkers who supported this year’s Smile Cookie campaign, we celebrate a record-setting effort that shows just how generous our community is to institutions like ECMC.”

Kaleida partners with the Buffalo Marathon to Raise Funds to Fight Heart Disease

Kaleida Health Foundation is partnering with the Buffalo Marathon for the second year to raise funds to fight heart disease in Western New York and benefit the best-in-class cardiac programs at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute (BGMC/GVI). Kaleida Health Heart to Heart Relay, presented by The Buffalo Marathon, will again feature teams of up to four who collectively run the marathon. Last year’s first Heart to Heart Relay raised over $76,000 and had nearly 50 teams. Runners included physicians and staff from BGMC/ GVI, Boston Marathon race director and triple-bypass surgery patient Dave McGillivray, stroke and cardiac survivors and many more. After a low initial sign-up fee, the relay teams rally together to reach

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

out to their social networks, including friends, families and co-workers to fundraise in support of the cause. The new marathon will take place May 24. New this year, runners of the Buffalo half-marathon and full marathon will also have the option to choose a lower initial sign-up fee for their races, and fundraise for heart disease to reach their goal. Whether they’re running in remembrance of a family member or are a survivor of a cardiovascular disease, the Buffalo Marathon and its runners will be dedicated to helping Western New York fight this disease together. To register for the Buffalo Marathon, visit https://runsignup.com/ Race/NY/Buffalo/HearttoHeartRelay


Fact, Fiction and the Flu By Julie Halm

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inter weather is here and with that often comes a range of illnesses, including influenza. Such a common ailment leads to a preponderance of tall tales that float around every year, masking the actual nature of the illness and the best ways to prevent it. While many people throughout the season will claim to have had “a little flu,” or a bout thereof, every illness that carries some of the same symptoms is not necessarily influenza and it is important to know the difference. According to the Erie County Health Department, “The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.” Some symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Some individuals who contract influenza will also experience fever, vomiting and diarrhea. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu and common colds are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. They can present in similar fashions but some ways to discern between the two include that those with a cold are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose and sneezing whereas those with the flu are more likely to experience fever, aches, chills and fatigue. Additionally, the onset of the flu is typically more abrupt than that of a cold. Most importantly, however, the flu carries with it far greater risks of serious health problems and complications including pneumonia, bacterial infections and in some cases, inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues, as well as multi-organ failure. Flu viruses can be detected through laboratory testing and according to the CDC, as of the week ending Nov. 2, 3.2 % of respiratory specimens tested by clinical laboratories were positive for influenza viruses, which was higher than the

previous week and two pediatric deaths have already been reported for the 2019-20 season. According to physician Paul Juette, an internal medicine specialist who has practiced emergency medicine in the Buffalo area and is now retired, several categories of individuals are at particularly high risk during flu season, including very young children, elderly individuals, those with existing lung conditions and pregnant women. “Pregnant women, for reasons we don’t understand, are more prone to develop complications than other women their age,” added Erie County Commissioner of Health, physician Gale Burstein. While many other viruses floating around this time of year can only be warded off through preventive measures such as hand-washing, in-

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Furry Friends This Thanksgiving: A good time to be grateful for our furry friends. See “Live Alone & Thrive” column on page 8 ■ Related: Dog ownership associated with longer life Physician Colleen Mattimore discusses the creation of Medical Health Associates of Western New York of which she is the president

BFOHEALTH.COM

NOVEMBER 2019 • ISSUE 61

Food for a Healthy Brain

5

Special Issue

SPECIAL ISSUE

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

things you can do to keep your heart strong, according to the chief of cardiology at University at Buffalo

P. 16

P. XX

Buffalo Among Most Stressed Cities in U.S.

Running Red Lights a Deadly Practice

Queen City included on list along with Syracuse, Rochester

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

P.15

Medical Schools & Minority Students Minorities underrepresented in medical schools: Study

Starts on page16

Parsnip, Anyone? Pity the poor parsnip. Often overlooked in favor of its more attractive cousin, the carrot, it begs for us to wake up to its distinct taste, versatility and rich nutritional profile. Page 13

Five Things You Need to Know About Hypnotherapy Practitioner says hypnotherapy offers a variety of therapeutic techniques that can alter and heal the mental state and mind. Page 9

IN GOOD HEALTH — WNY’s HEALTHCARE NEWSPAPER Name ________________________________________ Address_______________________________________

OCTOBER 2019 • ISSUE 60

BREAST CANCER

Coming Soon: ‘Pot Breathalyzer’?

Cheektowaga writer Jenna Schifferle crosses the finish line at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Oct. 13. She shares her experience in her ‘Writer on the Run’ column, page 4

Golden Years

BFOHEALTH.COM

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

Crossing the Finish Line

Tying the Knot Tied to Longer Life Span, New Data Shows

Why You May Need to See an ENT Otolaryngologist Shaun Baker talks about what ENT is and why you need to see one if you have a problem related to ears, nose and throat

What types of food may benefit our brain the most? See page 12

3 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surging in U.S.

PRICELESS

dividuals can protect themselves and help protect other high risk populations by receiving the flu vaccine. While some individuals refuse to receive the vaccine on an annual basis because they fear contracting the illness as a result, that fear is founded in fantasy, according to both Juette and Burstein. “It’s biologically impossible to develop an influenza infection from the flu vaccine,” said Burstein. That is because flu vaccines do not contain a live version of the flu virus. In some cases, a person may have been exposed to the flu before or shortly after having been vaccinated as it takes two weeks to build resistance, according to the CDC, but such occasions are nothing more than coincidence. A person can experience mild side effects, according to Juette, in-

cluding a sore shoulder or becoming flushed, but it is not comparable in any way to contracting the flu. “Everybody gets very ill with flu, and people are usually out of commission for 10 days or more,” said Burstein. “People die every year, it’s a very, very serious infection.” The vaccine itself does not protect against all strains of the flu and a vaccinated individual can still become ill, but one benefit of receiving the vaccine, according to both Juette and Burstein, is that those who have been vaccinated are very likely to experience a much milder bout of illness should they contract it. Despite the lack of a guaranteed flu-free winter, Burstein noted that getting a vaccine is still wise for many reasons, including simple odds. “People may also decide not to get vaccinated because they think it’s not effective,” she said. “While the efficacy varies, it is always greater than zero, so anything you can do to protect yourself is helpful.” For more information on influenza, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/index. htm.

Chia Seeds

Marijuana Use

Why should we eat more chia seeds? See SmartBites column. P. 11

Highest rate in 35 years among college students. P. 9

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We’re closer than ever to WNY’s new Level 1 Adult Trauma and Emergency Department. Give in the spirit of no giving up. We’ve almost achieved the funds needed to finish building our new Trauma and Emergency Department on the ECMC campus. Here, we’ve always seen the most critical injuries, and the most reasons for hope—and today, we need you to join us to build the future. Together, we’ll build the place for more medical miracles at the healthcare destination that never gives up on any Western New Yorker.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • December 2019

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