in good Meet Your Doctor Michael Cummings, a top behavioral health physician in Buffalo, says that autism rates are rising rapidly and that not enough early detection is done
Baldness Treatments Find out about the newest treatment for hair loss available in the area, including micro-tattooing. Men’s Health Issue inside
June 2017 • Issue 32
Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Now that the warm weather is here (finally), a wonderful feeling comes across us: we want to eat lighter and fresher. See inside a guide to what to eat and what to stay away from (or eat in moderation). Page 10
Garden Walk Buffalo, a local nonprofit, holds a big garden walk event in July Several other local organizations offer gardening volunteer work.
Coming This Summer Expect more ticks and a deadly new tick-borne disease. Find out why
Hepatitis C Should all baby boomers get tested for it?
Garden Therapy Experts: Working the soil can relax, reduce stress levels and mental fatigue
Large disparity found in the U.S.
How can such a sweet li’l thing be so nutritious? Who does it think it is having more vitamin C than an orange? Enough antioxidants to rival a raspberry? Half the calories of a banana? And as much fiber as an apple? See SmartBites inside
America Really Loves Fast Food Eight in 10 eat it at least once a week, surveys find
Longevity in the U.S.
Location, Location, Location Study found life expectancy differed by as much as 20 years in different counties, states
ow long you will live depends a lot on where you live in the United States, a new study of federal health data reveals. Overall, life expectancy increased for American men and women by slightly more than five years between 1980 and 2014, researchers report. But life span can differ by as much as two decades between various U.S. counties, said lead researcher Ali Mokdad, a professor of global health with the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, in Seattle. “You have people here in this country that are living longer than the life expectancy of the best country in the world, and you have people here in certain counties who have a life expectancy similar to some developing countries in the Middle East or South America or Cuba, for example,” Mokdad said. Economic and lifestyle factors appear to account for much of the gap, Mokdad added. A group of counties in central Colorado — which includes affluent cities like Aspen and Breckenridge — have the nation’s highest life expectancy, the
researchers found. Summit County, Colo., topped the list at 86.8 years, followed by Pitkin County (86.5 years) and Eagle County (85.9 years). That’s better than the principality of Andorra, a tiny country wedged between France and Spain that has the world’s longest life expectancy at 84.8 years, the researchers said. Iceland has the next highest life expectancy among countries, at 83.3 years. On the other hand, several counties in North and South Dakota containing Native American reservations had the lowest life expectancy in the United States, the researchers
found. And Southern counties along the lower half of the Mississippi, in eastern Kentucky, and in southwestern West Virginia also had very low life expectancy. Oglala Lakota County, S.D., which includes the Pine Ridge Native American reservation, had the lowest life expectancy in the country in 2014 at 66.8 years — comparable to countries like Sudan (67.2 years), India (66.9 years) and Iraq (67.7 years), the researchers said. Overall, life expectancy in the United States increased for men and women a combined 5.3 years, from 73.8 years to 79.1 years. For men, life expectancy rose from 70 to 76.7 years, while for women it rose from 77.5 to 81.5 years. But this average increase was fueled by large increases in life
expectancy in certain parts of the country, such as central Colorado, western California and along the East Coast. In other parts of the country — most notably eastern Kentucky, central Alabama and southwestern Oklahoma — there were some counties where life expectancy actually fell by one to two years. These numbers show that an environment that promotes healthy living has more of an impact on how long you’ll live than the kind of health care available to you, Mokdad said. “We’re not going to get out of this investing solely in the medical system,” Mokdad stressed. “We have to invest in prevention.” The findings were published May 8 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
If you think something is wrong with this picture, you should see what’s being served up in stores. Tobacco companies spend billions on colorful signs, special discounts and promotions in stores where kids can see them. And the more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. It’s time for tobacco marketing to hit the road.
Tobacco companies place most of their advertising in stores where
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shop at least once per week
facebook.com/TobaccoFreeNYS Page 2
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
MEN’S HEALTH Make Your Health a Priority
Stay on Top of Your Game There are many things men can do to live better and longer. Being more active and practicing preventive health care can prevent disease from happening in the first place. Managing your physical health, staying social, being productive, taking safety precautions and visiting your health care provider often can help you feel better.
Men can make their health a top priority by taking daily steps to be healthier. Here are some healthy-aging tips that are good advice at any stage of life. • Get good sleep: 7–9 hours • Move more • Eat healthier • Manage stress • Get regular checkups
Partner With Your Provider Your first step toward healthy living is to get a handle on your health status right now. Make an appointment with your primary care physician for health screenings and immunizations. • Talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your health. • Learn about the warning signs for serious medical conditions such as heart attack and stroke.
New to Medicare? Let WellCare help you live healthier.
Always talk with your doctor(s) about the care that is right for you. This material does not replace your doctor’s advice. Sources: www.WedMed.com and www.cdc.gov. WellCare (HMO) is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in WellCare (HMO) depends on contract renewal. A sales person will be present with information and applications. For accommodation of persons with special needs at sales meetings, call 1-877-699-3552 (TTY 711). There is no obligation to enroll. Please contact WellCare for details. Y0070_NA033771_WCM_ADF_ENG CMS Accepted 05142016 CMS Accepted 05142016
©WellCare 2016 NA_04_16_WC June 2017 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Breast Cancer Network hosts wellness seminar The Breast Cancer Network of WNY (BCN) is conducting the second of its planned 10-part educational seminar series at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 1, at its facility at 3297 Walden Ave. in Depew. The seminar will feature Mary Jo Parker, a registered and certified dietitian nutritionist, nutrition therapist, and consultant, who will speak about therapeutic nutrition intervention for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. The program is free. Registration is available by calling 716-706-0060 or online at www.bcnwny.org. BCN, a local nonprofit organization, has scheduled monthly seminars which focus on wellness for breast cancer survivors. A complete list of the Breast Cancer Survivor Wellness Seminar Series can be found at www. bcnwny.org. The seminars are a result
of a grant BCN received from the New York State Department of Health, which promotes support for breast cancer survivors.
Knee pain experts hold free dinner seminar Catholic Health is sponsoring a free community dinner program titled “Walk This Way” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., June 5, at Grapevine Banquets, 333 Dick Road, Depew. Join local knee expert, orthopedic surgeon Keith Stube, for dinner and a discussion about the latest treatment options for knee pain, from conservative approaches to total knee replacement surgery. “Walk This Way” is free and open to the public. A complimentary dinner will be served. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling Catholic Health’s HealthConnection at 447-6205.
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Residents who have attended three free dinner programs per calendar year will be charged admission of $20. Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic ailments, affecting more than one-third of Americans. As weight-bearing joints, knees can support up to five times your total body weight, depending on the activity that you are doing. Sudden injury, years of playing sports or an underlying medical condition can all contribute to painful knee joints.
Superhero 5K Race to be held in Delaware Park The Buffalo Superhero 5K Race and Wellness Walk, the first and largest race/walk in Western New York dedicated to mental health awareness, will return once again at 6:30 p.m., June 9, at St. George’s Church in Delaware Park, Buffalo. The event will be hosted by Compeer of Greater Buffalo (Compeer) and the Mental Health Association of Erie County (MHA). The Buffalo Superhero Race is a collaborative effort of providers, consumers, families, friends and caring community members dedicated to children who struggle with emotional challenges or who have experienced neglect and mental or physical abuse. Proceeds from this event will benefit the mentoring programs and services at Compeer and the MHA’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. This year, Buffalo Bills legend and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Thurman Thomas, his wife Patti, and their daughter Annika, are honorary representatives of the event. The goal of the event and the missions of Compeer and the MHA hit close to home for the Thomas family as Annika struggles with anxiety and depression. For more information or to register, visit www. buffalosuperherorace.com.
Live Alone and Thrive: New one-day workshop Do you live alone? Is it a challenge for you, Living Alone:
How to Survive and Thrive on Your Own is a one-day workshop offered for women who want to rediscover joy, find more contentment and gain the know-how to forge a meaningful life on their own. Participants will meet others in similar circumstances and learn practical strategies to overcome loneliness, rediscover your true self, socialize in a couples’ world and make the best of this opportunity on your own. The workshop takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 24, at House Content Bed & Breakfast in Mendon, south of Rochester. The workshop fee of $135 includes information and resources you can trust, empowerment exercises, and a Living Alone binder. Breakfast refreshments and lunch are included. To learn more, contact Gwenn Voelckers at 585-624-7887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 9, Sept. 28
LGBTQ group presents SafeZone Trainings The LGBTQ Academy SafeZone Training is a four-hour, dynamic, interactive workshop that includes activities and discussion about issues facing the LGBTQ community. Some of the topics to be discussed are LGBTQ inclusive and respectful language, the process of coming out, understanding sex, gender and sexuality, taking action, respectful communication in the face of resistance, where to go for help and much more. This session will give participants the skills they need to provide support and to create environments that are safe and inclusive so that all people are empowered to reach their full potential. Registration fee is $75 and includes a SafeZone manual, SafeZone sticker, SafeZone lapel pin and breakfast. The training will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 9 and the same time on Sept. 28. Both events will take place at the LGBTQ Academy’s Education Center, 100 College Ave. in Rochester. To register, send an email to email@example.com.
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• Individual / Group Training • After School Partnerships • Transitional Education Services • Student-Athlete Seminars • Adult Basketball Aerobics • Skill Development Programs for ages 5-18
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To register, call (585) 624-7887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Page 4
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
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Gregory L. GambleII / Odds2Beat, Inc. (716) 249-9345 / Odds2Beat@gmail.com The Perpetual Acquisition of Knowledge. Always Learning. Always Teaching. Always Developing.
NAVIGATE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WCNY’s "The Capitol Pressroom" radio show and "Health Navigator NY" online podcasts provide healthcare consumers with trusted facts and resources to better navigate and understand the healthcare system.
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NAVIGATE NOW! If you have questions about the healthcare system, now’s the time to be heard. WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom” and “Health Navigator NY” are here to answer them all by providing trusted insight and feedback that educate and inform listeners to become smarter healthcare consumers.
Podcasts are available at healthnavigatorny.org
June 2017 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
By Chris Motola
Michael Cummings, M.D. Rising rates of autism concerns behavioral health physician who says early detection is not happening as often as it should Q: Give us an overview of your position. A: I wear about four hats: for ECMC, I am the associate medical director for behavioral health. I oversee really all of the service line for behavioral health, which is about half the hospital. I am the vice chair of psychiatry for the University of Buffalo. There, I oversee a lot of day-to-day operations as well as a large portion of what UB psyche is doing. Then I am the medical director for NYSTART, which is a nationally-based program for mobile care delivery to individuals with developmental disability. [In] the last one, which is probably my real full-time job, [I work] as medical director at something called APIC (Access to Psychiatry Through Intermediate Care). That kind of dovetails with START. It’s a mobile psychiatric case-management program that serves patients-high at-risk individuals-with autism and developmental disability. For that we drive across the state and travel around the country doing consults for high-end, complex cases. Q: One of the persistent challenges with mental health seems to be the social ramifications and baggage. If you’re a cancer patient, you probably don’t need to worry about being arrested any more than the average person. How do you deal with the social components from a medical perspective? A: I’d argue that every medical condition has a social component. Behavioral is interesting because everyone thinks they know about it because we use common words to describe things. If someone’s at the store and starts having chest pains, they don’t say “I think I’m having a myocardial infarction” — they say, “My chest hurts.” But people hear someone has depression and they think, because they’ve felt depressed at times, that they understand what major depression is, which is every bit as much a diagnosed, medical condition and term as anything else. If you miss work because you blow out your ACL, everyone gets that. If you miss it because you’re depressed, people view it as a sign of weakness, even though that’s untrue. If you took all the disability in the country and added it up — in financial terms or lost work days — major depression alone causes more disability than heart disease and cancer combined, and it’s not even the most common psychiatric diagnosis. So, part of it is raising awareness. A lot of it is getting people to accept it themselves so that Page 6
they’re willing to get help. And a lot of it is offering community-based treatment. We don’t want anyone in the hospital if we can help it. You should be there if you need to be, not because you weren’t able to get care. So, a lot of what we do is lifestylebased. For our developmental disability team, a lot of times we treat family stress more than we treat the kids with severe autism. Helping the family reduce their stress — whether it’s financial or social — will have a greater impact on the child with autism than giving them medication for instance. Q: You also deal with addiction services. Opioid addiction is making a lot of headlines lately. Does your work touch on that issue? A: Absolutely. I oversee, from a pretty high-level, three outpatient programs for chemical dependency at ECMC. We also have an inpatient detox facility and an inpatient rehab center. Our comprehensive psychiatric emergency program [CPEP] is one of 22 in the state, and is the busiest one in New York state as far as emergency rooms for psychiatric conditions go. We see tons of chemically dependent folks. There’s also a big overlap in the psychiatric world. If you have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and alcoholism or some other addiction, they tend to overlap and feed each other, so we see a lot of that. But, yes, opioid addiction is an epidemic. It’s unreal how much this is happening. Though I’d be remiss to say that the rate of autism is growing at a similar rate, but we’re not talking about that as much. Q: Do we have any idea what’s causing the increase in autism yet? A: It’s probably a lot of things. Like, if we look at cancer, there are many different factors. There’s definitely a genetic piece to it, but there’s probably an environmental piece that we don’t fully understand. I say this very cautiously because there’s no evidence that vaccines cause autism, but there could be a very, very small subgroup where it could be a
factor. Some of the initial increase is probably associated with diagnosis and our looking more carefully. But when it started, it was around 1 in 1,000 kids. Now it’s 1 in 68, and there’s no way that’s just from our looking harder. There’s a lot of research going into it, but the short answer is no one has any idea at the moment. Q: What are the advantages of early detection for autism? A: Cancer costs the country about $90 billion a year. Autism costs the country between $120 billion and $250 billion a year. In Scandinavian studies, there’s some indication that early detection can cut that cost by half to two-thirds. And early detection is a simple, 22-question checklist that you can do in a pediatric office. Only about a quarter of them do it, though. So, you have all these developmental milestones: language, coordination, sensory issues. A lot of those issues, if they can’t be completely righted, we can maximize their potential. But you have to do it during those developmental windows. Can you still learn to speak when you’re older? Yes, but not with the same ability. Also, a lot of autism symptoms mimic other psychiatric conditions, so the children may be getting medication they don’t need and experiencing side effects, so they miss the opportunity to be getting the right treatment and education. They’re also more likely to need expensive hospitalization if the problems become too difficult for the family to manage. Q: When it comes to adults, how does one convince a loved one or even oneself, that they need medical help if they have a major illness like schizophrenia? A: It’s really difficult in the beginning. Early identification, again, matters. Bipolar disorder accounts for around 1-3 percent of the population. Schizophrenia for around 1 percent. In both those conditions early diagnosis and aggressive treatment can alter the long-term prospects for those patients. Each decompensation [episode] predisposes them to more frequent and severe episodes later on. So, the best way to do that is public awareness, training in schools,
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
training primary care. If a psychiatrist is the first one diagnosing you, you got into a bad enough situation to see a psychiatrist. But chronic mental illnesses aren’t that unlike conditions like diabetes. You could have your glucose under control enough to be a pilot or athlete, or it be so uncontrolled that you need both feet amputated. They might warn their friends that, if they start acting strange, it might be because their blood sugar is low and they need to drink some juice. People with chronic mental illness need the same support. The insidious thing is, if they start decompensating, their judgment may get to the point where they don’t think they need their medication. It’s a positive feedback loop that can end in the emergency room. Q: What difficulties do you see with medication compliance? A: A lot of the meds we give folks don’t really make them feel well. Unfortunately, a lot of people get the attitude of “why don’t these people just take their meds so they’ll be OK?” I do a lot of training with police, and a lot of the time they’ll say that. So, I’ll look around the room, which has a lot of older cops, and ask, “Who here is on blood pressure medication?” Eighty hands go up. “How many of you take your medication the way you’re supposed to?” Twenty hands stay up. And blood pressure medication doesn’t really have too many side effects. Q: How do you facilitate a social support system that your patients need? You obviously can’t be there all the time. A: This is what my APIC time does. When we started, I thought we were going to be going around writing meds for kids who couldn’t go to the offices. Of the 550 cases we’ve seen in the last two years, I’ve probably written meds for 100 of them. There are two kinds of supports: the structured, professional ones. Then there’s what we call natural supports. Those are family, community, friends. You want to identify as many of those as you can. Individuals are more likely to trust them and they’ll be there once the time-limited care we provide is up.
Lifelines Name: Michael Cummings, M.D. Position: Vice chairman of community affairs and outreach for the department of psychiatry at the University of Buffalo; associate medical director at Erie County Medical Center; medical director at NYSTART Hometown: South Glens Falls, NY Education: Cornell; University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Affiliations: Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Organizations: Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Club; Safe Minds Accolades: Has received numerous awards, including the Mental Health Association of Erie County Outstanding Professional of the Year Award Family: Married, three children Hobbies: Tae kwon do, hiking, spending time with his kids
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Why You May Need a Health Care Advocate By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
ou receive a stunning medical diagnosis that will require a long, arduous treatment and recovery. Your elderly father lives in another state. He functions well overall, but seems confused about his myriad of doctor’s appointments and medications. Your child’s health falters and you cannot find the right specialist to give you solid answers and treatment options. Any of these scenarios — and more — could indicate that a health care advocate could help you and your family. While health insurance typically does not cover the cost of retaining a health care advocate, Trisha Torrey, head of The Torrey Alliance of Professional Health Advocates in Florida, said that a health care advocate can help patients save money in some cases, such as finding a better price on medication or guiding patients toward the right specialist instead of paying for care that doesn’t help. “What Americans have learned is the health care system is only set up to help patients if they can make money off patients,” Torrey said. “The money has gotten in the way.” The many changes in the health care and health insurance industries in recent years have left patients reeling. Torrey compares health care advocates with attorneys, as few people would represent themselves in court on an important or highly complex case. Lowered reimbursements have forced physicians to cram more patients into their case load to ensure they can stay solvent. Torrey said that doctors used to see 20 patients daily, but now try to see up to double that amount. As a result, the patient experience suffers. Health care advocates can help care providers by ensuring that the patient asks all the questions he needs to ask, understands the doctor’s orders and adheres to the orders, too. Torrey added that these steps are hard to do for patients who are in pain or taking some medication. Torrey said that at first, physicians thought advocates would take up valuable visit time; however, many more providers are realizing
that advocates actually save them time. Torrey said that the demand for advocates is growing. She has about 250 to 300 independent advocates in the US and Canada. Many come from clinical or social services backgrounds. “You can’t understand the health care system,” Torrey said. “It’s intentionally set up to be obscure. The only way to get through the system with the health care you deserve is to have a patient advocate by your side.” That kind of thinking spurred Paul Bluestein to found Patient Advantage, LLC in Tonawanda 13 years ago. A chiropractor by training, Bluestein said his organization helps people navigate the health system while staying “patientcentered,” Bluestein said. When a client of Patient Advantage receives a diagnosis, Bluestein’s team creates a thorough search of all information needed to manage the situation, from lists of support groups, to specialists, to community resources and more. A nurse from his staff delivers the 100-page report to walk the patient through all the information. Patient Advantage also helps clients coordinate care and medication as needed and provides corporate wellness programs and online educational opportunities. Of course, people can still search online for information on their own; however, his team accesses medical journals available only by subscription, among their resources. Bluestein feels that the level of information available publically doesn’t measure up. While dogged researchers can find reliable information, they may not feel up to the task. “If you are the one who’s ill, you don’t want to be figuring out your own care,” Bluestein said. “Let’s say you’re the loved one of the person who’s sick and you’re going online. Let’s say the ending goes badly. Would you really want to carry the guilt if things went badly? Or would you want an outside professional do this, someone who can put all the right information together?”
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In Good Health is published 12 times a year by Local News, Inc. © 2017 by Local News, Inc. All rights reserved. 3380 Sheridan Dr., # 251 • P.O. Box 550, Amherst NY 14226 Phone: 716-332-0640 • Fax: 716-332-0779 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor & Publisher: Wagner Dotto • Associate Editor: Lou Sorendo • Writers: Deborah J. Sergeant, Jim Miller, Gwenn Voelckers, Anne Palumbo, Chris Motola, George W. Chapman, Ernst Lamothe Jr., Jana Eisenberg, Daniel Meyer, Nancy Cardillo, Tim Fenster Advertising: Debra Kells (716-332-0640) , Tina LaMancusa (716-946-2970) Layout & Design: Dylon Clew-Thomas • Office Assistant: Kimberley Tyler No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. The information in this publication is intended to complement—not to take the place of—the recommendations of your health provider. Consult your physician before making major changes in your lifestyle or health care regimen.
June 2017 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Live Alone & Thrive
By Gwenn Voelckers
Practical tips, advice and hope for those who live alone
New One-Day ‘Live Alone and Thrive’ Workshop: Registration Now Open Forging a new life on your own. Need some help?
or some women, living alone in mid-life is a welcome change, especially if they are coming out of an unhappy marriage. But for many others, the change is not welcome, and the prospect of living alone can appear on the horizon as a daunting challenge. The ending of my own marriage years ago fell into the latter category; it was not a welcome change. But it was a change nonetheless and one I had no choice but to accept and ultimately to embrace. It took some time and some hard-knock lessons, but I eventually discovered a resourcefulness within myself that enabled me to forge a joyful and meaningful life on my own. It is that same resourcefulness that gave me the confidence to offer support to other women in similar circumstances. “Living Alone: How to Survive and Thrive on Your Own” is a workshop I developed to help women discover the know how to create a satisfying and enriching life on their own. I’ve been leading the workshop for over 12 years
now, and often get questions from In Good Health readers about what the workshop covers and how it is organized. In this month’s column, I am pleased to answer the most frequently asked questions: Q. What is the purpose of the workshop — and what do you cover? A. Because I’ve walked in a similar pair of shoes, I can empathize with the challenges you may be facing. And I can support your efforts and desire to feel more content on your own. In many cases, it starts with a change in attitude, and my workshop will help you think differently about living alone. Specifically, I cover how to overcome loneliness and other emotional pitfalls, banish negative thinking, rediscover your true self and socialize in a couples’ world. The goal is to embrace what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to know yourself again and create a rewarding life on your own. Feeling comfortable with your independence will improve your
ds i K Corner Hear This! Keep Cotton Swabs Out of Kids’ Ears
chances of finding happiness, and it will improve your chances of finding a new healthy relationship, if that’s what you desire. When you feel better about yourself — more selfassured and resourceful — life on your own or with a special someone can be richer and more satisfying. Getting good at living alone takes practice. here’s no magic pill and it doesn’t happen overnight. But it can happen, and good things can result. Q. Who attends the workshop? A. Most of the women who attend the workshop are in mid-life and have come out of long marriages or relationships. Some are on their own for the first time in their lives. All have one thing in common: They want to get a better handle on living alone and to feel more content with themselves and their independence. Many see this workshop as an extension of the support they are receiving from friends, family, a therapist and/or their congregation. Q. I’m still grieving the loss of my marriage/spouse. Is this workshop right for me? A. Good question. My “Living Alone” workshop is a “nuts and bolts” practical workshop to help women feel more whole and complete on their own. It is not a grief or mental health support group. If you are still in the grieving process and seek support, I recommend grief counseling or the help of a professional counselor. Q. What are your credentials? A. I am not a licensed professional. My expertise is born out of real-life experience. I’ve “been there.” I emerged from my divorce feeling very deflated and very alone, faced with both the practical and emotional challenges of living alone. After some hits and misses, I found my way and now thoroughly enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with living alone. of pediatric otolaryngology, in Columbus, Ohio. “The ears canals are usually selfcleaning. Using cotton tip applicators to clean the ear canal not only pushes wax closer to the ear drum, but there is a significant risk of causing minor to severe injury to the ear,” Jatana said in a hospital news release. Indeed, most of the injuries occurred while using cotton swabs to clean the ears (73 percent), the findings showed. The rest occurred while playing with cotton swabs (10 percent), or with children falling when they had cotton swabs in their ear (9 percent). The majority of injuries occurred when children were using cotton swabs by themselves (77 percent),
An estimated 12,500 U.S. children are injured every year after cleaning mishaps, researchers say
housands of kids wind up in U.S. emergency rooms every year for ear injuries caused by cotton swabs, a new study reveals. The analysis of federal data found that about 263,000 children were treated in emergency departments for ear injuries caused by cotton swabs over the 21-year period from 1990 through 2010. That works out to about 12,500 Page 8
such injuries a year, or about 34 injuries a day. “The two biggest misconceptions I hear as an otolaryngologist are that the ear canals need to be cleaned in the home setting, and that cotton tip applicators should be used to clean them; both of those are incorrect,” said senior study author, physician Kris Jatana. He’s with Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s department
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
My time-tested experience, resources, tips and techniques have inspired and helped many workshop participants. My workshop has been the jump-start they needed to reclaim their lives. Q. How large are the workshops? A. Ideally, I like to have eight women in each workshop, although, on occasion, I have led workshops with a few more and a few less. A group of about eight gives everyone a chance to actively participate and benefit from the experience. The sharing quickly gives way to a comfortable camaraderie and it’s not unusual for nice friendships to develop among participants. Q. Where are the workshops held? A. At House Content Bed & Breakfast in Mendon, N.Y. House Content is a little historic gem, situated on a picturesque six-acre site, surrounded by horse farms and parkland. Reminiscent of a quaint English cottage, this setting serves as a peaceful and inspirational setting for the workshop. Q. I’d like to sign up for the workshop. What’s my next step? A. I like to speak with potential participants by phone, as a first step. That way, I can answer your questions and you’ll know better whether this workshop is right for you. Just call me at 585-624-7887 or email me at gvoelckers@rochester. rr.com, and we’ll schedule a time to talk. You will find information about my upcoming one-day workshop 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 24, in the Calendar of Health Events included in this issue. Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of “Live Alone and Thrive,” empowerment workshops for women held throughout the year in Mendon, NY. For information or to contact Voelckers, call 585-624-7887 or email: gvoelckers@ rochester.rr.com. followed by when a parent (16 percent) or sibling (6 percent) was using a cotton swab to clean a child’s ear. About two-thirds of patients were younger than 8 — and children under 3 accounted for 40 percent of all injuries, according to the report. The most common injuries were foreign body sensation (30 percent), perforated ear drum (25 percent) and soft tissue injury (23 percent). Foreign body sensation was the most common injury among children aged 8 to 17, while perforated ear drum was the most common among those younger than 8. The study was published online May 8 in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Coming This Summer: More Ticks and a Deadly New Tick-Borne Disease People need to be extra cautious when outdoors, with more of the critters after a mild winter
cientists have a double shot of bad news about ticks: There’s a new, and potentially fatal, tick-borne illness called Powassan, and this summer looks like it might be one of the worst on record for an increase in the tick population. “Tick-borne diseases are on the rise, and prevention should be on everyone’s mind, particularly during the spring and summer, and early fall when ticks are most active,” said Rebecca Eisen. She is a research biologist in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of vector-borne diseases. Laura Goodman, a senior research associate in population medicine and diagnostic sciences at Cornell University, concurred. “It’s going to be a bad season,” she said. Approximately 75 cases of Powassan disease were reported
in the United States over the past 10 years. Most cases have occurred in the Northeast and Great Lakes region, according to the CDC. Powassan is a virus that can be transmitted through a tick bite. Although rare, Powassan has been spreading, and more cases are likely this year, Goodman said. Signs and symptoms of Powassan can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss. Long-term neurological damage also may occur, according to the CDC. There’s currently no specific treatment for the disease. People with severe Powassan often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids or medications to reduce swelling in the brain. If inflammation of the brain
(encephalitis) occurs, the fatality rate is approximately 10 percent, the CDC warns. There’s no vaccine to prevent Powassan. The best prevention is avoiding ticks. And that may be harder to do this year, experts at Cornell University explained. Because of a milder winter in the Northeast, a dramatic increase in the tick population is expected in that region and possibly across the northern United States. Ticks carry not only bacterial diseases such as Lyme, but also viral illnesses like Powassan and parasitic diseases like babesiosis. To protect yourself from a tick-borne infection, the CDC recommends: • Learning which tick-borne diseases are common in your area. • Avoiding places with thick
vegetation, high grass and leaf litter. • Walking in the center of trails when hiking. • Using repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours. • Using products that contain permethrin to treat clothing and gear — such as boots, pants, socks and tents — or wearing clothing pretreated with permethrin. • Bathing or showering as soon as possible after potential exposure, to wash off ticks before they bite. • Removing all attached ticks as soon as possible. • Treating dogs with products that kill and/or repel ticks. • Examining gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats and day packs. • Drying clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. • If the clothes can’t be washed in hot water, tumble dry on low heat for 90 minutes or high heat for 60 minutes. The clothes should be warm and completely dry.
Healthcare in a Minute By George W. Chapman
Understanding Trumpcare It took over seven years, but the House finally managed to get enough votes, barely, to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA or Trumpcare). The fate of the bill now is in the hands of a much more moderate Senate. Once enough votes were pledged, the bill was intentionally sent to the floor for a House vote before the Congressional Budget Office could take a look at the bill and figure out what the financial and coverage consequences would be. If you recall, the CBO estimated that the original version of the AHCA would cause 24 million people to lose coverage. The revised bill sets aside $8 billion for pre-existing conditions or for high-risk pools. That sounds like a lot, but it is only $1.6 billion per five years. According to industry experts, about 226,000 people had pre-existing conditions covered by the ACA at a cost of $2.5 billion in
2011. So the $8 billion proposed by the AHCA would only cover about half the 226,000 people with preexisting conditions. Employer plans could be impacted by the AHCA by a provision that could jeopardize the current cap on out-of-pocket expenses. The bottom line is sicker people will pay a lot more for their insurance or go without. The latter option means hospitals and physicians will once again be faced with providing uncompensated care to the people who are the sickest and most vulnerable. Almost all of the industry’s major trade associations have expressed their concerns over potential reductions in insurance subsidies (cost-sharing reductions) including American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and American Hospital Association. The CBO analysis of the AHCA sent to the Senate should be out by the time you read this.
AHCA pre-existing conditions
Healthcare Dilemma The healthcare industry has added a lot of jobs to the economy over the last 10 years and most of the jobs are good-paying jobs. The increase in hospital staffing has been in response to an aging population, increased regulatory burdens and increased demand for services as more people are insured. Reimbursements that have not kept up with increasing costs and the uncertainty over the AHCA (Trumpcare) have caused even the largest hospital systems to reduce staff. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston announced plans to offer buyouts to 1,600 employees. Catholic Health Initiatives will cut 900 positions through layoffs
The list is far more extensive and pervasive (ridiculous?) than you think. The AHCA would allow all commercial insurers to charge more to all their customers for the following: cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, depression, diabetes, Down syndrome, eating disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, gout, heart diseases, heartburn, high cholesterol, hypertension, kidney problems, mental health issues, sleep disorders, TB and tooth disease, among others. This issue, along with cost sharing reductions, will get the most attention when the Senate takes a look.
and buyouts. The Anderson Cancer Care Center in Texas plans to cut 1,000 jobs. NYC Health & Hospitals announced organizational restructuring that would eliminate 600 positions across its system. Before the ACA was repealed, the Urban Institute estimated even a partial repeal of the ACA, let alone a full replacement, would increase uncompensated care to providers by about $1 trillion a year for the next 10 years. Many hospitals will face credit downgrades if the AHCA causes millions to lose their insurance. To make matters worse, as staffing cuts are made, hospitals must deal with increasing physician and nurse burnout.
Americans use more drugs per capita than any other country. We also pay more for drugs than other country. Drugs now account for 10 percent of total healthcare spending. Recent accounts of price gouging by drug companies has brought the issue to the forefront. Even drugs made right here in the USA are cheaper in most other countries. The simple solution is already on the books. The FDA is empowered by the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act to allow drug imports to the USA, if they are deemed safe and less expensive. The drug lobby has been very effective at preventing anyone in the FDA or HHS from employing this provision. It is ultimately up to the president, who oversees HHS and the FDA, with one executive order.
The VA is contemplating closing more than 1,100 vacant and underutilized facilities in order to save $25 million a year and to shift more care to the private sector. President Trump recently signed a bill extending the period in which vets can seek medical care from
June 2017 •
private physicians and hospitals. The move toward privatization was recently accelerated by reports of long, often fatal, waits for care at certain VA facilities.
We’re No. 37
The World Health Organization ranks the healthcare systems in 190 countries. The rankings are based upon several factors including the overall health of the population; health disparities within the population (poor vs. rich; public insurance vs. private insurance); system responsiveness/ patient satisfaction; distribution of responsiveness within the population (uninsured vs. insured; urban vs. rural); distribution of financial burden (who pays: government, employer, self). All things considered, the WHO ranks the U.S. No. 37. The top five countries are: France, Italy, San Marino, (an independent sovereign country within Italy); Andorra, (an independent sovereign country between Spain and France) and Malta. Other notables are: UK, No.18; Germany, No. 25; Canada, No. 30; Russia, No. 130; China, No. 144. In last place at No. 190 is Myanmar. The U.S. remains firmly entrenched as the No. 1 country for highest cost per capita at about $10,500 and percentage of GDP at about 18 percent. In the 1960s, healthcare was 5 percent of the U.S. GDP George W. Chapman is a healthcare business consultant who works exclusively with physicians, hospitals and healthcare organizations. He operates GW Chapman Consulting based in Syracuse. Email him at gwc@ gwchapmanconsulting. com.
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
What to Eat This Season
Surprising sources of summer weight gain (and what to do!) By Anne Palumbo
ow that the warm weather is here, a wonderful feeling comes across us: we want to eat lighter and fresher. An abundance of fresh summer produce certainly supports that desire. So hats off to farmers and farmers markets everywhere! But summertime does not automatically equal healthier eating and living. Although people may wish to eat healthier during the summer months, there are “seasonal temptations” that can derail even the best intentions. These warm-weather temptations, many of them caloric to boot, are typically found at festivals, state and county fairs, barbecues and the occasional picnic. Here are some summer foods you want to avoid (or else consume in sincere moderation) and some healthier options for you to consider. Fried dough: Consider roasted nuts or popcorn. Nothing kicks off the festival season quite like a big greasy plate of fried dough. Unbeknownst to many, these caloric bombs weigh in with about 800 calories and 44 grams of fat, some of which could
be the dreaded trans fats. Rumor has it, fried dough’s evil twin, funnel cake, is just as bad. Sure, they’re often divvied up, but still! Figuring you left those carrot sticks at home, opt for sharing some protein-packed roasted nuts or fiber-rich popcorn (minus all the butter and salt, of course). Frappuccino topped with whipped cream: Consider plain iced coffee. Oh, those frozen coffee drinks garnished with oodles of whipped cream: What would summer be without them? A lot less caloric, that’s what. Got a favorite? I did. But after discovering the sweet li’l thing had a waistexpanding 420 calories, 15 grams of fat and 66 grams of sugar, I switched over to plain iced coffee with some skim milk. On those occasions when only a frozen coffee drink will do, go for one made with nonfat milk and ditch the whipped cream: you’ll save hundreds of calories. Creamy potato or pasta salads: Consider whole-grain salads. Stick-toyour-ribs foods like potatoes and pasta give us the slow-burning
energy we need to stay warm in the winter. Come summer, however, we want to stay cool and light on our feet, which is why whole-grain salads are a good choice. Grains like farro, quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice can be prepared ahead of time and made into delicious, nutritious side salads. Still yearning to bring a potato or pasta salad to the family picnic? Dress it with a zesty vinaigrette versus a heavy mayo and add some veggies. Premium ice cream and custard: Consider sherbets, sorbets and low-fat yogurt blends. Ice cream consumption goes up in the summer and it’s no wonder: it’s cool, creamy, and delicious. The problem is — and it’s a biggie if you’re monitoring your intake — many of these premium ice creams (a.k.a. gourmet, artisanal, scratch-made) are loaded with fat, calories and cholesterol. Check the ice cream carton’s nutrition label for some eye-opening stats; and then, if you’re like most people who eat more than a meager one-half cup, multiply the amounts by two A cup of chocolate custard, for example, has about 500 calories and 28 grams of fat. Orange sherbet, on the other hand, has about 200 calories and only 3 grams of fat. Jumbo hot dogs with the “works”: Consider normal-sized hot dogs with fewer toppings. The average hot dog is not all that caloric, especially these days with so many lower-calorie and lower-fat versions available. And while hot dogs are not exactly a nutritionist’s favorite food, they can often be a better choice at the barbecue over a hamburger blanketed with cheese or Italian sausage. The calories begin to add
Eight in 10 Eat Fast Food at Least Once a Week: Survey
mericans love fast food — even if they can afford meals that aren’t prepackaged in grease-resistant wrappers, according to a new study. The study found that Americans of all economic classes eat fast food. Middle-income Americans are the most likely to eat fast food, but only by a slight margin from other income groups. Even the wealthiest Americans admit to eating fast food, trailing other groups by just a bit, the researchers said. “It’s not mostly poor people eating fast food in America,” said study co-author Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research. Page 10
“Rich people may have more eating options, but that’s not stopping them from going to places like McDonald’s or KFC,” he said in a university news release. The study included information from a national survey. The researchers zeroed in on roughly 8,000 people who were questioned about their weekly fast food intake in 2008, 2010 and 2012. The participants, who were all middle-aged, were asked how many times they had eaten food from a fast food restaurant, such as McDonald’s, KFC or Taco Bell, in the past seven days. The answers were then compared to questions about their wealth and
income. The study found that the fondness for fast food transcends economic classes and is shared by rich and poor alike. Overall, the researchers found that 79 percent of the participants ate fast food at least once a week. Twentythree percent ate fast food three or more times during any one of the weeks examined in the study. The researchers noted that people whose income fluctuated dramatically in either direction didn’t change their eating habits. “If you became richer or poorer, it didn’t change how much fast food you ate,” Zagorsky said. The study was published online in Economics & Human Biology.
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
up, however, with larger sizes (jumbo, stadium, bun-length), heaps of toppings, and the inclination to eat more than just one. Some bruisers with chili sauce pack a whopping 400 calories. So, choose your dogs and toppings wisely. Scour labels and opt for varieties that are uncured (nitrate/nitrite free) and lower in fat, calories, and sodium. Consider alternatives to beef — chicken, turkey, veggie — and pair it with a whole grain bun. Lastly, swap some of the traditional toppings for lowercalorie salsa. My favorite? Trader Joe’s Uncured Chicken Hot Dogs. Yum. Barbecued pork ribs: Consider leaner meats sans sauce. Pork ribs, while delectable, have more calories and fat, including saturated fat, than most meats. A half rack of barbecuedpork ribs (about 6), for example, has anywhere from 500 to 600 calories and 30 to 40 grams of fat, a third of which are saturated. Saturated fat, as many know, has been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease. The slathered-on barbecued sauce only adds more calories. Select leaner, healthier meats — like skinless chicken or turkey, pork loin or sirloin steak — and use dry rubs for flavor over sauces. Final suggestion: Summer bursts with fresh produce in stores and at farmers markets, so take advantage of the seasonal, healthful bounty. What’s more, freezing produce is easy and preserves most of the fruit or vegetable’s nutritional content. Anne Palumbo is the author of SmartBites, a food-related column published every month in In Good Health.
The skinny on healthy eating
The Audacity of Strawberries H ow can such a sweet li’l thing be so nutritious? Who does it think it is having more vitamin C than an orange? Enough antioxidants to rival a raspberry? Half the calories of a banana? And as much fiber as an apple? The nerve of this good-for-you goldmine! Let’s start with vitamin C and why it’s so important to our health. An essential nutrient, vitamin C — which is integral to collagen synthesis — works hard to keep bones, muscles and tissues in tip-top shape. Current research suggests it may even protect against skin wrinkling. And even though this immune-boosting vitamin may not be the cure for the common cold, it has been shown to reduce the length and severity of some colds. A cup of strawberry halves delivers a confident dose: 150 percent of our daily needs. Strawberries are antioxidant superstars, boasting enough of these magical molecules to rank among the top 10 fruits and vegetables for antioxidant content. Antioxidants are important compounds that protect our body from disease and accelerated aging by gobbling up
harmful free radicals — byproducts of the oxidation process that have been linked to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Strawberries, already crazy-high in vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant!), are boldly loaded with the Michael Jordan of the antioxidant world: phytochemicals. Moving briskly to fiber: Strawberries are a darn good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, delivering about 3 grams per sliced cup. While soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol, insoluble fiber promotes regularity. Both contribute to a full feeling that helps curb snacking between meals, a boon for weight watchers. Think we’re all done with this heart-shaped hotshot? Hardly! This sassy superfruit flaunts an arsenal of “lows”: low in calories (only 50 per cup), fat, sodium and cholesterol; and, also, according to the American Diabetes Association, on the “low end” of the glycemic index. On top of everything, strawberries strut out an impressive amount of manganese, a mineral that’s good for bones and energy production.
Plenty of healthy activities happening around Queen City By Catherine Miller
uffalo’s outdoor scene is bustling as the weather finally turns warm. Take one look at Canalside, with its water bikes and paddleboard rentals, and you will find a plethora of new outdoor activities beckoning you to join in. So, why not? Not only is biking, kayaking and strolling the walkways throughout Buffalo’s new park-like thoroughfares great fun, but it’s also great for you. Research shows that 30 minutes of physical activity a day can lower your heart rate, improve your cardiovascular system, and lower your risk for heart disease. It’s as easy as a walk in the park — and Buffalo has many to choose from. The walkway at the Outer Harbor on Fuhrman Boulevard is a two-mile stretch that begins at Wilkeson Pointe and continues through beautiful waterfront views. It’s a perfect place to stroll, bike or jog, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the view from the point after you wander the walkway There are slides for the kids and volleyball courts to utilize. For those that enjoy both the Outer Harbor and Canalside, the Queen City Ferry is ready to take you from one area to
the other, along with your bike if you are so equipped, for $1 each way. For those that want to kayak off the beaten path, there is Elevator Alley Kayak with water access at Mutual Riverfront Park in the Old First Ward. Elevator Alley boasts an easy inlet to the easily maneuvered Buffalo River. You can rent a kayak, book a lesson or take a guided history tour on the water. Kayaking is a fun, easy way to enjoy life on the water while burning a few calories. If you haven’t taken a walk into Delaware Park lately, you may be overdue for this serene change of pace. Flowers are just coming into bloom in the rose garden and this highlight of the Buffalo Olmstead Parks has just added a welcome addition. The Terrace at Delaware Park, a new restaurant at the Marcy Casino, has recently opened its doors and is the perfect resting spot after a long winding trek through the parkway.
Helpful tips Healthy Strawberry Smoothie
Strawberries, once picked, do not ripen further, so choose berries that are firm, plump, and deep red with their caps attached. Mediumsized strawberries are often the most flavorful. Buy organic if possible and consume within a few days of purchase. Place unwashed berries in refrigerator until ready to use. Do not leave berries at room temperature or exposed to sunlight for too long, as this will cause spoilage and possible loss of nutrients.
2 cups ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt ¾ to 1 cup orange juice, almond milk or low-fat milk ¼ teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds (optional) Anne Palumbo is a lifestyle columnist, food guru, Add the ingredients to a food and seasoned cook, processor or blender. Process until a who has perfected well-blended puree forms, about 15 the art of preparing seconds, stopping to scrape down nutritious, caloriethe sides of the container once or conscious dishes. twice. Taste the mixture and adjust She is hungry for sweetener, if needed. If smoothie is your questions and too thick, add water, juice or milk. If comments about smoothie is too thin, add more fruit. SmartBites, so be in touch with Anne at email@example.com. by Independent Health and the YMCA of Buffalo Niagara. The best part about these fitness in the parks programs is that no registration is necessary. Just show up at the time listed on the Independent Health website and have fun in the sun with other fit-minded outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to the scheduled classes, Larkinville also has pickleball courts ready and waiting anytime you stop by. What is pickleball you ask? Think of it as tennis with a large paddle and a wiffleball, and is fun for all ages. While you’re waiting, grab a hula-hoop and get your groove on. For bicyclists in the area, the Slow Roll of Buffalo is back and has more scheduled events than years past. This social bicycling group meets weekly to take a leisurely trek through the streets of Buffalo and
then join together at the end of its tour to enjoy the summer weather with friends and often food and beverages. This year’s starting points will include the Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Riverworks, Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls, and Murphy Brown’s Craft Beer Emporium in Clarence. Dates, places and further information can be found on the Slow Roll Buffalo’s website. So there you have it — by foot or by bike, or by boat if you like — there are many ways you can enjoy the summer sunshine in Buffalo and improve your health while you are at it. To get the most out of your exercise, find something fun that you can do regularly, change up the routine to keep it interesting, and enjoy the Buffalo scenery as well as health benefits.
Just hangin’ out
Not only will you find outdoor activities at the parks and waterfronts of Buffalo, but new hangout spots have added in ways to get fit while you fraternize. Larkinville, home of Food Truck Tuesdays and live music each Wednesday, offers free yoga classes on Mondays and cardio kickboxing on Thursday, sponsored
The Outer Harbor run path in an option for people looking to get more exercise.
June 2017 •
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Meet Your Provider
Ideal Weight Loss of Buffalo Sheri Zillioux
Developed and endorsed by medical doctors - losing weight can improve blood sugar, cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure
After many years of yo-yo dieting on many different weight loss plans, Sheri Zillioux of Williamsville lost a total of 42 pounds in four months and has kept it off following the Ideal Protein weight loss method. As a result of her successful weight loss, she no longer has high cholesterol, high triglycerides, fatty liver, and is no longer pre-diabetic. She opened Ideal Weight Loss of Buffalo so she can help others lose their weight and keep it off! It’s a well-known fact that as you gain weight and become overweight or obese, your risks for coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and many other conditions also increases Losing weight to avoid chronic diseases is an obvious strategy to healthier living. However, if you’re already overweight, learning and developing lifestyle changes to sustain a better body weight is not that simple. Until now... Ideal Weight Loss of Buffalo follows the medically developed Ideal Protein weight loss method, which targets fat loss. It is structured weight loss that supports muscle mass because muscle is
the engine that burns the fat. How does it work? You will learn to live off your body’s own fat reserves. Our protocol restricts sugars (simple and complex) until 100 percent of your weight loss goal is achieved. Because as long as sugar is being consumed, your body may not be burning fat. Exercise is NOT required. There is no limit to how much they can help you lose. They have helped people lose from 20-40 pounds up to 100’s of pounds.
How much should I expect to lose each week?
Typical weight loss is 2 to 5 pounds per week EVERY week. Then when you get to your goal weight, they teach you how to keep it off!
Randy lost 72 pounds and 12 inches off his waist in only 24 weeks.
One of the keys to your success — both when losing weight, as well as maintaining it — is the weekly support you’ll receive from your weight loss coach, Sheri Zillioux. You’ll meet with her once a week to get weighed and measured, as well as encouragement, tips and advice, and daily video support. You’ve already taken the first step
on your journey towards stable weight loss by reading this article...you can’t stop now! Where is it located? Ideal Weight Loss of Buffalo is located inside the Complete Wellness Arts & Science Center at 1515 Kensington Ave. Centrally located just minutes from the Main Street exit off the I-290 or the Eggert Road exit off the 33 Express-
What can I expect at my weekly appointments?
way. Also can be easily accessed via the roundabouts that connect Harlem, Kensington and Wehrle. Want More Info?
Attend a FREE Information Night every Wednesday from 6-7. You will learn about the program, taste food samples, and have all your questions answered. Registration is required.
“The results are those of the individual that is identified. Typical results vary up to 6 and 8 pounds lost during the first two weeks and up to 2 pounds per week thereafter when the Ideal Protein® Weight Loss Method is followed properly. You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other diet program to determine if it is right for your needs.”
Ideal Weight Loss of Buffalo • 1515 Kensington Ave. • www.time4diet.com • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
Men’sHealth Answers to
Men’s Hair Loss New treatments for baldness include micro tattoos that mimic the appearance of a short buzz cut By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
wo out of three American men show noticeable hair loss by age 35, according to the American Hair Loss Association, based in Calabasas, Calif. By 50, the number jumps to 85 percent and the hair loss is significant. A whopping 25 percent begin the process of male pattern balding by age 21. Men who want to do something about their hair loss have more options available than ever. Hair transplants are still quite in demand. The provider moves the hair and follicle from a donor site such as the back of the head to the thinning area. The results are permanent and since the hair was grown on the man’s head, there’s no chance the body will reject it. Before considering hair transplantation procedures, patients should ensure they know the reason for their hair loss. “Sometimes hair loss isn’t always male pattern,” said Jonathan Turowski, board-certified adultgerontology and primary care nurse practitioner who works at Neiman Dermatology and Hair Transplantation in Buffalo. Thyroid disease or stress can
cause hair to thin, for example. Turowski has had patients inquire about hair restoration after they experienced a difficult break-up with a girlfriend. Nutrition also plays a role. Turowski recommends taking a B vitamin supplement — an effort that offers mixed results — and having vitamin D levels checked by a primary care provider. Neiman Dermatology and Hair Transplantation offers hair transplants, scalp reduction surgery, and oral and topical medication. Turowski said that with medication, patients must continue using it or the newly grown hairs will begin to shed. Patients also don’t have control over where the hair grows. Surgery, however, offers a lasting, targeted solution, he said. Turowski described two types of transplantation: follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction. The former involves taking a strip of hairs from the donor site and dividing them up to implant. With the latter of the two procedures, the surgeon takes individual hairs. Injecting plasma-rich protein
from the patient’s own blood can help support the success of either type of transplantation technique. Some men buzz or completely shave their heads to minimizes the contrast between balding areas and intact areas. But shaved guys lose the definition that a hairline provides. Some feel that shaving detracts from their facial features. That’s where Scalp Aesthetics may help. Founded in Rochester, the company has spread to 160 locations worldwide, including Buffalo. Technicians use an extremely thin needle to perform micro tattoos on a man’s balding areas to mimic the appearance of a short buzz cut. The technician goes only one layer deep with organic ink that matches the client’s natural color. Since the ink contains no metals, it cannot change color significantly. Because the needle doesn’t go deep like regular tattoos, most clients experience little pain. Going too deep makes the ink spread. The rest of the client’s hair should stay cut within one millimeter long to blend with the tiny tattoos. Eric Taylor of Rochester responded to an ad for Scalp
Aesthetics to solve his hair woes. He had the procedure done in 2013 and couldn’t be happier with his look. Now he works as the company’s global sales and operations manager. He said that many people have told him he should grow out his hair, not realizing that his “full head of hair” was mostly tattooed. For most top-of-the-head procedures, the client receives 15,000 tiny hair replicated dots. Taylor chose a slightly receded hairline which he felt appears more realistic for his age. Taylor said that he likes the permanency of his hair loss solution, and the fact that he doesn’t have to worry about swimming, wind or sweating as with hairpieces. His only maintenance is shaving his remaining hair every 48 to 72 hours and a touch-up of the tattoos every seven to eight years, as the ink can fade slightly over time. “It works well with the graying process,” Taylor said. “If someone has it done in their 30s, he can come back two or three times before they can let it go along with the graying process of the natural hair.” The typical procedure costs $3,000 to $5,000.
Overactive Bladder: Not Just a Female Problem Problem in men is largely under-diagnosed, experts say By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
any think of overactive bladder as a female health issue; however, men and women experience it equally. According to the Urology Care Foundation in Linthicum, Md., approximately 33 million Americans have overactive bladder, about 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women. Unfortunately, it’s largely under-diagnosed in men. Overactive bladder describes various urinary symptoms, the most prominent of which is the need to urinate frequently. Frequent urination may have many causes, according to Elizabeth Ferry, urologist with VA Medical Center, Buffalo. “It would be important to talk
with your health care provider,” Ferry said. “Sometimes, there are other things that can cause overactivity such as stones or even cancer and we need to rule those things out.” Nervous system disorders, urinary tract infections and enlarged prostate can also affect urination frequency. Men experiencing overactive bladder will notice increasing urgency and frequency, along with more need to urinate at night. The problem can become significant enough where the man may experience incontinence. Patients with urinary incontinence may feel the need to curtail their activities and stay home
more. Or, they may feel secure only if they’re wearing a sanitary pad. In addition, patients experience increased risks of urinary tract infections. Before prescribing medication, Raghu Ram, family physician and regional medical director with Landmark Health in Buffalo, advises reducing consumption of caffeine as it’s a diuretic. Coffee, chocolate, and caffeinated soda and tea are big culprits. Other ways of controlling symptoms with behavior modification include reducing fluid intake before bedtime and reviewing the patients medication list for diuretics. After these steps, prescription
June 2017 •
medication may be needed to offer patients sufficient help. “Some are more of reducing the spasms that might occur,” Ram said. “Some try to improve the function of the muscle. Others try to reduce the size of the prostate.” He said that these are usually pretty successful in offering patience “significant relief.” More invasive methods of treating overactive bladder may include injecting Botox into the bladder to help it relax and increase its capacity and reducing the size of the prostate. Ram said that surgical intervention is unusual.
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Things You Should Know About Urologic Problems By Ernst Lamothe Jr.
roblems with your prostate, reproductive system, bladder or kidneys are often both physically and emotionally difficult. Urologists specialize in providing advanced, minimally invasive treatments for a wide range of urologic conditions, including prostate cancer, bladder cancer, urinary tract infection and erectile dysfunction. Physician Khurshid Guru is vice chairman of the department of urology and director of robotic surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. He was one of the early fellowship-trained robotic surgeons and has performed more than 1,500 robot-assisted procedures. He offers five tips for optimal urological health. “With every piece of advice, the first thing I tell my patient is you have to be your own advocate,” Said Guru. “The best patients are welleducated patients. You have to feel empowered to ask all the questions you need. And if you can’t be an advocate for yourself because of whatever reason make sure you have one.”
Stop smoking or avoid smoking
By now, we all know the information about smoking being bad for individuals and the overall population. And while the statistics
are encouraging with the number of young smokers dropping annually, issues persist because other elements have filled in the void of tobacco. With e-cigarettes and other supposed “smoke free” replacements to traditional nicotine smoking, many people have replaced a bad habit with just another replacement. “Smoking is one of the leading causes of bladder cancer and also can lead to lung issues,” said Guru. “We understand it is not easy for people to completely stop so we have smoking cessation programs at Roswell to help people quit.”
Guru suggests that people drink eight glasses of water and that includes eating fruits, which sometimes are 80 percent water. Drinking water has been known to lower your risk of stone disease. Stone disease is a painful and common condition that affects more than 5 percent of all adults in the U.S., according to the National Kidney Foundation. It’s estimated that nearly 2 million patients visit their doctors or local emergency rooms because of kidney stones every year. “I tell people you should get a bottle of water and fill it up in the morning and continue to do that throughout the day,” said Guru.
“Being hydrated is one of the easiest and more effective ways to overall good health.”
Exercising at any age is essential to good health. It becomes even more paramount as you get older because you are fighting the uphill battle of aging. Guru recommends regular exercise even as simple as taking regular walks. When it comes to your body, keeping active is essential as we age. Even 20 minutes of activity a day, three times per week, provides benefits. Thirty minutes every day is even better. “When you keep up your cardiovascular energy it does have positive effects for your body. It can be as simple as taking a walk and that could make an incredible difference,” said Guru.
The simple observations make the biggest difference. “You don’t have to be dealing with incredible pain for something to be wrong,” said Guru. “For example, if you see fresh blood in your urine, you should immediately consult your primary care physician. A lot of times small signs like that can be the first step to something being
Physician Khurshid Guru is a vice chairman of the department of urology and director of robotic surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. wrong. Sometimes people have more advanced stages of cancer because they didn’t care to pay attention to the symptoms.
Let technology be your friend
There are different types of urinary incontinence in men, including stress incontinence, urge incontinence and overflow incontinence. Some men may have one, two, or all three types of incontinence Diagnosis of urinary incontinence in men will involve a medical history and physical exam, and may include keeping a bladder diary. But if keeping a written diary is too old school for you there are new ways to keep track. “We have the ability to use so much technology and that is why I have created two apps that help people navigate and stay on top of their health concerns,” said Guru. “Not everyone wants to keep a journal dairy and because our phones are always with us it is easy access to making sure we track the important things we need to for our health.”
Treatments for Andropause, the ‘Male Menopause’ By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
omen aren’t the only ones to experience “the change” later in life. “Andropause” is often used to describe symptoms affecting mature men such as decreased libido, lowered vitality, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass and bone density, anemia, pre-diabetes, depression and increased irritability. These symptoms correlate with older age because that’s when levels of testosterone begin to dip for many men. About four out of 10 men over the age of 45 have low testosterone and that number increases as men get older, according to the Urology Care Foundation in Linthicum, Md. Page 14
Some of the symptoms of andropause can indicate other issues, so it’s important to seek a medical exam. A blood test can measure testosterone levels. If a medical provider identifies low testosterone as the reason for the symptoms, the provider and patient discuss options and weigh the risks and benefits of various treatments, if that’s what the patient wants. If the symptoms are minor and can be addressed through non-medical means, that’s a good first step. Fred Duncan, personal trainer and owner of Fred Duncan Performance Training in Williamsville, advises resistance training to improve strength and improve mood. “Lifting weights has been shown
to increase lifespan,” he added. Terrence Whiteside, owner of Steel Mill Gym, Inc. in Buffalo, said that taking testosterone replacement therapy, paired with resistance exercise, can help men maintain their muscle and gain more muscle. “As long as you keep it in normal limits, that’s a way to help you get through a plateau,” Whiteside said. Elizabeth Ferry, urologist with VA Medical Center, Buffalo, said that men diagnosed with low testosterone usually respond well to replacement therapy. For younger men who want to remain fertile, stimulating their bodies to generate their own testosterone may provide the answer. Typically used with patients of child rearing age who have secondary
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
hypergonadism, oral medication can help their bodies produce more testosterone. Men with primary hypergonadism don’t make any testosterone, so replacement therapy provides the only prescription help. Testosterone replacement therapy carries with it a few side effects. Ferry said that “mixed evidence” correlates the therapy with increased risk for cardiovascular events and it can exacerbate existing prostate cancer, though it doesn’t cause prostate cancer. “If someone isn’t having an adequate response, it should be stopped,” Ferry said. “There are other potential sources for these symptoms as well.”
Low-skill Jobs May Raise Suicide Risk Among Men
Suicide among low-skilled workers 44 percent higher than national average By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
en employed in low-skill jobs are 44 percent more likely to commit suicide than the national average, as reported by the US’s Office of National Statistics. The figures don’t surprise Caryl Brent, licensed mental health counselor in Buffalo. She sees two primary issues at work: stress caused by low income and lack of knowledge about what could help. “The way the mental health system is, it’s hard to get mental health help,” Brent said. Many working poor don’t qualify for income-based insurance programs, and some find premiums, co-pays and deductibles unaffordable if they work for an employer who does not have to provide health insurance coverage. Low-income jobs themselves tend to provide few opportunities for advancement. Lacking goals leads to hopelessness and depression, both of
which are risk factors for suicide. While seeking higher education seems an obvious step toward a more fulfilling life, a man working to support his family on a low income won’t have much time or energy to pursue training. The cost of education has risen exponentially in recent years and even free education costs time. “Unfortunately, once depression sets in, it undermines motivation,” said Kathleen Calabrese, Ph.D, and marriage and family therapist in private practice in Buffalo. “It causes an inertia that undermines the ability to seek opportunities.” For middle-aged and older men, seeking education for better employment can be even more difficult because they may have more responsibilities than younger, single people. Some have not engaged with technology and their employable skills lag behind because of it.
Calabrese encourages men to seek fulfillment within their familial relationships by enjoying the time they spend with them. “If work is not satisfying, shift your attention to your family,” she said. “It’s right in front of you: the opportunity to strengthen and build your family. “Children need Dad equally as much as they need Mom. I don’t think we’ve done a good job of making men realize their value, not just because they bring home a paycheck but because they’re human beings.”
Kathy Calabrese, Ph.D, and marriage and family therapist in private practice in Buffalo. “If work is not satisfying, shift your attention to your family,” she says. “It’s right in front of you: the opportunity to strengthen and build your family.
Suicide Warning Signs • Talking about suicide or death • Hopelessness or helplessness • Rage or uncontrollable anger • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out • Increased alcohol or drug use • Withdrawing from friends, family and society
• Anxiety or agitation • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns • Dramatic mood changes • Feeling there is no reason for living or no sense of purpose in
Source: Crisis Services (www. crisisservices.org)
Basketball Star Player Now
Helping Student-Athletes, Seniors Gregory Gamble II, who played semi-professional basketball, has founded a company (Odds2Beat) that offers a variety of training By Tim Fenster Gregory Gamble II, founder of Odds2Beat personal training, knows well that the vast majority of college-level athletes will not enjoy a professional sports career. That’s why Gamble focuses not only on developing basketball skills in his clients, but character and life development as well. He sees the two going handin-hand: a solid basketball game, he says, can be a vehicle for one’s education and career goals. “As a student-athlete, you can use those skills to get opportunities that might not have been there for you,” Gamble said. His training model, and general outlook, is heavily shaped by his own experiences coming of age. Gamble grew up with four siblings in the city of Niagara Falls. His parents worked and supported them well, but did not hold four-year degrees themselves. He said they didn’t talk much of higher education. But Gamble was a star basketball player, helping lead the Niagara Falls High School’s team to a state championship and national prominence in 2005. They were
considered one of 10 high school basketball squads across the nation that could potentially beat an NCAAlevel team, he said. His skills in the court landed him a full scholarship to the University at Buffalo. However, without a clear life plan before him, he struggled in college. His first semester he majored in economics and saw his grade point average fall to a 1.25. “My main goals are based off my own life experiences, which is just being uninformed,” he said. He changed to a communications major and pulled his grades up. After graduation, he played in a semiprofessional league for two years, then decided to return to school, attending Medaille College for his Master in Business Administration degree. “I want to help student-athletes be equipped for college and understand you need a plan for college,” he said. As for his work in the court, Gamble says his lessons push three main points: strength and conditioning, IQ (as in knowledge of
the game) and building skills. “I push the message that you got to do things over and over to succeed,” he said. He aims to help teens and adults who might not have the time or funds to pursue basketball training with a personal trainer. “I’ve made it affordable for the working mom or young adult who can’t invest in basketball training, but does have 45 minutes and wants to have fun and wants to get in a workout,” he said. Meanwhile, Gamble also runs after-school programs for seven area schools, where he works with students from grades 2 through 12. He aims to develop skills and teach the fundamentals of basketball — and, of course, to give the students a fun time. To that end, he has invented several games that combine fundamentals of basketball — connect four with basketball, tic-tac dribble and what he calls “switchball,” a kind of kick ball in which the kicking is replaced by shooting from the free throw line. His hope is that his students someday can use their skills in
June 2017 •
Gregory Gamble II, founder of Odds2Beat in Buffalo. the court to land scholarships and life opportunities that may have otherwise been out of reach. “My job is to empower and employ,” he said. “I want to help student-athletes see sports are a vehicle that can be used to get from opportunity to opportunity.” His company, Odds2Beat, offers a variety of programs to all age groups — all centered on basketball. For more information, visit odds2beat.com.
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
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Gardening Experts: Working the soil can relax, reduce stress levels and mental fatigue By Nancy Cardillo
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merican botanist Luther Burbank may have said it best: “Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” Over the past decade, gardening has grown tremendously in popularity throughout the United States; in fact, it’s one of the top five favorite leisure activities, and rightly so, for many reasons. There’s just something very satisfying about putting your hands in warm, rich soil, planting something (whether it be flower or vegetable), nurturing it and watching it grow into something beautiful. But did you know gardening actually has proven health benefits? There are the obvious health benefits gained from eating more organic fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods, and the advantages of getting the necessary vitamins and minerals through diet rather than supplements. But gardening also provides physical and mental benefits, particularly as we age. “As we get older, we have a harder time finding a purpose,” says geriatrician Kenneth Garbarino of the Geriatric Center of WNY at DeGraff Memorial Hospital. “A hobby such as gardening gives us something to live for year-round. In the summer, it needs our attention. In the winter, it’s something to look forward to, as we talk about it and plan for it. Gardening is a great way to maintain our health longer.” Gardening can reduce stress and anxiety, and this is where that “hands in the dirt” idea comes in to play.
After a busy day of work, errands, etc., spending even just 30 minutes working the soil relaxes you, reduces stress levels and mental fatigue. All that fresh air and hard work can stimulate the appetite and help you fall asleep easier and sleep more restfully. Your risk of exposure to “lifestyle” diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity are reduced when you garden. “Staying active, keeping stress levels down and eating healthier all work toward keeping these common lifestyle diseases at bay,” says Garbarino. “There’s also the benefits of getting out in the sun and absorbing that much-needed Vitamin D.” Gardening also improves critical physical functions, such as strength, endurance and dexterity, and mental functions such as learning, problem solving and sensory awareness. It even helps to ward off dementia, as people who exercise body and mind tend to have a lower incidence of memory impairment. As we age, bending forward, lifting heavy objects and using fine motor skills may be more difficult, but gardening is still very doable. Rather than planting a huge vegetable or flower garden, try container gardening, raised bed gardening, hanging baskets or terrariums. There are also many innovative tools that will help keep us gardening longer. Ergonomic tools, such as radius garden tools designed to keep your wrist at a natural angle; “bionic” gloves with anatomically positioned padding for comfort and improved grip; long-
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
handled tools that allow you to dig, edge, till and plant without bending over, and garden wagons that let you sit in comfort and “scoot” along without having to constantly get up and down are just a few. In Western New York, garden clubs abound, and offer opportunities to make new friends, learn and share your passion for gardening. The Amherst Garden Club, for example, maintains several public gardens throughout Amherst, and also offers classes, field trips and flower shows. “Part of our mission is to aid in promoting the beautification of our town,” says club president Sandra Smith. “We’re always looking for new members who have an interest in gardening, and we offer something for everyone, no matter the level of gardening expertise, the amount of available time, etc.” If your living arrangement doesn’t provide space for you to garden, consider helping others by volunteering. Area organizations such as Grassroots Gardens WNY (www.grassrootsgardens.org), the Massachusetts Avenue Project (www. mass-ave.org) or Garden Walk Buffalo (www.gardenwalkbuffalo. com), to name a few, welcome volunteers. The Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens (www. buffalogardens.com) utilizes a variety of horticulture volunteers in its on-site greenhouses, Peace Garden and front gardens, depending on what’s needed and your capabilities. All volunteers are fully trained and work closely with Gardens staff members. “We have approximately 200 horticulture volunteers at the moment,” says Karen Hammer, program and volunteer coordinator at Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. “They handle a variety of tasks, from general cleanup, potting, propagation, planting, trimming and deadheading to pest management. We do our best to cater the task to a volunteer’s interests and physical capabilities.”
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Should All Baby Boomers Get Tested for Hepatitis C? Dear Savvy Senior, I’ve recently read that all baby boomers should get tested for hepatitis C. Is this really necessary, and if so, what are the testing and treatment procedures? Healthy Boomer Dear Healthy, It’s true. Both the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all baby boomers — people born from 1945 through 1965 — get a hepatitis C test. The reason is because baby boomers account for 75 percent of the 3 million or so hepatitis C cases in the U.S. Those that are infected are at very high risk of eventually developing liver cancer, cirrhosis or other fatal liver diseases. Most hepatitis C infections occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, before there were tests to detect them and before the nation’s blood supply was routinely screened for the virus. Hepatitis C is transmitted only through blood, so anyone who received either a blood transfusion or an organ transplant prior to 1992 is at increased risk too. So are healthcare workers exposed to blood, and people who injected drugs through shared needles. The virus can also be spread through microscopic amounts of infected blood that could occur during sex, from sharing a razor or toothbrush, or getting a tattoo or body piercing at an unsterile shop. Most people that have hepatitis C don’t know they’re infected because there are no symptoms until their liver becomes severely damaged. It can actually take 30 years for people to show any signs of the virus, but by then, it may be too late to treat. But if it’s detected in time, new treatments are now available that can cure it.
Testing and Treatment
If you’re between ages 52 to 72, or fall into one of the previously
listed high risk categories, you should see your primary care doctor for a basic blood test to determine whether you have ever been infected with hepatitis C. This is a relatively inexpensive test and typically covered by health insurance under routine medical care. If the test is negative, no further tests are needed. But, if the test is positive, you’ll need another test called HCV RNA, which will show whether the virus is still active. If you test positive, you have chronic hepatitis C and will need to talk to your doctor about treatment options. If you’re infected, but have no liver damage, your doctor should monitor your liver at your annual physical. The main treatments for chronic hepatitis C today are several new FDA-approved antiviral medications that have a 95 percent cure rate. Compared to older treatments, these new medications have minimal side effects. Unfortunately, all the new drugs are very expensive — a 12-week treatment course can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000. Not all health insurance plans, including Medicare Part D plans, cover all prescribed medications for hepatitis C. And due to the expensive nature of these medications, most insurance plans require that you meet several requirements in order to get coverage. If your insurance provider doesn’t cover the antiviral therapy your doctor recommends, there are financial assistance options available. To look for help, visit HEPC. liverfoundation.org and put your cursor on “Resources” and click on “What if I Need Financial Assistance to Pay for Treatment?” And for more hepatitis C information, along with a quick online quiz you can take to determine your risks, see CDC.gov/ knowmorehepatitis. You can also get information over the phone by calling the national toll-free HELP-4HEP helpline at 877-435-7443.
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IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
Employees of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and officials from local nonprofit organizations recently gathered at BCBS WNY downtown headquarters. The health insurance company donated $70,000 to 28 charitable organizations in the area.
BlueCross BlueShield Donates $70,000 to 28 Local Charities BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York employees donated a total of $70,000 to 28 local charities ($2,500 each) during a recent presentation at the company’s corporate headquarters. The health plan’s employees fundraise throughout the year for the organization’s Red Stocking Fund. Established in 1955, the name of the fund was derived from the literal use of red stockings to collect charitable donations around the holiday season. Today, the largest contribution comes from casual Friday donations, in addition to payroll deduction, personal contributions and a number of other year-round fundraising efforts anchored by the employee-led “BlueCrew.” This year, the total number of charities awarded increased from 20 to 28 — a record number in the health plan’s Red Stocking Fund history. In addition to the Red Stocking Fund, the health plan’s employees volunteered more than 1,000 volunteer hours in the community in 2016. “Investing in initiatives that enhance the health of the people who live here is at the core of who we are as a community-based health plan,” said Dave Anderson, president and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “Our employees embrace our values by paying it forward through thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours.” The 2017 recipients: • Alzheimer’s Association, Western New York Chapter: Advances research to end Alzheimer’s and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the condition. • American Cancer Society of Western New York: The organization’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Page 18
• American Diabetes Association of Buffalo: The organization’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Western New York: Dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County: Provides mentoring services to youth between the ages of 5 to 18 through key programs that positively impact the educational outcomes of their little brothers and sisters. • Black Dog Second Chance Rescue: This organization’s mission is to find the right homes for the dogs in their care and match the best dog with the best family. • Breast Cancer Network of Western New York: Provides education, advocacy, and support for people affected by breast cancer. • City of Buffalo Animal Shelter: Promotes the health and welfare of animals in the care of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter. • Buffalo City Mission: Offers longterm recovery programs, counseling, work and life-skills training, education assistance and health-care services for homeless men, women and families committed to turning their lives around. • Camp Good Days and Special Times: Camp Good Days provides services for: children with cancer, children who have a parent or sibling with cancer and/or children who have lost a parent or sibling to cancer. • Carly’s Club at Roswell Park: Offers support programs to make life more manageable for children diagnosed with cancer and their families, and to raise funds for pediatric cancer research seeking cures at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. • Cradle Beach Camp: Serves the needs of children with
disabilities and those who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds from Western New York. • Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue: Protects the welfare of animals by finding caring foster or adoptive families for each animal they rescue. • Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York: An organization dedicated to raising awareness of Down syndrome while enhancing the lives of people with the condition. • Friends of the Night People: Provides food, clothing, medical care, counseling, and hope to those in need. • Hospice Foundation of WNY: Provides medical care, emotional and spiritual support to people and their families facing life-limiting illnesses. • Make-A- Wish Western New York: Grants wishes to children between the ages of 2 ½ and 18 who are coping with a life-threatening disease. • Mercy Flight of Western New York: Provides airborne medical transportation and supporting services, ensuring rapid, safe, and cost-effective delivery of expert emergency response personnel, patients, organs, and supplies. • Ronald McDonald House: The mission of RMHC is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children. • Roswell Park Alliance Foundation: This organizations mission is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. • Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped: Its mission is to challenge individuals with special needs and volunteer partners to experience the success, pride, freedom, and joy of therapeutic ice-skating while achieving personal growth. • SPCA Serving Erie County: A
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper • June 2017
charitable community resource dedicated to protecting and providing shelter and comfort to all animals in need. • St. Jude Medical Center: Continuously improves the health and quality of life of people in the communities we serve by offering the highest quality care with compassion and respect. • St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy: A mission supported solely by volunteers who commit themselves to serve the poor. • Ten Lives Club: Committed to providing shelter to abused, stray, and surrendered family pets that would otherwise have no place to go or be euthanized. • The Kevin Guest House: Provides a comfortable and supportive home away from home for patients and their families. • Western New York Heroes: Provides veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity. • Wings Flight of Hope: The mission of Wings Flights of Hope Inc. is to help people in need of free air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes.
GreenField Health earns CMS’ highest rating GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center in Lancaster has been recognized with a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality care. CMS created the fivestar quality rating system to help individuals, families and caregivers compare skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers more easily. This quality rating system gives each facility a rating of between one and five stars. Centers with five stars are considered to have a level of quality that is well above average. “We are honored to receive an outstanding five-star rating from CMS,” said Chris Koenig, president and CEO of the nonprofit Niagara Lutheran Health System, parent organization of GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center. “It recognizes the exceptional level of care our staff provides each day to our residents and patients. We try to treat everyone here like family and it shows.” The five-star rating system is based on information from annual state health inspections, staffing ratios, and a range of different quality measures such as cleanliness, staff responsiveness, rehospitalization, infections and pain management. Scores in each of these three individual areas are then used to determine the overall star rating. At GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, treatment programs are designed specifically for each individual and provided in a state-of-the-art facility which includes a full-sized pool. Services available include skilled nursing, respite care, and in-patient and
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out-patient rehabilitation such as physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy. GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center is a part of The GreenFields Continuing Care Community, also located in Lancaster, which provides for the physical, social and spiritual needs of their residents in a Christian environment
Parkinson group gets Run4Buffalo donation The National Parkinson Foundation of Western New York (NPFWNY) recently received a $500 donation from Run4Buffalo. The donation stems from an event promoted by Run4Buffalo where participants walk or run a distance of their choosing. What makes it virtual is that participants can accomplish their goal anytime and anywhere they like. A registration fee is collected from each participant, providing for the donation that NPFWNY received. William and Kristina Craig, the founders of Run4Buffalo, said that this is a first of at least two donations from the event that will be made to the foundation. Run4Buffalo chooses local charities to benefit from their events. “’Run for it Marty” took place in April, which is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month. According to William, this event has been their most successful yet, receiving the most participation signups.
UBMD Physicians’ Group moves to medical campus UBMD Physicians’ Group, the largest medical group in Western New York, has announced that four of its practices — UBMD Internal Medicine, Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Surgery, and Psychiatry — have moved into a new location in the Conventus building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Offices for each practice will be on the fourth floor of the Conventus building, located at 1001 Main St. in downtown Buffalo. Patients of these practices whose appointments may shift to the new location will be notified by their doctor’s office and will not need to take any action prior to their first appointment in the new location. • UBMD Internal Medicine’s new location at Conventus is staffed by 18 physicians and four nurse practitioners who see patients in allergy, immunology, and rheumatology; cardiology and electrophysiology; endocrinology; gastroenterology; nephrology; internal medicine pediatrics; and pulmonology. The new office includes 12 examination rooms and two testing rooms. • UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine’s new location is staffed by physicians Matthew J. DiPaola and John M. Marzo, who also provide casting and bracing onsite. Imaging services will be available in the
Conventus building. The practice shares four exam rooms with UBMD Neurosurgery, which will begin seeing patients later this year. • UBMD Surgery’s new space in the Conventus building houses vascular services, including vascular surgery and its outpatient vascular lab. The practice will remove those services from their current location on the seventh floor of BGMC. UBMD Surgery will continue to see patients for outpatient general surgery and bariatric services at BGMC’s Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery. Its Youngs Road office in Williamsville will remain the same. Three physicians staff the new location, which will include four examination rooms and a vascular laboratory. • UBMD Psychiatry: Physician Michael Adragna will see patients at UBMD Psychiatry’s new location and will also continue seeing patients at the Center for Advanced Psychiatry on North Bailey Avenue in Amherst.
Dentist Gary McBride joins Inspire Dental Group Dentist Gary McBride has recently joined the practice of Inspire Dental Group, a multi-specialty dental practice with offices in Amherst and West Seneca. McBride, who practices general dentistry, will see patients at Inspire’s Amherst office, located at 4330 Maple Road and will continue to see patients at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center of Buffalo & Batavia. “Dr. McBride McBride has extensive clinical knowledge and experience with the latest dental techniques, and his commitment to dental health as part of overall health and wellness is vital to his practice, ” says Inspire Dental Managing Partner Ron Sadler. “Our patients will benefit greatly from his expertise.” Before joining Inspire Dental Group, McBride maintained his own private practice in Amherst for 21 years. A native of Carmel, NY, he received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Binghamton University and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He completed his general dentistry residency at the U.S. Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Buffalo. McBride is a member of Omicron Kappa Epsilon, the American Dental Association, the New York State Dental Society and the Eighth District Dental Society. He resides in the town of Wheatfield.
From the Social Security District Office
Social Security Supports National Cancer Survivors Day
In 2017, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families everywhere. Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. On June 4, we observe National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States. In support of this day, Social Security encourages getting checkups to provide early detection, raise awareness through education and recognize the survivors who have gone through this battle or are still living with the disease. Social Security stands strong in our support of the fight against cancer. We offer services to patients dealing with this disease through our disability insurance program and our compassionate allowances program. Compassionate allowances are cases with medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security’s disability standards, allowing us to process the cases quickly with minimal medical information. Many cancers are part of our compassionate
Q: My same-sex partner and I recently married. Will we qualify for Social Security benefits? A: You may be eligible to apply for Social Security benefits. Many factors affect your eligibility for benefits, including how long you worked and your age. Social Security is now processing more claims in which entitlement or eligibility is affected by a same-sex relationship. We encourage you to apply for benefits right away, even if you aren’t sure you’re eligible. Applying now will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits. You can apply safely and securely at www. socialsecurity.gov/applyonline. Learn more about Social Security for same-sex couples by visiting www. socialsecurity.gov/same-sexcouples. Q: I worked the first half of the year, but plan to retire this month. Will Social Security count the amount I earn for this year when I retire? A: Yes. If you retire mid-year, we count your earnings for the entire year. We have a special “earnings test” rule we apply to annual earnings, usually in the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you get a full payment for any whole month we consider you retired regardless of your yearly earnings. We consider you retired during any month your earnings are below the monthly earnings limit, or if you have not performed substantial services in self-employment. We do not consider income earned, beginning with the month you reach full retirement age. Learn more about the earnings
June 2017 •
allowances list. There’s no special application or form you need to submit for compassionate allowances. Simply apply for disability benefits online, in person or over the phone. Once we identify you as having a compassionate allowances condition, we’ll expedite your disability application. Social Security establishes compassionate allowances conditions using information received at public outreach hearings, from our employees, who review millions of disability cases each year, from medical and scientific experts, and from data based on our research. For more information about compassionate allowances, including the list of eligible conditions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ compassionateallowances. Social Security is with you throughout life’s journey, through good times and bad. If you think you qualify for disability benefits based on a compassionate allowances condition, please visit www. socialsecurity.gov to apply for benefits. test rule at www.socialsecurity.gov/ retire2/rule.htm. Q: How do I know if I have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits? A: You must have worked long enough — and recently enough — under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which you earned in the last 10 years, ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits. To learn more, see our Disability Planner at www.socialsecurity.gov/dibplan/ dqualify3.htm. Q: I’m applying for disability benefits, and I read about “substantial gainful activity.” What is that? A: The term “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA, is used to describe a level of work activity and earnings. Work is “substantial” if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both. If you are working and earn more than a certain amount, we generally consider that you are engaging in substantial gainful activity. In this case, you wouldn’t be eligible for disability benefits. You can read more about how we define substantial gainful activity at www. socialsecurity.gov/OACT/COLA/ sga.html.
IN GOOD HEALTH – Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper
ECMC-RET-14706 June 2017 In Good Health Andrews Jewelers Ad | 9.75”x13.75” | 4C
Treatment with a personal touch. That’s true care.
For Andrew Moquin—the founder and owner of Andrews Jewelers—service has always been what separates the good from the great. It’s a philosophy that’s guided many of his successful business decisions. So when Andrew was seeking a primary care provider, Dr. Sperry of VIP Primary Care at ECMC was an easy choice. From ease of scheduling and convenient hours to proximity to the specialists and advanced care facilities of ECMC, his experience shows that personal service has a key place in quality medical care.
The difference between healthcare and true care
ECMC-RET-RET-14706-1 In Good Health June – Andrews Jewelers 9.75x13.75 Ad M.indd 1 Newspaper • June 2017 Page 20 • IN GOOD HEALTH Buffalo & WNY’s Healthcare
At ECMC, we’re proud to go above and beyond to live up to the high service expectations of a community leader like Andrew—and proud to show our community the difference between healthcare and true care.
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