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September 22, 2017 - 5:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, health, lead, Announcements.

Press release:

Before you start your fall cleanup consider the age of your home and whether or not you may have a lead hazard.

“Lead poisoning can affect anyone, but is especially harmful to pregnant women, infants and small children who are growing rapidly,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans Counties.

Lead poisoning can cause miscarriages and stillbirths, high blood pressure (hypertension), nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems and muscle and joint pain and in children it can lower IQ, cause growth problems, kidney damage, behavior problems, anemia and hearing loss.

If lead poisoning is not taken care of, it can also cause permanent damage to various organs in both children and adults. You may or may not experience any signs or symptoms of lead poisoning. State law requires all children be tested at age 1 and again at age 2. Contact your primary care doctor to be tested.

Federal law requires landlords and contractors who are hired for renovations, repair and painting in homes, childcare centers and schools built before 1978 that disturb painted surfaces, to be certified and follow specific practices to prevent lead contamination.

This law is the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RPR) Rule. Lead-based paint is especially problematic on surfaces that children can chew on such as windowsills, doors and doorframes, stairs, railings, banisters, porches and fences. Lead can also be found in drinking water in homes that have plumbing with lead or lead solder.

“If you suspect that your house has lead hazards, here are some important things you can do to protect your family,” Pettit said.

  • Take advantage of the Free Lead Testing Pilot Program: A $1.5 million state program to test for lead in drinking water is available to New York State residents.  Provides residents who are served by either a private well or public water system with an opportunity to have their residential drinking water tested for free.  To sign-up visit, https://health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/lead/free_lead_testing_pilot_program.htm.
  • If you rent, call the landlord immediately to report peeling or chipping paint.
  • Damp mop and damp dust often. Clean up paint chips right away and clean all other surfaces with general all-purpose cleaner.
  • Let your cold water run for a minute before using it for making baby formula, drinking, brushing your teeth and cooking to flush lead picked up from pipes. Do NOT use warm tap water to make baby formula.
  • Wash children’s hands and toys often to wash off any lead dust. Keep them way from chipping paint and prevent destructive behaviors like chewing on painted surfaces.
  • Always hire certified contractors for work that will disrupt paint in housing or child occupied buildings before 1978 or get properly trained and certified yourself.  For a certified firm check this site: http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm.  

For more information about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) visit the Environmental Protection Agency website at www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.

To learn about additional sources of lead visit, https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/sources.htm

For information about services that your local health department provides visit:

September 15, 2017 - 2:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, wellness, suicide prevention, YWCA, batavia, news, Announcements.

Press release:

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Genesee County presents:

Passion for a purpose! "How to Fill Your Personal Bucket" with guest speaker Sherry Crumity, YWCA Domestic Violence Support Services coordinator.

Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the YWCA of Genesee County, located at 301 North St., Batavia.

Join us as we learn tips on how to identify what drains your bucket, and the tools necessary to fill it up again.

Sherry Crumity is a Masters Level Clinical Mental Health counselor with 10 years experience working in therapeutic settings and 12 years experience working in not-for-profit and public school settings.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:30, program begins at 6.

There is limited seating, please register by Sept. 22 by calling the Care and Crisis Helpline at (585) 344-4400 or email [email protected]

Ladies Night is provided free of charge through the support of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Genesee County, the YWCA of Genesee County and Zonta Club of Batavia-Genesee County.

September 11, 2017 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alzheimer's, Seniors, health, news, Announcements.

Submitted photos and press release:

Holly Eschberger, of Le Roy, has not only been participating by fundraising and walking in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, she has been an active member of the Batavia Walk planning committee for several years.

This year's event is Saturday, Sept. 23 and close to 850 people are expected to participate and their goal is to raise $76,000, which supports the free programs and services of the local Chapter, as well as vital research.

“I don't think people understand that you actually die from Alzheimer’s," Eschberger said. "It is not just part of aging. You lose your loved one emotionally/mentally long before you lose them physically and it is absolutely devastating.

"I got involved with the Walk as a way to honor my grandma who I lost to Alzheimer’s. I'm inspired by the coming together of friends and families that have this common thread of watching a loved one decline with Alzheimer’s. It is heart wrenching, but it's also comforting to be surrounded by so many people who understand.”

Eschberger named her walk team “Erma’s Army” after her beloved grandmother (inset photo, above right). Holly’s team and hundreds of others provide a vital source of financial support for the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter, which offers free programs and resources for all those facing the challenge of dementia in the eight-county WNY region.

Participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is free, but fundraising is encouraged, with incentives awarded when various goals are met, such as an official purple walk T-shirt earned when individual fundraising reaches $100. A percentage of all funds raised are earmarked for research, to ensure that one day, there will be a first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease. A higher percentage of funds stays in WNY, to ensure continuing access to free education, consultations, support and social programs for all impacted by dementia.

The Batavia Walk takes place on the grounds of the Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at 278 Bank St. The site opens at 9 a.m. with snacks and refreshments, photo area, entertainment and access to basket and 50/50 raffles. A brief ceremony launches the walk at 10 a.m. and participants will head out on the approximately two-mile route at about 10:15 a.m. Additional entertainment, such as well-known cartoon characters and a "bubble brigade" will pop up along the way, with more food when walkers return to the main site.

Individuals and teams can register, join a team or donate on-line at alz.org/WNY/walk, by calling 1.800.272.3900 or in person the morning of the walk.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is made possible locally through the support of several WNY companies, including Batavia Health Care Center, The Manor House and United Healthcare.

Below are members of "Erma's Army."

September 11, 2017 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Seniors, health, news, Announcements.

Friday, Sept. 22 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. This year’s theme, "10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls in 2017," seeks to raise awareness about falls prevention and unite professionals, older adults, caregivers, and family members to play their part in preventing falls.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging will be hosting a Falls Prevention Workshop from 11:30 to 1 p.m. on that day at the Senior Center at 2 Bank St., Batavia. We will have fall prevention tools and tips, balance testing, and blood-pressure screening.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury among older New Yorkers. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. Falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Through awareness, evidence-based interventions, clinical fall risk assessment and referral, home modifications, and community partnerships, we can reduce falls and fall injuries among older adults.

August 24, 2017 - 2:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in arthritis, genesee county, news, Announcements, health, batavia.

A new support network for adults living with all types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases is launching in Batavia on Sept. 27.

The Arthritis Support Network in Western New York will hold its local debut event from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Richmond Memorial Library, located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

It aims to help and support those with arthritis through connection, education and empowerment.

To RSVP or to get more information, contact [email protected] or go online to arthritisintrospective.org/local

August 1, 2017 - 1:54pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in genesee county, crime, health, mental health, news, Announcements.

How do rural counties with limited resources combat an issue as multifaceted as heroin and opiate addiction?

Quite simply, they collaborate to find common-sense practices to beat the dragon.

In January, officials, doctors, healthcare providers, and community members from three counties -- Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming -- formed the GOW Opioid Task Force.

Its goal is to not only raise awareness of the growing epidemic but to also find and compile: a list of resources available to addicts and their families; data on the number of overdoses, deaths, and uses of naloxone within each county; and identifying roadblocks to treatment.

During the July meeting, a roadmap of sorts was laid out for the Task Force.

From the time an individual is born, they are, to some degree, rated on performing tasks independently. Doctors gauge a child’s progress: Sits independently. Walks independently. Teachers grade a student’s performance: Works independently. It’s a skill desirable to some employers: Must be able to work independently.

It is a mantra instilled in a person's mind from a very young age: Be an individual. Don’t follow the crowd. Learn to be independent. Yet, there are times, when being independent becomes counterproductive to the needs of a community.

Although each of the GOW counties are afflicted with the same problem – the increase in overdoses and deaths due to heroin and opiates – independently, there are gaps in services and help for both addicts and their families. However, collectively, the Task Force can help fill those gaps.

In an effort to find where each county is lacking and how to get funding for the resources it needs, the Task Force determined three areas to address: community education and action, data compilation and access to care.

Community education and action

Three goals were created to better educate the public:

    • Educate students, parents and community about the dangers of heroin and opioid use – Narcan training and education, sharps and medicine disposal sites, and develop materials for distribution;

    • Identify resources and local partnerships to help prevent use – pharmacies, law enforcement, recovery services, and mental health service; and

    • Develop recommendations for future goals and action steps to prevent use – encourage attendance and participation in Task Force meetings, recovery coaching, peer speakers, and more.

Data

Part of the requirements for applying for State funding is to have the data and statistics to back up the need. However, compiling those numbers becomes a collaborative effort between multiple agencies. Additionally, the task is further hindered by the fact that the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s (ME) Office handles cases from its own and the GOW counties. Subsequently, toxicology reports are often not received back for six months or more.

According to a recent report, the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office has performed 1,020 autopsies in 2016. In 2015 it was closer to 900. In 2008 approximately 975 were performed and in 2005 860. The years 2012 and 2013 both showed approximately 880.

The goals of this group are to develop a tool to track data, identify the data each county already has, and perform a gap analysis to identify missing data and create a plan to overcome any barrier.

Access to care

Again, a barrier addicts and family members face is access to care in relative proximity to where they live.

Officials say when an addict is ready to get the help they need to begin the recovery process, there is an immediacy to their need.

One of the goals of this group is to map out the access to care in the Western Region Naturally Occurring Care Network (NOCN).

The NOCNs include the Finger Lakes, Monroe, Southeastern, Southern, and Western regions of New York State.

In addition to finding a place to receive care, the group also identified eight groups of potential entry points for families and individuals in crisis. They include hospital emergency rooms, crisis hot line, primary care physicians, law enforcement, community-based organizations, healthcare homes, community-based groups, and schools and colleges.

Nationwide, every 17 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose. About two years ago, there were 100 deaths in Erie County. In 2015, it more than doubled. In 2016, that number could reach over 500. That’s about 10 per week. February alone recorded 23 overdose deaths in just one week.

In Wyoming County, between 2010 and 2014 the number of opioid-related emergency department admissions increased 47.6 percent – 42 and 62. The number of opioid-related inpatient hospital admissions rose from 61 to 91 respectively – a 49.2-percent increase. 

According to a recent article in The Batavian, there were five deaths in Genesee County that the Monroe County Medical Examiner attributed to the overuse of opiate-related drugs in 2013.

In 2016, 17 deaths with toxicology completed were attributed to drug mixtures that included opiates, with four toxicology reports for last year still pending.

To date in 2017, there are seven deaths where toxicology is still pending.

Of the 17 known OD-related deaths in 2016, only five were attributed to heroin mixed with other drugs, whether prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter medications. (Note: the ME for 2016 was Erie County.)

There were nine deaths caused by a combination of prescription opiates mixed with other drugs.

There was one death caused by "acute and chronic substance abuse."

Of the 18 overdose deaths in 2015, 14 involved prescription opiates used in combination with other drugs and two were caused by heroin used in combination with other drugs.

In 2014, there were 12 drug-induced deaths. Nine of the 12 involved prescription opiates combined with other drugs. Heroin, used singularly or in combination with other drugs, contributed to three deaths. 

Between 2010 and 2014 those who were admitted for treatment for any opioid in Western New York was 7,679 in 2010. By 2014, the number of people seeking treatment rose by almost a third – 10,154 – a 32-percent increase.

Across the state, those in treatment for heroin use was 55,900 in 2010; in 2014, the number was 77,647. Deaths across the state due to heroin overdose increased 163 percent (215 in 2008, and 637 in 2013) and opioid overdoses increased 30 percent (763 to 952).

While nearby counties like Erie and Monroe have access to more mental health services and rehabilitation centers due to their populations, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties struggle to find those same services closer to home for their residents.

The next meeting date and time for GOW Opioid Task Force to be determined.

For more information, Kristine Voos at [email protected]

July 11, 2017 - 5:55pm

Press release:

UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia has added RapidArc technology to its linear accelerator, the machine that delivers beams of high-energy radiation to treat a variety of cancers.

With RapidArc, the radiation beam is shaped and reshaped to tumor’s contours as the treatment is delivered in a seamless 360-degree rotation of the machine. It allows the radiation to be delivered in small, multiple doses with increased precision.

For patients, this means that each treatment will take less time, alleviating the need to hold still for long periods, and the additional precision protects healthy tissue, leading to fewer side effects. This technology can be used for many types of cancer.

“RapidArc is a system that allows this dose to be delivered over a smooth rotation of the machine rather than what we call stop-and-shoot radiation treatment,” says Kevin Mudd, M.D., radiation oncologist at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia.

Typically, radiation treatments would require several movements of the treatment gantry, stopping each time to target the next portion of the tumor, which could take 10 minutes or more, Mudd says. RapidArc requires only one or two non-stop rotations of the machine to deliver the same treatment in less time — as little as two to four minutes.

That time difference can be very important for patients, who must lie completely still during treatment.

“Prostate cancer patients, for example, must receive their radiation treatments with a full bladder, and cutting their treatment time in half makes the experience much more comfortable,” says Megan Menzie, RTT, lead radiation therapist.

During its nonstop rotation, RapidArc automatically shapes the radiation beam to fit the contours of the tumor, keeping it tightly focused and protecting nearby healthy tissue. This precision is especially important for patients with head and neck cancers, for example, whose salivary glands, taste buds and spinal cord need to be protected.

“This is the only RapidArc between Buffalo and Rochester, and we’re pretty excited to have it here in Batavia,” Mudd says.

July 6, 2017 - 9:33am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, health, notify.

The Ways and Means Committee voted Wednesday to authorize Public Health Director Paul Pettit to apply for a Greater Rochester Health Foundation Community Health Grant, as a pilot to expand the wellness program.

Currently, in Genesee County Building 2, located at 3837 W. Main Street Road, there is a small room for employees to exercise on their breaks. The equipment was donated house equipment to keep employees healthy during the bad weather months, Pettit said.

“We view this more as employee wellness,” Pettit said. “We don’t use the word fitness because we don’t have free weights and all the stuff you would see in a fitness center.”

Committee Member Marianne Clattenburg expressed her concern of the exclusivity of the wellness program to employees in Genesee County Building 2.

“You’re spending time writing grants, but you should be looking at the overall health of all our employees and how this would fit into a program for everyone,” Clattenburg said. “Unless it’s something like that, I’m not going to support it. We need to be thinking of everyone.”

Pettit stressed that the use of the machines is not exclusive to employees in Genesee County Building 2, but later, a member of the committee pointed out that only employees who work in that building have access to the building.

“That would be a door control issue,” Pettit said. “But, it can be done.”

If they receive the grant, the building would receive replacements for their current equipment. They would receive rubber flooring, a new treadmill, an elliptical machine and a bike.

“The [current] treadmill is in decent, working shape,” said Kristine Voos, an educator working on the project. “The other piece of equipment is unusable at this point.”

Voos said she has been working with an intern to decide what equipment to put in the room. Voos said in 2014, she surveyed the employees in the building to find out what they would like to see in the room.

“Instead of getting five pieces for one place, I’d rather see a couple treadmills everywhere,” Clattenburg said.

Another concern from committee members was that currently, those who use the machines, do not sign a waiver in case of injury.

“Currently we do not [have a waiver],” Voos said. “But we do have [waiver] templates.”

Having a wellness program has many benefits during the workday, Voos said.

“The lifestyle management hits on employee productivity,” Voos said. “They’re exercising more, they’re feeling better, they’re more aware and present during meetings.”

December 22, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, children, news, lead contamination.

lead_ny2016.jpg

Children being exposed to lead, leading to higher risk of learning disabilities and a risk for other health issues, has regularly been in the news ever since contaminated water was found to be flowing into the homes of Flint, Mich.

This week, the Reuters news agency released a report indicating that 3,000 neighborhoods across the nation seem to have high lead contamination levels.

No neighborhoods in Genesee County appear to be on that list, according to data available through a New York State website that tracks reports of lead poising in children.

In 2012, only four children under age 2 of the 1,036 in the county who were tested had elevated lead levels detected in their blood samples.

Paul Pettit, director of the health departments in Genesee and Orleans counties, said the relevantly few children with elevated lead levels does seem to confirm that there is no widespread contamination in the community.

That doesn't mean it's not an important issue, he said.

The likely culprit in the four cases is lead paint in homes.

Any housing unit built before 1978 may contain lead paint. The paint on older homes chips or gets ground into dust by the opening and closing of doors and windows, and lead particles can fall into carpet or onto flooring where children crawl.

The easiest way to remediate lead paint is to paint over it, which doesn't eliminate the lead paint but does stop the lead particles from spreading. Children can also be exposed to lead while visiting a friend or family member's house, or if parents work in an environment where lead is present and it attaches to clothing or shoes. 

Pettit said parents should have their children tested at age 1 and age 2, for sure, though lead continues to be a risk factor for children through at least age 6.

Typically, the test is conducted in the office of a primary health care physician. It consists of a pinprick on the child's finger and the blood can typically be tested right in the office.

If elevated levels are detected, the child is typically referred to a lab where blood can be drawn and more thoroughly tested.

Ideally, a child will have no lead detected in his or her blood.

The amount of lead is counted by micrograms per deciliter, abbreviated to mcg/dL.

Of the four children in 2012 with elevated lead levels in their blood, one fell within the 10 to 15 mcg/dL range and three were above 15.

Those levels are consistent with a child being exposed to lead paint particles, Pettit said.

When you start seeing children with counts of 50, 60 or higher, it usually means they've ingested something contaminated with lead, such as a paint chip.

In 2012, about 50 to 60 percent of the children who should have been tested for lead were tested for lead, Pettit said.

More recent data was not readily available, but Pettit said of his 20 years involved in public health in the two counties, the numbers of children with elevated lead levels has remained pretty consistent.

When a child is found to have elevated lead levels, in the range up to 15 mcg/dL, the health department works with the parents where the child lives to eliminate possible sources of lead.

When the level is over 15, the process is more involved, Pettit said.  Personnel from the health department visit the home and do a lead risk assessment and develop with the homeowner or landlord a corrective action plan. Landlords are typically cooperative, but the department can issue a "notice and demand" to remediate any problems identified. 

"At 15 and above, it is a serious health issue to the child," Pettit said. "We take intervention steps to stop it."

When levels of 50 or 60 mcg/dL, children are hospitalized so the lead can be removed from their blood.

Lead poisoning in children is associated with cognitive issues and health issues can include decreased bone and muscle growth, poor muscle coordination, damage to the nervous system, kidneys and hearing.

Petit said he welcomed the opportunity to talk about the issue because he would like to see more awareness among parents on the importance of testing. Every child should be tested.

October 29, 2016 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in YWCA, news, batavia, health, Announcements.

Press release:

Kiwanis Club of Batavia is sponsoring an AMBA (Annual Multiphasic Blood Analysis) Wellness Program on Saturday, Nov. 5.

AMBA is a blood analysis program that screens for coronary disease, kidney disease, anemia, liver disease, and diabetes – all for $40.

The program will occur from 6 to 10 a.m. at the YWCA of Genesee County, 301 North St., Batavia.

Please call 1-800-234-8888 to schedule an appointment.

Personal physician authorization is required, so please have your physician’s name and address available when making your appointment.

For more information, please contact Mike Rimmer at:    [email protected]

September 19, 2016 - 3:26pm

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee will host a Flu Shot Clinic, courtesy of Rite Aid, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 29. The facility is located at 5073 Clinton Street Road in Batavia

The shots are free with most insurance plans. Cost without any insurance is $32.99.

The Cancer Services Program will be there as well, giving out free “Fit Kits” -- colorectal screening kits -- and information on mammograms and all services of CSP. 

United Health Care will be here with information about health insurance programs. 

Call 343-7798 for more information.

July 26, 2016 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, genesee county, UMMC, news.

Press release:

Employees of community service agencies and professionals are wanted to provide their expertise to help our communities become healthier. 

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments, along with United Memorial Medical Center and Orleans Community Health are updating the Community Health Improvement Plan and Community Services Plans.

They invite you to participate in a conversation to help shape future efforts to imporve current health concerns. Bring your suggestions for how challenges can be met!

There will be a forum to discuss challenges and options from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Genesee County Building #2 -- Foyer Conference Room, on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

Light refreshments will be provided.

To attend, please RSVP by Aug. 2 to:

[email protected]

July 13, 2016 - 11:52am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, health, business.

Press release:

The city of Batavia is proud to announce national recognition as one of the Healthiest Companies in America by Interactive Health, a national leader known for its personalized wellness solutions. The City is one of 154 "companies" across the country being recognized for helping employees make significant and sometimes life-saving changes to improve their health. This is the first year Batavia has won the award.

With the help of strategic and flexible wellness initiatives, the Healthiest Companies in America recipients have accomplished tremendous success, achieving participation rates in excess of 70 percent and a low-risk health score for their total population, based on rigorous and clinically sound health evaluations.

The City of Batavia reached full participation with all its collective bargaining units in 2014 and currently realizes a 97 percent participation rate among all eligible employees and spouses.

“Our Wellness Initiative has been part of the City’s strategic plan since 2013,” said City Manager Jason Molino. “We’ve seen outstanding results in a very short amount of time, and this translates to healthier City employees and dependent spouses and fewer dollars spent on healthcare costs.”

Participating City employees and their spouses are measured against an Interactive Health Index (IHI) designed to help members understand where they stand for future risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes. The index is composed of five modifiable risk factors: smoking, glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol – all potential causes of serious health problems.

“Our wellness program is all about cost avoidance,” said Dawn Fairbanks, Human Resources specialist. "The unhealthiest of medical plan members cost an annual average of $21,766 per person, while the healthiest plan members cost only $310 per person.

"Our goal is to help each member identify their base line and introduce them to resources to help them improve on those numbers – essentially moving them from unhealthy towards healthy.”

The numbers speak for themselves. Last year, 86 City employees and spouses were asked to improve scores related to the IHI, and one year later, 51 of those have improved scores, while 25 have remained the same and only 10 have regressed.

Interactive Health’s workplace wellness programs transform companies and their employees by helping people understand how they can improve their health. Beginning with a thorough health evaluation to identify risk, individuals learn more about their health status through: rapid outreach by health coaches, connection to personal physicians and other resources, and a personalized course of action.

In addition, members who engage with the Interactive Health member website during their program have a 12-percent higher rate of achievement of personal health goals than those who do not take advantage of the online tools.

June 14, 2016 - 1:44pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region will be holding a series of FREE Chronic Disease Self-Management workshops for the community beginning June 20th.

Those who attend will be shown practical steps to gain control of their daily health concerns. Participants will learn about healthy eating, problem-solving, action plans, medications, weight management, physical activity, sleep, and relationship communication skills.

The workshop information is relevant for those experiencing chronic conditions such as: Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Eating Disorders. The workshops are taking place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Independent Living of the Genesee Region, 113 Main St., Suite 5, Batavia, over six Mondays, but skipping the Independence Day holiday. 

The actual dates are June 20th and 27th; July 11th, 18th and 25th; and Aug. 1st.

Registration priority is given to Medicaid recipients, but Medicaid eligibility is NOT required for attendance. Pre-registration IS required. You can receive more information, and sign up for the workshops by contacting Patricia McAllister at [email protected] or (585) 815-8501, ext. 402. Again, please be sure to RSVP if you are interested!

April 12, 2016 - 4:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, genesee county, news, STDs.

Press release from Kristine Voos, Public Health educator for Genesee County Health Department:

April is STD Awareness Month. Do you know your STD status? If not, you need to GYT!

The annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign is under way during Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month, with online and on-the-ground activities across the country. GYT is a national campaign designed to promote sexual health and address the disproportionately high rates of STDs among young people.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 19 million new STD infections occur each year in the United States with almost half of them occurring in young people 15-24 years of age. In fact, one in two sexually active young people in the United States will contract an STD by the time they’re 25 — and most won’t know it. This is why it is important to GYT at least annually and more often if you or your partner participate in risky behaviors.

This month the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, along with community partners want you to know where to get tested locally. If you are sexually active, GYT is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Make sure you have open and honest conversations about your sexual history and STD testing with your doctor and ask whether you should be tested. If you are not comfortable talking with your regular health care provider about STDs, there are other locations that provide confidential testing.

STD Testing Locations -- Call for details

To make getting tested more convenient Planned Parenthood now has an online appointment scheduling system. Visit www.plannedparenthood.org/healthcenter and enter your zip code to find the health center nearest to you.

 · WorkFit Medical, 178 Washington Ave., Batavia, (585) 343-0334

· Batavia Family Care Center, 16 Bank St. (UMMC Jerome Center), Batavia, (585) 815-6760

Some of the consequences of not receiving timely testing and treatment can include infertility, loss of pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, compromised immune system, and damage to organs. It is also important to reduce your risk of contracting STDs through responsible behaviors.

· Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex.

· Get Vaccinated: Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended ways to prevent Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV vaccines for males and females can protect against some of the most common types of HPV. HPV vaccine is important because it protects against cancers caused by HPV infection. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year. HPV vaccines are recommended for youth starting at age 11 and adults through age 26. You should also get vaccinated for Hepatitis B if you were not vaccinated when you were younger.

· Reduce Number of Sexual Partners: Reducing your number of sex partners can decrease your risk for STDs. It is still important that you and your partner get tested, and that you share your test results with one another.

· Mutual Monogamy: This means that you agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STDs. But you must both be certain you are not infected with STDs. It is important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner.

· Use Condoms: Correct and consistent use of a condom is highly effective in reducing STD transmission. Use a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. If you have latex allergies, synthetic non-latex condoms can be used. But it is important to note that these condoms have higher breakage rates than latex condoms. Natural membrane condoms are not recommended for STD prevention.Contact your local Health Department (Genesee: 344-2580, ext. 5555 / Orleans 589-3278) to receive free condoms.

· Sterile Needles and Syringes: Persons who inject drugs can substantially reduce their risk of getting and transmitting HIV, viral hepatitis and other blood-borne infections by using a sterile needle and syringe for every injection.

For information on STDs contact your primary care provider, local health department or other STD testing location. You can also access accurate information online via NYS Department of Health, CDC and Planned Parenthood.

March 1, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, colorectal cancer, news.

Press release:

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Health departments are urging everyone to talk to their doctor about screening and testing options for colorectal cancer (also called colon cancer).

Friday, March 4th is Dress in Blue DayTM to raise awareness and show support to loved ones or in memory of those who have died from colorectal cancer.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with recommended screening, the number of people who die from colorectal cancer could be reduced by at least 60 percent.1

“When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it can often be cured,” said Dr. Gregory Collins, commissioner of the Wyoming County Health Department.

In some cases, screening can actually prevent the development of colorectal cancer by finding polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Yet colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in New York State. Each year, more than 10,000 New Yorkers develop colorectal cancer and more than 3,500 die as a result.

“Colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms, especially at first, which is why regular screening is needed to catch the disease in its earliest stages,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans County Health departments.

“We want people to know there is more than one screening test for colorectal cancer and screening is easier than ever. The important thing to remember is to talk to your doctor, decide which screening test is right for you, and get screened. For anyone without a doctor or without insurance, the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Genesee and Orleans and the Cancer Services Program of Livingston and Wyoming can help.”

All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer. Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50. Anyone with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum), colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, is at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These folks should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested.

The CSP of Genesee /Orleans County ( 585-344-5497 or 585-798-9542) and Livingston / Wyoming (800-588-8670 or 585-786-8890) are part of the New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program, which offers colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured individuals in every county in the state.

To find a local Cancer Services Program near you, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/ or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262). For individuals insured through Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health plans, including those participating in the New York State of Health, colorectal cancer screening is covered with no cost to the patient.

To learn more about screening options, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/colorectal/screening.htm

For information about cancer screening or health department services contact,

1http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/infographic.htm

February 22, 2016 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, multiple sclerosis, health.

Press release:

A workshop geared specifically for those suffering with multiple sclerosis will focus on physical therapy, exercise, and yoga as tools to manage symptoms, gain strength and balance, and improve quality of life. MS, Yoga & You will be held from 1 - 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Summit Physical Therapy in Batavia.

Gretchen Hawley, DPT has additional certification in treating patients with multiple sclerosis. She lives and works in Boston and is one of only two MS cerfitied physical therapists in Boston. Patricia Hawley is a registered yoga teacher at Blue Pearl Yoga in Batavia. Together they will present information on how exercise and physical therapy can benefit MS as well as give instruction in simple yoga poses that may alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, spasticity, and incontinence.

“My MS patients who follow an exercise regimen and are consistent with their physical therapy program have a marked improvement over those who rely on medication alone,” says Gretchen Hawley. “And neurologists agree that those dealing with MS can improve their quality of life with the addition of exercise.”

“Many people think that you have to be very flexible to begin a yoga practice,” according to Patricia Hawley “but often the people who benefit the most from yoga are those who have limited mobility. It’s all about going slow and choosing the right class for your needs.”

Participants are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat but it is not necessary; mats will be available at the workshop.

The event will be held at Summit Physical Therapy, 99 Med Tech Drive, #104, Batavia. Cost for the workshop is $35 and seating is limited to 25 people. Anyone interested may register at www.bp-yoga.com or by calling 585.813.8623

November 4, 2015 - 1:19pm

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia will host a free community health talk titled “Advances in Lung Cancer.”

This free presentation is open to the public and will be held from 6-7 p.m. at the Terry Hills Restaurant, 5122 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. Refreshments will be served.

It will feature Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia’s radiation oncologist Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., and medical oncologist Nayana R. Kamath, M.D., of Interlakes Oncology and Hematology. Mudd and Kamath will discuss how you can reduce your risk for lung cancer, options for screening, and advances in treatment. Their presentation will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

About 140 people in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. Although incidence of lung cancer has been declining since the early 1990s, the disease remains the second most-common cancer in the United States.

To learn more about this presentation, please call (585) 276-5788.

October 30, 2015 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia, batavia, health, business.

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Photos provided by our news partner, WBTA.

Press release from UR Medicine:

Patients in Genesee and surrounding counties can now access a full range of cancer treatment services in one location at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia.

The office at 262 Bank St. is the former Batavia Radiation Oncology, which joined UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute in 2014. With renovated and expanded space, the office features larger clinical examination rooms, and it has added medical oncology, hematology, and an infusion center.

Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., who has been Batavia’s radiation oncologist for more than 14 years, continues to see patients at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia. He is joined by Nayana Kamath, M.D., of Interlakes Oncology and Hematology, who provides the medical oncology and hematology services at the office.

“It’s exciting to continue providing high-quality, comprehensive cancer care here in this community and to see our services growing with our integration with URMC and Wilmot Cancer Institute,” Mudd said.

Services for patients who need medical oncology, hematology and chemotherapy/infusion began in July. The office’s new infusion center was designed with patient comfort in mind.

“Our new infusion center is bright and open,” Kamath said. “While that might not sound significant, it can make a real difference for patients who need to be here for three or four hours at a time. ”

As part of Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Batavia office provides access to clinical trials, which are available for a variety of cancers at different stages and help lead to the next generation of therapies, and to advanced diagnostic testing for certain cancers, which helps physicians to tailor treatments more precisely to a patient’s needs.

“Cancer care is more complex than it has ever been before, and it requires a coordinated team with expertise in many disciplines to identify the best course of treatment for each individual patient,” said Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute. “Our office here in Batavia brings Wilmot Cancer Institute’s precision medicine approach closer to home for patients and families who might otherwise have to travel an hour or more for care.” 

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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