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March 25, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, county health.

Press release:

The 6th annual County Health Rankings have been released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. This allows each county to see how healthy their community is compared to other counties within their state based on 30 factors measured, including education, transportation, housing, violent crimes, jobs, diet and exercise.

The County Health Rankings are a snapshot of the impact that the measured factors have on the health of each county. The rankings for New York State are out of the 62 counties. There are five main categories and the factors that make up each category are measured and ranked.

• Health Outcomes (Today’s Health): which includes length of life, premature death, sickness, mental health and low birth weight;
• Health Factors (Tomorrow’s Health): including health behaviors: adult smoking, adult obesity, food environment index, physical inactivity, access to exercise opportunities, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted disease and teen births;
• Clinical Care: including uninsured, primary care physicians, dentists, mental health providers, preventable hospital stays, diabetic screening, and mammography screening;
• Social and Economic Factors: including high school graduation, some college, unemployment, children in poverty, inadequate social support, children in single-parent households, violent crime and injury deaths; and
• Physical Environment: including air pollution, drinking water violations, severe housing problems, driving alone to work, and long commute – driving alone.

The County Health Rankings are compiled from many different types of national data sources. The county with the lowest score (best health) gets a rank of #1 for that state and the county with the highest score (worst health) is assigned a rank corresponding to the number of total counties ranked in each state.

Results for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are as follows:

• Genesee County ranked 40th in overall Health Outcomes, 26th in overall Health Factors, 54th in Clinical Care, 11th in Social and Economic Factors, and 46th in Physical Environment.
• Orleans County ranked 47th in overall Health Outcomes, 59th in overall Health Factors, 62nd in Clinical Care, 50th in Social and Economic Factors, and 54th in Physical Environment.
• Wyoming County ranked 17th in overall Health Outcomes, 27th in overall Health Factors, 49th in Clinical Care, 19th in Social and Economic Factors, and 57th in Physical Environment.

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments continue to implement their 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) developed to address some of the issues noted in the County Health Rankings, as well as community residents’ concerns noted in the Community Health Assessment Survey conducted in 2013.

With the assistance of our local health systems and community organizations, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties chose two priority areas from the New York State Department of Health Prevention Agenda to work toward improving. These priority areas are preventing chronic diseases and promoting mental health and preventing substance abuse.

“Staff from the departments are dedicated to implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan and these efforts will help to reflect improved standing in future County Health Rankings. This impact will take time to be seen as the data collection process and publishing takes time, on average three to five years,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties. "The Health Departments continue to partner with community organizations, faith-based organizations businesses and community members to work toward decreasing obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and nicotine-related illnesses, as well as developing and promoting a wide-ranging resource to help health care providers and community members have access to mental health services. 

"As you can see this is no small task that one organization can take on alone. We believe we can make an impact on the health of our communities if we work together. What are some things you can do to be healthier? How can you have an impact on the health of your neighborhood? Keep an eye out for some exciting opportunities as we move forward working together to become the healthiest region!"

To learn more about the NYS Prevention Agenda visit:

http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/prevention_agenda/2013-2017/?utm_sou...

To get a detailed look at the 2015 County Health Rankings visit:

http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/

For information about health department services:• Genesee County Health Department call: 344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit the Web site at www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html
• Orleans County Health Department call: 589-3278 or check out the Web site at:  www.orleansny.com/publichealth

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Our user name for both is OrleansCoHealth. 
• Wyoming County Health Department call: 786-8890 or visit the Web site at: www.wyomingco.net/health/main.html

February 18, 2015 - 3:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, health.

Press release:

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized today the City of Batavia’s Employee Wellness Program as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program.

This year’s cohort includes 124 programs from all levels of government — school districts; county, city, state, and federal agencies; as well as public-private partnerships — that are at the forefront in innovative government action.

In 2009 Batavia made a complete shift in the way it looked at health insurance, and a wellness program was established to influence employee behavior and focus on preventative care. Employees and spouses who participate in the program and achieve or exceed identified results have the opportunity to earn credits to either reduce their health care contribution or lower their out of pocket deductible.

The employee and spouse, if both participate, can achieve a maximum of 25-percent discount on their health insurance premium, or pay as little as 5 percent for health insurance. The employee health care contribution is 30 percent of the plan's annual cost.

The following are the targeted goals for each factor based on standards established by the National Institute of Health and American Diabetes Association:

1. Health Risk Assessment – Need to complete (employee and spouse)

2. Fasting Glucose - <=99

3. LDL Cholesterol - <=99 mg/dL

4. Blood Pressure - <= 139/89

5. Nicotine Use – Non-use only

In addition, if a participant shows a 60-percent improvement in fasting glucose, LDL cholesterol or blood pressure over the prior year, he/she will receive credit for the category, as the improvement shows significant movement toward obtaining the category goal.

The City’s medical plan also has a case management program in place that works with members to help coordinate all necessary health resources to maintain a healthy quality of life. The overall goal of the City’s wellness program is to drive preventative utilization, reduce the number and severity of claims and reduce health care costs.

With respect to health care expenses, the City has seen impressive accomplishments in managing what are regularly considered “unmanageable costs." Since 2010, Batavia has enjoyed an annual increase in healthcare premiums of only about 4 percent -- compared to an average of double-digit increases nationally. Notably, the cost of the average family healthcare plan in 2014 was $15,927, this was a 5-percent decrease from 2013. Batavia’s health insurance premiums have experienced marginal annual increases in health care premiums when compared to most municipalities in New York State and across the nation, while premiums paid by employees have gone down.

Most importantly, Batavia employees, spouses and families have become more educated and participatory in their own health.

“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center.

“As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”

This is the fourth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching and have sufficient operational resources. They must be administered by one or more governmental entities. Nonprofit, private sector and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization.

Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation:

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu

February 18, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, health.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments are encouraging residents to “Think Health.” Taking time to think about your health and taking positive health steps will lead to healthier outcomes. Learning something new every day is one way to “Think Health”…

New York State relies on local health departments to promote, protect, and improve the health of their residents. Currently the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments, in partnership with local stakeholders, are distributing a survey to assess the public’s knowledge on the existence of and accessibility (ease of access / use) of mental health and substance abuse services locally.

This effort is directly related to the 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and will serve as a baseline measurement of the area’s knowledge and/or use of these services. This priority was included in the Community Health Improvement Plan after it was found that the tri-county area has higher suicide (15.7 crude, 15.6 age adjusted) rates than the NYS average (9 crude, 8.6 age adjusted) and depression / mental health issues / and stress ranked as top concerns for the public in 2013 as well.

The survey is available online and paper. Paper surveys can be found at the health departments, as well as participating libraries, human service agencies and events throughout the tri-county area.

You can access the Community Health Survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MEB2014

“Later in the year, a user-friendly online-based informational database focused on these services will be created and promoted in the tri-county area in hopes to increase awareness of what is available and make efforts to fill gaps in services locally,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for the Genesee and Orleans Counties health departments.

The survey can be taken by individuals living and/or working in Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties. The survey is anonymous and is only 10 questions. Your honest thoughts and opinions are appreciated. All ages are encouraged to take it for themselves. If you are under the age of 18 years old, be sure to receive permission to take the survey from your parent(s) or guardian(s).

“This project is made possible through grant funds obtained from the NYS Health Foundation,” said Laura Paolucci, Public Health administrator for the Wyoming County Health Department. “This is a new territory for the public health sector and the more input from the community, the stronger the ‘building block’ of this project and those related will be.”

If you have any questions, would like to comment on the survey, and/or review the 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan contact your local Health Department:

Genesee County Health Department call: 585-344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit their Web site at

www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/health/index.html

December 26, 2014 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, UMMC.

Press release:

With the continued increase in the number of influenza cases at the Hospital and in the community, United Memorial Medical Center will be strictly following established visitor guidelines and implementing restrictions in order to safeguard the health of our patients.

• Effective immediately, patients in our facility will be allowed only two (2) visitors at one time between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., except where more specific hours are posted for the care unit.

• No visitors under the age of 14 years will be allowed.

• Maternity patients may have visits from their spouse/birthing partner, grandparents of the baby, and others with no more than two visitors at a time. Siblings of the infant, under the age of 14 will not be allowed to visit.

• Individuals with a sore throat, runny nose, fever, or other influenza-type symptoms should NOT visit patients.

• A visitor, who is coughing persistently or showing signs of infectious disease such as influenza, will be given a mask and asked to leave the facility.

As an organization we understand the importance of loved ones and friends in the healing process. Exceptions to the visitor policy must be approved by the unit manager or nursing supervisor prior to the visitor’s arrival at the hospital. These restrictions have been put into place to protect those with weakened or fragile immune systems, and those who care for them, from harm during the influenza outbreak.

Everyone should remember to use appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette to prevent the spread of influenza. Symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough or nasal congestion. Individuals with fever over 100˚F and any of the symptoms listed are urged to stay home, seek medical advice as necessary and limit the number of people exposed. Individuals with influenza are contagious for 24 hours prior to exhibiting symptoms.

December 23, 2014 - 5:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in health.

Press release:

Since the NYS Department of Health Commissioner declared influenza (flu) prevalent in NYS on Dec. 11th, the number of confirmed cases in Genesee and Orleans counties is rising quickly. It is important for your health to know how to prevent from contracting the flu, as well as what precautions you should take if symptoms begin. Getting vaccinated against the flu is the best method of protection.

While some strains of the virus spreading this season are different from what is in the vaccine, getting a flu shot/nasal spray can still provide protection. It might also lessen the risk of severe outcomes, such as hospitalization and death.

Most people who get sick with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Symptoms of the flu include fever or feverish chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults.

“It is important to contact your primary care physician if you are concerned about your or your child’s flu symptoms,” said Paul Pettit, director, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “Emergency Departments should be utilized for emergencies, and typically flu can be treated at home.”

If you have symptoms of flu and are very sick or worried about your illness, the health departments urge you to contact your health care provider (doctor, physician’s assistant, etc.) before you head to a hospital emergency room.

If you experience flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you do not have a primary care provider and feel you need to seek a medical evaluation, you can seek care at an urgent care center.
Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, elderly people, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions). If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it is best for you to contact your doctor. Remind them about your high risk status for flu.

To care for yourself or another with the flu, stay at home and rest. Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you will not make them sick. Remember to drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration). Treat fever and cough with medicines available over the counter. Follow the label instructions and be careful about mixing over the counter medications. If you are pregnant, talk with your provider before taking any medications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the health departments recommend that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your arm. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.

Both the Genesee and Orleans County health departments offer flu vaccine to individuals who qualify. For more information regarding flu vaccine qualification, clinic schedules, or additional services please contact your local department.

Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit their Web site at www.co.genesee.ny.us/ departments/health/index.html Visit Facebook at Genesee County Health Department and Twitter @GeneseeCoHealthDept.

October 28, 2014 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, health, Batavia Teachers' Association.

A couple dozen vendors participated today in a community health fair at the Batavia Middle School sponsored by Batavia Teachers' Association.

Above, Jen Housknecht gives a zumba demonstration class. Below, a visit with the booth for Genesee Dental.

October 21, 2014 - 1:50pm

Every fire department in Genesee County was represented at a mandatory briefing Monday evening by Dr. Sara Connolly, the incoming medical director for the county.

Connolly briefed the chiefs and department representatives on protocols for dealing with Ebola patients.

It's a long shot that there will ever be a person carrying the Ebola virus in Genesee County, but county and state officials agree it's better to be prepared, trained at thinking ahead than to be caught off guard.

Such briefings are mandated for all first responders by the NYS Department of Health.

Connolly said she addressed triage and isolation issues and answered questions. EMS responders are instructed to ask patients at emergency scenes if they've traveled to West Africa within the previous 30 days. 

If the answer is yes, then first responders need to find out if the patient has had any of the symptoms of Ebola, such as high fever, diarrhea or vomiting. If yes, then the patient needs to be isolated as quickly as possible and the first responders need to avoid further contact with the patient.

Some misunderstandings were cleared up during the Q&A session at the end of the talk, Connolly said. For example, not everybody who gets Ebola dies, and we don't even have any idea how lethal, or not, it would be in the U.S. since there's been only one case of a person in this country who has died from it.

"We don't know what it's mortality rate would be in this country, with a good sanitation system and developed healthcare system," Connolly said.

Connolly is not yet officially the new county health director. That appointment could be finalized as soon as today.  

She is a physician at UMMC and specializes in emergency department medicine. She's a graduate of Princeton University with a medical degree from the University at Buffalo.

Every county is required to have at least one medical director, accounting to Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger, who overseas emergency response medical personnel. The position is responsible for training and ensuring that policies and protocols from the Department of Health are implemented and properly followed.

The director works closely with the Emergency Management Office and the county's Department of Health.

The Ebola briefing was required by the state, but Yaeger said it is a wise thing to ensure all emergency responders are prepared to deal with an Ebola patient, no matter how remote the possibility.

"We want to be prepared," Yaeger said. "Hopefully, nothing occurs here, but if it does, we want the public to know that we are prepared and ready to respond, and primarily to make sure those first responders are safe."

October 15, 2014 - 11:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, Seniors, bergen, Hickory Park.

A bit of rain didn't dampen spirits in Bergen this morning where officials dedicated a new "life trail" system in Hickory Park.

The system, made up of seven, three-sided stations with a series of exercises people can perform, is designed to give seniors in particular a chance to be active and improve their physical health.

It was funded by a $50,000 state grant, secured with the help of Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and County Legislator Bob Bausch.

"We have put in place a parks master plan with a focus on fitness and wellness," said Mayor Anna Marie Barclay. "In particular, we want to give opportunities to seniors, which is our fastest growing population, an opportunity, because there are not as many opportunities for seniors as there are for other age groups. We want to encourage our seniors to come out, and not just our seniors. We invite seniors from all of the surrounding communities to come out to our park."

Ranzenhofer said he was proud to have helped bring about the project.

"I'm very excited to be here," Ranzenhofer said. "The comment about the weather, we were talking before about it being a rainy day, but it really is shining today, even though you may not see the sun. On a project like this, with your hard work, collectively, we were able to do a very good thing for the village residents, and thanks for including me."

October 14, 2014 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, health, medicine, UMMC, ebola.

It's been less than 10 days since new protocols related to Ebola were put in place at United Memorial Medical Center, but emergency room staff have already passed one key preparedness test.

In an unannounced drill, a man showed up claiming a fever and suffering from weakness and a headache, a staff member asked a newly implemented set of questions that included whether he had traveled recently from Western Africa.

He uttered, "yes," and within 60 seconds he was in an infectious disease isolation room.

"I was very encouraged by the outcome," said Dan Ireland, president of UMMC. "Any time we do an exercise, do a drill, we like to hear the positive feedback that things are working as they should be."

Following CDC guidelines, UMMC, the whole county's health and emergency response leadership, really, have been implementing Ebola protocols, even if it seems like a far-off, distant problem that may never reach Genesee County.

"We do a lot of things based on a long shot," Ireland said. "We prepare for the rare circumstances because those are the ones that can be really significant. Hopefully, it never happens, but we want to be prepared. I was here during the SARS era. We never had a SARS case in this facility, even while it was in Toronto, but we were ready. We have to be ready for those things or you're not doing the public the service that they need."

Ebola is a virus transmitted among mammals through contact with bodily fluid. Symptoms start with fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches, much like the flu. Death occurs in about 50 percent of the patients who contract it.  

The first known outbreak was in 1976 in South Sudan and there have been periodic outbreaks since. The latest outbreak started in March and currently about 10,000 people are believed to have the disease. But some scientists believe exponential growth (the number of people with the disease during an outbreak doubles about every 20 days) could mean as many as 500,000 in West Africa could be ill from Ebola (perhaps more than a million, if there is under reporting).

There is currently no Ebola-specific treatment or vaccine, though scientists are fast-tracking research.  

That's way isolation and quarantine are essential to controlling the disease.

Ireland said hospital officials are continuously communicating with staff about Ebola and CDC-recommended protocols.

It's a rapidly evolving situation, Ireland said, and directives and procedures sometimes change with little notice.

For example, today's identification protocol involves questions about travel. If the outbreak grows, that protocol could change.

"It could be very different story for you tomorrow," Ireland said. "That's health care and that's medicine. As new information comes out, health care evolves."

To help with the communication process, so essential to control of the disease should it ever reach Genesee County, the hospital hosted a meeting today of officials from UMMC, Genesee County Emergency Services and the County Health Department.

The word on how to deal with Ebola needs to get out to doctors and nurses throughout the local health community, including health workers at clinics and on ambulances, both paid and volunteer, as well as local law enforcement and fire chiefs.

Anybody who might come into first contact with an Ebola patient needs to know how to respond to the situation, since isolation and quarantine are so critical its control.

Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for the county, said communication is already starting with the agencies his department deals with, and Ebola will be on the agenda of upcoming fire chief and fire service meetings.

"Our job is to maintain awareness and communication," Yaeger said. "We discuss it with our 9-1-1 center, emergency responders and law enforcement officers need to be aware and not make assumptions about how to protect themselves from people who might be infected. The common theme every day is that we're getting new information regarding Ebola and we need to coordinate that with emergency responders."

The county health department hasn't fielded any calls from concerned citizens about Ebola (there's been more calls about enterovirus, which has been reported in Rochester and Buffalo, but not Genesee County), but that doesn't mean county health officials aren't staying on top of the latest information, said Director Paul Pettit. 

The first person to contract Ebola in the U.S. is a Dallas nurse. She appears have been infected while treating a Dallas resident who contracted the disease in Africa.

Another health care worker in Spain contracted the disease after caring for a patient in that country.

In the case in Spain, it's been determined that the health care worker likely did not follow proper protocol for removing protective gear.

It's still speculation, but that may also have been the situation in Dallas.

Typically, health care workers are covered from head to toe in protective garb while interacting with Ebola patients (only those who have actually become sick can transmit the disease).  

The probable cause of health care workers in Spain and Dallas getting sick certainly has local nurses paying close attention to the proper procedures, said Mary Beth Bowen, vice president of nursing for UMMC.

"For the nursing staff, we practice infection protection every day," Bowen said. "It's now part of our training to practice for Ebola. We've put in a buddy system to monitor each other; video so they visually learn the procedures for putting on and removing protective gear. We're doing everything according to proscribed protocol. It's important to this organization that we minimize the risk of transmission."

There's even a place for chocolate syrup in the training.  

You see, if there's chocolate syrup on your protective gear and then you take it off and find chocolate syrup on your skin, you've done something wrong.

One reason Ireland wanted to talk about this issue, and bring these local experts together, is that he doesn't want anybody in the community to panic about Ebola.

He's concerned there's a lot of hysteria and misinformation in the media about the disease, and if panic sets in, it may lead to somebody avoiding medical treatment for other conditions, a decision that could be even more dangerous.   

If people understand more about the disease and what the hospital is doing to minimize any risk of transmission, he hopes it will eliminate any such panic in the community.

"We want to avoid any misinformation in the community," Ireland said. "We are doing everything by what the CDC advises."

Photo: Gathered at an office in UMMC to discuss Ebola are Tim Yaeger and Jim Bouton, Office of Emergency Management, Mary Beth Bown, VP of nursing, Paul Pettit, county director of health, and Dan Ireland, president of UMMC.

On the Web:

October 8, 2014 - 11:40am
posted by Billie Owens in health, UMMC, Cancer Services Partnership.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Partnership will provide free health screenings to Genesee County residents who meet specific age criteria residents of Genesee County -- women between the ages of 40-64 and men aged 50-64 with no insurance or high deductibles.

The screening will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct.29, at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. Appointments are necessary for some of the screenings.

For women age 40-64, nurse midwife Cecilia Stearns, MSN, will perform women’s health screenings, including pap smears, pelvic exams and clinical breast exams.

Urologist William Guthinger, MD, will provide prostate screenings to men age 50-64. Additional services available at the event include mammography, total cholesterol and take-home colorectal cancer screening kits.

All screenings will be provided at no charge. Funds are available for follow-up care, if necessary.

Please call United Memorial’s Healthy Living Department to schedule an appointment at (585)344-5331. Light refreshments, health information and free giveaways will also be available.

September 17, 2014 - 2:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, health.

The first thing Jason Harasimowszi thought when he saw Cross Fit on TV a few years ago was, "that's too hard."

He thought, "there's no way I could do that."

But he gave it a try and found, yes, it is hard, but, he said, "I wanted to keep doing it and get good at it."

Three years ago, he took a Cross Fit course in Chicago and became a certified trainer.

"It's nice seeing people succeed," Harasimowszi said to explain why he likes training others in Cross Fit.

Recently, Harasimowszi opened his own Cross Fit gym, Cross Fit Silver Fox, inside the Harvester Center.

Cross Fit is designed to be a complete, functional work out, often using heavy weights and complex, compound exercises that work more than one muscle at a time.

"(Cross Fit) is going to help you outside in life," Harasimowszi. "If you pick up boxes off the ground, it's like you're doing a deadlift. If you put a box on a top shelf, obviously, you're pressing something overhead. Everything is transferable to your outside life."

Silver Fox is equipped with about $20,000 worth of racks, weights, barbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, rowing machines, parallel bars, tires, boxes and other training equipment.

Classes are: Monday through Friday at 5, 6 and 7 a.m., and 4, 5 and 6 p.m.; Saturdays at 7, 8 and 9 a.m.; and Sundays at 11 a.m.

To locate Silver Fox, go into the Harvester Center through the main entrance and then down the hallway straight back from the door. The gym is on the left.

June 9, 2014 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, health.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming county health departments are encouraging county residents to “Choose Health.” Taking small steps in our day-to-day living and making positive health choices will lead to healthier outcomes. Is this a step you can take?

With warmer weather finally here many of you may have started or are planning home renovation projects, if you are, make sure you are being lead safe.

If your home or apartment was built before 1978 and there is chipping/peeling paint you could have a lead paint hazard. According to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than four million of these residences are homes to one or more young children. With lead exposure having the ability to affect nearly every system in the body, it is important to put in place protective measures.

You can still work on your house but you need to take some easy steps to make sure that you and your family, especially young children and pregnant women, are not exposed to lead dust and paint. Follow these basic principles (from "Lead Paint Safety, A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work") when doing any work on your home or apartment:

  • Assume: Paint in homes built before 1978 contains lead, unless a lead-based paint inspection shows it does not. Exposing anyone to dust, especially children and pregnant women can be harmful.
  • Check: Federal, State and Local regulations. Check OSHA rules for worker safety and EPA and your local community rules for proper waste disposal.
  • Avoid: Creating dust – Use low dust work practices (for example, mist surfaces with water before sanding or scraping, NEVER use heat). Also avoid spreading dust – cover and tape the area under work and around air vents with durable protective sheeting (plastic or poly) and keep dust contained to the immediate work area.
  • Protect: Occupants, particularly children and pregnant women. Keep them away from the work area; clean up the work site as you work and before they return. Workers need to wear proper respiratory protection for lead dust, keep clean and don’t take dust home if working elsewhere or to other areas of your home. Keep work clothes / shoes separate from family clothes. Wash work clothes separately. Don’t wear work shoes around the house.
  • Clean Up:After all work, clean-up is particularly important if painted surfaces were broken or wall cavities were opened. Take dust wipe samples (contact your local health department for more information) to make sure that it is safe for children and pregnant women to return. Use a HEPA filter vacuum to capture the finest dust.
  • Maintain: A dry building – moisture problems can cause paint failure, building wear and tear, and encourage pests and mold. Well-maintained paint generally does not pose a health risk; all painted surfaces are to be checked regularly for dust or paint chips. Clean and cleanable surfaces are to be damp mopped/dusted often, keep floors and painted surfaces smooth and clean rugs and carpets well.

If you are planning on doing any homes repairs and have questions regarding whether or not you have a lead paint hazard, call your local county health department. Keep your family lead safe, your home should be a safe environment. To ensure a child has not been exposed to lead, a test for the toxic metal is necessary at ages 1 and 2.

For information about this topic or health department services contact:

May 6, 2014 - 7:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, rabies, Public Health, Insource Urgent Care.

Residents who have a run in with a potentially or known rabid animal will have another option for treatment starting June 1.

On Monday, the Human Services Committee approved a contract with Insource Urgent Care that would allow the County Public Health Department to refer clients to Insource.

The contract isn't exclusive. Patients would still be able to go to the emergency room at UMMC or the urgent care clinic at St. Jerome's if they wished.

"Insource offers a lower rate and the feedback we've been getting is it's a better experience," said David Whitcroft, environmental health director. "It's a faster in and out for the patients."

Whitcroft said Insource had sought out the contract and this was an opportunity "to enter into a contract more favorable to us.

The county pays for the initial exam and the first round of treatment, but booster shots are provided by the health department at County Building #2.

"St. Jerome's has worked out really well for us and we have a good relationship, but this is one more option," Whitcroft said.

The full County Legislature will be asked to approve the arrangement at its next meeting.

May 1, 2014 - 2:33pm

At 42 years old, Bill Taylor thinks its important to stay in shape as he gets older. He needs more energy in his physically demanding job and just generally wants to feel better.

Oakfield Fitness and Cross-Training Center, with its full range of newer equipment and 24/7 availability does the trick for him, he said.

"Everybody feels different at different parts of the day," Taylor said.

As he's gotten more serious about physical fitness, he said he has more energy and improved endurance.

"It's just all around feeling better physically, mentally, too," he said.

For anybody who doesn't have a workout routine, Taylor's advice is simple: "Get off your butt and do it. That's the best way."

Oakfield Fitness moved just a few weeks ago, going from 1,800 square feet and multiple small rooms, to three logically organized rooms in 3,600 square feet. There's a room for weight machines, a cardio room and a cross-training room.

All of the equipment is quality Life Fitness machines.

A basic gym membership is $30 a month with no other fees and no annual contract. Cross-training members pay $80 per month and have access to the cross-training room and a cross-training coach during scheduled times.

For more information, visit OakfieldFitness.com.

April 23, 2014 - 3:30pm

The end result of cross-training, Steve Wakefield said, is functional fitness. Your body is better conditioned to work for you.

For example, your body is built to squat. That's something that can be harder to do with any stamina if you haven't developed your muscles appropriately.

"I spent three years in Afghanistan and every meeting for me was in a squat," Wakefield said. "I was like, 'oh, I've got to squat again,' but that's what your body is supposed to do. Cross-training teaches your body to go back and use the movement it's supposed to."

Wakefield, a certified Cross Fit trainer, is the cross-training coach at Oakfield Fitness and Cross Training Center, 116 N. Main St., Oakfield.

Oakfield fitness recently moved into a larger building with an expanded cross-training center.

Wakefield said cross-training is a suitable physical fitness program for just about anybody, whether you're already athletic or haven't worked out in years and need to lose weight.

"You can do every workout to your own ability, which is awesome and I love it," Wakefield said. "Even as a trainer, I'm not as strong as some of these guys, but I lower the weight to my ability and I do what I can do. I've got an older lady, in her 60s, who's here every day. She can do the workout. It's scaled to her."

Cross-training, by definition is a constantly varied functional workout. Every session is different and it's not just about lifting weights and working specific muscles. You won't come in one day thinking, "this is my day to work my biceps" as you would with traditional fitness regimes.

"We've been taught for years that 'today I'm going to do by bis and back and tomorrow my tris and chest,' " Wakefield said. "Cross-training is breaking out of that model of isolated muscle movement. It's whole body, functional fitness."

The program also includes seminars on nutrition.

"You can workout every day, but if your nutrition is off, it's not going to work," Wakfield said. "Cross-training isn't who is the fittest. We want to get you healthy."

Since cross-training is usually a daily workout with a regular group of people, and the classes become more like a group of friends.

That's one of the things that kept Wakefield interested cross-training once he got started.

"We get to know each other," Wakefield said. "We get to know each other's families. We get to know each other's strengths and goals. We clap harder for the person who is last trying to finish up than the person who is done first."

It costs $80 per month to take part in cross-training at Oakfield Fitness, and that includes full 24/7 access to the entire gym.

For more information, visit OakfieldFitness.com.

More pictures after the jump:

April 17, 2014 - 10:00am

A busy MBA student at St. John Fisher, Katie Joslyn, needs to make sure never has an excuse for missing a workout.

The 22-year-old Oakfield resident said Oakfield Fitness and Cross Training Center, at 116 N. Main St., is perfect for her. It's right in the village, is open 24/7, and has all the cardio and weight machines she wants to use.

"I've seen it grow," said Joslyn, who has been a member since the gym first opened at a smaller, store-front location. "It's really become something. It's a lot better than it used to be. I love coming here."

Oakfield Fitness moved just a few weeks ago, going from 1,800 square feet and multiple small rooms, to three logically organized rooms in 3,600 square feet. There's a room for weight machines, a cardio room and a cross-training room.

All of the equipment is quality Life Fitness machines.

A basic gym membership is $30 a month with no other fees and no annual contract. Cross-training members pay $80 per month and have access to the cross-training room and a cross-training coach during scheduled times.

For more information, visit OakfieldFitness.com.

March 31, 2014 - 3:00pm

More space and more equipment are part of an expanded Oakfield Fitness and Cross-Training Center after the business moved just down the street to 116 North Main St., Oakfield.

The gym has moved from a location where there was only 1,800 square feet and equipment was distributed among several small rooms, to one with 3,600 square feet and three large rooms.

There is one room for strength equipment -- Hammer Strength machines from Life Fitness -- a room of cardio machines, including Life Fitness treadmills and bikes as well as rowing machines, and a cross-training room with free weights and various training aids.

The gym is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and a basic membership is $30 per month (no other costs, no annual contract).

For those interested cross-training, a certified Cross Fit trainer, Steve Wakefield, is available from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., Monday thru Saturday, and 6 to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Cross-training is $80 per month, which includes a basic gym membership and workouts with Wakefield and other cross-trainers. Use of the cross-training room is limited to cross-training members.

Oakfield Fitness will host an open house Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon. Attend either open house and receive two days of free use of the gym at no obligation to join.

For more information, visit OakfieldFitness.com.

More pictures after the jump:

March 21, 2014 - 10:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oakfield, health, water.

Press release:

Since the initiation of the Boil Water Advisory (BWA) one week ago 31 private drinking water wells have been tested, with 15 confirmed to have bacteriological contamination of coliform bacteria and E. coli. Residents who have had their water tested and confirmed positive have been notified at this time.

These organisms can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants and people with compromised immune systems. Residents in this area who are experiencing these symptoms should contact their medical provider.

The Genesee County Health Department continues to assist the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with their investigation to determine the exact origin and extent of the contamination.

Residents near Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road east of Rt 63 and Lewiston Road south of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road are urged to continue following the instructions below until their water can be confirmed safe to drink.

Instructions: Boil (rolling boil for one minute) tap water or use bottled water for drinking and cooking. If well water quality changes as noticed by color and/or smell, immediately stop using it for all household uses other than flushing toilets.

For additional information about a Boil Water Advisory (BWA) and how to stay safe during one, visit: http://www.readygenesee.com/BoilWaterAdvisory.pdf.

For additional information on coliform bacteria please visit:

http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/docs/coliform_bacteria.pdf

March 14, 2014 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, health, environment, county health department.

There is apparently a recommendation for a small number of Genesee County residents to boil their household water because of a possible manure spill in the area of Batavia Oakfield Townline Road and Lewiston Road.

The announcement came from the NY-Alert system, not from the County Health Department.

The announcement was released just before the health department closed for the weekend, though it contained information to call the health department for further information.

The announcement says, "At this time, the extent of the contamination is unknown and we would therefore recommend that you boil tap water in your home or use bottled water for drinking and cooking. If your well water quality changes as noticed by color and/or smell, immediately stop using it for all household uses other than flushing toilets."

The first version of the announcement was a recommendation for all Genesee County residents to boil water, then a second version said the spill was in the area of Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road and Lewiston Road.

Because the health department is closed, no further information is available at this time.

January 26, 2014 - 7:31pm
posted by Patricia Hawley in batavia, Announcements, health, yoga, alternative medicine.

A chakra workshop designed to relieve stress and increase energy is scheduled for February 1 at Blue Pearl Yoga. Rich Hayden, a certified yoga, meditation, and chakra instructor will lead the class on a path to renewed wellness. This class is suitable for all ages; pre-registration is required.

 

Chakras are points in the subtle human body located at the physical counterparts of arteries, veins, and nerves. Since charkas are not part of the human body they can most accurately be described as energy centers connected by channels. Each Chakra has its own characteristics, responsible for receiving and expressing energy. Through a series of simple yoga poses and breathing exercises students will learn how to activate energy while relieving stress, tension, and depression. “Keeping these energy field clear and balanced is one of the best form of preventative medicine and self-care,” according to Karen Reisdorf, owner of Blue Pearl Yoga.

Workshop facilitator Rich Hayden has been a yoga instructor at Blue Pearl Yoga for 8 years and has lead several Chakra Workshops. He says that participants will learn to attend to their Chakra through meditation, poses, and chanting to “establish health on a solid basis and increase energy.” During meditation, he says, “we focus on color and sound. Each chakra has a corresponding color connected to it and has a tremendous strengthening effect on the physical body.” The resulting outcome of this workshop is “peace, joy, and a true love of life.” 

The Chakra Workshop with Rich Hayden is scheduled for Saturday, February 1 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 East Main Street, third floor. Cost is $35.00 and pre-registration is required. For more information contact Karen Reisdorf at 585.813.5430.

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