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in good Meet Your Doctor Hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon Paul Paterson talks about innovative ways to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow and shoulder problems

November 2017 •  Issue 37


WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

New Era in Pediatric Care in WNY

The John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital set to open this month. See related story on page 12 John Geraci of Amherst has raised nearly $40,000 for research and treatment of mitochondrial disease

Bariatric Surgery Good news: Patients 77 pounds slimmer on average 12 years after gastric bypass, study finds

Donate Your Body to Science Find out what to do to advance medical research

Life’s Simple 7: Key to Brain, Heart Health Seven major things you need to pay attention for a healthy, long life. Page 16

Cannellinis Sometimes called “white kidney beans,” cannellini beans are an all-time favorite, from their taste to their texture to how wonderfully they absorb flavors. They are also super good for your heart.


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Good News for Those Who Go Through Bariatric Surgery Patients 77 pounds slimmer on average 12 years after gastric bypass, study finds


besity surgery can have longlasting effects on weight and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, a new study finds. Doctors have known that a type of obesity surgery, called gastric bypass, works in the short-term. Patients typically lose a lot of weight, and obesity-related health problems can be prevented or even cured. But the new findings show that

the benefits are still apparent 12 years later. The study, of more than 1,100 severely obese adults, found that those who underwent gastric bypass lost an average of 100 pounds over two years. By year 12, they’d managed to keep 77 of those pounds off. On top of the weight loss, surgery patients had a much lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

— 92 percent lower, versus obese patients who did not have surgery. “This is very effective at diabetes prevention,” said lead researcher Ted Adams, a professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine. The surgery can also reverse existing diabetes. At year 12, half of patients who’d had Type 2 diabetes before surgery were in remission, according to the study. Still, Adams said, gastric bypass has risks, and it’s considered a last resort after other weight-loss attempts have failed. So candidates for the surgery should go in fully informed of the pros and cons, Adams said. An obesity specialist who was not involved in the study agreed. “It does take a lot of hard work before and after surgery. And this is not a cure-all for diabetes,” said Scott Isaacs, medical director of Atlanta Endocrine Associates. The hard work includes a lifelong commitment to diet and exercise changes. So the surgery itself is no “magic bullet,” said Isaacs, who is a spokesperson for the Obesity Society. That said, he called the news findings “really clear-cut.” “It’s one of the best studies we’ve had done to date,” Isaacs said. “And it shows that this is a safe, effective surgery with durable results.” The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), involved 1,156 severely obese adults. In all, 418 underwent gastric bypass, while the rest either did not seek surgery or considered it but did not go through with it mostly for insurance reasons. During gastric bypass, a surgeon staples the stomach to

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High School Students Wanted for $2,500 Scholarship The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society launches new fundraising competition to help find cancer cures


he Western & Central New York Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), is currently seeking high school students who are enthusiastic about volunteerism, philanthropy, community outreach and leadership for a new fundraising competition called Students of the Year. LLS’s Students of the Year is a leadership development and philanthropy program in which high school students raise funds to invest in research to advance lifesaving treatments and cures for blood cancer patients. Every dollar raised counts as one vote. The candidates or teams who raise the most money at the end of the seven-week competition earn the title Student(s) of the Year. As the world’s largest nonprofit health organization dedicated to finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for all blood cancer patients, LLS relies on its flagship fundraising campaigns to generate funds for its mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Students of the Year is for motivated high school students. Through guidance and mentoring from experienced professionals at LLS they will make a real impact in the fight against blood cancers, according to the nonprofit. “We are excited to launch this year’s Students of the Year campaign, and meet all of our new participating candidates,” said Nancy Hails, executive director of LLS’s Western & Central NY Chapter. “Every student who participants has the power to save lives, and help LLS make “some day”, today, for blood cancer patients.” This campaign will kick off March 22 and will culminate in a grand finale celebration May 10, which will include a reception, silent auction and awards presentation. Potential candidates must submit an application on LLS’ website: www.studentsoftheyear. org. The application deadline is Jan.5. For questions, to nominate a candidate, or to volunteer, please contact Amanda Harley, campaign manager, at 716-2493019 or

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Nov. 11

Caregiving event to feature over 40 organizations More than 40 local agencies, nonprofits and associations will be present at the Family Caregiving Essentials Event, which will take place 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11, at the UB Center for Tomorrow. The purpose of the annual event is to serve and inform family caregivers of local resources available throughout Erie and surrounding counties. Experts will offer advice and information on aging parents and loved ones with long-term chronic illnesses. Caregivers will be able to learn from experts on dementia, Parkinson’s, diabetes and heart disease; financial and legal issues. Special presentations will focus on veteran’s care. Caregivers will also come away with suggestions on how to handle those difficult conversations with loved ones about

medical matters and long-term wishes. Added to the event this year is the topic of “mindfulness.” Participants will learn how mindfulness is taught and practiced by professionals in the medical profession, with patients and caregivers. Registration is required by calling 716-775-5748 or through the organization’s website,

Nov. 15

Free dinner program to focus on gynecologic cancer Catholic Health is sponsoring a free community dinner program titled “Genetic Testing and Gynecologic Cancer: Are You at Risk?” It will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Nov. 15, at the Millennium Hotel, 2040 Walden Ave., Buffalo. Registration begins at 5 p.m.

Join women’s health experts, physician Stacey Akers and registered nurse Karen Gutierrez, as they provide an in-depth look at the various gynecologic cancers and discuss the link between endometriosis and ovarian cancer. They’ll present the latest information on prevention, detection, and treatment options, and whether genetic testing is right for you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with gynecologic cancer each year. Whether it’s ovarian, cervical, uterine, or other cancer of the female reproductive system, factors such as family history, smoking, and age can increase a woman’s risk. Because prevention and early detection are key, it’s important for women to know the risk factors and warning signs of gynecologic cancer and to listen to their bodies. “Genetic Testing and Gynecologic Cancer: Are You at Risk?” is free and open to the public. A complimentary dinner will be served. Reservations are required by calling Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at 447-6205. Catholic Health residents can attend up to three free dinner programs per calendar year. After that, admission for each program is $20 and includes a three-course dinner.

Colvin Cleaners Collecting Coats as Annual ‘Coats 4 Kids’ Program Begins


olvin Cleaners is asking Western New Yorkers to go through their closets and donate gently used or new winter coats, jackets, gloves, hats and scarves for toddlers to young adults for families in need this winter season. The 22nd annual Coats 4 Kids program, supported by The Allstate Foundation and Fidelis Care, runs through Dec. 1 and donations can be made at Colvin Cleaners, 2375 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore; Allstate Insurance agencies; and Fidelis Care. For a complete listing and addresses of all locations, visit www. “With the support of The Allstate Foundation and Fidelis Care, I am very excited because we now have more than 40 donation locations throughout WNY which makes it very convenient for people to donate new or gently used coats, jackets, gloves, hats and scarves,” said Paul A. Billoni, president and CEO of Colvin Cleaners, an 87-yearsyoung family-owned dry cleaners. “With their support we will be able

to supply coats to all families who otherwise could not afford them. Don’t let this weather fool you it is going to get cold.” Fidelis Care has supported Coats 4 Kids for years. “Our commitment to serve children, adults, and families reach far beyond health coverage,” said Jennifer Lyons, Fidelis Care director of marketing. “As a mission-driven health plan, we are proud to support programs that directly benefit the most vulnerable population within our local community.” “Allstate agents help protect customers from life’s uncertainties; as small business owners, their passion is to make sure the people in their local communities are well taken care of, through all of life’s challenges,” said Kayla Taylor, New York Allstate spokesperson. “We are so happy to partner with Colvin Cleaners once again, and support their efforts in giving the gift of warmth to local families in need by collecting coats, scarves and other winter essentials at close to 40 Allstate agency locations across WNY.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

Coat Distribution Dates The Coats 4 Kids distribution dates are: • Saturday, Nov. 11: True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St., Buffalo; • Saturday, Nov. 18: Colvin Cleaners Warehouse, 2365 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore; and • Saturday, Dec. 2: Knights of Columbus, 36 Pierce Ave, Hamburg. All distributions are held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. with a limit of one coat per person. Over the past 21 years, Colvin Cleaners has collected, cleaned, sorted and distributed, for free, more than 80,000 coats to children in need throughout WNY. Unfortunately, Billoni has seen the need increase annually. “I am confident our generous neighbors throughout WNY will come through again for this much needed drive. For us, it is all worthwhile when families come in and go through the racks of coats or pick out a pair of gloves that will keep them warm this winter. When they smile or say thank you, it puts tears in your eyes,” Billoni said.



headline on the front page of In Good Health — October 2017 issue — misstated the date in which Moving Miracles, a local dance studio whose student body is wholly made up of special needs children and adults, was founded. The organization, as the inside story noted, recently celebrated 20 years in business. We regret the error.

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IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Working Night Shifts May Widen Your Waistline Paul D. Paterson, M.D.

Your Doctor

By Chris Motola

Disturbing normal sleep patterns is the main culprit, nutritionists say


orkers who regularly pull overnight shifts may be more prone to pack on the pounds, a new analysis suggests. The finding involved an indepth look at 28 studies conducted between 1999 and 2016. All the investigations explored the health impact of shift work, in which employees are regularly asked to either alternate between daytime and overnight schedules or to exclusively work overnight hours. An estimated 700 million men and women around the world now follow that work pattern, representing about 20 percent of the global workforce, the researchers said. And while the numbers varied by study, the new analysis determined that, on average, routinely working a night shift seems to boost the risk for becoming obese or overweight by 29 percent. Although the review could not prove cause-and-effect, nutrition experts expressed little surprise at the finding. Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, suggested that sleep disruption is without question the main culprit. “As studies have demonstrated, and this study supports, the human body is programmed to sleep when it is dark, allowing hormones that impact hunger and satiety to reset for the next day,” she explained. “When people are awake when they should be sleeping, the hormones related to hunger and satiety appear to be thrown off, resulting in changes in eating, changes in metabolism and a tendency to eat more than we need,” Diekman said. That point was seconded by Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State University. “Sleep deprivation is a major stressor that should be avoided as much as possible,” she said, noting that by working night shifts, people are inevitably working against their natural biological clocks. Neither Diekman nor KrisEtherton were part of the current review team, which was led by M. Sun of the JC School of Public Health and Primary Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The investigators reported their findings in the Oct. 4 issue of Obesity Reviews.

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Hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon talks about innovative ways to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow and shoulder problems Q: Your subspecialty focuses on the arm — from the finger tips to the shoulder. Is there a reason other than proximity that we group all those joints together? A: Orthopedics has sort of segregated itself into upper extremity guys and lower extremity guys. The hand is a bit more specialized, because it has a lot of tiny little anatomy that puts some people off. Q: What kinds of diseases and injuries are you typically treating? A: By far the most common thing I treat is carpal tunnel syndrome. Q: It seems like you don’t hear about carpal tunnel as much as you used to. Is it declining at all, or is it just no longer news? A: It hasn’t been declining at all, that’s for sure. That’s an interesting perception. I don’t know. It’s possible that it’s become so commonplace. We have a new way we’re going to start treating this in the office very soon. Q: How will that work? A: It will almost be the equivalent of a dental appointment. Your primary physician might send you to someone like myself. I’d evaluate it and, if you wanted to, I’d release your carpal tunnel in the office that day and that would pretty much be the end of it. Q: I take it we’re talking about a minimally invasive procedure. A: They’re calling it a microinvasive procedure. Everybody’s got to give it a new name, you know how it is. But we use ultrasound guidance. It’s a very clever device that adds an extra measure of safety. The patients I’ve used it on seem to be getting better about 50 percent faster. My rockstar patient, if you will, was a 27-year-old. I did both her carpal tunnels on the same day. She’s a musician and was back playing in front of an audience about three days later. She wasn’t playing her most difficult stuff, but it was still pretty remarkable. I’ve done about 50 of

these since the beginning of April and the patients do seem to do better, faster. Usually you want to give about three months to get completely back to normal. But I’m pretty confident saying about four to six weeks with this. You might still feel a little soreness in the palm of your hand. It really makes a big difference. And the procedure itself is really easily tolerated. Last week I had two women who were really nervous. I finished the procedure about five minutes after bringing them into the operating room and said, “I’m done.” They started laughing. Q: Can you give us an overview of what you’re doing during the procedure? A: Sure. We use ultrasound to make sure we know where all the bits are. We make a small incision on the side of the wrist about a quarter to three-eighths of an inch long. We use local anesthetic. We slide an instrument through the incision into the carpal tunnel. We use the ultrasound to make sure that it’s in the safe zone where we won’t hurt any blood vessels, nerves or tendons. Then we deploy a knife that cuts a belt that’s squeezing the nerve. It takes about five minutes, then they’re on their way. Q: Do you see a wider application for this kind of procedure? A: Right now it’s for carpal tunnel, but we are looking at applications for treating a similar condition in the elbow. So it’s pretty exciting. My prediction is that within five years nearly all carpal tunnel will be done in the office using something like this. Not only will it provide patients a better recovery, but it will cost everyone a lot less. It can also be used to diagnose carpal tunnel. I think it’ll really revolutionize treatment.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

Q: What other procedures do you do commonly? A: I do a lot

of shoulder replacements. I’ve done probably about 1,500 in my career. Q: Is there truth to the rumors that it’s a very difficult joint to operate on successfully? A: I don’t disagree in one respect. Rotator cuff inflammation and tears are difficult surgeries to get well from. Shoulder replacements didn’t have a good history until about 15 years ago. It became a very reliable procedure. There was another advance that came here from Europe in 2005 called the reverse total shoulder replacement, which provided some good benefits to patients. Shoulder arthroplasty has lagged behind knee arthroplasty, but total shoulder arthroplasty patient satisfaction is about 95 percent now and patient outcome data rivals that of total hip replacement, which is kind of the gold standard. Q: So it’s easier to replace the joint than repair the rotator cuff. A: Yes. If you think of it this way: if you can imagine having a hole in the knee of your pants, it’s not an easy thing to repair. Even if you fix it, maybe it doesn’t function quite right. The shoulder replacement is like giving you a new pair of pants. So, often patients who have had a total shoulder replacement will remark that their recovery isn’t nearly as difficult as their friends who have gotten rotator cuff surgery. I’ve also pioneered an innovation there for a shoulder replacement for arthritis. There are two shoulder replacements that are used. One’s an anatomic total shoulder, which you use when you have a good rotator cuff. The reverse total shoulder is for when you don’t have a good rotator cuff. In order to put these implants in, you usually had to move one of these important rotator cuff muscles out of the way, which could cause complications. So in the last year I developed a technique that allows us to not interfere with those muscles. I’m not taking apart the muscles, so we don’t have to worry about protecting them. That means they can use their hand sooner. So we’re looking to inconvenience our patients as little as possible.


Name: Paul D. Paterson, M.D. Position: Physician at General Physician PC; chief of upper extremity trauma at Erie County Medical Center. Hometown: Burt, NY Education: Doctor of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo; master’s in anatomy and physiology at the University of Michigan; Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York at Buffalo; fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery, Harvard Medical School Honors: Outstanding clinical faculty SUNY at Buffalo Orthopaedic residency (2008, 2009) Accreditation: National Board of Medical Examiners, Parts I, II, III; New York State Medical License; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery certification; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery recertification Affiliations: Erie County Medical Center; Children’s Hospital; Buffalo General Family: Married; seven children Hobbies: Working out; chasing his kids; working on new surgical technique

STDs Hit All-Time High in U.S. Annual report shows more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in 2016


ew cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States reached an all-time high in 2016, federal health officials reported in late September. There were 1.6 million cases of chlamydia, 470,000 cases of gonorrhea and 28,000 of syphilis reported that year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in its annual report on STDs. And the diseases are on the rise in a number of groups, including women, infants, and gay and bisexual men. “Increases in STDs are a clear warning of a growing threat,” said physician Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “STDs are a persistent enemy, growing in number, and outpacing our ability to respond,” he said in an agency news release. Young women account for nearly half of all diagnosed chlamydia infections, but syphilis and gonorrhea are increasingly affecting new groups of people. Between 2015 and 2016, syphilis rates rose nearly 18 percent. Most cases occurred among men, especially gays and bisexuals. Half of the men in those two groups also had HIV, according to the report. But syphilis rates rose 36 percent among women and 28 percent among newborns between 2015 and 2016. In 2016, there were more than 600 cases of syphilis-infected newborns, resulting in more than 40 deaths and

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Making a Donation This Year? First Check with BBB Better Business Bureau keeps information on charities’ accountability


Sign in the waiting room at the newly opened Evergreen Health medical group at 206 S. Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo.

e all know to check with Better Business Bureau before making a purchase, hiring for the home or buying a car, but did you know that you can check with BBB before you give to charities, too? BBB knows that people have concerns and wonder if an organization is legitimate before they By Nancy Cardillo give. BBB has verified iza Pereira is a retention information support assistant at Evergreen available to Health, a Buffalo-based BBB’s Review programnonprofit organization that provides help youCharity give with confidence. works to encourage BBB’s information isn’t wise givingmedical, supportive and behavioral and increase public confidence in just great for donors, it’s a services to individuals and families living with HIV throughout Western Upstate New York charities. valuable accountability tool for New York. She loves her job because charities, too. Visit or to look she knows she helps people every BBB has 20 standards for day. She also knows firsthand how for a charity. charity accountability. Once a vital are the services Evergreen charity meets all 20 standards, provides, because she’s also an HIVIf you work with a charity, contact it’s a “BBB accredited charity.” us at charity@upstatenybbb.orgpositive recovering drug addict. The reports show how to learn more about accreditation. “I started using drugs when I was 19 and living in Buffalo,” says charities performed against Pereira. “It got out of control to the the 20 standards for charity point that I was in prison at various accountability. We are proud to recognize ourselling localdrugs and for petit times for BBB’s charity reports Accredited Charity Seal Holderslarceny. as of October 18,spinning 2017. out of My life was show people how a charity control.” raises money, how that During one Buffalo of her incarcerations, Catholic Charities of Buffalo money is spent and more. The Pereira took a long hard look at the Crisis Services women around Buffalo her — some serving evaluation process looks to life — and realized she didn’t want to ensure that the organization’s Epilepsy-Pralid, Inc. Rochester end up like them. She went through board ofBank directors is providing Food of the Southern Tierdetox, long-termElmira drug rehabilitation adequate oversight and treatment and while she was in a Friends of Night People Buffalo that it’s being truthful in halfway house in Niagara Falls, Lollypop Farm, Humane Fairport fundraising appeals among Society something “clicked,” and Pereira of Rochester and Monroe County other things. knew her life was heading in a positive direction. Make-A-Wish Foundation Albany Each year, BBB publishes “I was introduced to Narcotics of Northeast New York its Upstate New York Giving Anonymous,” she said. “I went Guide, highlights the Readwhich to Succeed Buffalo Buffalo to meetings regularly. I found evaluation conclusions of our Roswell Park Alliance Foundation positive people Buffalo to be in my life. I charity reports. This year’s found employment and housing. Schoharie Long Term Schoharie Upstate New Area York Giving Things just snowballed from there, SPCA Serving Allegany Guide has just been releasedCountyand today I’m 19Wellsville years clean, with four kids and seven grandsons and visit to read County United Way of Cattaraugus Olean working at a place I love.” more. United Way of Greater Rochester Before becoming Rochester an employee at All charity reviews are Evergreen Health, Pereira became a United Way of the Greater Capital Region Albany online at or client, when her healthcare provider Vascular Latham Not online?Birthmarks You can alsoFoundation get moved from Erie County Medical a report by calling 1-800-828Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY Buffalo Center to Evergreen. She says 5000. following him there “was like finding Water For South Sudan Rochester

Evergreen Health: Making a Difference in Lives of LGBT GiveCommunity with — and Beyond


my home.” “Evergreen helped me with my Submitted by the Better recovery, they help me take good Business Bureau. For more information aboutcare Better Business Bureau of myself and my health, helped of Upstate New York and Charity Review, me find housing and when I was callstruggling 800-828-500 ext.They 295don’t financially.

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Liza Pereira works at Evergreen Health Services in Buffalo. A former drug addict, she was a client first. “People say, ‘Once an addict, always an addict,’ but that’s not true,” says Pereira. “When you have people who believe in you and places like Evergreen that offer all these great services and support, you can turn your life around. I did!” judge me at all and they support me as a client, an employee and, most importantly, as a human being,” says Pereira. Evergreen Health was founded in 1983 to address the HIV and AIDS crisis in Western New York. As breakthroughs in medical therapy were made for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, the organization broadened its range of life-enhancing services beyond HIV care to support its clients’ ability to lead healthy, secure and satisfying lives. In 2012, Evergreen restructured to accommodate the ever-broadening programs and services it provides. Today, the organization serves all of Western New York, providing

or email IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

medical, supportive and behavioral services to individuals and families — especially those who are living with chronic illness or who are underserved by the healthcare system. The organization includes the Evergreen Foundation, Pride Center of WNY and Community Access Services. “Dealing with the healthcare system can be extremely daunting, particularly when you’re ill or have other life issues to deal with,” says Ray Ganoe, Evergreen’s CEO. “At Evergreen, our mission is to make accessing care easy for everyone, to help our clients live their happiest lives.” Evergreen’s services include support for chronic illness — including counseling and housing programs; HIV care and prevention; LGBQ and transgender services; sexual health and substance user health and hepatitis C treatment. In 2016, nearly 11,000 individuals — ranging in age from infant to 60-plus — utilized services provided by Evergreen, including the medical clinic and pharmacy, counseling services, housing placement and more. Since becoming a full-time employee at Evergreen two years ago, Pereira earned a college degree in marketing (with Evergreen’s support) and has become a vocal advocate for the agency. “People say, ‘Once an addict, always an addict,’ but that’s not true,” says Pereira. “When you have people who believe in you and places like Evergreen that offer all these great services and support, you can turn your life around. I did!” For more information about Evergreen Health Services, visit or watch the video at watch?v=PuYvAAonoOg

Long Sleeves on Doctors’ White Coats May Spread Germs


octors may want to roll up their sleeves before work, literally. A new study suggests that long sleeves on a doctor’s white coat may become contaminated with viruses or other pathogens that could then be transmitted to patients. In the study, the researchers had 34 health care workers wear either long- or short-sleeved white coats while they examined a mannequin that had been contaminated with DNA from the “cauliflower mosaic virus.” This virus infects plants and is harmless to humans, but it is transmitted in a way that is similar to that of other, harmful pathogens, such as Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea, said physician Amrita John, an infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, who led the study. John presented the research in San

Diego, Oct. 6, at an infectious disease conference called IDWeek 2017. The health care workers wore gloves while they examined the mannequin, then removed the gloves, washed their hands and put on a new pair of gloves before examining a second, clean (noncontaminated) mannequin. After the health care workers had finished examining both mannequins, the researchers swabbed the workers’ sleeves, wrists and hands, and tested the samples for DNA from the cauliflower mosaic virus. Each of the 34 participants completed the exam twice (once wearing short sleeves and once wearing long sleeves), for a total of 68 “simulations.” They found that, when the health care workers wore long-sleeved coats, 25 percent of the simulations resulted in contamination of their sleeves or wrists with the virus DNA marker, compared with none when

the health care workers wore shortsleeved coats. In addition, about 5 percent of health care workers who wore long sleeves contaminated the clean mannequin with the virus DNA marker, while none of the health care workers who work short sleeves contaminated the clean mannequin. These results provide support for a recommendation “that health care personnel wear short sleeves to reduce the risk for pathogen

transmission,” John said. Such a recommendation already exists in the United Kingdom — in 2007, the country’s department of health introduced a “bare below the elbow” policy for hospitals, which recommended that health care personnel wear short sleeves. In the United States in 2014, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America said that health care facilities might consider the adoption of a “bare below the elbow” policy.

Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman

ACA in Flux Again

The Graham-Cassidy bill was last attempt by the Senate to repeal and replace the ACA and it never made it to the floor for a vote. Consequently, the ACA will remain law of the land for at least another year. As of Sept. 30, the Senate will need 60 votes (not just 50) to pass any bill replacing the ACA. Since the odds of that happening are close to nil, the Senate may actually have to work on a bipartisan solution. In the meantime, President Trump signed an executive order to terminate the premium subsidies for the exchanges. Without the subsidies, millions of people won’t be able to afford the full premiums and the ACA would crumble. Nineteen state attorneys general have filed a suit against the federal government for discontinuing the premium subsidies. Is President Trump simply sabotaging the ACA? Or is he really forcing the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, to get to the table and come up with a solution?     

Selling Across State Lines

President Trump’s Executive Order also allows insurers to sell across state lines. There is a provision in the ACA that allows sales across state lines, but details were never formulated. However, this is easier allowed than done. Insurers are reluctant to cross state lines because of the expenses associated with complying with varying state rules and regulations and then having to establish broad enough provider networks to care for potential members. In any event, the Department of Health and Human Services ultimately approves crossing state lines.

Demand for Physicians

According to the national

physician placement firm MerrittHawkins, newly trained physicians are being besieged by a record number of solicitations from hospitals, medical practices and recruiting firms. Seventy percent said they have received more than 50 contacts — some have received as many as 100 contacts. The Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of between 41,000 and 105,000 physicians in just 12 years. (Their dire prediction does not account for nurse practitioners and physician assistants). Right now, primary care and psychiatry residents are, on average, receiving the most contacts. Rural areas face the toughest recruiting battle. Only 4 percent of residents prefer to practice in communities under 25,000 people. New physicians overwhelming prefer to be employed versus striking out on their own. Forty-one percent of the residents surveyed prefer hospital employment and 34 percent prefer medical group employment. It seems that independent solo practitioners are nearing extinction.

Uninsured, New Low

According to the US census bureau, the nation’s uninsured rate dropped to 8.8 percent (about 28 million people) primarily due to the expansion of Medicaid. In 2009, the uninsured rate was 17 percent. The uninsured rate has dropped in all 50 states. Massachusetts, again, has the lowest rate of uninsured at 2.5 percent due to its universal mandate requiring all citizens to have coverage.

Good Health

It depends on a lot of factors, some of which are out of your control. Fifty percent of good health is determined by living a “good life,” which includes a decent

income, no disabilities, a good education and a satisfying job. Race and gender impact a “good life” as well. Twenty-five percent of good health is determined by the medical and dental care you receive. Fifteen percent of good health is predetermined by your biology and the final 10 percent by your environment. Ninety-three percent of healthcare spending in the US is spent on hospitals, physicians and drugs or, virtually, on “damage control.” Only 7 percent of healthcare spending is for public health or social initiatives which typically address education, income inequality, racial discrimination, drug abuse, disabilities, the environment and research. Health experts believe that more investment in public health will have a tremendous return on investment by improving our overall health and significantly reducing “damage control.”

95 Percent Satisfaction, But…

According to an independent survey of more than 1,700 adults, commissioned by the Physicians Foundation, 95 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their primary care provider. But only 11 percent of patients, and 14 percent of physicians, felt there was enough time spent during a visit. Ninety percent of those surveyed felt the most important component of quality care is a strong physician-patient relationship. The cost of care is a major concern with 57 percent saying they are only one sickness away from serious financial trouble. (Unpaid medical bills are now the No. 1 reason for personal bankruptcy). Eighty-eight percent of respondents see drug prices as the main contributor to rising costs, followed by the absence of free markets and

November 2017 •

fraud. Electronic records may be the main culprit for not enough time spent during a visit. According to research from the AMA, primary care physicians devote four hours a day during office hours, and then another two hours after office hours, on just keeping electronic records up to date.    

New Medicare Card

Social security numbers will gradually be replaced by unique, randomly assigned identification numbers beginning in April 2018. All Medicare members should have the new cards with their new ID number by April 2019. Removing the SS number will help deter identity theft and fraud, which have cost the taxpayer about $60 billion a year, which is about 10 percent of all Medicare spending.  

Coverage Outside US

Call your plan before traveling out of the country. Depending on your commercial insurance, you could have no coverage or partial coverage. Straight Medicare does not cover you abroad, but Medicare Advantage Plans offer some coverage. Temporary coverage can be purchased. The price depends on where you are going and for how long. Check out coverage abroad at 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

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Live Alone & Thrive

By Gwenn Voelckers

Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone

This Thanksgiving: See the Glass Half Full!


very one of us has been given a great gift: the cup of life. It is half full and half empty. We choose which half to focus on, at every moment.”


Marc Allen, triathlon

Seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty is all about focusing on what’s positive in our lives, regardless of what comes our way. It’s about being thankful, appreciative and grateful. It’s about concentrating on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. I’m convinced that our thoughts and attitudes determine the life we have. And experience has taught me that seeing the glass half full can make a big difference for those who live alone. We have a choice. We can choose to see the positive or we can choose to wallow in the negative; we can open our eyes to possibilities or begrudge what life has offered up. So, how do you view the cup of life? Take a look at the list below, which contains actual quotes from divorced or widowed women and men I’ve encountered along my journey. Do you find yourself identifying with one perspective over another?


• Half Empty “Something must be wrong with me. All my friends are married, and here I am alone and miserable.” • Half Full

“Not in a million years did I expect to be divorced at my age, but I am resourceful and persistent. I’ve always wanted to travel and try new things, and now I have that opportunity — to create a life that’s rewarding and full of new people and experiences that bring me joy. And, who knows? I may meet a special someone along the way.”


during tough times. When I got the call that my father had had a heart attack, I took charge, made calls, and brought the family together. I learned I could take care of myself and others, too.”


• Half Empty “I can’t imagine re-entering the dating scene. What could anyone possibly see in me at this age, with my graying hair and grandchildren?” • Half Full “I believe that warm friendships, even romance, can happen at any age. I’m now remarried. We met in a grief support group and the rest is history. Next year, we are celebrating our fifth anniversary.”


• Half Empty “Are you kidding? I don’t know enough to buy a house or a car. Those are the big decisions my spouse used to make. I wouldn’t know where to begin.” • Half Full “Finally, I get to make all my own decisions! No one’s around to second-guess my choices. I just purchased my first car all on my own: a new Subaru Impreza. I did the research and was completely prepared when I went to the dealership. My color choice? Crimson Red Pearl!”

• Half Empty “My spouse took care of all the finances, the bills, the taxes, everything! I feel helpless and, honestly, I fear dying alone and penniless.” • Half Full “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew I could do it. Getting help with my finances was one of the first things I did after my divorce. I picked up the phone and asked for help, did my homework, and now enjoy peace of mind. I think it’s the thing I’m most proud of.


• Half Empty “Why would I go to any lengths to create a special meal for just myself? It hardly seems worth it. I can fill up on chips and salsa and call it a night.” • Half Full “Creating a pleasant ‘table for one’ makes me feel good about myself. It means I’m nourishing my body as well as my spirit. When I prepare a nice table setting and sit down to a simple home-cooked

• Half Empty “I’m no good in a crisis. I go to pieces. When I hear bad news, I’m embarrassed to admit that sometimes I long to be taken care of and protected. Living alone makes all this worse. There’s no one to turn to.” • Half Full “Being alone in a crisis isn’t the end of the earth. In fact, some of my most significant growth has been


meal, a sense of serenity comes over me. I feel at home with my own good company.” DISCOVERING YOUR TRUE SELF • Half Empty “I’m a creature of habit, too old to re-invent myself. And, what’s the point anyway? There’s no one to share my life with. • Half Full “It’s never too late. Today, I have an opportunity to fashion a life that reflects my dreams, my style, my true self. Just recently, I signed up for dancing lessons, a lifelong dream of mine. My niece is also coming into her own, and I love being a role model for her.


• Half Empty “Living alone is for the birds! I just want to stay in bed and pull the covers up over my head. • Half Full “Living alone need not be a time of diminished opportunities. It can be a time of expanding possibilities. Used wisely, the time can be an adventure in self-discovery and reveal opportunities for personal growth and fulfillment.” If you don’t like the results you are getting in your life, consider changing the attitudes that are producing those results. Who knows what great adventures and joy await those who focus on gratitude and embrace the wisdom of seeing the glass half full. Now, that’s something to be thankful for!

Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Live Alone and Thrive,” empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon. For information or to contact Voelckers, call 585-6247887 or email: gvoelckers@rochester.

s d i K Corner

Girls’ Sports-Related Concussions May Last Twice As Long Underlying conditions could prolong recovery, researcher says


ports concussion symptoms linger twice as long in teen girls as in boys, a new study finds. “These findings confirm what many in sports medicine have believed for some time,” said lead researcher physician John Neidecker, a sports concussion specialist in Raleigh, N.C. Previous research has suggested Page 10

that concussions may exacerbate underlying conditions that are more prevalent in girls — migraine headaches, depression, anxiety and stress. This may explain the extended recovery period, Neidecker and his colleagues said. The study findings were published Oct. 2 in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The results highlight “the need to take a whole person approach to managing concussions, looking beyond the injury to understand the mental and emotional impacts on recovery when symptoms persist,” Neidecker said. Doctors should get a full patient history to uncover factors that might complicate concussion recovery in teens, he said. “Often in this age range, issues like migraines, depression and anxiety have not yet been

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

diagnosed,” Neidecker explained. “So, if I ask a patient whether they have one of these conditions, they’re likely to say ‘No’. But when I ask about their experiences, I get a much clearer picture.” The research team focused on 102 girls and 110 boys, aged 11 to 18, with first-time sports concussions. Symptoms lasted a median of 28 days in girls (half more, half less) and 11 days in boys. Symptoms cleared up within three weeks in 42 percent of girls and 75 percent of boys.

Amherst Resident Raising Funds to Fight Mitochondrial Disease John Geraci was diagnosed with the disease when he was 23. Now at 28, he’s raised nearly $40,000 for research and treatment By Julie Halm


t was a long road for 28-yearold Amherst resident John Geraci and his doctors before eventually reaching his diagnosis of mitochondrial disease. His symptoms began at the same time as his high school career and brought him to Case Western University Hospital in Cleveland. Doctors managed to treat his symptoms for a while but by the time he was 22, Geraci was experiencing dangerously low blood pressure and heart rates, frequent bouts of unconsciousness, stroke-like symptoms and seizures and issues with his kidneys, pancreas and GI tract. All of these complications would require Geraci to receive a gastronomy tube, a port and a pacemaker. It wouldn’t be until he was 23 that he would receive a conclusive diagnosis and shortly after, he decided that getting treated wasn’t the only thing he could do to fight the disease and so he established the John Geraci Family Research Fund through the United Mitochondrial

Disease Foundation. “I think it was kind of my way of trying to manage some part of my life,” he said. Geraci said that he hopes to help others who are battling the complicated disease through his efforts as well. According to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, the disease primarily affects children, but cases involving adult-onset are becoming more common. Doctors and researchers know that the issue is caused by the failure of mitochondria and can cause seizures, strokes, severe developmental delays, inability to walk, talk, see and digest food. Diagnosis can often be difficult because it can present differently in every individual. Since establishing the fund, it has garnered just shy of $40,000 in donations. “People were really, really supportive,” said Geraci, adding that individual donations as well as fundraising events thrown by supporters helped him to raise the substantial funds. “It’s going directly

to research and trying to find a cure.” Geraci hopes to use that support to bolster those in the community living with mitochondrial disease. “There’s not a ton of us, but I get phone calls or talk to people all of the time, really every single day,” he said. There are, very likely, many individuals living with mitochondrial disease who are not aware, he said. “While exact numbers of children and adults suffering from mitochondrial disease are hard to determine because so many people who suffer from mitochondrial disease are frequently misdiagnosed, we now know the disease is approaching the frequency of childhood cancers,” according to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation’s website. “Many are misdiagnosed with atypical cerebral palsy, various seizure disorders, childhood diseases and diseases of aging. Still others aren’t diagnosed until after death.” The foundation hopes that fundraising efforts will not only advance treatments and potentially

John Geraci: Working to fight a cure for mitochiondrial disease.

produce a cure for all types of patients from childhood to adult and across the spectrum of severity. For Geraci, he hopes to turn his fundraising goals into a full-time effort and aims to plan several events in the coming year. “It’s going to be something I probably won’t ever stop doing,” he said. To learn more about Geraci, or to donate to his campaign, visit www.

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Is Your Car’s Technology Driving You to Distraction? Dashboard ‘infotainment’ systems can keep attention off the road for 40 seconds


new car’s “infotainment” screen that allows you to send text messages and navigate with GPS may have been a big selling point. But all that razzle-dazzle may distract you from the road — sometimes for as long as 40 seconds, a new study reports. Previous research has shown that the risk of a crash doubles when drivers look away from the road for just two seconds. “Some in-vehicle technology can

create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel,” said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which conducted the study. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete,” he said in an AAA news release.

The foundation asked researchers from the University of Utah to monitor 120 drivers as they drove and used infotainment systems. The drivers were between 21 and 36 years old. They drove 30 new 2017 vehicles, ranging from a Toyota Corolla to a Tesla Model S.

November 2017 •

The study participants were told to use interactive technologies while driving, such as a voice command or touch screen to send a text message, tune the radio or set a location for navigation. Navigation distracted drivers for an average of 40 seconds. The researchers also found that 23 of the systems required high or very high attention from the drivers. “Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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The John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital Set to Open This Month By Nancy Cardillo


omen, children and families from Western New York and beyond starting this month will see increased access to enhanced medical services, including newer, innovative technology, more beds and closer proximity to other medical facilities, when Kaleida Health’s John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital opens on Ellicott Street.

This highly anticipated, $267 million physician-led project will be the newest addition to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, a 120-acre, nine-million-square-foot vibrant urban community comprised of hospitals, private sector companies and social innovators. Funding for the new Oishei Children’s Hospital consisted of $20 million from the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation; $3.8 million from

Kaleida; $35 million from New York state; a $44 million equipment loan; a $120 million federally insured construction loan, and $45.7 million in philanthropy and community donations. The John R. Oishei Foundation contributed $10 million to the project; the hospital is named for its founder. “The funds we contributed to this project are not so much a grant from The Oishei Foundation as they are a gift, one that honors the legacy

of Mr. Oishei and his contributions to the Western New York community,” said Robert D. Gioia, president of The John R. Oishei Foundation. “It was a unanimous foundation decision to support this. We were delighted to be involved in a project that will put Buffalo on the map medically while, at the same time, pay homage to a man who was devoted to this community his entire life.” Photos provided by Kaleida Health

Libby’s Chapel (fifth floor)

A room in The Children’s Guild Foundation Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Oishei Children’s Hospital (fourth floor) Page 12

One of many kids’ playrooms throughout the hospital.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

Who Is John R. Oishei? His foundation has donated $10 million to the new Children’s Hospital that bears his name


Photo of the late John R. Oishei. Courtesy of the The John R. Oishei Foundation.

An Accident Leads to an Innovation While there are varied opinions as to whom actually invented the windshield wiper (most people believe it was Mary Anderson in 1908), there is no doubt that Buffalobased Trico — and John R. Oishei — contributed significantly to the development and improvement of this vital vehicular accessory. Oishei’s participation came after he was involved in a car accident in 1916. As he was driving down Delaware Avenue in a rainstorm, his car struck a man riding a bicycle. Fortunately, the man was not seriously hurt, but the accident left a huge imprint on Oishei. He started thinking about ways to keep the windshield clear while driving in inclement weather. He contacted the inventor of a device known as the “rain rubber” — John W. Jepson — who agreed to work with Oishei. Oishei then asked his old friends, Dr. Cornell and William Haines, to invest in and assist with the Trico company. As the automobile became more of a necessity than a luxury and as Buffalo emerged as an important

It transforms a patient’s immune system cells to fight a form of leukemia


By Nancy Cardillo

orn in Buffalo in 1886, John R. Oishei (pronounced Ohshy) grew up the oldest of eight children in a tight-knit family, where he developed strong family values and a devotion to his Roman Catholic faith. He attended Central High School in Buffalo, but left before graduating to assist with his father’s successful law firm. Despite never having graduated from high school, Oishei went on to become one of Buffalo’s most successful businessmen. A part-time job in a theater fueled what would become a lifelong love of the theater for the young Oishei. He rose to the ranks of assistant treasurer at the Star Theater, where he honed his business skills and became known as a dedicated and hard worker. He also learned the value of interacting with people, a skill that would contribute to his later success. Oishei worked in the theater industry for such well-known names as Abraham Erlanger, the Schubert Brothers, Michael Shea and Peter Cornell, father of actress Katherine Cornell. He also wrote many plays, several of which were copyrighted. Eventually, as much as he loved the theater, Oishei knew his destiny to be elsewhere, and he left to launch his career as a businessman, investing in an outdoor advertising company, Whitmier and Ferris, which eventually became part of Lamar Advertising. In 1908, Oishei married Estelle Low. They had three children, but enjoyed just 30 years together before Estelle died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Oishei never remarried, instead devoting his life to his business interests.

FDA OKs 1st Gene Therapy for Use in U.S.

city in the development of the auto industry, Oishei’s sharp business acumen and innate people skills helped grow Trico into a successful, worldwide company. Many credit Oishei’s success to his “ability to think at least two years ahead of his industry competition.” Oishei remained loyal to Buffalo as his business prospered, saying, “Buffalo is where we operate, and Buffalo is where we stay.” At its peak in 1950, Trico employed nearly 4,600 at its three production facilities in Buffalo. In 1967 — Trico’s 50th anniversary — Oishei set up the John R. Oishei Charitable Appreciation Trust as an expression of his gratitude to Buffalo for the opportunities it had afforded him and his deep appreciation to his employees, transferring nearly 81,000 shares of capital stock. Upon his death at age 82 in 1968, the value of the trust was nearly $13 million. In 1999, the trust’s assets of more than $56 million were merged into The John R. Oishei Foundation. “The goal of the foundation has

always been to make a difference, rather than just write checks,” says foundation Executive Vice President Paul T. Hogan. “Mr. Oishei supported medical research, and he believed that education and medicine were the future of Buffalo. He would be thrilled to see this new hospital emerging, and that the foundation is part of that.” “The historic and generous show of support by The John R. Oishei Foundation will secure access to specialized pediatric and women’s health services in our community for generations to come,” says senior PR specialist at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Elizabeth Ortolani. “The new hospital will attract high-quality physicians, nurses and other medical providers, giving our patients and their families the best care by top providers, as well the latest in innovation and technology.” Somewhere, the man whose name adorns this important new building in his beloved hometown is smiling.

November 2017 •

he U.S. Food and Drug Administration broke new ground in cancer care recently by approving the first gene therapy for patients in the United States. Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) genetically tweaks a patient’s own immune system cells into what scientists call “a living drug” to battle a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The immunotherapy now can be used in children and young adults with B-cell ALL that will not respond to other therapies, the FDA announced. The announcement will “change the face of modern medicine and drug development,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said at a news briefing. “Gene therapy products are now being studied in many diseases and conditions, including genetic disorders, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS,” Gottlieb added. ALL is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood in which the body makes abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, about 3,100 patients aged 20 and younger are diagnosed with ALL each year. About 15 percent to 20 percent of patients with B-cell ALL have cancer that either did not respond to treatment or has recurred, the FDA says. It’s these patients for whom Kymriah is intended. In the treatment, doctors collect the patient’s own T-cells — one of the immune system’s main cell types — and genetically reprogram them to target and attack leukemia cells. They are then reintroduced back into the patient to do battle against the tumor. Kenneth Anderson is president of the American Society of Hematology, which focuses on blood cancers. In a statement, he said that the recent approval “marks an important shift in the blood cancer treatment paradigm. We now have proof that it is possible to eradicate cancer by harnessing the power of a patient’s own immune system. This is a potentially curative therapy in patients whose leukemia is unresponsive to other treatments.” The FDA based its decision on a clinical trial involving 63 patients with B-cell ALL. After three months of treatment, 83 percent of the patients remained cancer-free. Gottlieb said the FDA approval was expedited, coming just seven months after the agency received the initial application. However, Kymriah comes with the potential for severe side effects. The worst is cytokine release syndrome, a common immunotherapy complication that causes potentially lifethreatening fever and flu-like symptoms. The therapy also can cause neurological events, serious infections, low blood pressure and acute kidney injury.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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The skinny on healthy eating


Helpful Tips

Little Cannellinis Dish Out Big Benefits

eans are a big part of my weekly diet, for many reasons. But there was a time when I could barely imagine eating them, thanks to the canned, overly sweet baked beans that I choked down as a child. What really did me in was the fatty glob of pork, tucked amidst the gooey beans, that sometimes found its way onto my plate. What brought me back to beans, however, was my daughter, who became a vegetarian at 12. Concerned about the nutritional needs of her growing body, I looked for alternative sources of protein, vitamins, iron, and more — sources the whole family could enjoy. All roads pointed to beans. Though empty-nesters now, my husband and I continue to enjoy beans. In fact, we probably eat more beans than ever, now that we’ve cut back on meat and are keeping closer tabs on our hearts, weight and fiber intake. Nutrition reasons aside, we like beans because they’re economical, convenient and planetfriendly (1 pound of beans requires less than 500 gallons of water to produce; whereas 1 pound of meat requires over 1800 gallons). Cannellini beans, sometimes called “white kidney beans,” are an all-time favorite, from their taste to their texture to how wonderfully

they absorb flavors. Similar to many beans, a half cup of cannellini beans serves up 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, scant fat, and about 10 percent of our daily iron needs. Although the protein in cannellini beans is incomplete — like most plant-based proteins — it simply needs to be combined with a complementary protein to reap the full benefits of this powerhouse nutrient. No worries, however, about pairing proteins at the same meal; just having another plant protein — such as nuts, grains, or pasta — at some point during the day will do the trick. Cannellini beans are super good for hearts. One, they rock with cholesterol-lowering fiber; two, they’re chock full of folate, a B vitamin that effectively lowers levels of an amino acid in the bloodstream associated with greater risk of heart disease and stroke; three, they’re low in fat and calories (only 100 per half cup); and four, they’re loaded with heart-protecting antioxidants. Another reason to chow down the cannellinis? They boast a remarkable amount of molybdenum, a trace mineral that helps to detoxify sulfites (preservatives found in prepared foods and wine), which can sometimes cause headaches. Some wine and cannellini pâté, anyone?

Nutrition-wise, canned beans and dried beans are about equal. But if you prefer the convenience of canned over dried beans, look for canned beans labeled “Low Salt” or “Low Sodium.” Before using in any recipe, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly to remove excess sodium.

Cannellini Bean Chili with Turkey 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and diced 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired), minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, more to taste 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups cooked, shredded or diced turkey (optional) juice of 1 lime salt and pepper, to taste Garnishes, such as grated cheese, fresh cilantro, plain Greek yogurt Heat the oil in large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion,

poblano, and jalapeno; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about eight minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, and hot pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cannellini beans, broth, and cooked turkey (if using). Bring to a boil, while mashing some of the beans against the side of the pan to release starch. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and more broth, if needed. Season with salt and pepper; garnish as desired. Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle columnist, 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

Paleo for Type 2 Diabetes? Proceed With Caution By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ietary changes to manage Type 2 diabetes may seem confusing and hard to handle. Following a well-known and publicized paleo diet may seem an easier way to manage the disease. Paleo emphasizes meat, whole fruits and vegetables and tree nuts, eschewing dairy, processed foods, sugar, juice, alcohol, caffeine and grains. Research from City of Hope National Medical Center, a nonprofit clinical research center in California, focused on the effects of paleo diet on Type 2 diabetics. While some patients lost weight while eating paleo, some of the foods banned by the plan may cause deficiencies. Local experts agreed. Justin Draper, certified personal trainer and owner of Jada Blitz Training, Inc. in Williamsville, said that in general — not specific to diabetics — paleo is a healthful way to eat. “I’ve seen people get great results. You can reduce caloric intake and focus on whole food, which your body can easily digest better.” Since paleo restricts grains, that could help diabetics, who need to cut back on high glycemic index foods that cause blood sugar to spike. Page 14

Jane Giambrone, certified diabetes educator and clinical diabetes care manager in Rochester, agrees that “eliminating processed foods, refined grains and refined sugars may improve blood sugar levels.” She added that research among those who follow the paleo diet indicates a moderate to significant decline in blood sugar, depending upon the study. Other positive effects of effective dietary changes can include weight loss in about three months and improved insulin resistance. “That helps control blood sugar and also helps with reducing cancer and heart disease risk per physician Raynald Samoa, an endocrinologist and assistant professor of medicine at City of Hope,” Giambrone said. Paleo comes with some drawbacks. Though more and more foods are labeled as “paleo-friendly” and followers can download apps to help them decide if foods fit the plan, it is highly restrictive. Many people would find this difficult to follow long-term. The narrowness of paleo diet may make it harder to eat enough natural sources of calcium since

dairy’s off the menu. The only exception is heavy cream and butter. Animal fat is also fine. All of these contain high levels of saturated fat, which the American Heart Association associates with raised LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Paleo also forbids numerous foods rich in nutrients, such as cereal grains and legumes such as soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, split peas and blackeyed peas. For people on a budget, the paleo diet may be more difficult to follow since many of its permissible foods

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

are expensive, such as wild-caught salmon, coconut oil, more costly pasture-raised meat, and organic foods. “Everyone is different and what may be right for one person, may not be right for another person,” Giambrone said. “I do believe this may be an ideal option for some. With any diabetes meal plan it is important that the food plan is individualized. “It’s best to talk with a primary care physician to see if this is a meal plan worth trying if you have diabetes.”

Pictured are team members from the 2017 Kyle Reid Memorial Challenger League, who played baseball once a week last summer and are eagerly awaiting the start of the 2018 season.

Field of Dreams… For Everyone

Children with physical, mental disabilities stay active throughout the year By Daniel Meyer “The one constant through all the years has been baseball. It is a part of our past. It reminds us all of that once was good, and that could be again.”


hat line was stated by James Earl Ray in the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams.” And for about six dozen children who have either a physical or mental disability, it is something that motivates them to stay in shape throughout the year. With the most recent Major League Baseball season having ended and another World Series champion having been crowned, the sport of baseball is in the back of the minds of many until next spring. But for approximately 75 ballplayers who gather each Wednesday night during the summer months, it is the beginning of their off season and a chance to reflect on another fun season on the diamond while counting down the days until they hear the first call of “play ball” for 2018. The Kyle Reid Memorial Challenger League is an organization that allows children with any physical ailment or mental disability to play baseball with only one requirement — that they play with lots of heart. “What we have with our league is a special gathering of kids who love the game so much that it is something that is on their mind all year long,” says Mike O’Donnell, who for the past five years has served as commissioner of the baseball league. “Yes, we play baseball in the summer, but this league is so much more than that. There are other things we do throughout the year and it’s the social component and the networking that parents and other family members and friends do that make it truly special.” Named after the late Kyle Reid, a Hamburg resident who died in 1998 at the age of 13 after a seven-year battle with cancer, the baseball league was formed in 2000 in the hopes of keeping Reid’s love for baseball and other sports alive in spirit by providing children with disabilities a chance to stay active and regularly exercise. Open to children and young adults, the league’s regular season normally runs from late May through early August, with weekly games played each Wednesday evening at Howe Field in Hamburg. In addition to the action on the diamond, other activities held throughout the year — including swimming at the league’s annual pool party, marching in the village of Hamburg’s annual Halloween Parade and bowling and dancing outings —keep players in shape and

in touch with one another. While similar leagues are run in North Tonawanda, Niagara Falls and other Western New York communities, the Hamburg-based organization includes boys and girls with special needs who live in Eden, Boston, Blasdell and Lake View. Receiving support from the Village of Hamburg Recreation Department and the Hamburg Central School District, the league has grown from 40 players who gathered at Hamburg’s Legion Field for its inaugural season in 2000 to approximately 70 to 75 current players. “This gives them the chance to play just like all the other kids,” says Bonnie Brown, whose daughter Elizabeth began playing at age 12 and still competes now as a 30-yearold woman. “They can show they can play ball just like anyone else. The kids love it, the parents love it and we talk about it and look forward to it all year.” Using a “buddy system” format while in the field, the rules are altered to fit each individual’s particular skill set and adapt to their specific physical or mental limitations. Players are able to exercise by playing in the field and batting and each game ends in a celebration that includes the serving of refreshments. “I love it because I’ve made a lot of really good friends,” says Elizabeth Brown, one of the players. “They call me the ‘one hit wonder’ because every time I hit the ball it is a home run. I love playing baseball and I stay in shape because I want to be able to run the bases really fast.” Players and parents who have established relationships from the league interact during the offseason by engaging in other physical activities, including swimming, camping, hiking, bicycling and walking. While those activities are enjoyable, they always focus on the eventual return of hitting, pitching, fielding and running. “Seeing the smiles on each kid’s face is what makes it all worth it,” says O’Donnell, whose 14-year-old daughter Kelly has Down syndrome. A player in the league since age 6, she is already gearing up for next season. “She loves getting the exercise and just having a great time with her friends. And the mental health part of this is huge. The kids get so excited and look forward each week to playing. The friendships are important to the emotional and mental well-being of each one of the kids and we have seen some of the kids become really great friends after meeting on the ball field.”

One of the unique aspects of challenger baseball is the use of the “buddy system,” in which older children and young adults who play baseball in other leagues provide assistance at the plate and in the field.

Among the most popular participants in the Kyle Reid Memorial Challenger League is 14-year-old Kelly O’Donnell of Hamburg.

All About The Kyle Reid Memorial Challenger League What is a “challenger league?” A challenger league (also referred by some as a “miracle league”) is little league baseball’s adaptive program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges. Who can participate? Individuals with a physical or intellectual challenge may participate. The Kyle Reid Memorial Challenger League accommodates players aged 6 to young adult, with no maximum age for those players who wish to continue playing after age 18. Is there a cost? Each local challenger league sets its own policy with respect to registration fees. In most cases, no player may be denied the opportunity to participate based on the inability to pay a registration fee. For the Kyle Reid Memorial Challenger League, an annual $30 fee covers all family members who play. What rules are followed? Flexibility and adaptability are

November 2017 •

key during challenger games. Typical games are a few innings long and last about an hour. All players play in the field and bat each inning. What are “buddies”? Buddies are individuals who assist challenger athletes with batting, base running and playing defense as needed. Some buddies are students who play baseball or softball themselves or are volunteers from local recreation departments or youth bureaus. How many challenger leagues are there? It is believed there are currently close to 1,000 challenger programs in 10 different countries from around the world. An estimated 30,000 athletes participate, including a handful of leagues based in WNY. Contact information For more information about the challenger league, including how to register your child to play in 2018, call Nick Gallardo at 716-649-6170.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 15

Life’s Simple 7: Key to Brain, Heart Health

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


he American Heart Association developed the “Life’s Simple 7” program to help keep the brain and heart healthy from childhood through older adulthood. The steps are: • Don’t start smoking, or quit if you smoke • Manage blood pressure • Control cholesterol • Keep blood sugar normal • Eat a healthy diet • Lose extra weight • Get physically active The chances that you’ll develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) or experience a stroke are pretty high. According to the New York State Department of Health, “CVD accounted for nearly 40 percent of all deaths statewide in 2014.” The Health Department also states on its website that “an estimated 7.4 percent of adults in New York state reported they have had a heart attack, angina/coronary heart disease, or stroke in 2014. One out of five (20.9 percent) New Yorkers aged 65 and older reported having some type of CVD in 2014.” Stroke also represents a top killer. According to the American Heart Association, stroke is responsible for one out of every 20 deaths. Every four minutes, one American dies of stroke. It’s easy to see why smoking made the list. Smoking negatively

affects every cell in the body. Many people find quitting extremely difficult, but physicians can help with smoking cessation. Willpower alone doesn’t work for most patients. Nicotine replacement therapy and medications to help suppress cravings can help, along with a good support structure. Managing stress can help lower blood pressure, among other health benefits. Avoiding stress isn’t possible and some stress is good. Karen Knab, licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Buffalo, said that she likes to teach clients coping skills they can practice in stressful moments, along with tips on communication and conflict mitigation. “Conflict increases the stress level and you get overwhelmed,” Knab said. She added that intentional breathing can also bring clarity and calmness in the midst of a stressful situation. She also recommends yoga, guided meditation, and exercise. Healthful diet plays a role in blood pressure control and also in controlling cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar and weight loss. But many people don’t know where to start. “It really takes time to set up the processes,” said Vincent Mangione, certified personal trainer and

sports nutrition specialist through the International Sports Sciences Association and owner of Kenmore Barbell & Fitness. “You have to understand how food works and understand that calories are just calories. There are no certain foods that make that much of an impact when it comes to losing weight. It’s a matter of eating less food over time. That’s how weight comes off. It takes time.” He added that yo-yo dieting and extreme calorie restriction don’t work; however, permanently reducing calories to a moderate level helps people lose weight and keep it off. Reducing portion sizes makes a big impact on caloric intake. Using smaller plates and boxing half or more of a restaurant entree can help people eat more appropriately sized meals. The My Plate (www.myplate. gov) can offer general guidelines for healthful food choices. Sticking with water instead of sweetened beverages also lowers caloric intake. “Along with the food, it’s also about working your body,” Mangione said. “Start going to the gym twice a week. That’s enough to get started. Or can start out by walking. There are many options. At the end of the day, it’s burning more calories over the course of the day than you normally would.”

Some people dive headfirst into a gym membership or exercise class with daily attendance, knowing they don’t like that environment for exercise. It’s little wonder many quit soon, a pattern observed by Justin Draper, certified personal trainer and owner of Jada Blitz Training, Inc. in Williamsville. “When working with clients, I find it best when a client can find a diet and exercise routine they can adhere to or they’ll fall by the wayside,” Draper said. Instead of daily grueling sessions, Draper wants more clients to try weekly and then twiceweekly sessions after a month. By incrementally increasing the frequency, it’s easier to stick with the program. But it’s okay to never sweat it out at the gym. Draper said that walking, joining a community basketball league, performing resistance training or walking on a treadmill at home can help people get healthier, too. “Find a routine that you look forward to,” he said. A vigorous hobby that elevates the heart rate for 30 minutes a few times per week can help maintain weight. Longer, more frequent or more intense sessions can help with weight loss.




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IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

Golden Years Best Place to Retire in WNY? Local real estate agents point out the best places for retirees By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


hen the children leave home and you want to simplify and downsize your digs, you won’t have to look far to find a home that better suits this phase of your life. Area real estate agents offer a few suggestions based upon where their 60-plus aged clients are buying their re-starter homes. • “Cheektowaga has some smaller homes in nice areas. • “Green Acres is a mostly ranch home community in Tonawanda. It’s close to the main shopping strip. There are some patio home developments, but they’re much more expensive.” - Sandy Pond, real estate agent with Roncroft Realty, Kenmore

• “Amherst has a suburban/ metropolitan area. Within the town it has many little pockets. That’s because of when we were in postal zones, they formed hamlets within the town. Williamsville is within Amherst and it has a lot of that small-town flavor, but not a lot of senior housing. • “There seems to be a lot of desire for people 55-plus wanting to get into Canterbury Woods in Williamsville, a private, for-profit development company that built a multi-stage senior living situation. They have townhouses, detached ranches and condos. • “At Southtowns in Orchard Park, you can stay there and as you need more help, you move along

down the line to another type of living are on the campus. • “In Clarence, The Brothers of Mercy has just built a brand new section where it’s more single family houses and detached patio homes. They also have senior apartments and assisted living. - Joe Sorrentino Jr., MJ Peterson Real Estate in Buffalo • “People are buying high-end properties in the city of Buffalo, Tonawanda, Kenmore and Amherst. The trend has gone from fixer-uppers to things that are perfect. • “A lot of 55-plussers are moving out to Wheatfield, Pendleton and other Niagara suburbs. • “They’re looking for singlefamily Cape Cods, ranch or patio homes. You get a little more property for your money with a larger lot size. It’s attractive to a lot of people.” - Vince Arnone real estate agent with Century 21 Balesteri, Inc., Buffalo, • “We’ve got a number of areas that are popular places to live for people downsizing or simplifying. Patio homes or similar type of properties like ranches in Lancaster is one market where we’re seeing lots of movement. • “Clarence is also an area that has brisk sales.

• “Amherst is also a strong market for those reasons. • “In the Southtowns, Orchard Park and West Seneca have a lot, both in new builds and existing homes.” - Christian Voigt, real estate agent, Howard Hanna Real Estate, When considering where to downsize, think about what amenities you want nearby. For example, if you love golfing, a property near a golf course is a natural fit. But also think about the convenience of living near your needed services, such as medical provider, shopping, and hair stylist. Consider how long you plan to live there. One-story homes and building plans that are otherwise accessible or easily made accessible can help ensure you remain independent and living in your home longer. Even if retirement is several years away, think about what you want to do at your home once you retire, such as putter in a shop, garden and host large dinner parties. Before you know it, your time will be your own. Choosing the right property now can ensure you enjoy it for many years to come.

Shingles: To Vaccinate or Not? For experts, it’s a no brainer. If you had chickenpox as a child and are over 50, you should get the vaccine By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ou faithfully receive your flu vaccination every fall, but have you thought about shingles? If you’re like most people who had chickenpox as a child, you have a risk of developing shingles once you hit your 50s or 60s. That’s why physicians such as Elise DeLuke, dermatologist with DeLuke Dermatology in Amherst, recommend that adults aged 50 and older who have had chickenpox receive shingles vaccine. “Some people who think they didn’t have chickenpox did have it and they’re not aware of it,” DeLuke said. DeLuke Also known as herpes zoster, shingles occurs when the dormant virus that causes chickenpox reactivates in the body later in life. About one-third of the population that has had chickenpox later develops shingles.

The vaccine reduces patients’ risk of developing shingles by 50 percent or more, according to experts “If it is on the face near the eye, it should be taken care of by an ophthalmologist,” DeLuke said. “It can cause serious problems. It can get inside of the mouth. It’s more painful but it’s not as dangerous as the eye.” People at higher risk for shingles have experienced chickenpox and have a depressed immune system because of stress, injury, medication or unrelated disease. DeLuke added that the only contraindications to the shingles vaccine are allergies to one or more of the components of the vaccine, usually gelatin or neomycin. The other contraindications are conditions or medication that suppress the immune system, such as chemotherapy drugs. The vaccine reduces patients’ risk of developing shingles by 50 percent or more. Vaccination can also help prevent the spread of illness to others who are not or cannot be vaccinated, such as yet-unvaccinated babies, who can

develop chickenpox from an adult’s case of shingles. Local reaction at the injection site is the most common side effect. Some insurance plans cover shingles vaccination. Shingles starts with a sensation of burning, pain or tingling in an area of the body, sometimes as a band, but only on one side of the body. Within two days, infectious lesions form (once they form a crust, the patient isn’t contagious). Topical preparations can reduce pain at the site, while oral anti-viral medication can help reduce the duration. “If you get shingles, get medication within the first 72 hours,” DeLuke said. “If you do get the medication, it decreases the length and severity and likelihood of persistent pain.” Called post-herpetic neuralgia, these lifelong flare-ups occur in the same place manifesting lesions. About 20 percent of patients

November 2017 •

experience post-herpetic neuralgia. Some describe it as burning, stinging, shooting pain in the skin that any slight contact sets off, such as clothing brushing against the skin. “Oftentimes, you can expect someone will feel numbness and tingling post-infection,” said Melissa Mele-Delgado, board certified with a doctor of nursing practice degree, who works at Neiman Dermatology in Williamsville. “For most, it dissipates. Post-herpetic neuralgia can Mele-Delgado last for years. Some have to go on medication. I had a patient with her entire left arm covered with countless lesions. She has pain in her thumb so bad she says she wishes she could cut it off.” Anyone approaching 50 should discuss shingles vaccination with a primary care provider.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

Page 17

Golden Years Empty Nest Retirement Years Experts: Mental, emotional aspects should be part of retirement planning By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


hen it comes to retirement and empty nest planning, many people focus on their financial future and health care. While those are important, planning for mental and emotional health is important, too. Change is stressful — even good changes, such as wrapping up a satisfying career, acquiring more free time and watching the children achieve their goals. But this phase of life causes a void — the loss of pleasure. These changes can cause some people to feel lost, confused and depressed. “Any transition is definitely challenging,” said Karen Knab, licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Buffalo. “A lot of times, people are excited for a few weeks or months, but the reality of their new lifestyle sets in and they haven’t prepared for as much free time as they have. It can lead to regrets or even depression because they have left behind a lot of things.” People accustomed to structure in their lives struggle facing seemingly endless open hours. Lacking that structure can make them feel bored, frustrated and adrift. “A lot of people think about retirement as a vacation,” said Audrey Berger, PhD, the life coach

at Turning Point Life Coaching in Rochester. “It’s really important to plan for the emotional and social aspects of retirement. A vacation for a time-limited period is nice, but an unlimited vacation is not so nice most of the time.” Retirement and an empty house also means they lose the social connections that help support their emotional health. Berger said that although many people don’t view work as a social outlet, most say that they’ll miss their coworkers even if they’re ready to leave the work behind. While their children live at home, parents’ social circle includes the parents of their children’s friends, teachers, coaches and instructors. But once the children leave home, those relationships likely fall by the wayside. People who downsize and move once their children leave home also lose relationships with neighbors. Going to work also gives many people a sense of purpose. Consider when introducing themselves, people provide their names and professions. After retirement, the identity shifts. Planning for what to do after retirement should start long before the final day at work. The process starts with accepting retirement as a new phase of life that doesn’t have to

How Music Helps Keep Brains Sharp By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


t may not be the Fountain of Youth, but making music may enhance cognitive ability as the body ages. Rebecca J. Warren works with older adults as a board-certified music therapist with Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She also holds a bachelor’s in psychology. She listed “memory enhancement and maintaining/ increasing cognitive skills” among the long-term goals of providing music therapy to residents. While working crossword puzzles or playing trivia games may engage some parts of the brain, picking up an instrument may do much more. “Music utilizes a variety of regions in the brain, both left brain and right brain,” Warren said. “It builds pathways that might not otherwise be formed.” She doesn’t view music making as a hobby for only the young, but asserts that anyone at any age can learn an instrument with the Page 18

right support. She lets her clients’ preference help guide their choice and can make adaptations as needed. Terri Kasprzak, board-certified music therapist, works at The McGuire Group’s Northgate Health Care Facility in North Tonawanda. She said that although making music can’t prevent dementia, it can help delay cognitive decline because it helps the brain make new neural connections. “It’s a challenge for the brain and whenever you challenge it, you strengthen it,” Kasprzak said. Since many people who play instruments take lessons, perhaps play in a group or perform for others, the activity can improve social connections, which is important for staying mentally sharp. “There’s also a sense of mindfulness and being present,” Kasprzak said. “You’re stopping and slowing everything down inside and it’s a good tool for reducing stress.” De-stressing is also good for the brain.

mean no longer working. Knab recommends meeting social needs by working part-time or seasonally or by volunteering. “Any of these things can help ease into the social pieces people leave behind when they leave their work,” Knab said. Book clubs, exercise groups or classes for lifelong learners can also provide social and mental stimulation. “A lot of people retire to help with their grandkids,” Knab said. “They have a day or two or three filled. Everyone can benefit if grandparents are healthy and able to watch the children.” Caring for grandchildren regularly also helps empty nesters not feel quite so “empty” as before. Shawn Marie Cichowski, life coach and president of WNY Life Coaching Knab in Buffalo, also stated that retirement can be stressful. “We attach a lot to our jobs, like friendships, lifestyle, purpose and identity,” she said. “Taking that away can be difficult.” She encourages clients to pinpoint what value their careers brought them and then they work together to find other ways to obtain

those elements such as socialization, mental challenges, recognition and more. “Take a look again at redeveloping your vision as to how you want to enjoy your retirement,” Cichowski said. “Having plans gives you a design instead of it defaulting. What do you want to enjoy? Cichowski It’s time to use that personal energy.” Brainstorming, journaling, talking with trusted friends or a life coach may help guide provide guidance. Those retiring from a soured career can find planning “really tricky,” Cichowski said. “They want to get out of work but don’t realize how much of their energy they devoted to that. They have all this freed up energy and high expectations for retirement.” Assessing values, such as the importance of serving others or the need to receive recognition can also help determine what to do next. “People who have taken passions and turned it into careers, they get so much fulfillment,” Cichowski said. “People sometimes redevelop themselves after retirement. Picking up some activities and volunteer work after retirement help them stay active and find purpose in their day.”

Ellen M. Cool, board-certified music therapist and licensed creative arts therapist in private practice in Tonawanda, would disagree with the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” “The newest research is showing that aging brains are still plastic,” Cool said. “Adults can learn skills. Few activities give your brain as much of a workout as playing an instrument. “It’s an extremely complex task that employs many sensory areas. As you do it more and more, it strengthens your cognitive skills.” Cool said that although it’s easier for children to pick up an instrument, older adults can learn as well. Jennifer M. Koch, executive director of Community Music Buffalo, said that playing or singing songs from one’s youth can help bring back important memories and stimulate the brain. It’s more mentally engaging than a passive activity like watching television. Learning to make music also helps keep brains busy with making and reaching goals. “For people who are recently retired and spent their lives doing something where with measurable outcomes, learning an instrument

gives them a challenge where they can measure their success,” Koch said. “That’s a really great feeling.”

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

So what is a music therapist? It’s not simply strolling the halls of a nursing home strumming a guitar for a sing-along. Rebecca J. Warren, boardcertified music therapist with Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, explains: “Music therapy is the use of music to accomplish individualized goals by a credentialed professional within a therapeutic relationship. In the US, a music therapist completes an undergraduate degree from an accredited university (according to American Music Therapy Association guidelines, including 1,200 hours of clinical work. After completing a six-month internship, you can sit for a board-certification exam created by CBMT ( to obtain the title board-certified music therapist (MT-BC).”

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A Cheap Death: How to Donate Your Body to Science Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about body donation programs? With little to no savings, I’m looking for a free or cheap way to dispose of my body after I die.

Old and Broke Dear Broke, If you’re looking to eliminate your funeral and burial costs, as well as help advance medical research, donating your body to science is a great option to consider. Here’s what you should know. Body Donations It’s estimated that each year, at least 20,000 people donate their whole body, after death, to medical facilities throughout the country to be used in medical research projects, anatomy lessons and surgical practice. After using your body, these facilities will then provide free cremation — which typically costs $600 to $4,000 — and will either bury or scatter your ashes in a local cemetery or return them to your family, usually within a year or two. And, just in case you’re wondering, your family will not be paid for the use of your body. Federal and state laws prohibit it. Here are a few other things you need to know and check into, to help you determine whether whole-body donation is right for you: Acceptance rules: Most body donation programs will not accept bodies that are extremely obese, or those that have infectious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, H.I.V. or MRSA. Bodies that suffered extensive trauma won’t be accepted either. Organ donation: Most programs require that you donate your whole body in its entirety. So if you want to be an organ donor (with the exception of your eyes), you won’t qualify to be a whole body donor too. Special requests: Most programs will not allow you to donate your body for a specific purpose. You give them the body and they decide how to use it. Memorial options: Most programs

require almost immediate transport of the body after death, so there’s no funeral. If your family wants a memorial service they can have one without the body. Or, some programs offer memorial services at their facility at a later date without the remains. Body transporting: Most programs will cover transporting your body to their facility within a certain distance. However, some may charge.

What To Do If you think you want to donate your body, it’s best to make arrangements in advance with a body donation program in your area. Most programs are offered through university-affiliated medical schools. To find one near you, the University of Florida maintains a list of U.S. programs and their contact information at edu/usprograms. In addition to the medical schools, there are also private organizations like BioGift (BioGift. org) and Science Care (ScienceCare. com) that accept whole body donations too. Some of these organizations will even allow organ donation because they deal in body parts as well as whole cadavers. If you don’t have internet access, you can get help by calling the National Family Service Desk, which operates a free body donation referral service during business hours at 800727-0700. Once you locate a program in your area, call and ask them to mail you an information/registration packet that will explain exactly how their program works. To sign up, you’ll simply need to fill out a couple of forms and return them. But, you can always change your mind by contacting the program and removing your name from their registration list. Some programs may ask that you make your withdrawal in writing. After you’ve made arrangements, you’ll need to tell your family members so they will know what to do and who to contact after your death. It’s also a good idea to tell your doctors, so they know your final wishes too. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www.savvysenior. org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


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IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper

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Social Security Benefits Up 2 Percent in 2018 Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration recently announced. The 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 29. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index

as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Getting a Handle on Prescription Medications By Jim Miller


here’s no doubt that older Americans are taking more prescription medications than ever before. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, around 40 percent of seniors, aged 65 and older, take five or more medications. And the more drugs a person takes, the higher their risk for medication problems, and the more likely they are to take something they don’t need.

Brown Bag Review To help you get a better handle on the medications, gather up all pill bottles include all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements — and put them in a bag and take them to your primary doctor or pharmacist for a thorough drug checkup. This “brown bag review’ will give you a chance to check for duplicate meds, excessive doses and dangerous interactions, and for you to ask questions. Medicare Part B covers free yearly medication reviews with a doctor through their annual wellness visits, and many Medicare Part D plans cover medication reviews with a pharmacist too. Go over the basics for each medication or supplement, such as what it’s for, how long you should take it, what it costs, and any side effects and potential interactions. Also ask if there are any meds you can stop taking, and find out if there are any nondrug options that might be safer, and whether you can switch to a lower dose. To help you avoid future medication problems, make sure your primary doctor is aware of all the medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements you take. You should also keep an up dated list of everything you take and share it with every doctor you see. And, be sure that you fill all your Page 20

prescriptions at the same pharmacy and informs your pharmacist of any over-the-counter, herbal or mail order prescriptions you’re taking so that there is complete oversight of your medications.

How To Save To help cut your medication costs, there are a number of cost saving tips you can try. For starters, find out if there are any generic alternatives to the drugs you currently take. Switching to generics saves anywhere between 20 and 90 percent. You should also ask your prescribing doctors if any of the pills you take could be cut in half. Pill splitting allows you to get two months worth of medicine for the price of one. And for the drugs you take long-term, ask for a threemonth prescription, which is usually cheaper than buying month-tomonth. Because drug prices can vary depending on where you buy them, another way to save is by shopping around ( will help you compare drug prices at U.S. pharmacies), and find out if your mom’s drug insurance plan offers cheaper deals through preferred pharmacies or a mail-order service. And finally, if your income is limited, you can probably get help through drug assistance programs offered through pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and charitable organizations. To find these types of programs use

The Social Ask Security Office

From the Social Security District Office

One Fact You Should Know About Disability Disability is something many people aren’t faced with in a direct way. The reality is, a 20-year-old worker currently has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. That makes Social Security disability benefits something you should learn about and understand. One fact you should know is Social Security’s definition of disability: the inability to work because of a severe condition that is expected to last for a year or end in death. Social Security disability benefits replace part of your income when you become disabled and are unable to work. Other disability programs may have partial disability or short-term disability, but federal law requires a stricter definition of disability for Social Security benefits. The definition of disability used to qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance is generally the same one that is used for Supplemental Security Income benefits. Most people focus on the medical severity of their condition when filing for disability benefits. They provide medical records that show how severe the condition is. Since Social Security defines severity in terms of being unable to work, we also need complete work information. You can read a description about the process of evaluating whether you can work or not and the severity of your condition in our publication, Disability Benefits at EN-05-10029.pdf, under the section, “How we make the decision.” Understanding how we make the disability decision helps you see the importance of information you


Q: My aunt is considering applying for Extra Help with Medicare Part D prescription drug costs, but she has about $10,000 in the bank. Would she still be eligible with this much money? A: Based on the resources you mentioned, it sounds like she may qualify. However, there are other factors to consider. In most cases, recipients of Extra Help are limited to $13,820 (or $27,600 if married and living with a spouse) in resources in 2017. Resources include the value of the things you own, such as real estate (other than the place you live), cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and retirement accounts. To learn more, visit the Medicare link at www.

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

provide about your condition and the types of work you have done. For more information about how we evaluate your work, you should review this section on our website: step4and5.htm. Remember, when you provide the details about your condition and your work, you’re creating a picture of your individual situation. These details show the extent of your disabling condition. These are examples of some of the types of specific information we need about your prior work: • Main responsibilities of your job(s); • Main tasks you performed; • Dates you worked (month and year); • Number of hours a day you worked per week; • Rate of pay you received; • Tools, machinery and equipment you used; • Knowledge, skills and abilities your work required; • Extent of supervision you had; • Amount of independent judgment you used; • Objects you had to lift and carry and how much they weighed; • How much you had to sit, stand, walk, climb, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, balance; • How you used your hands, arms, and legs; • Speaking, hearing and vision requirements of your job(s); and • Environmental conditions of your workplace(s). Disability is an unpredictable element in our lives. Help us help you by educating yourself about disability benefits, and by providing all the specific information we ask for when you file for benefits. Social Security continues to secure today and tomorrow by providing benefits and financial protection for millions of people throughout life’s journey. or call us at 1-800772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Q: If I get approved, how much will I receive in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? A: The amount of your SSI benefit depends, in part, on the amount of other income you have. For 2017, the basic, maximum federal SSI payment is $735 per month for an individual and $1,103 per month for a couple. However, some states add money to the basic payment. Other monthly income you have would begin to reduce the basic SSI payment. Other things, such as where you live and who you live with, can affect your payment amount. Learn more about SSI by reading SSI publications at www.

Grieving a Pet They may be animals, but emotional bond is unmistakable By Jennifer Fecio McDougall


ora Eberl welcomed a basset hound named Ginger into her life when Ginger was 18 months old. From the very beginning, they had a special bond. Ginger slept on a pillow next to her favorite human, and she claimed time every day to cuddle as soon as Eberl got home from work.

A special bond On the day Eberl met her husband, Matt, Ginger gave her the cold shoulder. However, Ginger thawed quickly; she loved Matt, and when the couple had children, Ginger loved them, as well. When Ginger was 12, the vet found a growth on her tongue. A biopsy confirmed that it was cancer, and Eberl took her to a pain management vet, gave her the recommended medications and supplements, and fed her soft food. “It worked for a very short while. Her decline was super quick,” Eberl explained. Eberl found comfort in talking about Ginger, sharing stories with friends who had lost pets, and creating a photo book. She also added Ginger’s name to the Rainbow Bridge site and read Cynthia Rylant’s book, “Dog Heaven,” to her kids to help them cope through the loss. However, it hasn’t been easy. “It takes time. I still miss her every day,” Eberl said. She and her family knew they wanted a dog in their home and in their lives, and Clifford, a basset hound, soon became part of their

family. “He’s a great dog, and I love his comforting presence and unconditional love,” Eberl said.

A smile every day Tinker, a mixed-breed rescue dog, had a special talent: she smiled on command. Tinker was part of Judy Hagberg’s family for 14 years, after Hagberg rescued her at 6 months old. In addition to her smile, Tinker had another gift: providing comfort to Judy’s mom, who lived with them at the time. “She followed my mom everywhere. Even when she was in the bathroom or sleeping, Tinker stayed by her side, keeping her company,” Hagberg said. When Tinker started to decline, Hagberg tried to prepare herself for what was to come. “She got confused, became deaf, and started sleeping a lot. As she got worse, she became very thin, and we could tell she was suffering,” Hagberg said. Even though she had tried to prepare herself, Hagberg found that the reality of Tinker’s death was very hard to bear. “I look around for her. She used to curl up under a blanket on the couch to sleep, and I still look for her there. I know she’s in a better place, but it’s been so hard. I miss her; she was my girl,” Hagberg said. Hagberg noted many people seem to try to hold back when dealing with the loss of a pet, but she thinks that makes the loss even harder to bear. “Cry. It helps. There’s a grieving process that everybody goes through, and you will feel better

if you let yourself grieve and cry,” she said.

Grief is grief is grief Christine Moll, a faculty member at Canisius College, has a Ph.D. in counselor education and leadership, and she has experienced the loss of a beloved pet. She noted that society is the source of that “holding back” that Hagberg mentioned. “We get a message that pets are disposable, and not really part of the family. When we lose them, we sometimes get really foolish messages that they’re replaceable. They’re not replaceable, and their absence in our life is tangible. When people dismiss our feelings about this, it can make the loss even harder to deal with,” she explained. Moll went on to note, “Grief is grief is grief.” She explained that it doesn’t just go away or resolve itself; rather, we learn to tolerate it. “Grief is an emotional arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation in the joints, and that inflammation bothers us,” she said. She mentioned that certain things, like coming home and not being greeted by a loving pet or passing the spot where the animal

liked to curl up, can be tough. “These are the little moments where the memory flares up the emotional arthritis, and we miss the pet more than we might have yesterday,” she explained. Moll said it’s important to do things that make us feel better. That might include keeping a photo of the pet in the house or giving ourselves permission to remember the joy we got from that pet. Finally, she said it’s important to avoid pressure about getting another pet. She said some people decide they don’t want to get another pet. “That’s a personal choice,” she declared, noting that people who mean well may urge getting a new pet as a way to help with the grief. She emphasized that when people plan to get another pet, there’s no perfect time frame. “You have to determine if you’re up to the work of training and caring for the animal, what you can afford in vet bills, and whether you can handle welcoming a new animal into your home,” she said. “Welcoming a new pet into anyone’s life is a transition. Adding an animal to existing pets is also a transition, and it’s important to be aware of that,” she noted.

Pets — not siblings — are child’s best friends, researchers find


hildren get more satisfaction from relationships with their pets than with their brothers or sisters, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. Children also appear to get on even better with their animal companions than with siblings. The research adds to increasing evidence that household pets may have a major influence on child development, and could have a positive impact on children’s social skills and emotional well-being. Pets are almost as common as siblings in western households, although there are relatively few studies on the importance of childpet relationships. ‘’Anyone who has loved a childhood pet knows that we turn to them for companionship and disclosure, just like relationships between people,” says Matt Cassells, a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the

department of psychiatry, who led the study. “We wanted to know how strong these relationships are with pets relative to other close family ties. Ultimately this may enable us to understand how animals contribute to healthy child development” This study, published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, surveyed 12-year-old children from 77 families with one or more pets of any type and more than one child at home. Children

reported strong relationships with their pets relative to their siblings, with lower levels of conflict and greater satisfaction in owners of dogs than other kinds of pets. ‘’Even though pets may not fully understand or respond verbally, the level of disclosure to pets was no less than to siblings,” says Cassels. “The fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit as it means they are completely nonjudgmental. “While previous research has often

found that boys report stronger relationships with their pets than girls do, we actually found the opposite. While boys and girls were equally satisfied with their pets, girls reported more disclosure, companionship, and conflict with their pet than did boys, perhaps indicating that girls may interact with their pets in more nuanced ways.’’ “Evidence continues to grow showing that pets have positive benefits on human health and community cohesion,” says physician Nancy Gee, humananimal interaction research manager at WALTHAM and a co-author of the study. “The social support that adolescents receive from pets may well support psychological well-being later in life but there is still more to learn about the longterm impact of pets on children’s development.”

Online @ November 2017 •

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Health News ECMCC keeps record growth going Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) recently announced that the hospital’s third quarter operations continue the record trends established in 2016, which marked the busiest year in the hospital’s history. From discharges to inpatient surgeries and reducing length of stay, key categories for measuring ECMC’s record operations indicate continued strong, positive growth. In addition, ECMC is $1.5 million ahead of budget for the current year and $1.8 million ahead of the same period in 2016. “ECMC’s commitment to quality and compassionate care for our patients continues to make ECMC a first choice for care for many Western New Yorkers,” said ECMCC President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr. “While 2016 proved to be ECMC’s best year historically, our strong performance through third quarter 2017 reinforces what we have known for a very long time — ECMC’s unique culture of talented, experienced and compassionate caregivers has helped create an environment of hope and healing that our community turns to when it matters most.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has new chairman Martin Burruano, vice president, pharmacy services for Independent Health has been named chairman of the Western & Central New York Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s local board of volunteer trustees. As vice Burruano president, of pharmacy services for Independent Health, Burruano leads the management and growth of Independent Health’s pharmacy benefit, by overseeing its strategic design, network and formulary development, as well as ensuring effective organizational Chapuis resource alignment. He joined Independent Health in 2001 as a manager, in prior authorization and most recently served as director, of pharmacy services, from 2008 to 2014. Burruano received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Canisius College and is also a graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy. Active in civic and business Page 22

endeavors, Burruano is a board member of Pharmacists Association of WNY; a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy; University at Buffalo Alumni Association; Paolini and current member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Western & Central New York Chapter board of trustees. He and his wife, Janeen, chaired the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Diamond Ball in 2016 and he currently serves as chairman of corporate tables for the 2018 Diamond Ball. He resides in Wheatfield with his wife and their three children. Trustees newly elected to the board are Michele Chapuis, senior manager, international, Rich Products Corporation and Daniel Paolini, CEO, NexxusPoint.

Dentist Jeanne Mathews joins Inspire Dental Dentist Jeanne Mathews recently joined Inspire Dental Group, a multi-specialty dental practice with offices in Amherst, West Seneca and downtown Buffalo. Mathews, who practices general dentistry, will Mathews see patients at Inspire’s Amherst office, located at 4330 Maple Road. “Dr. Mathews is a true Buffalonian who shares Inspire’s commitment to compassionate, gentle care and clinical excellence,” said dentist Ron Sadler, Inspire Dental managing partner. “In her more than 25 years practicing dentistry, she has had the impressive privilege of treating three generations of many Western New York families.” Mathews received her bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the New York State Dental Society and the Eighth District Dental Society.

Dermatologist Ajay Amarnani joins CVLC The Cosmetic Vein & Laser Center (CVLC), a regional dermatology practice specializing in safe, non-invasive cosmetic laser procedures and varicose vein treatments, has welcomed physician Ajay Amarnani to its team of dermatologists, making CVLC

Officials at Kaleida Health and Degraff Memorial Hospital during a ground-breaking event in early October for the construction of the new emergency department at Degraff.

Degraff Memorial ED Project Underway Kaleida Health’s plan to enhance and upgrade its Niagara County hospital location continues to progress. Early in October the health system broke ground on its $7.8 million emergency department renovation.  The project is the focal point of “DeGraff 2020,” Kaleida Health’s plan for the future state of the North Tonawanda hospital.  “The new state-of-the-art emergency department is a critical part of the future success of DeGraff Memorial Hospital and demonstrates that the hospital is here to stay,” said Darcy Craven, president, DeGraff Memorial Hospital. “It will allow DeGraff to continue delivering the personalized care that the community has relied upon for over 100 years.”  The plan is to relocate the emergency department from the west side of hospital campus to the east side, fronting the Twin City Highway and allowing for better access, parking and visibility for patients, families and visitors.  The expansion calls for 17 treatment bays, including a trauma room, a dedicated bariatric room and an airborne isolation room. It will also include a decontamination the largest practice of its kind in Western New York. Amarnani is a board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Fully trained in cosmetic dermal fillers and other cosmetic injectable and laser treatments,  Amarnani Amarnani will play an active role in patient care at CVLC and conduct ongoing clinical laser research on behalf on the practice and medical community. He also serves as a dermatologist for the VA Western New York Healthcare System in Buffalo. Amarnani holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical

IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • November 2017

area suitable for current and emerging infectious diseases. To further accommodate geriatric patients, DeGraff will use non-glare lighting, slip proof flooring, increased family space, plus signage with oversized lettering.  Last renovated in 1975, the space will more than double from 4,800 square feet to 10,000 square feet.  “This is an important investment for not only the hospital, but the entire Northtowns community,” said Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health said. “DeGraff Memorial Hospital remains an important part of Kaleida Health and is the gateway from Niagara County into our organization for services like stroke, cardiac, vascular and pediatrics.”  DeGraff 2020 calls for the hospital to focus on emergency department access, infusion services, wound care, its geriatric clinic and outpatient services like imaging, lab, rehabilitation services and GI. It also calls on rightsizing it from a 66-bed medical/surgical facility to a 10 bed unit for lower acuity patients.  The hospital saw more than 14,000 emergency room visits in 2013 and nearly 15,500 in 2015.  engineering from The University of Wisconsin and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University. He completed his medical internship and dermatology residency at Akron City Hospital in Ohio and the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, respectively. Amarnani is a member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery and the American College of Phlebology. Before entering the field of medicine, Amarnani was a middle school teacher for Teach for America Miami-Dade. Born and raised in Green Bay, Wis., he is proud to call Western New York home.

P² Collaborative of WNY unveils new name P² Collaborative of Western New York has recently unveiled its new name: Population Health

Health News Collaborative. “We’ve had a great 14-year run as the P² Collaborative,” said John D. Craik, Population Health Collaborative’s executive director, “but the name change is something our board members, stakeholders and staff have been looking forward to for a number of years.” P² was a shortened version of “Pursuing Perfection,” a grantfunded program that gave the organization its start. “Our new name is a bit more descriptive and intuitive, and it reflects our move to address the issues that contribute to sustaining improved health for members of the community. We have shifted our focus to tackle the systems, policy and built environment issues that support or hinder the health of Western New Yorkers over the long term,” said Craik.

Sisters of Charity Hospital, BMG announce agreement Catholic Health announced recently that Sisters of Charity Hospital and Buffalo Medical Group, PC (BMG) have expanded their hospitalist services agreement to include Sisters Hospital, St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga. The Buffalo-based physician group

ECMC Hosts Therapeutic Mini-Horse Visit for Rehab Patients ECMC recently hosted a “Therapeutic Mini-Horse Visit” for rehabilitation patients.  Pet therapy has become an uplifting therapeutic program throughout healthcare facilities across the country, whereby dogs, cats and even chickens have been used to brighten the day for patients undergoing various treatments.  Nursing facilities in the Centers Health Care group of companies decided to take pet therapy a step further by bringing mini-therapy horses to visit residents.  The miniature horses, which are larger than ponies but smaller than horses brightened the day for nursing home residents and hospital patients who pet and hug the mini-horses.

practice has provided hospitalist services at Sisters Hospital Main Street Campus since 2012. “The continuity of BMG providing hospitalist care at both of our campuses enhances care coordination and communication, while ensuring our patients receive the highest quality care throughout their hospitalization,” said Martin Boryszak, president and CEO, Sisters of Charity Hospital.  Hospitalist physicians are an integral part of the healthcare team, managing the care of patients in acute care hospital settings. They consult with specialists as necessary and coordinate in hospital and post hospital care in conjunction with a patient’s primary care physician.  As one of the largest multispecialty physician group practices in New York state, BMG will continue to provide hospitalist care for its patients in other acute care settings as well.  “We have had a successful relationship with Sisters Hospital for the past five years and are thrilled to be expanding our hospitalist coverage to its St. Joseph Campus,” added physician Matthew Smith, co-chairman of the BMG Hospitalist program. “We look forward to building on this partnership while meeting the acute care needs of patients at St. Joseph Campus.”

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The choice to give is a life and death decision.

Nicholas Ball Trauma Patient

As Western New York’s only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, ECMC is the destination of choice for patients who are facing the most critical injuries. From double the square footage to more designated trauma care areas to treat patients like Nick, a new Trauma Center and Emergency Department will help us bring even more medical miracles to patients, their families, and our entire community.

The difference between healthcare and true care


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