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December 3, 2019 - 12:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in national influenza week, health, flu, vaccine, news.

From the Genesee County Health Department:

Dec. 1st – 7th is this year’s National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW).

As family and friends are gathering for the holidays, flu activity is increasing. NIVW serves as a reminder it is not too late to get a flu vaccine.

Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties wants to remind folks that when you get a flu vaccine, you are also protecting your loved ones and your community.

“Getting vaccinated isn’t just about keeping  you healthy; it is also about helping to protect others around you who may be at risk of becoming very sick, such asbabies, older adults, and pregnant women,” he said.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs.

When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks, they spray tiny droplets. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

People can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touch their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Although the majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in people 65 years and older, healthy young children and adults can have severe disease or even die from the flu.

“To be protected against the flu, you have to get the vaccine every year,” said Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans counties.

“Because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated annually.”

In addition to receiving the flu shot, it is also important to practice good health habits.

The tips below will help you learn about ways you can protect yourself and others from germs this season.

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing – or cough/sneeze into your elbow if no tissues are available. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whooping cough are spread by coughing, sneezing, or unclean hands.
  • Wash your hands. Good hand washing takes 20 seconds. Sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while you wash. Scrub with soap and water to remove germs. Always wash hands before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, spending time outside, touching animals, using the bathroom, or changing a baby’s diaper. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Flu seasons are unpredictable and can last late into the spring.

As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination should continue throughout the flu season in order to protect as many people as possible. It’s important to remember that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.

If you have not received your annual flu vaccine this year, now is the time! To find a place near you to get a flu vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

For information about Health Department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website.

October 19, 2019 - 2:10pm

The University at Buffalo’s Clinical Research Institute (CRIA) and the NYS Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) are sponsoring a free buprenorphine waiver training for clinical health care providers.

It will be held at GCASA in Batavia from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 16.

The buprenorphine waiver eight-hour training is offered in a half-and-half format (4.5 hrs. of in-person training followed by 3.5 hrs. of online training).

Light refreshments will be served.

Participants will receive CME credits.

Physicians (MDs, DOs) need to complete the half-and-half course to apply for the waiver. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) are required to complete the standardized buprenorphine waiver 8-hour training as well as an additional 16 hours of online training as established by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).

Please contact us for further information.

Dr. Paul Updike 
Director of Addiction Medicine and Recovery Services, Catholic Health System

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. 430 E Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020

Online registration for the workshop:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZBQF7P9

Directions:   https://goo.gl/maps/8KZecbdEKYP2

Questions: Please contact Dr. Christopher Barrick (716-829-3280)

October 19, 2019 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, HIV infection, health, news.

From the Genesee County Health Department:

Did you know there is a pill to prevent HIV? Pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, is a safe and effective daily pill that can greatly reduce your risk of HIV infection.

PrEP is prescribed for HIV-negative people who are at a higher risk for getting HIV, most commonly through sex, injection drug use, or sharing needles. A lot of people still don’t knowabout the benefits of using PrEP to protect against HIV.

That’s why the New York State Department of Health has declared Oct. 20 – 26 as PrEP Aware Week.

“If you are exposed to HIV, the medicines in PrEP stop the virus from spreading throughout your body, preventing anHIV infection” said Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans counties. “People at high risk for getting HIV should talk to their healthcare provider about starting this preventative treatment.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when taken daily, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV. Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 percent when taken daily. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74 percent when taken daily. PrEP is much less effective if it is not taken consistently.

Before you start PrEP, your doctor will test you to make sure that you do not have HIV and that your kidneys and liver are healthy. While you are on PrEP, your doctor will test you every three months for HIV and at least every six months for other STIs.

Even though PrEP is one important tool for protecting yourself from HIV, you can further reduce your chance of getting HIV by using condoms during sex and by using new sterile (clean) needles if you inject drugs.

The CDC offers these guidelines on people who should consider taking PrEP:

  • Anyone who is in an ongoing relationship with someone who is HIV-positive.

  • Gay or bisexual men who have sex without a condom or have been diagnosed with an STI in the past six months.

  • Heterosexual men or women who do not regularly use condoms with partners with an unknown HIV status who are at substantial risk for HIV infections (people who inject drugs).

  • People who have injected drugs in the past 6 months and have shared injection equipment or have been in treatment for injection drug use in the past six months.

Many insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover PrEP. Assistance may also be available if you are uninsured or if your co-pay or deductible is too high. For additional information about PrEP, including a directory of medical providers who prescribe PrEP, and information about resources to pay for PrEP, please visit www.health.ny.gov/PrEP.

For more information about PrEP, please click here.

For information about Health Department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website.

September 11, 2019 - 1:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, urology, health, prostate cancer, Us TOO Rochester.

Information provided by Patrick Fisher, event organizer for Us TOO Rochester:

The Center for Urology in Batavia, a practice of seven urologists in the city, is one of this year's major sponsors of the fifth annual Prostate Cancer Walk and Health Fair on Sunday, Sept. 15 inside The Mall at Greece Ridge.

Us TOO Rochester hosts the event, which is its primary fundraiser and proceeds benefit local patient programs. It is the regional affiliate chapter of Us TOO International, a nonprofit 501c3 organization providing patient support, education and advocacy for those affected by prostate cancer in Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region.

Registration for Sunday's Walk and Health Fair is $30 at the door and includes an event T-shirt while supplies last. All are welcome.

Online registration is only $20 and the last day to register online is Sept. 12. Click here to register online.

On-site registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the final lap begins at 10 a.m.

Children age 13 and under are admitted free.

This is a family fun event that includes: prize drawings worth hundreds of dollars; DJ Blaze as Master of Ceremony; a collection of classic cars displayed by Street Machines of Rochester; entertainment by mascots for Rochester Red Wings (Spikes) and Amerks (Moose); face painting by Freckles; a performance by Oasis Senior Tappers; free Dunkin’ Donuts (The Luis Ribeiro Group); free Gloria Jean’s Coffee (Rumit Patel, Mgr.); and cookies by Kiss Me Cookie in Webster.

See the '10-foot-tall Enlarged Prostate'

Among the sights will be the region's largest “enlarged prostate” -- a 10-foot-tall educational tool that informs you about how prostate cancer develops and spreads when left untreated.

In addition to educational exhibits, UR Medicine Labs and Urology will conduct free PSA screening on site for qualified men who have no medical insurance.

Ample parking is available at the mall near door #8. For full details about the walk and fundraiser, visit here.

The Mall at Greece Ridge is located at 271 Greece Ridge Center Drive in Greece.

The annual Prostate Cancer Walk and Health Fair is held in September because it is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. The disease is the most common non-skin cancer in American men, and the leading cause of cancer death in men second only to lung cancer.

The National Cancer Institute reports that 29,430 men in the United States will die from prostate cancer annually. More than 16,000 men in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region are diagnosed with the disease that left untreated may affect other organs or lead to bone cancer and death.

According to the NYS Department of Health, every year another 42 men from Batavia and Genesee County will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

African-American men are at even greater risk and from an earlier age than their caucasian counterpart. However, not only men suffer. This cancer has the potential to affect spouses, significant others and relationships in meaningful ways, too.

No Early Warning Signs

While medical research has advanced how prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated, there are no early warning signs. The same BRCA2 gene that contributes to breast cancer in women, may also contribute to prostate cancer in men. Men who have a sister or mother known to have BRCA2 may benefit by being screened for prostate cancer.

Yet, the best outcomes begin with an early diagnosis. This makes it very important that men routinely talk with their provider about being screened for prostate cancer especially as they age.

Batavia's Dr. Anees Fazili, one of the urologists with the local Center for Urology, says he was honored to have helped bring a new exciting procedure to Western New York for the treatment of prostate cancer called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). It reduces some of the usual risks of treatment associated with this disease.

"At Rochester Regional Health we also just purchased the 'FocalOne' HIFU device, which is truly revolutionary and allows for same day focal therapy of prostate cancer, and we are one of only a handful of centers in the entire country offering this amazing treatment option," Fazili wrote in an email to The Batavian.

He operates out of both United Memorial Medical Center and Medina Memorial Hospital, and is working on starting an Us TOO chapter for Genesee County.

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but the process for men to learn what they need to know in order to make informed decisions is a daunting task that typically requires many sleepless nights and weeks spent conducting research or getting second and third medical opinions.

Us TOO is a good resource for help and information.

Their monthly meetings provide a safe environment where men and their care givers may share about their experience or learn from others regarding current options.

August 16, 2019 - 1:03pm

From the Genesee County Health Department:

August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month. Today’s vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

Because of advances in medical science, your children and family can be protected against more diseases than ever before.

Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans counties, has continually supported vaccination and vaccine education in our communities and believes vaccines are the best defense against preventable diseases.

“Vaccination is safe and effective," Pettit said. "All vaccines undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the federal government to make sure they are safe."

Immunizations are important for a variety of reasons. When you get vaccinated, you not only protect yourself but you also help protect the people around you who might be too young or too sick to get vaccinated themselves. This is called “community immunity” or “herd immunity.”

If enough people stop getting vaccinated, more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, will occur.

On June 13, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation removing nonmedical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children.

Public Health Law §2164(1)(a) defines “school” to include any public, private or parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school.

This means that if your child does not have a medical exemption, your child must receive vaccines in order to attend school. This new law will help protect against vaccine-preventable diseases within our communities.

For more information on the law, please click here.

From infants to senior citizens, getting vaccines on time is one of the most important way to protect yourself and your family from serious diseases and infections.

During NIAM, the Genesee and Orleans County health departments encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure that you and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.

We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughoutyour child’s life. Adults can use the CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.

For information about this article or health department services contact the Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.

March 7, 2019 - 3:00pm

Stretch your soul this Lent. If you are longing for the gift of inner peace, we invite you to experience the power of inner stillness through stretching the body and attending to the soul. Join us during the season of Lent for contemplative prayer through chair yoga and centering prayer. No previous experience necessary. The yoga will be very gentle, anyone with any level of ability can participate. Batavia First Presbyterian is located at 300 E. Main Street in Batavia.

March 4, 2019 - 10:52am
Event Date and Time: 
March 27, 2019 - 6:00pm

Library Community Health Talk

145,600 NEW CASES OF

Join Andrea Zucchiatti, MD on MARCH 27 AT 6PM
to learn about:

  • Colorectal Cancer Screenings
  • The Latest Trends in Care
  • Why This Matters in Our Community

Richmond Memorial Library
19 Ross Street, Batavia, NY 14020
Free to attend!
Call 585.344.5439 to register.

March 4, 2019 - 10:48am
Event Date and Time: 
April 10, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Stretch Your Soul This Lent
If you are longing for the gift of inner peace, we invite you to experience the power of inner stillness through stretching the body and attending to the soul. Join us during the season of Lent for contemplative prayer through chair yoga and Centering Prayer. No previous experience is necessary. The yoga will be very gentle that anyone with any level of ability could participate.

March 4, 2019 - 10:46am
Event Date and Time: 
April 3, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Stretch Your Soul This Lent
If you are longing for the gift of inner peace, we invite you to experience the power of inner stillness through stretching the body and attending to the soul. Join us during the season of Lent for contemplative prayer through chair yoga and Centering Prayer. No previous experience is necessary. The yoga will be very gentle that anyone with any level of ability could participate.

March 4, 2019 - 10:44am
Event Date and Time: 
March 27, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Stretch Your Soul This Lent
If you are longing for the gift of inner peace, we invite you to experience the power of inner stillness through stretching the body and attending to the soul. Join us during the season of Lent for contemplative prayer through chair yoga and Centering Prayer. No previous experience is necessary. The yoga will be very gentle that anyone with any level of ability could participate.

March 4, 2019 - 10:43am
Event Date and Time: 
March 20, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Stretch Your Soul This Lent
If you are longing for the gift of inner peace, we invite you to experience the power of inner stillness through stretching the body and attending to the soul. Join us during the season of Lent for contemplative prayer through chair yoga and Centering Prayer. No previous experience is necessary. The yoga will be very gentle that anyone with any level of ability could participate.

February 12, 2019 - 3:11pm
From the GOW Opioid Task Force:
The GOW (Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming) Opioid Task Force is excited to announce the opportunity to become a Peer Recovery Coach.
This training has been grant funded by the Health Resources and Service Administration and therefore is FREE.
Trainees should have a high school diploma or equivalent and lived experience is preferred -- in recovery, affected family member, experience working in the SUD/Recovery field.
Training is six-weeks in length (46 hours total) and you must commit to completing the program. Space is limited!
Training will take place at the Lake Plains Community Care Network at 575 E. Main St. in Batavia. Please check out the website and flier for more information here.
As part of the Community Based Recovery Support Training Project, training is offered to a select group of committed community members seeking to achieve NYS Peer Recovery Professional Certification.
This enables them to serve families and individuals affected by Substance Abuse Disorder with evidence-based recovery supports, skills and strategies.
The workshop facilitators are Lori Drescher (CARC, RCP) and Keith Greer (LCSW, PCC, PRC), who are professional coaches, recovery advocates and facilitators with a combined 55 years of experience.
If you have specific questions please contact Charlotte Crawford at [email protected] or by phone 585-345-6110.
February 6, 2019 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in flu, news, health, UMMC.

Press release:

To help reduce further transmission of influenza, Rochester Regional Health is instituting visitor restrictions for the following hospitals:

  • United Memorial Medical Center
  • Rochester General Hospital (Rochester) 
  • Unity Hospital (Greece)

Visitor restrictions:

  • 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.

NOTE: The Batavian spoke briefly with Paul Pettit, county health director, and he said flu reports this season are above average -- about 40 cases -- but well below the 200 or so that were reported by this time last year.

January 4, 2019 - 4:20pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative extensions of Chautauqua and Erie counties are leading a regional initiative to increase awareness of tick-borne diseases and tick management in the Western New York Region. There will be several opportunities to participate in the WNY Tick Awareness Forum.

Lyme disease and several other devastating tick-borne diseases are on the rise in New York due to an increase in the prevalence of ticks and human and tick encounters.

Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature have deemed Lyme and other tick-borne diseases a public health priority and are working to raise awareness about ticks, tick avoidance and management.

Please consider joining us at either of our regional forums, featuring a presentation from Lynn Braband of NYSIPM, health department officials, and a panel of community leaders.

There are multiple ways to participate. The two main live events will be held in Erie County and Chautauqua County. There will also be satellite locations viewing the event via a live stream in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Register for the live events online by visiting www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Contact the local Cooperative Extension office to register for the live stream event.

The fee to participate in a live stream event is $5/person.

Event details are as follows:

Genesee County: Satellite viewing on Jan. 24, 4 – 6 p.m., at CCE Genesee, 420 E. Main St., Batavia. Contact Jan Beglinger at 585-343-3040, ext. 132, or [email protected]. Register by Jan. 17 to get a tick removal kit.

Erie County: Live event on Jan. 24, 4 – 6 p.m., at West Seneca Community Center, 1300 Union Road, West Seneca. Contact Sharon Bachman, CCE Erie County, at [email protected] or 716-652-5400, ext.150. Register by Jan. 17 to get a tick removal kit.

Wyoming County: Satellite viewing on Jan. 24, 4 – 6 p.m. at the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center, 36 Center St., Warsaw. Contact Don Gasiewicz at 585 786 2251 [email protected]. Register by Jan. 17 to get a tick removal kit.

Chautauqua County: Live event on Feb. 16, 1 – 3 p.m., at the Frank W Bratt Agricultural Center, 3542 Turner Road, Jamestown. Contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll, CCE-Chautauqua County, at [email protected] or 716-664-9502, ext. 202. Register by Feb. 8 to get a tick removal kit.

Orleans County: Satellite viewing on Feb. 16, 1 – 3 p.m., at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County (Trolley Building), 12690 State Route 31, Albion. Contact Katie Oakes at 585-798-4265 or [email protected]. Register by Feb. 8 to get a tick removal kit.

Attendees who register for one of these events, at least one week in advance, will receive a FREE tick removal kit. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session.

This event is brought to you by the New York State IPM Program and Cornell Cooperative extensions of Chautauqua, Erie, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming and Cattaraugus counties.

October 5, 2018 - 6:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in Blue Pearl Yoga, wellness, Ayurveda, health, batavia, news.

Press release:

"Holistic Wellness through Ayurveda: Intro to Yoga's Sister Science" will be taught by K. Sonam Targee of Ancient Universal Medicine from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Blue Pearl Yoga in Downtown Batavia.

Cost is $60.

Have you heard about Ayurveda but don't quite know where to start?

Are you interested in learning more about the body’s natural rhythms and how you can use the five elements to bring balance to the body mind, and spirit?

Did you know that simple dietary and lifestyle adjustments can have a dramatic impact on your physical, mental and emotional well-being?

Not sure how to detect an imbalace in the body?

If you answered yes or maybe to any of the questions above, then this course is for you.

In this introductory class, we will focus on making the information immediately useful and easy to understand with practical applications.

Ayurvedic theory is explained, including the three Doshas, the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether), and the viewpoint of Ayurveda in anatomy, subtle anatomy and physiology.

Diagnosis and treatment strategies will be discussed including herbal medicines and dietetics. The information is for anyone who has an interest in self-healing and wellness, or would like to simply understand the basics of this ancient Indian modality.

Lastly, this class will discuss Prana and how this energy moves in the body and mind. Acknowledging that there is an inner vitality circulating throughout the body is a profound gift from Asian medicine to the world. Learning how to consciously work with it is a tremendous advantage for living a healthy life.

Imagine having great mental clarity, emotional stability, and peace of mind and heart.

Includes yogasanas and pranayama where applicable.

Blue Pearl Yoga is located in the Masonic Temple building atop Charles Mens Shop at Main and Center streets.


About K. Sonam Targee

K. Sonam Targee is a professional complementary medicine practitioner with more than three decades of experience counseling thousands of people in the art of gaining the knowledge necessary to improve their health. Sonam endeavors to help the individual do what works for them, given the wide array of therapeutic modalities in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.

August 15, 2018 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Le Roy, diabetes, ILGR, office for the aging, health.

Press release:

Genesee County Office for the Aging and Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) will be holding a FREE six-week Living Well with Type II Diabetes workshop for the community, beginning on Friday, Sept. 7.

The peer-led health education program complements the health care participants may already be receiving. The purpose of the workshop is to enhance one’s skills and ability to manage one's health and maintain an active and fulfilling lifestyle. 

* Contributions are appreciated but are not required for participation.

The program content includes: decision making and problem-solving skills; developing and maintaining a safe, long-term physical activity program; preventing complications; dealing with anger, depression and difficult emotions; communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals; using prescribed medication appropriately; healthy eating; blood sugar monitoring; skin and foot care; and planning for future health care.

Snacks will be provided.

The workshop takes place at The Greens of Le Roy, 1 West Ave., Le Roy, over six Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; on Sept. 7th, 14th, 21st. 28th, Oct. 5th and 12th. Participants who complete the series will receive a great resource book and a gift card.

For individuals with disabilities or language interpretation needs, requests for reasonable accommodations should be made with at least five days’ notice. Preregistration is required by Sept. 5th. You can receive more information and sign up for the workshop by contacting The Greens of Le Roy at 585-768-2740. 

Again, please be sure to RSVP if you are interested! 

This program is made possible through funds from the NY State Office for the Aging, NY Connects, the Older Americans Act, the generous support of the Genesee County Legislature, and in partnership with Independent Living of the Genesee Region.

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