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December 18, 2009 - 9:53am
posted by Joseph Langen in health, nutrition, aging.


Preservation Hall(Preservation Hall)

It is sad to grow old, but nice to ripen.~Brigitte Bardot

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Not bad. I had my annual physical yesterday and found that I had few signs of aging.
CALLIOPE: I suppose that's not surprising.
JOE: It's better than the alternative.
CALLIOPE: Anything serious?
JOE: No. Just little things that most people face as they grow older.
CALLIOPE: How do you compare with others?
JOE: I don't have any life threatening or debilitating conditions. I did have a bout with rheumatoid arthritis but now that's under control.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you're doing better than most people.
JOE: I think so. I count myself fortunate to be in such good health.
CALLIOPE: Do you need to make any adjustments?
JOE: I will have my vision checked to make sure nothing serious is going on. I also need to get back on the track with my nutrition since I have put back on some of the weight I lost.
CALLIOPE: In other words, you just have to be a little more careful.
JOE: Correct. I can't just take my body for granted. Talk with you tomorrow.


November 19, 2009 - 8:52am
posted by Joseph Langen in food, health, writing.

 Tapas and Sangria in Gijon

(Tapas and Sangria in Gijon)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's turning in your brain this morning?
JOE: Electrons mostly. Although I must admit my mind is filled with random thoughts today.
CALLIOPE: Care to share one?
JOE: Sure. The relationship between writing and health keeps popping up.
CALLIOPE: Please elaborate.
JOE: I tend to get bored easily. When I do, I tend to eat more than I should and gravitate toward comforting but unhealthy food such as sugar.
CALLIOPE: I see. Do you have a plan to deal with this?
JOE: Not getting bored would probably short circuit the process. The problem is that eating is less effort that being creative.
CALLIOPE: No argument there but it also undermines your good intentions and does not accomplish anything positive.
JOE: Exactly. Sometimes writing excites me and satisfies me. When I meet roadblocks, I tire of dragging them off my road and sit down for a snack.
CALLIOPE: A definite problem.
JOE: No doubt. One answer would be not to become frustrated.
CALLIOPE: How do you do that?
JOE: Good question. Let me think on it. Talk with you tomorrow.


November 5, 2009 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, health, Swine Flu, h1n1.


Rain, sleet and snow didn't keep several hundred people from trying to get flu vaccinations today at County Building Number 2 in the Town of Batavia.

At one point, the line snaked outside and around the side of the building. Seniors, parents and children were waiting two or more hours for either a shot of the seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 nasal mist.

A winter storm of sorts started not long after the clinic doors opened, and by then the line  already stretched well outside the building.

"I was standing in the rain and snow out there a little while before and I was thinking, I'm going to get a flu shot to prevent getting sick and I'm going to get sick standing in line in the rain and the snow, so I wonder if it's really worth it," Walter Kershenski said. He also happens to be Stafford Town Clerk, and said he stood in line for more than two hours.

There were reports of people driving from Orleans, Monroe and even Chautauqua counties for the vaccinations, and apparently, nobody was being turned away for the free vaccines.

Interim Health Director Randy Garney said the Health Department was expecting to provide at least 500 doses of vaccine in two hours, but had received an extra shipment of seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccine just days ago.

"I figure, two hours, that's going to be about all we're going to be able to process, but we're going to keep the clinic open as long as there is a line," Garney said.

"With recent events that have taken place, we were expecting a large crowd," Garney said.

Rosemary Sero, of Oakfield, said all the reports of people getting sick with H1N1 and especially the death of a Pembroke student, has her feeling very cautious about taking care of her two young daughters.

"They're using a lot of hand sanitizer," she said. "They wash their hands a lot. I tell them not to touch their face."

November 5, 2009 - 9:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, health, Swine Flu, h1n1.

If you haven't received a flu shot yet, you can do so today at County Building Number 2 on W. Main St. Road, Town of Batavia.

The walk-in clinic will be open from 2 to 4 p.m..

Seasonal flu vaccine is available for people 19 and older, and H1N1 vaccine is available for people 2 to 24 years of age, and for people 25 to 59 who care for or live with infants.

Vaccine supplies are limited.

October 6, 2009 - 2:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, Swine Flu, h1n1.

People looking for extra protection against the H1N1 strain of flu -- commonly, though incorrectly, called "swine flu" -- will soon have the opportunity to be vaccinated, Randy Carney told WBTA this morning.

The first doses are expected to arrive in Genesee County later this week, the interim county health chief said.

The vaccine will be distributed through healthcare providers, but people without their own doctor will be able to receive the vaccine from the county health department.

But the supply is limited. The county will receive only about 100 to 200 doses this week, with more on the way. Federal officials assure citizens that there will be plenty of vaccine to go around.

Audio: Randy Garney talks about the vaccine (mp3).

September 22, 2009 - 3:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, Swine Flu, h1n1.

I know a couple of people who have been pretty sick recently, and you probably do, too. The symptoms sound a lot like flu, and according Randy Garney, interim health director for Genesee County, if you have the flu this time of year, there's about a 90-percent chance it's H1N1, or "swine flu."

But, according to Garney, there have been no official cases of H1N1 reported recently in Genesee County.

Suspected flu cases are only tested, Garney said, if the sick person shows up at the hospital. 

We have a call into UMMC to see if they've been dealing with any suspected H1N1 cases and are waiting for a call back.

Garney said H1N1 is widespread throughout the Southeast, according to the National Center for Disease Control.

"At this point (outside of flu season) widespread activity is unheard of," Garney said. "To call it widespread is not normal at all."

As usual, Garney warned that people who are sick need to stay home in "social isolation" to avoid spreading the virus.

If you have a fever of 100 degrees, you probably have the flu. You should wait at least 24 hours after the fever has abated (not counting taking medications to reduce the fever) before mixing in public.

He called the virus a mild form of the flu.

"I use mild very gently because the people I’ve talked to, the epidemiologists I’ve talked to, (say) it may be mild, but you’re going to be very sick," Garney said.  "You’re going to be very achy, you’re going to be in bed, but you’re going to recover with no ramifications."

The New York Department of Health recommends:

  • Everyone should get vaccinated right now against seasonal flu, which is expected to circulate along with the new H1N1 flu.
  • Get the new H1N1 vaccine as soon as it is available to you.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
September 1, 2009 - 11:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, health, Swine Flu, h1n1.

It's that time of year -- time to start planning on flu shots.

The County Health Department issued a press release today notifying residents that flu shot clinics are in the works.

The first one is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 18.

Tentatively because only about 1/4 of the needed vaccine has been delivered to the county so far.  The remaining doses should arrive in September or October.

Full press release after the jump:

August 7, 2009 - 11:54am
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, genesee county, health.

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced that applications are available at his district office for the recently created NY Prescription $aver program (NYP$), sponsored by the State Department of Health.

The NYP$ is a free discount card that can reduce the cost of prescriptions by 30% to 60% for eligible lower-income residents.
Participants must be a New York State resident between the ages of 50 and 64 or a person of any age who has been determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration. Annual household income must be below $35,000 for singles and $50,000 for married persons. Medicaid participants are not eligible for the program. 

Applications for the program are available at Senator Ranzenhofer’s District Office, 8203 Main Street – Suite 4 in Clarence.  For more information, please contact Senator Ranzenhofer’s office at (716) 631-8695. Applications are also available by calling the NYP$ Helpline at 1-800-788-6917 or by visiting http://nyprescriptionsaver.fhsc.com.

August 3, 2009 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, health, Seniors.

A representative of Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo will be in Batavia on Wednesday to speak with seniors about how to protect their rights and help them get health benefits they are entitled to receive.

Cathy Sheehan, assistant attorney General for Cuomo's Albany Office, will give the presentation and answer questions.

"This seminar will inform New Yorkers about how to navigate the complex health care system and offer real solutions to real problems with health care, including billing problems, failure to cover guaranteed benefits, and loss of insurance," according to a press release.
For more information about how the Attorney General's Health Care Bureau can help solve real health care problems, please visit the Attorney General's website at http://www.oag.state.ny.us or call 1-800-771-7755. 

July 2, 2009 - 9:37am


Water suppliers nationwide, in the US, are required to supply consumers with annual Water Quality Reports or Consumer Confidence Reports at least once a year. 
“Consumers should take this yearly opportunity to check their water fluoride levels,” says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. "If your water department adds fluoride chemicals, tell them and your legislators to stop. They are wasting your money and endangering your health," says Beeber.
“If your water is not fluoridated, don’t be complacent.  The American Dental Association has mobilized their army of dentists nationwide to go to your legislators and convince them that you need to swallow more fluoride (a) without any knowledge of how much fluoride you are already ingesting,” says Beeber
Dental fluorosis (discolored teeth), the visible sign of fluoride overdose, now afflicts up 48% of school children, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  
Fluoride's purported benefits are topical but its risks are systemic, says the CDC. "This means there is no good reason to swallow fluoride and no logical justification for water fluoridation," says Beeber.
A 2006 review of peer-reviewed studies in respected journals by the prestigious National Research Council (NRC) reveals fluoride is a health risk even at low levels added to water supplies. Especially harmed are high-water drinkers, babies, kidney and thyroid patients. The NRC panel found that fluoride’s links to cancer and lowered IQ are plausible.
Because of the NRC report, the CDC and the American Dental Association both advise that infant formula should NOT be mixed with fluoridated water.
The NRC report also caused the National Kidney Foundation to advise that “Individuals with CKD  [Chronic Kidney Disease] should be notified of the potential risk of fluoride exposure.” Too much fluoride damages bones and malfunctioning kidneys do not excrete fluoride properly allowing a toxic build-up in the bones.
Besides, fluoride ingestion is not stopping tooth decay in primary teeth.
According to a systematic review of fluoride supplement research published in the November 2008 Journal of the American Dental Association, "There is weak and inconsistent evidence that the use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries in primary teeth." In fact, the authors could find only one study, from China, showing any fluoride benefit to primary teeth and that study was probably biased with a high withdrawal rate, the authors write.
Fluoride supplements never underwent FDA testing.(1)
"Fluoridation began with the untested belief that ingested fluoride prevented tooth decay in small children, only. Evidence-based-dentistry now shows that swallowing fluoride poses dental risks without benefits to the very children fluoridation was supposed to help," says Beeber.
"It may...be that fluoridation of drinking water does not have a strong protective effect against early childhood caries (cavities) reports
dentist Howard Pollick, University of California, and colleagues, in  the Winter 2003 Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Beeber advises: Call your water department, ask if fluoride chemicals are added into your water supply.  Then ask them and your local legislators, “Who has the authority to stop fluoridation?”  Organize your neighbors to lobby the appropriate agency or department to have them cease fluoridation. You will be saving your community money and improving overall health with no increased dental risk. In fact, many studies show that when fluoridation ends, tooth decay rates actually go down or stay the same.
Fluoride does occur naturally in most water systems. But over 90% of fluoridating communities use silicofluorides, waste products of phosphate fertilizer production, which carry trace amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxins, according to NSF International, the governing body over water additives.(2)
Opposition to fluoridation is scientific, respectable and growing in numbers and political popularity.
On November 4, 2008, 53 US cities rejected fluoridation joining a growing list of communities saying "No" to fluoridation.
Dr. Joey Hensley, a respected practicing physician serving in the Tennessee legislature, urges all Tennessee Water Districts to stop fluoridation. At least 31 Tennessee water districts have already complied.
Over 2,550 professionals signed a statement urging the US Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted, citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See statement: http://www.fluorideaction.org/statement.august.2007.html
Also, 11 Environmental Protection Agency unions, representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals, called for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs across the country, and have asked EPA management to recognize fluoride as posing a serious risk of causing cancer in people. (3)
Fluoridation is now a political issue usually defended and promoted, without valid science, by organized dentistry and their members in federal and state health departments as well as those in private practice.
For more information on fluoride's adverse health effects, visit the Fluoride Action Network Health Page at  http://www.FluorideAction.Net/health 
Join the 21,000 Americans calling on Congress to stop fluoridation here:  http://congress.FluorideAction.Net
SOURCE:  New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
1) August 2000 letter from NJ Assemblyman Kelly to Senator Robert Smith http://www.fluoridealert.org/fda.htm

3)  Press Release August 19, 2005, “EPA Unions Call for Nationwide Moratorium on Fluoridation, Congressional Hearing on Adverse Effects, Youth Cancer Cover Up,” Contact: Dr. William Hirzy, Vice-President NTEU Chapter 280


June 4, 2009 - 10:53am
posted by Christi Hayden in Announcements, health, chronic conditions.

"Take Action for a Healthier Life" is a FREE 6 week program designed to help individuals better manage their chronic conditions (Diabetes, Asthma, Arthritis etc.)  Program topics include:

  • Managing stress
  • Medication management
  • Goal setting
  • Communication
  • Managing fatigue
  • Physical activity
  • And much more!

Location: Corfu Community Room- 116 East Main Street Corfu, NY 14036

Time: 4:30pm-7pm

Program dates: July 14,2009, July 21, 2009, July 28, 2009, August 4, 2009, August 11, 2009, August 18, 2009

*Participants will need to attend all 6 classes.  Please feel free to bring a snack or dinner for yourself!

Participants will have the option to purchase a book and/or relaxation CD for $20 a piece if they would like.  Family, friends and caregivers are also welcome to attend.

Registration is required.  Seating is limited so register by July 10th, 2009 by calling or emailing Christi at Lake Plains: (585)345-6110 or [email protected]

LPCCN Logo (2).JPG

May 7, 2009 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, health, Jay Gsell.

Genesee County is putting together an employee health plan for the 21st Century, according to County Manager Jay Gsell.

In 1996, the county switched employees to a self-funded insurance plan, but then didn't update it for more than a decade.

Gsell said today that the old plan no longer really served employees well and hadn't kept up in changes in medicine.

"Over time, we've made little changes here and there and most of them are subtle, but now we're here in the 21st Century," Gsell said. "That old plan is not very responsive to the health care needs of people here in 2009 ... and it's not very cost effective."

The new plan has been in the works for two years, with employee unions, management and a consultant participating in putting together the new plan, which even though it was implemented in January is still a work in progress.

The new plan puts a greater emphasis on wellness, well being and prevention.

The plan now covers health care screenings for men and women and preventative diagnostic tests.

"Those kinds of things are in the plan to keep people from getting really sick or avoiding visiting a doctor's office until they have to go to the emergency room," Gsell said.

Still under consideration is coverage for gym memberships.

The committee is also reviewing prescription benefits, such as allowing employees to bulk order medicines through mail order and allowing over-the-counter remedies where patents have expired and a script is no longer necessary.

The main goal of the changes is to be cost neutral, Gsell said, but over the next five or more years, the county could save from $100,000 to $200,000.

"So what we're looking at is whether this plan over the next five years will help us better provide for our employees, but also save us money."

So far, not all employees have opted into the program, but Gsell expects more workers to see the benefits of the plan.

April 30, 2009 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, health, Swine Flu.

WHAM 13 is reporting that health officials have said there is one suspected case of 'Swine Flu' in Genesee County.

We can't confirm that at this time.

Earlier today when we contacted the Genesee County Health Dept. we were told that some sort of e-mail related to 'Swine Flu' would be released to local media in the afternoon. That e-mail was never received.

We will try to get an update on this suspected case first thing in the morning.

UPDATE: Dan Fischer at WBTA is actively working on this story. Channel 2 also reported a suspected case. We'll keep you posted.

UPDATE II: It occured to me that we hadn't checked Billie's e-mail account since we left the office. At 5:03 p.m., we received an e-mail from Karen Smykowski at the health department. It reads, "Genesee County has one suspect and one possible suspect case of Swine flu. It is currently en route to Wadsworth Laboratory for further testing." Dan Fischer also spoke with Randy Garney who also said there is one possible case and one suspected case in Genesee County.

April 6, 2009 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, health, YMCA.
Event Date and Time: 
April 18, 2009 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

The Genesee Area Family YMCA is hosting its annual Healthy Kids Day Event
from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. It's free and gives families a chance to visit the YMCA and see all it has to offer children and adults. There will be a Bounce House and you can climb our rock wall, swim, prepare healthy snacks, play games and experience virtual fitness games.

The YMCA is located at 209 E. Main St. in Batavia. Phone is 344-1664.

January 28, 2009 - 4:26pm

Genesee County's Department of Health has released its 2009 schedule for anti-rabies immunization clinics. Please click here to download the document.

January 10, 2009 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in governor Paterson, taxes, health, soft drinks.

Daily News writer Paul Mrozek has a lengthy piece out today on Gov. Paterson's plans to tell parents how to raise their children -- specifically how to control their diets.

He includes all the facts from the governor's perspective, but passes over one lone skeptical voice deep in the article.  There is little focus on the propriety of New York engaging in social engineering, nor the degree to which this plan is going to create new bureaucracies and hence new expenses, whether there is any evidence such a plan will work, nor how the plan will impact businesses and create new costs that will be passed along to all consumers.

The most far-reaching of the proposals is an 18 percent sales tax on sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda. Juices from fruit such as oranges and grapes are excluded from the proposed tax.

In the past 40 years New York residents have increased their consumption of pop from an average of five 12-ounce cans or bottles per week to 11 per week. Research has shown that consumption of non-diet soft drinks is one of the primary factors that increases the risk of obesity in children and adults.

"No question about the link. We have a core fact in front of us," Daines said.

Not so fast. There is a question. A big fat question.

To blame all low-income obesity on soda pop alone is myopic. Low-income diets tend to be heavy in empty carbohydrates of all kinds, not just sugar. Children living in food insecure homes consume less healthy food. One reason there is such an abundance of empty-carb foods can be traced to farm subsidies for corn, but even that connection is a rather simplistic view of the obesity problem among poorer children.

There is also the question of proper exercise.  In too many homes, children are allowed to watch TV or play video games rather than being required to run around outside.

These are largely parental issues, not government issues.

If the government wanted to do something to help, they would restructure aid programs to make it easier to buy healthier food.  Given a choice, most parents would pick more meats, fruits and vegetables. But right now these options are beyond their budgets. 

Driving up the costs of the high-carb foods isn't going to help them afford the good foods.

The article says, "You raise prices. You provide alternatives."  But what are those alternatives. How are they paid for and provided?  If the alternatives are paid for by the tax, how does the state ensure sufficient revenue for those alternatives once consumption of the taxed items goes down?

Will taxed drinks receive some sort of stamp like alcohol and cigarettes?  If so, aren't we just creating yet another environment for potential illegal black market activities?

And one issue about the proposed tax I've not seen discussed anywhere is the impact on business: Who will levy the tax? Will retail outlets be burdened with the the expense of tracking and tallying the tax, which could include the expense of reprogramming cash registers?  And if the tax is imposed at the wholesale level, won't it just get passed along to all consumers of soft drinks and other beverages from those particular wholesalers?

What about vending machines? Will vendors be required to have two prices on drinks in their machines -- one for taxed items, and one for non-taxed? Or will us diet drinkers just pay more? Who pays for the expense of reprogramming machines or replacing machines that aren't capable of handling tiered prices on soft drinks?

Per usual, any time the government starts interfering in private lives and private enterprise, there are as many if not more problems created than solved.

Here's an appropriate and timely video from Reason Magazine.

November 21, 2008 - 11:31am
posted by Muhammad Idrees in health.

Dr Idrees is excited to announce that he has added non suture hair transplant to the list of his many services he offers at Medical Laser Treatment Clinic.  Dr Idrees became certified to perform this procedure because the people of Batavia asked for it.  Many people suffer from Androgenetic Alopecia,known as hair loss so this is the perfect addition to his laser office.

The FUE-Matic machine is an automated safe hair transplant machine that assists the doctor in performing this procedure.  Using FUE technique is less invasive than the traditional strip method.  There is no cutting, therefore no sutiring, no visable scarring, almost immediate recovery time and very little effort.

You can visit http://www.laserbatavia.com/  or call (585) 219-4945 for more information on this procedure and on all the procedures offered at Medical Laser Treatment Clinic.

November 12, 2008 - 8:05am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, health, flu shot.

The last flu shot clinic of the season will be held by the Genesee County Health Department between 4:00 and 7:00pm at County Building Two on West Main Street Road, Batavia.

The Genesee County Legislature will meet tonight at 7:00pm in the Old County Courthouse.

October 31, 2008 - 12:11pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, veterans, health, VA Medical Center.

From the VA Medical Center:

Additional walk-in clinics have been scheduled for veterans enrolled in VA health care at VA WNY Healthcare System, 3495 Bailey Avenue in Buffalo.  The vaccines will be available at Desk 4 located on the first floor Saturday, November 8 from 8am -1pm, Tuesday, November 11 (Veterans Day) noon – 3:30pm, Saturday, November 15, 8am – 1pm, and Sunday, November 23, 9:00am – 2pm. Enrolled veterans may also contact their primary care provider to obtain the vaccine.

There is no charge for the flu vaccine for veterans enrolled in VA health care.  Eligibility will be verified prior to administration of the vaccine.  For information regarding VA Healthcare eligibility call 1-888-823-9656.

September 22, 2008 - 2:45pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, United Memorial Medical Center, health.

From United Memorial Medical Center:

United Memorial Medical Center will offer free blood pressure screenings each Thursday in October, the 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th, from 1:30 to 3:00 pm at our Cardiac Rehab Department located at 215 Summit Street, Batavia. Appointments are not needed and walk-ins are welcome.

The American Heart Association claims that nearly one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, but because there are no symptoms, nearly one-third of these people don't know they have it. Many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure. The only way to tell if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked.

For additional information please contact Healthy Living, United Memorial’s Community Education and Outreach Department at (585) 344-5331.

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