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Akron resident's healing illustrates reasons for UMMC Wound Care Center's 'hat trick' of awards

By Howard B. Owens
wound care center award ummc
Leonard Woltz, Jr., of Akron, treated at the UMMC Wound Care Center for a rare bacterial infection.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Akron resident Leonard Woltz, Jr. was likely just days from death in October when he encountered the UMMC wound care treatment team.

Now, he is nearly healed, and Dr. Joseph Canzoneri expressed confidence that he will walk again.

Woltz had a necrotizing fasciitis infection in his foot.  The infection is caused by a rare, flesh-eating bacteria.

"It just absolutely blew up over a matter of three or four days," Woltz said. "And that's it. I got a football on the end of my foot, and then that one day we came in, and I got right in, and you know, they started treatments and everything in the hospital. But the care here, and the folks here are just they are -- it's absolutely incredible."

On Tuesday, Woltz attended a ceremony honoring the Wound Care Center for its eight consecutive years of being honored by Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. This year, the clinic received the President’s Circle Award along with the Center of Distinction and Robert A. Warriner III Clinical Excellence awards for 2023.

The trio of awards was dubbed the hat-trick, after the sports metaphor that originated in England among cricket players.

The awards recognize the center's quality care, consistent compassion for patients, and expertise.  The center, according to a Healogics representative, had an 86 percent heal rate in 2023 and a patient satisfaction rate of 94 percent.

Healolgics works with more than 600 hospitals nationwide and only 34 are receiving the 2023 Presidents Award, and only two in New York.

"These awards are achievements well deserved, well acknowledged," said Toni McCutcheon, director of operations for Healogics. "It really comes from the people-first patient-centered processes they have here. They're healing patients, they're taking care of their patients, they love their patients. If it wasn't for that, this wouldn't happen. So it's always about the patient and will always be about the patient."

That's precisely how Woltz feels about the center.

"From the time you walk through the door and you talk to Mary Beth, you know you're amongst friends and people who care about you," Woltz said.

Canzoneri said Woltz presented one of the most challenging cases the clinic has faced.

"This is one of the worst types of infection," Canzoneri said. "It travels up the foot and very quickly results in sepsis and can often result in death and high incidence of leg amputation."

Woltz was admitted on a regime of IV antibiotics and drainage of the wound.

"We then took him back to the operating room for limb salvage procedures to preserve as much of this foot as possible to avoid below-knee amputation," Canzoneri said. "It is crucial to prevent below-knee amputations because it results in high mortality rates within three to five years. And almost 80 percent of patients who sustain a below-knee amputation never walk again and are confined to wheelchairs or assisted living."

The infection was contained with a mid-foot amputation and aggressive treatment, including use of the center's hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

At the gathering, Canzoneri pronounced Woltz "almost healed" and that he would almost certainly be totally healed within weeks.

Woltz said he's gone from the psychological trauma in October of wondering what his future would be like, and if he even would have a future, to looking forward to resuming most of his prior activities.

"Now we're down to this part here where this thing is closing so rapidly now because of all the stuff we've done before and the brilliant move that Dr. Joe made with my foot," Woltz said. "It's all coming down to 'Wow, I'm going to be okay.' I'm gonna be able to do 97 percent of the things I used to do. You know, I'm not gonna be running marathons anytime soon, but yeah, it's all right."

wound care center award ummc
Lisa Albanese Klein, program director, Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine, at UMMC
Photo by Howard Owens
wound care center award ummc
Teresa Clark, click nurse manager, Dr. Joseph Canzoneri, Lisa Albanese Klein.
Photo by Howard Owens
wound care center award ummc
The UMMC Wound Care Center team.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Leap Year Baby born at UMMC

By Staff Writer
leap day baby born at UMMC

Finnegan Alexander Wilson was born on Thursday, Feb. 29, at UMMC, making him a Leap Year Baby.

 His parents are Laura and William Wilson.

With prostate cancer again in the news, RRH urologist discusses screening and treatment

By Howard B. Owens
dr. gantz rrh
Dr. Jacob Gantz

The nation's defense secretary's treatment for prostate cancer has put the disease in the public spotlight again, and officials at Rochester Regional Health/United Memorial Medical Center had a specialist talk with reporters on Wednesday to help people better understand detection and treatment.

Lloyd Austin's struggle with prostate cancer and subsequent post-surgery infection led him to seek treatment without alerting the White House.

That, in itself, became a controversy, but as USAToday reports, many men are reluctant to discuss a prostate cancer diagnosis.

 "I find that it's something that a lot of men don't talk about," Dr. Samuel Haywood, a urologist specializing in prostate cancer, says. "Men can be very stoic, and they don't like to talk about their health issues."

But facing up to prostate cancer can help men save their own lives, suggested Dr. Jacob Gantz, a urologist with RRH.

"It's crucial to be screened because by the time the disease, prostate cancer, would develop and cause symptoms, symptoms that the patient would be able to detect, it likely would be a very advanced disease and much more difficult to treat," Gantz said. "Catching prostate cancer early in its disease course makes the treatments much more effective. And it makes the treatments much more manageable and easier to do for the patient."

Screening consists of an annual PSA test (part of blood tests for an annual physical) and a digital rectal exam. Generally, men between 55 and 75 should be screened annually, but that can vary with family history.  A man whose father, or a grandfather, uncle, or brother had prostate cancer is at greater risk of developing the disease. Black men are also at elevated risk for prostate cancer.

"Prostate cancer in its early stages doesn't cause any outward symptoms that a patient would be able to pick up on," Gantz said.

Treatment has evolved and improved over the years, and outcomes are often favorable, Gantz said.

"Treatment of prostate cancer is not one size fits all," Gantz said. "It depends on the patient's age, the stage of the cancer, potentially the degree of spread of the cancer. In some cases (standards of treatment include), watching the cancer, evaluating it over time with biopsies, as well as MRIs and other adjunctive tests to monitor the progression of cancer."

The cancer can sometimes be spot-treated in the prostate instead of treating the whole gland, Gantz said.  That can help reduce the potential side effects of treatment.

Radiation treatment is also an option, he said.

If necessary, the prostate can be removed, called a radical prostatectomy.  This is where advances in technology really make a difference, Gantz explained.

"Robotic-assisted removal of the prostate has kind of revolutionized the treatment of prostate cancer," Gantz said. "Before (robotics), the surgery was much longer. There was much higher blood loss, much more invasive, and it required a hospital stay for at least several days. Since the introduction of the robotic platform, the surgery has become minimally invasive. It usually requires only one night in the hospital and a catheter for a few days, and the recovery is much faster with good cancer outcomes as well. Long-term complications have also improved with the radical prostatectomy being done robotically, such as sexual side effects as well as incontinence due to leaking of urine, has improved as well. But that being said, despite it being minimally invasive, it is still a major surgery."

As with any major surgery, complications are rare, but also an ever-present risk.  It was complications, reportedly an infection, that sent Austin back to the hospital on Jan. 1. 

Gantz said he is, of course, not Austin's doctor, so has no specific information on his treatment or complications, but complications can include, he said, leaking urine (possibly the complication Austin struggled with, according to news reports), which can cause a bowel infection and for the bowels to not function properly. 

"All of these complications, fortunately, as far as I can tell, from what I've read, are reversible and pretty easily reversible with no long-term damage," Gantz said.

Gantz emphasized that while prostate cancer is treatable, it takes a man to regularly see a primary care doctor to ensure it's detected early.  Once discovered, the treatment strategy becomes a discussion for the patient and a urologist.

"Prostate cancer treatment really depends on the patient, the goals of the patient, their age, as well as their health status," Gantz said. "It's very important when deciding what treatments are right for a patient to have a dialogue with their urologist to weigh the pros and cons of each treatment and then, therefore, come to a conclusion about what's right for that patient."

Officials, staff and supporters 'top off' Healthy Living project as final ceremonial step before completion

By Joanne Beck
health living topping off nov. 2023
A crane lifts the final beam onto the second floor of the new Healthy Living facility in downtown Batavia during a "topping off" ceremony Monday morning.
Photo by Howard Owens.

About two dozen people — construction workers, staff, donors and officials — braved bone-chilling winds and huddled in the parking lot of the future Healthy Living campus Monday morning to observe a final "topping off" ceremonial step for the project before a ribbon-cutting next fall.

It was an auspicious, though perhaps quiet and unassuming, moment for those who have poured so much time and effort into planning, fundraising, and promoting the impending merged site for United Memorial Medical Center’s Healthy Living and YMCA at 213 East Main St., Batavia. 

“Today is a really important milestone in this project for the healthy living campus and what we're going to be able to do for the community by raising the last beam and taking the next step and getting this project to completion,” said Dan Ireland, president and chief operating officer of the Fingerlakes Rural Hospital for Rochester Regional Health. “Next fall we look forward to cutting the ribbon and really starting to combine services with YMCA.”

Ireland and Rob Walker, CEO of YMCA, spoke briefly about the importance of this event as another marker for a project that will serve the community for years to come. It has taken a lot of fundraising and effort for the facility, and they shared the same excitement for being "poised" to "make a huge difference in the community," they agreed.

“The key thing about today was just lifting up the partnerships, that we’re doing this together. It’s been a long journey through a lot of challenges and COVID, and the cost escalations, but we’ve carried forward,” Walker said. 

The pandemic, supply chain issues and delays have pushed the project cost up to nearly $34 million, up from $33.5 million, he said.

But once completed, it’s going to be a beauty to behold, he said, filled with a children’s Adventure Room, indoor playground, intergenerational room filled with interactive games, a large upstairs track, and swimming pool equipped with underwater benches for swim lessons, a splash pad, and wheelchair and walk-in access.

There will also be universal pre-kindergarten, morning daycare and after school classrooms that will serve the needs of day camp in summer, plus supervised childcare with options for parents to drop off their child for a Friday evening dinner or shopping trip, expanded hours and universal standards to bring everything to beyond Americans with Disabilities Act code, he said. 

There’s an expectation that the current membership of 3,000 is going to double with all of the increased amenities, which include more convenient parking right behind the new facility. 

A larger group of about 100 people stood in a similar spot during a groundbreaking in July 2022. By August of that year, the demolition of Cary Hall, which once housed Healthy Living programs, was a visible cue that another stage of the plan had come to fruition after so much of it had been on paper with grant applications and blueprints and such.

Parking lot grading, building of foundations and then installing the structure all came piece by piece for the 78,000 square-foot facility for the last 15 months, capped off by Monday's traditional beam-signing. That was followed by a crane hoisting the beam up to the second floor and workers putting it into place. 

Defined as an integrated medical and wellness facility, the campus is to include state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a teaching kitchen, 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services. 

The site will serve as a one-stop-shop for many health concerns and fitness goals, officials have said.

Ireland was reluctant to “put a pin” in the month they would designate for a ribbon-cutting, as construction projects can certainly fall out of line with perfect schedules, he said. But fall of 2024 seems like a safe bet. 

In the meantime, work will continue throughout the winter on the facility’s interior after it is fully enclosed, David Ciurzynski of Ciurzynski Consulting, LLC said.

Ireland has been pleased with how the project has been moving along lately, he said.

“They’re really working to get anything closed that they need to, and the weather’s been on our side,” he said. “We’ve actually had some pretty decent fall weather, not withstanding the snowflakes today.”

Photos by Howard Owens

health living topping off nov. 2023
health living topping off nov. 2023
Crews with beam at healthy living
Signed beam
Submitted Photo
signed beam
Submitted Photo of signed beam for Healthy Living campus

New donation to help expand critical care at UMMC in Batavia

By Press Release
Rochester Regional Health
Submitted photo of (from left to right): Christine Fix - The Jerome Foundation Executive Director, Robert Balbick - The Jerome Foundation Board President, Tracy Ford - UMMC Foundation Board President, Daniel Ireland, RRH President and COO of Finger Lakes Rural Hospitals.

Press Release:

The Jerome Foundation, a Batavia-based organization that receives, manages and distributes non-profit funds for health-related purposes, donated $150,000 to Rochester Regional Health’s United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC), and specifically its plans for a new, state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  

The renovated ICU will triple in size and bring crucial medical care to patients who are often the sickest, most vulnerable, and most in need in Batavia and the surrounding communities. 

“Building a new, expanded and modern Intensive Care Unit is a priority project for United Memorial Medical Center, and another example of Rochester Regional Health’s unwavering commitment to the health and wellbeing of our rural residents.  It means in a time of crisis, our community can get lifesaving critical care right here at home, reducing the need for difficult trips to bigger cities,” said Dan Ireland, RRH President & Chief Operating Officer, Finger Lakes Rural Hospitals.  “We want to thank the Jerome Foundation for this generous donation, and for its continued support that allows us to provide world-class health care to our patients here in the Genesee County region.”

Over the years, the Jerome Foundation has supported several UMMC projects including the construction of a new Healthy Living Campus and new Radiology Department.

“The Jerome Foundation has a long history of supporting worthwhile organizations in our community and what can be more appropriate to our mission than continuing our financial assistance to United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC),” said Robert Balbick, The Jerome Foundation President.  “UMMC provides our community with invaluable professional medical services and its commitment to do so in the future in part depends upon contributions from our community. This $150,000 gift to UMMC is an investment in that future for every one of us in this community.”

The expanded ICU will triple in size from its current space and include:

  • Ten private patient rooms with bathrooms
  • One bed dedicated to pediatric patients
  • Central nurses station, with workstations outside each room
  • Cutting-edge technology in each room including integrated telemedicine and enhanced monitoring capabilities, and additional lift and transfer equipment in the rooms
  • New ICU waiting room

UMMC is still completing all the future ICU’s design details and continues with its fundraising efforts. 

RRH to open latest offering Monday to help solve 'crisis in health care'

By Joanne Beck
Dan Ireland RRH UMMC Finger Lakes
Dan Ireland
Photo by Howard Owens

As with any major construction project, there were a few delays for the Batavia Medical Campus on the north side of the Thruway entrance; however, a preview glimpse of the campus Wednesday showed off the multi-floor, 95,000 square-foot facility with ample windows and natural light that’s now ready to serve, officials say.

Dr. Shan Dhanda is among the first occupants to move in, offering family medicine services. 

“We’ll be moving in as of Monday. We’re very excited about that. It’s a combination practice of Batavia Internal Medicine as well as the old Oakfield Family Medicine, which Dr. Barcomb owns. We’re very excited to move in here and get going,”  Dhanda said during a media tour of the spit-polished site at 8103 Oak Orchard Road, Batavia. “What's fantastic about the facility is that for patients, it's a nice resource where they'll be able to get multiple aspects of their medical care underneath one roof. So a patient can come in here and at the same location, they can have their primary care provider, they can have their cardiologist, they can have their orthopedic specialist. They can also bring their kids in here for the pediatric department. In addition, they can get their lab work done here, as well as their imaging. So it's a very nice resource for the community.”

Come Monday, the Rochester Regional Health facility, easily visible from Route 98, is open for business, with more than a dozen specialty offerings, including cardiology, neuroscience, otolaryngology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, primary, urgent and pediatric care, and vascular surgery, a patient draw laboratory and imaging center.

There will be some shifting of offices and services from other areas within the city that are closing to move over to this new location and make room for new purposes, including imaging, the laboratory, orthopedics, pediatric and cardiology care.

Daniel Ireland, president and chief operating officer of the Fingerlakes Rural Hospital for RRH, said that the facility is designed and created to be an access point for a variety of different services related to health care — offering “everything from primary care and pediatrics through specialty care such as orthopedics, general surgery, vascular surgery, plastics and bariatric surgery.”

“We're also going to offer a comprehensive cardiology office and clinic here and neurology services inclusive of pain management and pain management therapies. Additionally, the site will be the home of a new urgent care that will have replaced the urgent care from the Jerome Center, as well as lab and radiology services, including ultrasound DEXA, scanning mammography and Gen X-ray services here in the building,” Ireland said. “We are bringing a lot of services from disparate locations to one. It brings all those services under one roof. So from a patient experience standpoint, they are coming to one destination in order to get the care that they need. But even further, it allows us to expand the amount of services provided in many of the locations today. We've reached the limit of those buildings to be able to offer additional services and bring in more physicians.

“And so this building has allowed us to add, for instance, in cardiology, we've been able to add two additional cardiologists to the program and be able to rotate through specialty cardiologists into the community here,” he said. “So it not only expands, in relocates services under one roof, it allows us to grow and offer more services to the community, and hopefully improving access for those around us.”

The new building has an updated blueprint and technology, versus the more antiquated locales, the former St. Jerome’s Hospital of decades ago, for example, he said. 

“They're not efficiently designed for today's style of medical practice. You'll note when you walk through some of the facilities here we have what we call an on-stage off-stage area where patients will enter one door to the exam room, and the clinical team will be behind another door to be able to come in. And that allows for highly efficient care and keeps care moving through the process,” he said. “Those existing facilities don't have the geographic footprint to be able to do that. Additionally, we have a number of buildings, especially around our main campus, that have reached, really, the end of life. And they’re going to cost significant investment to upgrade without a lot of ability to expand. So we'll be able to take some buildings down on the main campus and improve parking around the hospital, which is a win-win, as we're able to grow services in the community but also make access to the main hospital just as convenient.”

Ireland is aware of the fears expressed by some people that this new place is out of bounds for someone with no dependable means of transportation and too far for one to walk. The new location is a strategic position for patients from both inside Genesee County and also from Orleans and Wyoming counties that seek care from RRH specialists, he said.

“I think patients are going to find that to be convenient. I know initially, the fear is that it is traveling right outside the city. But we are very, very close to the city line. We have coordinated with the regional transportation services, and they are able to offer patients transportation out here on demand. So patients who don't have the ability to drive will still be able to get to this campus very easily and conveniently,” he said. “And for those that are driving, it is really right over the Thruway bridge. So I think the little bit of drive out to the facility will be offset by the convenience they're going to get by the amount of services they're able to access in one stop, and hopefully make life for their health care much easier.”

What’s more, those who do drive can park in the garage underneath the building during winter to avoid a blustery walk to their vehicle to and from the appointment. That accommodation, plus easy access to offices and natural light, was incorporated from staff and patient surveys during the planning phase of the project. 

Rural health care is in crisis right now, he said. In a post-COVID era,  hospitals and health systems are downsizing, and some of the first places where that seems to be happening is in rural communities, he said. That’s why the completion of the medical campus — its survival through the pandemic — is so “critically important,” Ireland said.

"But what it does is it makes an investment in our rural communities and helps continue to grow access to health care, instead of shrink it in the transformation of healthcare that we are going to see going forward, that will be critically important to be able to bring care to where people are, instead of trying to ask people to drive to distant locations for care. Every time we add a layer of driving to care, we add a barrier for a lot of our patients, we want to break down those barriers, and that is part of where healthcare is going," he said. "Part of this building will also serve in some capacities to be able to link up with other specialties. So it becomes a destination point for people to get multiple types of care, even through one office in the building. So it is part of what the transformation of healthcare is leading to. And part of how Rochester Regional Health is really looking to solve the crisis in health care today."

For more information, go to Batavia Medical Campus.

Dr. Shan Dhanda RRH UMMC
Dr. Shan Dhanda
Photo by Howard Owens
Patient check in RRH new facility
Patient check-in kiosks.
Photo by Howard Owens
waiting room  RRH new facility
Waiting room.
Photo by Howard Owens
waiting room on east end of building  RRH new facility
East end of a waiting room.
Photo by Howard Owens
 RRH new facility
Outpatient recovery area.
Photo by Howard Owens
 RRH new facility
Imaging room.
Photo by Howard Owens
 RRH new facility
Urgent Care exam room.
Photo by Howard Owens

RRH medical campus ready to open, officials celebrate with ribbon cutting

By Howard B. Owens
RRH UMMC Ribbon Cutting
Photo courtesy Rochester Regional Health.

With an opening date of Aug. 26 drawing closer, Rochester Regional Health celebrated the completion of its new medical campus in Batavia on Friday with a brief ceremony that included a ribbon cutting and a first look inside the building for a few dignitaries.

Many of the medical offices and services offered by United Memorial Medical Center and RRH at St. Jerome's and other medical buildings are moving into the new medical campus, making it more of a one-stop shop for area residents receiving out-patient medical care.

RRH invested nearly $45 million in the 95,000-square-foot facility.

Hospital officials describe the facility as "centrally located right off the Thruway, in a convenient place both for local residents and those coming from around the region."

There will be more than a dozen specialty services all under one roof, including primary care, pediatrics, orthopedics, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, vascular surgery, neurosciences and Sands-Constellation Heart Institute cardiologists.   

Lab services will also be offered at the campus.

The campus will also offer urgent care seven days a week.

Previously: RRH's 'one-stop' medical campus ready to open

ummc rrh facilities
Photo by Howard Owens
RRH UMMC Ribbon Cutting
UMMC President Dan Ireland.
Photo courtesy Rochester Regional Health.
RRH UMMC Ribbon Cutting
Photo courtesy Rochester Regional Health.
RRH UMMC Ribbon Cutting
Photo courtesy Rochester Regional Health.

UMMC's Lemonade Stand helps support patients, teaches children community care

By Howard B. Owens
lemonade stand

The UMMC/RRH Lemonade Stand, after a successful debut last summer, was back at Centennial Park on Thursday, this time with live music.

One reason to bring it back, said Lori Aratari, senior development officer for UMMC, was that last year's event raised $15,000, which was double the amount anticipated.

That's great, but really, it really is about the kids.

"That's the biggest thing," Aratari said. "We're getting kids involved in philanthropy at a young age and showing them the importance of giving back and especially supporting health care in our community."

This year, donations to the event will be used to assist patients dealing with congestive heart failure.

"We're going to be able to purchase these kits. They're $60 each, and these kits have some tools that patients can use to help keep them out of the hospital," Aratari said. "The tools include a digital scale and a blood pressure machine that's digital. So being able to give them the tools will help keep them home and keep them healthier."

There were 260 patients who came through UMMC in the past year to be treated for congestive heart failure. 

"If we can get every one of them a kit, that would be wonderful," Aratari said. "Every dollar we raise will stay here and will allow us to buy those kits."

Photos by Howard Owens.

lemonade stand
lemonade stand
lemonade stand
lemonade stand
lemonade stand
lemonade stand
lemonade stand

RRH, supporting career mobility, announces workforce education program

By Press Release

Press release:

Rochester Regional Health has launched a new strategic workforce education program for its more than 19,000 employees. The Advance U Education Program will support career mobility for Rochester Regional employees, with tuition paid upfront by the health system. This latest addition to Rochester Regional’s robust array of workforce development programs reflects the health system’s commitment to creating career-long advancement opportunities for its employees. In its vision to “lead the evolution of healthcare to enable every member of the communities we serve to enjoy a better, healthier life,” Rochester Regional understands that its most powerful asset is an educated, engaged workforce.

Starting April 4, Rochester Regional’s Advance U will be available to employees across the health system’s hundreds of New York locations. The program will support Registered Nurses (RNs) to obtain BSN degrees (bachelor’s of science in nursing), and will provide entry-level employees the opportunity to gain skills and earn certifications in in-demand career fields such as Medical Assisting or Medical Coding. In the future, Advance U will grow to include additional education opportunities to help Rochester Regional team members advance their careers with the organization.

Advance U is the newest addition to Rochester Regional’s continuing investments in workforce education and career development. The health system’s Isabella Graham Hart School of Practical Nursing since 1964 has prepared students to launch careers as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). The College of Health Careers Associates in Nursing Program opens an LPN-to-RN pathway. In addition, Rochester Regional continues its longstanding Clinical Laboratory Technology Program at Rochester General Hospital, and its Certified Nursing Assisting and Certified Home Health Aide Training programs.

For Rochester Regional team members, Advance U removes the financial burden of education for career advancement. The health system will cover 100% of tuition for degrees and certifications earned through Advance U. The cost of higher education can be a significant barrier to healthcare jobs, particularly for employees in entry-level roles with limited discretionary income to invest.

“The first step to any career is getting that first opportunity. At Rochester Regional Health, we want our employees to grow and advance with us, so that whatever role they start in can be a stepping stone to a lifelong career with our health system,” said Dr. Richard “Chip” Davis, Rochester Regional Health CEO.

Rochester Regional is the second largest employer in Rochester and provides essential care for communities across New York. For many of its entry-level employees, their job with Rochester Regional is their first; by offering upfront tuition coverage for skills and certification courses, the organization hopes that the first job marks the beginning of a long and robust career at Rochester Regional.

Advance U was designed in partnership with InStride, a global leader in strategic workforce education.

“In healthcare, unlike many other industries, a significant number of roles require professional certification,” said InStride co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Jonathan Lau. “Rochester Regional Health is investing in their employees by providing the education they need to earn those certifications at no cost to them while they work. With the Advance U Education Program, Rochester Regional Health is not only filling the roles they need today, they are also building the workforce their system will need in the future.”

UMMC receives national recognition for nursing excellence

By Press Release

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Press release:

Rochester Regional Health‘s United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) achieved Magnet recognition in March, a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care. The Magnet Recognition Program® from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) distinguishes organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence.

Just 595 U.S. healthcare organizations out of over 6,000 U.S. hospitals have achieved Magnet recognition.  UMMC now joins other RRH hospitals that have a proud history of Magnet achievement, including Rochester General, Unity, Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic and Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, and our Primary Care and Ambulatory Specialty Institute (PCASI), which was the first primary care organization in the nation to achieve this prestigious designation.

“Magnet recognition provides our community with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of patient care,” said Sheri Faggiano, Chief Nursing Officer for United Memorial Medical Center. “Achieving Magnet recognition reinforces the culture of excellence that is a cornerstone of how we serve our community. It’s also tangible evidence of our nurses’ commitment to providing the very best care to our patients.”

Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition provides specific benefits to healthcare organizations and their communities, such as:

  • Higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help and receipt of discharge information.
  • Lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue rates.
  • Higher job satisfaction among nurses.
  • Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions.

Magnet recognition is the gold standard for nursing excellence and is a factor when the public judges healthcare organizations. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

The Magnet Model provides a framework for nursing practice, research, and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC evaluates applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence.

The foundation of this model comprises various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership, coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.

To achieve Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. This process includes an electronic application, written patient care documentation, an on-site visit, and a review by the Commission on Magnet Recognition.

Photos via UMMC

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UMMC closing clinics, offices due to storm

By Press Release

Press release:

Due to the winter storm and icy roads that are expected in much of the area we serve, we will close some care offices early.  Please note the United Memorial Medical Center Hospital and Emergency Department are and will remain open for all emergencies.  Given regional travel advisories and for the safety of patients and staff, some outpatient offices will be closing at noon and calling their patients directly to reschedule appointments.

  • United Memorial Medical Center Hospital- OPEN
  • United Memorial Medical Center Emergency Department-OPEN
  • Primary Care Offices- CLOSE AT NOON, some morning visits are virtual and appointments are being rescheduled, phone lines remain open
  • Specialty Care Offices (Cardiology, Surgery, Women’s Care, Pain Center, Wound Center, Lipson Cancer Institute and Orthopedics)- CLOSE AT NOON, some morning visits are virtual and appointments are being rescheduled, phone lines remain open
  • UMMC Imaging at Jerome Center- CLOSES AT NOON
  • Physical Therapy- CLOSES AT NOON
  • UMMC Lab at Jerome Center- CLOSES AT NOON, CLOSED SATURDAY
  • Outpatient Pharmacy- CLOSES AT NOON
  • Healthy Living Center- CLOSES AT NOON

All essential staff members are required to report to work.

Patients and families with any questions should first reach out to their Primary Care or Specialty Care offices; for other questions, call 585-343-6030 for more information.

Genesee County granted $540k for Healthy Living project

By Joanne Beck

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Although it wasn’t as much as officials could have hoped for, a Restore NY grant has been approved to help with the expenses of the Healthy Living project in downtown Batavia.

In August, Genesee County Legislature agreed to serve as the applicant on behalf of the new campus to merge a portion of United Memorial Medical Center and GLOW YMCA services. The grant limit was up to $2 million, and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday that a grant of $540,000 had been awarded.

Funds will be used to demolish the old 55,000-square-foot YMCA, and a 10,000-square-foot obsolete boiler house owned by Rochester Regional Health-UMMC, which will provide space to accommodate a new downtown park and parking.

The project was selected as a priority Downtown Revitalization Initiative project and is also supported by the Batavia Brownfield Opportunity Area plan. 

More than $102 million was awarded to 64 projects through the Restore New York Communities Initiative. Restore New York supports municipal revitalization efforts across the state, Hochul’s office stated in a press release.

Those efforts to help remove blight, reinvigorate downtowns and generate economic opportunity in communities statewide. The program, administered by Empire State Development, is designed to help local governments revitalize their communities and encourage commercial investment, improve the local housing stock, put properties back on the tax rolls and increase the local tax base.

Once approved, the grant is to “flow through the county,” County Manager Matt Landers had said during the application process.

The grant is to go toward some of the demolition costs of the GLOW YMCA site between Wiard and Bank streets. The county can charge up to $10,000 for administrative costs, “which should be more than enough for us to cover our costs,” Landers had said.

"These Restore New York grants will help to reimagine downtowns across our state and transform vacant, blighted, and underutilized buildings into vibrant community anchors," Hochul said in the release. "Thanks to $102 million of state investment, we are breathing new life into communities from Hudson to North Hempstead, jumpstarting new economic activity, and ensuring that New York State continues to be a place where people come to live, work, and raise their families." 

New life for downtown Batavia is to come from the partnership of RRH-UMMC and GLOW YMCA to develop a $33.5 million, two-story, 78,000-square-foot regional health and wellness facility. The new site will integrate a new YMCA facility with state-of-the-art medical space for the Healthy Living program.

"Restore NY invigorates our urban centers and is a vital tool in the economic development tool kit for rebuilding communities that need it most,” Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said. “This funding will help local governments find solutions to blighted buildings so they can move forward towards a more vibrant future."

As for the county’s sponsorship as applicant, there is no county match, and no county cost aside from administrative expenses, Landers said.

The plan is to have the new building constructed at the former Cary Hall and Elks Lodge space so that YM members can use that during the demolition of the YMCA.

At the time of application, Rob Walker, CEO of GLOW YMCA, said there shouldn’t be any downtime for members, as they will transition over to the freshly completed site while the older YM building is taken down, he said.

“And continue operations without hurting the community and our services to the community — that was important to us, both from a mission standpoint and service standpoint,” Walker said.

The facility has previously been outlined — a pool, updated exercise equipment, and brand new amenities alongside Healthy Living’s teaching kitchen, classrooms and offices — and Walker described the outside space being “a nice streetscape park area” with benches, trees, lighting and an open grassy area for some outdoor activities, plus additional parking space.

File Photo of the beginnings of a new Healthy Living campus in downtown Batavia this August, by Howard Owens.

Photos: Pink Hatters & Friends celebrate cancer survivors at Batavia Downs

By Howard B. Owens

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United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Program of Genesee and Orleans hosted their annual Pink Hatters Night Out at Batavia Downs on Thursday.

The event supports those battling cancer, celebrates survivors and honors those who have passed.  

And people get to wear fun pink hats.

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Photos by Howard Owens.

Batavia Rotary donates $150K to upgrade and expand UMMC ER, challenges community to match

By Press Release

Press release:

The dedicated staff members in the United Memorial Medical Center Intensive Care Unit have always provided the highest quality care to patients who are often the sickest, most vulnerable and most in need at UMMC.  Many staff members are local, taking care of their neighbors and friends.  And they’re giving patients that committed care right where they want it- in their own communities, close to loved ones.  Now, it’s our time to say thank you and give back.

“Our motto is having care close to home. We want to continue to provide the top notch quality care here- which there's no doubt that we have the physicians and the nurses that provide that. Now we need the new state-of-the-art equipment to do that,” said Jessica Patnode, UMMC Director of Nursing.

The Batavia Rotary Club is donating $150,000 to help UMMC create an expanded, state-of-the-art ICU.  It’s challenging the community to match that so that the hospital will received $300,000 towards its new plans.  Those who donate $250 or more will see their names added to a donor wall.

“We have many projects that come to us throughout the year,” said Marlin Salmon, Batavia Rotary Past President.  “The requests are brought to our board and the board reviews them, discusses the merits and we act upon them.  We felt that this was a very, very worthwhile project.”

The ICU renovation will include:

  • Expanded ICU will more than triple in size from current space
  • Ten private patient rooms with bathrooms    
  • One bed dedicated to pediatric patients
  • Central nurses station, with work stations outside each room
  • Cutting edge technology in each room including integrated telemedicine and enhanced monitoring capabilities, and additional lift and transfer equipment in the rooms  
  • New ICU waiting room

We hope to begin construction on the new ICU in early 2024, and be done with the renovations by the end of the year.

To donate you can go here: Support United Memorial Medical Center | Rochester Regional Health Foundations (rrhgive.org) 

UMMC closing St. Jerome's urgent care pending Healthy Living opening

By Press Release

Press release:

Rochester Regional Health has made the decision to close the Batavia Urgent Care at the Jerome Medical Center effective August 1, as it prepares to offer reimagined urgent care services in the Batavia Medical Campus on Oak Orchard Rd. opening next year.  Our community’s health and wellbeing is extremely important to us, so while that new four-story, 115,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building is under construction, RRH continues to offer urgent care services through primary care offices, telemedicine and at United Memorial Medical Center.

Every staff member from the Batavia Urgent Care is moving into another position within the RRH system while the organization works through the Urgent Care redesign.

“Rochester Regional Health and United Memorial envision a future healthcare model with many complimentary services under one roof that provide reliable high-quality care,” said United Memorial Medical Center President Dan Ireland.  “Existing demands for staff and resources require new thoughts on how to operate services like Urgent Care. Now is the time to reflect on the future of healthcare and thoughtfully redesign the model of care that will serve our community in the years to come.”

  • Primary care offices remain open, and providers aware of the changes ahead are prepared to see any patients with urgent needs 
  • RRH ExpressCare offers patients immediate, on-demand virtual appointments with providers through patients’ MyCare accounts.  https://www.rochesterregional.org/services/telemedicine
  • UMMC’s Emergency Department as always, is ready 24/7 to see any patients with true medical emergencies

In the coming days and weeks, patients will receive letters with more information and there will be new signs at the Batavia Urgent Care site about the changes.

The new Batavia Medical Campus building is slated to open in the Spring of 2023.

Long-awaited arrival to groundbreaking ceremony for Healthy Living project

By Joanne Beck

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Over the last six-plus years, plans — and hopes — for a new and improved Healthy Living campus have certainly been put to the test.

A zoning change, suggestions for less cement and more green space, lighting up Wiard Street and rethinking an entry/exit from Summit Street, plus the constant push to raise money for the $33.5 million project may have given pause but never a fullstop since 2016.

Officials and community members celebrated Monday what United Memorial Medical Center CEO Dan Ireland described as making “this vision a reality.”

Ireland and about 100 others gathered at 213 East Main St., Batavia, one of the parcels between Main and Bank Street that will be the future 78,000-square-foot facility.

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“This is a pivotal and historic day in our community’s health and wellness journey,” Ireland said. “We are breaking ground on an innovative, forward-thinking model of integrated health and wellness that will transform downtown Batavia. From a healthcare perspective, this facility and model of care that it represents will exemplify how healthcare can evolve to support the healthcare needs of the community today and for the next generations.”

“The Healthy Living Campus is the future of health care, where medical and wellness programs are integrated under one roof. It’s made possible through our community partnerships, and it’s helping patients get all the care they need and deserve in one place. 

He recalled the high level of effort it has taken during the past nearly seven years of planning, collaboration and diligent work to reach this point. He credited Rochester Regional Health’s staff teams, community partners, GLOW YMCA and “most importantly you” for arriving at the day shovels were symbolically plunged into the earth.

Not only was the event about a new facility, but also about an “innovative and integrated” system of what and how care is delivered. Meal planning, building healthy habits, assessing mental and physical health, and taking preventive measures for well-being are just some of the services to be offered.

Add in state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a new pool, an indoor track, a teaching kitchen, and an adventure room play area for children.

Top it off with 22 exam rooms and two medical procedure rooms for primary care, telemedicine appointments, behavioral health and crisis intervention support, cancer prevention, chronic illness, and community education services, and the site is a one-stop-shop for many health concerns and fitness goals, officials said. There will also be a drop-in childcare center.

“Today is not just a celebration of a new building or clinic, it’s the celebration of a community coming together to reimagine health and wellness of the future and transform our downtown," Ireland said. "It’s celebrating you and your friends and neighbors who have worked tirelessly over seven years to advocate, plan and collaborate to make this vision a reality. Without your voices, your ideas, your support, we would not be here today at this milestone. We are embarking on this exciting new chapter of health and wellness in Downtown Batavia.”

The project’s birth was a few city managers ago, when talk of an expanded Healthy Living campus at times seemed pie-in-the-sky for some. Seeing it finally come to fruition is “a big load off our minds,” City Council President Eugene Jankowski said.

“I’m excited to see this project begin,” he said. “There were a lot of setbacks, and it’s really easy to call it quits.”

He thanked all involved for remaining steadfast on the journey and “moving forward to positive outcomes” in the city’s future.

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Robert Walker, CEO of GLOW YMCA, remembered picking up the phone back then and becoming engaged in the concept. Almost seven years later, this plan “has truly changed the path of both organizations,” he said.

“Your leadership and support have impacted me tremendously,” he said.

He cited the YMCA’s mission statement: To develop the spiritual, mental, and physical wellness of all people in an atmosphere of Christian fellowship and thanked individual and collective community members for their determination to come together, strive for improvement, and see this project through.

“The GLOW YMCA and Rochester Regional Health Healthy Living Campus is a place for children, adults, and families from all walks of life in our community to come together and improve their lives — spirit, mind and body,” Walker said. “The state-of-the-art campus will not only be a benefit for the health of our residents, but also for the health of our local businesses, transforming downtown Batavia.”

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Perhaps equally notable to the support for the project is the timing now, in the midst of a post-pandemic, RRH CEO Dr. Richard Davis said.

We’re all about reimagining what healthcare can and must be in the 21st Century, we’re focusing on those strategic themes and talents of literally 20,000 of our team members … delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time, to achieve the right health outcomes for the right value,” he said. “Healthy Living is a shining example of what truly is an innovative model.”

The strengths of two organizations — RRH and YMCA — are being brought together to offer the best of each one alone as an essential service to the city of Batavia, he said.

Officials also included Rob Rodriguez, NYS secretary of state, Senator Edward Rath III, Tom Houseknecht, on behalf of him and his wife Lynn, and Paul Battaglia, chairman of the YMCA Campaign Committee.

“I know when we started this quest in 2016 … many people thought this was an impossible dream. Now … this dream is coming true,” Battaglia said. “Today we’re not just celebrating the groundbreaking of a building, but celebrating the health of our community. This is a transformational project that is going to completely change the downtown area. It’s going to bring people downtown, create excitement and vitality that we believe will have a significant domino effect on the local businesses there. We could not be prouder of this relationship.”

The Healthy Living project was made possible with state, federal and community fundraiser monies, including an NYS economic development health care grant of $11.6 million, a $4.1 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant, and ongoing fundraising efforts by more than 50 GLOW YMCA and RRH volunteers.

Officials expect construction to be completed in 2023.

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Top photo: Officials take shovels in hand for the symbolic gesture during the Healthy Living campus groundbreaking ceremony Monday at 16 Bank St., Batavia. United Memorial Medical Center CEO Dan Ireland, Rob Walker, CEO of GLOW YMCA and Rochester Regional Health CEO Dr. Richard Davis say a few words during the event. Photos by Howard Owens. Renderings of the project provided by RRH.

Lemonade stands at Centennial Park on Thursday will benefit UMMC swaddling program

By Press Release

Press release:

Each year, more than 500 babies are born at United Memorial Medical Center.  Soon after birth, the newborns are swaddled for comfort and safe sleeping.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says when done correctly, swaddling is an effective technique to calm infants and promote sleep. 

Most moms will learn the right way to swaddle from the nurses in the hospital’s Maternity Department.  That’s why UMMC staff members, friends and community members are coming together for the Huge Lemonade Stand event to make sure every baby has a swaddle for safe sleeping. 

The lemonade stand idea started with the son of Peter Casey, a long-time UMMC supporter.  Patrick donated $4 from his piggy bank to the cause.  Later this month, he will run just one of the many lemonade stands at the event, hoping to raise hundreds more to help UMMC’s newborns.

WHEN: June 23, 5-7 p.m.

WHERE: Centennial Park, 151 State St. Batavia

WHAT: Interviews available with a maternity nurse, director of the program, and volunteers          

UMMC, Genesee County, team up again to provide park visitors with sunscreen

By Press Release
Video Sponsor
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Press release:

More than 4,000 New Yorkers are diagnosed with skin cancer a year.  United Memorial Medical Center and the Genesee County Parks Department are collaborating once again to put a dent in those numbers, giving park visitors an easy way to protect their skin from damaging UV rays that can lead to skin cancer.

Five sunscreen dispensers have been installed throughout Genesee County Park and Forest in East Bethany for the more than 30,000 visitors who use the park’s trails, Interpretive Nature Center, pavilions, and playgrounds.

“Skin cancer is the country’s most commonly diagnosed cancer and there are options for individuals to reduce their risk,” said Laurie Ferrando, UMMC’s Healthy Living Manager. “By putting these sunscreen dispensers in our local parks, we are making sun protection in outdoor settings more accessible.”

This is the second year of the program.  Five dispensers were installed last year in the DeWitt Park Recreation Area.*  Thousands of visitors, including children who came to the park for educational programs, used the sunscreen before heading out on the park’s trails or water to kayak, canoe or fish.  

“If you forget the sunscreen at home you don’t have to worry about burning your skin,” said Paul Osborn, Genesee County Deputy Highway Superintendent of Facilities, Parks, Recreation and Forestry. “These dispensers are small ways we can help make a big difference in preventing skin cancer.”

The NYS Department of Health says the best way to lower your risk for skin cancer is by avoiding exposure to UV radiation, whether from indoor tanning devices or as it reflects off sand, water and snow.  And those UV dangers are year-round, even in cloudy weather.

The dispenser project will now continue in Dewitt Park and expand to Genesee County Park supported with funds from Health Research, Inc., and the New York State Department of Health.

Video produced by The Batavian in 2021 when the sunscreen program was launched.

UMMC's Dan Ireland tabbed as GCC's 54th Commencement speaker

By Press Release

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Press release:

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., Genesee Community College will recognize its graduates during its 54th Commencement Ceremony at the Richard C. Call Arena. Honoring this group of deserving achievers, will be keynote speaker, Daniel Ireland, GCC Alumnus and President of United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia, NY.

"I am honored to have been invited to speak at GCC's 2022 Commencement,' Mr. Ireland said. "The perseverance of GCC students who have completed their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic is very inspiring. I cannot think of a greater privilege to speak to them on this momentous occasion, and, interestingly, this commencement is exactly 30 years from when I humbly crossed the stage for my GCC graduation with my Nursing Degree."

Dan completed his Associate Degree in Nursing from Genesee Community College in 1992, a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from SUNY Brockport in 1994 and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1997. He is also a member of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2006 and recipient of Buffalo First's 40 Under 40 award in 2007. In January 2013, he became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the nation's leading professional society for healthcare leaders. Dan was also named to 2018's roster of Health Care Champions, by Buffalo Business First, signifying his high levels of accomplishments within the field in Western New York. Dan continues his commitment to lifelong learning as he is enrolled in the Doctorate of Healthcare Administration program at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Entering his 32nd year at United Memorial, Mr. Ireland spent much of his clinical career in emergency medicine, clinical informatics, quality, and clinical leadership roles. In 2010, Dan was promoted to Vice President of Operations/Chief Operating Officer. As Vice President of Operations, he was responsible for oversight and project management of the surgical and front entry construction project, a major Maternity unit renovation, and the revitalization of the Jerome Center Diagnostics facility. In November 2013, he was promoted to President, leading United Memorial through its merger with Rochester Regional Health in 2015 and through its response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Additional commencement information can be found at https://www.genesee.edu/home/events/commencement/.

Photo: 2018 file photo. By Howard Owens

United Memorial Medical Center pain management nurse practitioner advocates for non-opioid alternatives

By Mike Pettinella

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Opioids for pain management are no longer the standard care for chronic pain, according to a board-certified family nurse practitioner at the United Memorial Medical Center Pain Management Center in Batavia.

“We do not avoid prescription medications, but we work to avoid the management of opioids, which can decrease the perception of pain and not the cause of it,” said Rebecca Russo, responding to questions about non-opioid alternatives for the GOW Opioid Task Force.

Russo, (photo at right), an employee at the UMMC pain clinic since August 2020, said as a pain management nurse practitioner, she recommends minimally invasive fluoroscopic procedures for diagnosis and treatment of pain.

“We work with the patient’s primary care physician and other health care professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for these patients,” she said. “We also like to be as conservative as possible (by utilizing) non-invasive measures such as physical therapy, aqua therapy, chiropractic and massage treatments, and acupuncture.”

When it comes to opioids, Russo is well aware of the long-term effects – including addiction – that can result from prolonged use of these drugs.

“There are so many more alternatives a pain management specialist treating chronic pain that can offer the most benefit for these patients,” she said. “A multimodal approach to management is best in treating chronic pain. Opioids are not used for chronic non-malignant pain anymore as studies have shown.”

Russo said she switched to the pain management field when a colleague recommended her for a pain management and neurology position.

“I have to say I wouldn’t have had a better fit in my career. This specialty is fascinating and bountiful in ways to help patients, which I lay my foundation on,” the Michigan native said. “I have been working in pain management since I graduated with my Master of Science in Nursing four years ago.”

Prior to joining the program at UMMC, she was a registered nurse for six years, working on various units, including intermediate care, medical/surgical, observation and progressive care.

She said the local pain clinic treats a wide range of chronic and acute pain conditions, such as neck pain, cancer pain, myofascial pain, joint pain, back pain, phantom limb pain, bursitis, sciatica, post herpetic neuralgia pain, complex regional pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathy and failed back surgery syndrome.

“Some of the micro-invasive procedures that can be performed at the UMMC Pain Center include nerve blocks in various areas as well as radiofrequency ablations; lumbar, thoracic and cervical epidural steroid injections; trigger point injections; and spinal cord stimulator implantation,” she said.

The practice is growing coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, she reported, with more and more in-person visits being scheduled.

“At this time, we strive to keep our visits in-person, but we can accommodate telemedicine visits when a patient is unable to be seen in-person. This may be for various reasons such as being ill, inability to drive or last minute patient schedule changes,” she explained.

Russo sees the pain clinic as a viable alternative for people dealing with chronic pain, adding that the patient is considered “an important team member.”

“Interventional management is beneficial for patients when their pain continues even after attempting conservative treatments or do not have a diagnosis for their pain,” she said. “A proper diagnosis is the first step to successful treatment.

“Another benefit for these patients is that they want to avoid surgery if possible or if they’ve had surgery, but still experiencing pain, we can provide them alternatives to another surgery unless otherwise indicated.”

The UMMC Pain Center is located at 229 Summit St., Suite 4. For more information, call 585-815-6710.

Disclosure: Mike Pettinella is the publicist for GCASA.

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