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January 16, 2018 - 1:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, alexander, health, wellness.

The Alexander United Teachers Union will be hosting a Community Health and Wellness Fair, open to the public, on Thursday, Jan. 25.

It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Alexander Central School’s High School Cafeteria, located at 3314 Buffalo St. in Alexander.

There will be sensory tables, gross motor challenges, food samples, face painting, balloon animals, bounce houses, giveaways and more. All ages are welcomed and there is no admission fee.  

This is the third biannual Health and Wellness Fair hosted by the Teacher’s Union.

There will be representatives from:

  • Balanced Fitness
  • Body Sense
  • GCASA
  • RRH UMMC
  • Pampered Chef
  • Cross roads
  • Independent Living
  • Rainbow Preschool
  • YWCA
  • GLOW
  • Young Living
  • Paige’s Bounce Houses
  • Sheriff’s Department
  • Genesee County Health Department
  • Mental Health
  • Fidelis Care
  • Gateway Home
  • Alexander Volunteer Fire Department
  • Batavia Cross Training
  • Pure Haven Essentials
  • NYS Troopers
  • Genesee County Parks and Forest
  • Sweet-n-Fit
  • Wegmans
  • Tops
  • Uncle Bud
  • The Spa at Artemis
  • Pembroke Family Medicine
  • UNITS
  • PTA
  • Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts
  • Alexander teachers

Meghan Ripstein, AUT vice president

January 16, 2018 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, wellness, alexander, Announcements.

On Jan. 25 from 6-8 p.m. the Alexander United Teachers Union will be hosting a Community Health and Wellness Fair, open to the public, at the Alexander Central School’s High School Cafeteria.

It is located at 3314 Buffalo St. in Alexander.

There will be sensory tables, gross motor challenges, food samples, face painting, balloon animals, bounce houses, giveaways and more. All ages are welcomed and there is no admission fee.  

This is the third biannual Health and Wellness Fair hosted by the Teacher’s Union.

There will be representatives from:

  • Balanced Fitness
  • Body Sense
  • GCASA
  • RRH UMMC
  • Pampered Chef
  • Cross roads
  • Independent Living
  • Rainbow Preschool
  • YWCA
  • GLOW
  • Young Living
  • Paige’s Bounce Houses
  • Sheriff’s Department
  • Genesee County Health Department
  • Mental Health
  • Fidelis Care
  • Gateway Home
  • Alexander Volunteer Fire Department
  • Batavia Cross Training
  • Pure Haven Essentials
  • NYS Troopers
  • Genesee County Parks and Forest
  • Sweet-n-Fit
  • Wegmans
  • Tops
  • Uncle Bud
  • The Spa at Artemis
  • Pembroke Family Medicine
  • UNITS
  • PTA
  • Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts
  • Alexander teachers

Meghan Ripstein, AUT vice president

585.770.4863

January 9, 2018 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in county health department, fitness, health, news.

Press release:

What is your new year’s resolution? The idea to eat healthier and become more physically active sounds appealing, but in reality, it’s much easier said than done.

Between work time and family commitments, there doesn’t seem to be much time left at the end of the day to think about preparing a healthy meal or visiting the local fitness facility. Life seems to get in the way of achieving that new year’s resolution.

“Life” (and other factors) has played a huge role in the obesity epidemic in our County. According to Department of Health’s Obesity Statistics for Genesee County, the percentage of adults who are overweight or obese is 63.5  percent and that for children is 15.2 percent. These rates are slightly higher compared to the New York State rates, which are 59.3 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively.

Being obese and overweight doesn’t just end there. It increases a person's risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and other medical issues. Along with the risks for life-shortening chronic diseases, being overweight contributes to poor mental health associated with shame, self-blame, low self-esteem, and depression.

To battle this problem locally, the Healthy Children and Families Coalition in Genesee County offers an eight-week family-based program called "Get Fit!"

This program makes exercising and eating right fun and realistic. Throughout the program, families will bond together through exercising, making healthy food choices, discovering simple and time-saving recipes that taste great, as well as learning how to eat right on a budget. 

Begin the New Year on a positive note by enrolling your family today. A new eight-week session begins on Wednesday, Jan. 17th through March 7th. Classes are held every Wednesday at 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the YMCA on East Main Street in Batavia.

If your family attends six of the eight classes your family will be entered to win a family pass to the YMCA.

It is a great time to start taking the steps to live a healthier life and doing so will make a positive difference in your life.

The Genesee County YMCA, Rochester Regional Health United Memorial Medical Center, Rotary Club of Batavia, Batavia City School District, Genesee County Health Department, City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Oakfield Family Medical Care, Insight Grants Development, and Fidelis Care are challenging all families to show commitment in becoming healthy in 2018!

For details, and to enroll, contact The Healthy Children and Families Coalition at 585-344-5420 or register online here.

January 5, 2018 - 5:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in cornell extension, health, news, batavia.

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County will host a program titled “Overfed and Undernourished” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Extension Center at 420 E. Main St., Batavia. This workshop for adults is free to attend, but space is limited.

The program will be presented by Ian Cramer (MS, ATC), who has been living a plant-based lifestyle for eight years and earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell in 2016. He is an educator, podcaster and endurance cyclist living in Rochester.

Come and discover information on weight loss, cravings, common nutrition myths, and ways to live a healthy, disease-free lifestyle. For more information about Cramer, visit https://www.plant-basedcyclist.com/

We will also discuss chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and how they start, progress, and can be prevented or even reversed using diet and lifestyle changes.

Please register for the workshop by contacting Samantha at 585-343-3040, ext. 123.

January 2, 2018 - 2:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, UMMC, flu, health, batavia.

Press release:

To help reduce further transmission of influenza and/or other infectious diseases, Rochester Regional Health is instituting the following restrictions for hospital visitors as of Jan. 3:

  • Visitors will be limited to no more than two people per patient at a time;
  • All visitors must be at least 14 years old;
  • Please do not visit a patient if you feel you are ill, including sore throat, fever, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, or other flu-like symptoms -- even if you have been vaccinated against the flu.

Status as of Jan. 3 (tomorrow):

  • Rochester General Hospital (Rochester) – Visitor restrictions in place
  • Unity Hospital (Greece) –  Visitor restrictions in place
  • United Memorial Hospital (Batavia) – Visitor restrictions in place
  • Newark-Wayne Community Hospital (Newark) – Visitor restrictions in place
  • Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic (Clifton Springs) – Visitor restrictions in place

###

Rochester Regional Health is an integrated health services organization serving the people of Western New York, the Finger Lakes and beyond. The system includes five hospitals; primary and specialty practices, rehabilitation centers, ambulatory campuses and immediate care facilities; innovative senior services, facilities and independent housing; a wide range of behavioral health services; and Rochester Regional Health Laboratories and ACM Global Laboratories, a global leader in patient and clinical trials. Rochester Regional Health is the region’s second largest employer. Learn more atRochesterRegional.org.

December 6, 2017 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YMCA, health, batavia, news.

stimbikedonation2017_01.jpg

The YMCA received a new electric "stim" bike for people with limited mobility to use to get some exercise.

The bike allows a person in a wheelchair to roll up to the bike, put their feet on the pedals and pedal just like any other stationary bike.

The units cost $13,500 and the new unit at the Y was paid for through funds from the Ricky Palermo Foundation and an anonymous donor.

The Y already had one similar bike in its wellness center, but CEO Rob Walker said the demand for use during peak hours has been greater than the availability. The new bike will help solve this problem.

Batavia is the first Y in the nation to get this particular model.

"The feedback I got yesterday is that there are four benefits," Walker said. "It helps vascular health, which we all know is important. It reduces muscle spasms, which helps them sleeps. It helps with joint flexibility and it helps with muscle tone.

"The indirect benefit, to be honest, is getting them out," Walker said. "Watching them use it, for lack of a better word, it helps with their state of mind."

Photos submitted by Rob Walker.

stimbikedonation2017_02.jpg

stimbikedonation2017_03.jpg

November 29, 2017 - 4:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in public health column, news, Announcements, health, radon.

Press release -- Public Health Column:

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month! Did you know that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if you smoke and live in a home with high radon levels, your risk for developing lung cancer significantly increases. Testing your home for radon is the only effective way to determine if you and your loved ones are exposed to toxic levels of this poisonous gas.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas. It has no smell, taste, or color.  Radon forms from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and circulates into the air you breathe. When radon is formed under homes and buildings, it can penetrate through cracks in the foundation, leading to high levels of radon, especially in enclosed areas.

Sarah Balduf, environmental health director of Genesee and Orleans counties, further explains how radon can seep into your home.

“Radon can enter your home through cracks in the foundation, walls, joints, dirt floors, opening of sump pump, in well-water supply, and from gaps around suspended floors and pipes," she said. "Any home can have high radon levels, whether it is old or new, has a basement or is built on a slab.”

Test Your Home

Testing your home with a short term radon test kit is the quickest way to determine if your home is at risk. The Genesee County Health Department has an allotment of short term test kits that are free of charge for Genesee County residents. These test kits are easy to use and contain basic instructions on how to receive the most accurate results when testing your home for radon.

The EPA recommends placing the test kit in the first livable floor of your home. If you do not spend time in your basement, place the test kit in the first level of your home. Avoid testing in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. The humidity created in these rooms may interfere with the radon test results.

Once you have located where you will unseal the test kit, place it at least 20 inches off the ground. Be mindful to place the test kit in an area where pets or children will not disturb it. All windows and doors must remain closed (except for normal entry and exit) throughout the duration of the test. This will allow for the greatest concentration of radon to build up within your home.

Mail Test Kit in Timely Manner

Once the test kit is complete, reseal the test kit canister and mail it to the lab in a timely manner. A self-addressed envelope will be provided with the kit. f the test is not received by the lab within 7 days, the test results will be inconclusive.

Test kits are also available through the New York State Department of Health, some County Health Departments and local hardware stores.

Balduf explains that “If your home does have an elevated level of radon (4 picocuries per liter of air [pCi/L] or greater), you should contact a certified radon mitigator to install a radon reduction system in your home. These systems should only be installed by a certified radon mitigator. Radon reduction systems can be a low cost and effective way to reduce the level of radon in your home.”

Home Buyers -- Know Results of Radon Test

When purchasing a new house, make sure the seller completes a radon test kit and has the results available. If you are building a new home, make sure to have radon-resistant construction features installed and tested prior to moving in.

The Genesee County Health Department Radon Program offers short-term radon test kits for residences in Genesee County. The program also offers educational materials and in-services programs on the danger of radon prevalence, and mitigation options for new or existing homes which are all available at no charge.

This holiday season; share the gift of good health by encouraging your friends and family to test their homes for radon. The only way to know if there is radon in your home is by completing a simple test kit that may save your life.

For More Information

For more details about the program or to receive any of these services call the department at 585-344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/radon2.html.

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

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]

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