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Medina Memorial Hospital touts X-ray technology

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 January 2019 at 12:41 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Erica Chutko, director of Radiology and Cardiac Services at Medina Memorial Hospital, and radiologist Dr. Dale Sponaugle are shown with the hospital’s 64-slice CT scanner, one of the most advanced in the industry.

MEDINA – Staff of Orleans Community Health are determined to dispel myths that people have to go to the big cities to find the latest advancements in X-ray technology.

Some of the scanning and X-ray equipment at Medina Memorial Hospital are comparable to those found in many bigger hospitals, according to Erica Chutko, director of Radiology and Cardiac services at the hospital.

One of their latest advancements is having digital capability on all X-ray equipment.

“We previously had to take X-rays using film, then wait while the film was developed,” Chutko said. “Now we take an X-ray and the results are available within seconds on a computer.”

Another new service at the hospital is walk-in service 24/7 for general X-ray. There is no need to make an appointment any more, other than for special X-rays.

The hospital is also fortunate to have a highly trained radiologist, Dr. Dale Sponaugle. The doctor graduated from medical school in 1985 at the University of Buffalo; did his internship in general surgery from 1985 to 1987 at the University at Buffalo; did his residency from 1987 to 1991 in diagnostic radiology at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine; did his fellowship from 1991 to 1992 in body MRI at the University at Buffalo; and is board certified by the American Board of Radiology in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

He has been at Orleans Community Health since February 1991.

The department also takes in many student interns, said Cindy Perry, director of Education, Wellness and Marketing at the hospital’s Community Partners.

“Dr. Sponaugle does a lot of educational things with them,” Perry said.

Chutko said they also allow high school students to shadow them for a day to decide if a career in radiology is what they want to do.

Perry reinforced the fact that people sometimes think they have to go to the big cities for their diagnostic testing, when the same opportunities are available right in Medina.

“We have great equipment here,” Chutko said. “Someone can even come in after work at midnight. Our Nuclear Department has taken clients on Saturday when they can’t get here any other time. Our equipment is all state-of-the-art.”

The hospital’s ultimate goal would be to have 3-D mammography, something which is only available now in the big university hospitals.

“We can provide a lot of quality services close to home,” Perry said.

For instance, one of the newest pieces of equipment is a 64-slice CT scanner. The more slices, the more information it provides, Dr. Sponaugle said.

Chutko said Sponaugle is an amazing radiologist.

“He is scary smart,” she said.

Also a benefit to the hospital is the fact the majority of people in the Radiology Department have been there 10 years or more. She has been there 25 years.

Chutko said she practically grew up there. Her mother started as an aide at 16 and worked 30 years in Obstetrics, two years as manager. Her aunt worked almost 35 years in various departments, including two years as manager of the ER.

“We are always up on the latest technology, and we cross train, giving us an edge on other facilities,” Chutko said. “This enables us to offer all our services all the time.”

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Residents urged to complete survey for community health assessment

Posted 25 January 2019 at 4:39 pm

Press Release, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming Health Departments

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Health Departments and Hospitals are currently working with community partners to gather information from residents and those who work in these counties to help with public health planning for the next 3 to 4 years.

The information will inform and guide documents called the Community Health Assessment, Community Health Improvement Plan, and Community Services Plan. This initiative is part of the New York State Prevention Agenda which is the blueprint for state and local action to improve the health of New Yorkers.

To fully assess the health status of our communities we are asking for your input because your health counts! These organizations are asking the public to participate by taking a survey and sharing their viewpoints during community conversations.

An online survey is available, as well as paper copies at various locations in each county. You can access the survey by clicking here.  A Spanish version of the survey will be available soon. Watch the Health Department web sites and Facebook pages for updates.

The survey is anonymous, it only takes about 15 minutes to complete and focuses on the health of the person taking it. If you are under the age of 18 Years old, be sure to receive permission to take the survey from your parents or guardians.

“As chief health strategists the health departments are working toward assessing current capacity, resources, and services,” stated Paul Pettit, Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “This will also help identify community health needs and current gaps, ultimately helping to develop our Community Health Improvement Plan for the next few years.”

The health departments are also seeking to schedule Community Conversations with willing groups to learn what they feel are the greatest health concerns or issues in their community and thoughts on how they can be improved.

Responses from the confidential surveys and conversations will help identify services that are working, need improving, or to be created. The more members of the public who participate, the larger and stronger the “building block” of these plans will be.

To participate in a community conversation, obtain hardcopies of the survey, flyers that promote completing the survey online, or have any questions please contact your local health department:

 Orleans County Health Department at: 589-3278 or check out our website by clicking here.

 Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580 ext. 5555 or visit their website by clicking here.

 Wyoming County Health Department at: 786-8890 or visit their web site by clicking here.

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Vaccines available to help prevent cervical cancer

Posted 16 January 2019 at 6:05 pm

Press Release, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Public Health Departments

If you could receive a vaccine to prevent cancer wouldn’t you? During this Cervical Cancer Awareness Month please take the time to learn about Human Papillomavirus Infection (HPV), the number one cause of cervical cancer. Thankfully, there is a vaccine available to protect against most of the types of HPV that cause various cancers and genital warts.

Approximately 80 million people in the U.S. have been infected and 14 million new infections occur every year.

Most people with HPV will not know that they have an infection. Genital warts are a sign of an HPV infection that cannot be cured. However, an infection of the cervix usually has no symptoms. With or without symptoms, an infected person can spread HPV to others.

The HPV vaccine prevents infection but cannot treat infection. Infection from nine HPV types can be prevented by vaccination. Protection is greatest if given before exposure to HPV infections. The best age for HPV vaccination is 11–12 years but the vaccine can also be given as young as age 9 and now to adults up to age 45.

“In October of last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted expanded use of Gardasil 9 to include individuals 27 through 45 years old,” stated Brenden Bedard, Director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans. “This is exciting for those newly eligible. As this change is fairly new, I recommend that those in this age range check with their doctor’s office to ensure their insurance covers it.”

People who are sexually active may be infected with one or more types of HPV, but they can still get the vaccine. There are still benefits because of the unlikelihood of having been infected with all HPV types that are prevented by the vaccine.

HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses. Each HPV virus in this large group is given a number which is called its HPV type. HPV is named for the warts (papillomas) some HPV types can cause. Some other HPV types can lead to cancer such as cervical, vaginal, penile, anal, mouth and throat.

HPV viruses are so common that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 80 percent of people will get at least one HPV infection in their lifetime.

Most HPV infections (9 out of 10) go away by themselves within two years and cause no health problems. Unfortunately, the CDC reports that HPV is responsible each year for 33,700 cancers in men and women. The HPV vaccine can prevent most of these cancers (about 31,200) from ever developing.

HPV vaccines work extremely well. The FDA said it based the expansion on results of a study of 3,200 women followed over 3 1/2 years. The study found that Gardasil 9 was 88 percent effective in the prevention of vulvar, vaginal and cervical precancerous lesions, cervical cancer and genital warts caused by the nine HPV strains. The effectiveness of the vaccine in men was “inferred” from the data on women as well as a clinical trial of 150 men ages 27 to 45 who received a three-dose vaccination regimen over a six-month period. The FDA also looked at data from studies of younger men, ages 16 to 26. The overall safety of Gardasil 9, the FDA said, was evaluated in 13,000 men and women. Common adverse reactions included swelling, redness and pain at the injection site, and headache.

For those aged 9–14 years, two shots of vaccine are recommended for greatest protection. The second shot should be given 6–12 months after the first one. For those aged 15–26 years, three shots are recommended. The first two shots should be given 1–2 months apart. The third shot should be given about 6 months after the first shot.

Women can also prevent cervical cancer by getting screened. It is recommended that women should get their first pap test at age 21 and continue screening until age 65. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated. There is also an HPV test that looks for the virus that causes these cell changes. A resource for adult men and women is the Cancer Service Program (CSP).

The New York State CSP provides breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings at no cost to men and women who:

Do not have health insurance or have health insurance that does not cover the cost of these screenings:

• Cannot pay for these screenings

• Meet income eligibility requirements

• Meet age requirements

• Live in New York State

To learn more about the New York State Cancer Services Program call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) or click here.  Talk to your primary care doctor about the HPV vaccine and screenings. If you do not have a primary care doctor, contact your local health department.

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Shelby goes tobacco-free at town hall property

Posted 16 January 2019 at 3:07 pm

Provided photo: Shelby Town Supervisor Ed Houseknecht and bookkeeper Miranda Bennett say the decision to declare tobacco-free grounds was to protect the health of all citizens, especially cancer survivors.

Press Release, Tobacco-Free GLOW

SHELBY – Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to improve their health in some way. This January, the Town of Shelby made good on a healthy, tobacco-free grounds resolution that will benefit the entire community for 2019 and beyond.

The new law, which was drafted by town bookkeeper, Miranda Bennett, and submitted to the Town Board by recently elected Town Supervisor Ed Houseknecht, prohibits the use of tobacco products on town grounds. Town Board members Kenneth Schaal, Stephen Seitz, William Bacon and Jeff Smith passed the resolution unanimously.

As of Jan. 1, there will be no smoking on the Shelby Town Hall grounds, which also serves at the town court for Shelby and Ridgeway.

The decision to make the grounds smoke-free was simple, according to Houseknecht.

“There are cancer survivors in our community, some awaiting to appear in court and some who are Shelby Town staff, who are required to walk into the doors past smokers,” he said. “Second hand smoke is a risk for these folks. They shouldn’t have to walk through a cloud of smoke to come to work or come in and wait for court.”

For more information on how to make your municipality or business smoke-free, contact Tobacco-Free GLOW at 585-219-4064.

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Governor wants to raise age for tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21

Posted 12 January 2019 at 11:51 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a proposal to raise the minimum sales age for tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21 will be included in the 2019 executive budget.

The proposal is part of the Governor’s comprehensive legislation to curb tobacco and e-cigarette products, which also calls for an end to the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products in pharmacies and clarifies the State Health Department’s authority to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarette liquids, among other measures.

“We have made great strides to stamp out teen smoking, but new products threaten to undo this progress to the detriment of millions of Americans,” Cuomo said. “In New York, we refuse to stand idly by while unscrupulous businesses target our young people and put their very futures at risk. With this comprehensive proposal, we are taking aggressive action to combat this very real public health crisis and curb the use of nicotine products before they result in deadly consequences for an entire generation of New Yorkers.”

To combat the use of harmful tobacco and vapor products, Governor Cuomo will propose comprehensive legislation that includes:

Raising the minimum sales age for tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21: Most underage youth obtain tobacco and vapor products from friends, who are over 18 and can legally purchase products. Raising the minimum age will curb youth tobacco use and remove sources of tobacco from high schools.

Ending the sale of tobacco and electronic cigarette products in pharmacies: Pharmacies sell tobacco cessation products and pharmaceuticals, and increasingly provide healthcare and health education. Allowing them to continue to sell tobacco products sends the incorrect message that tobacco products are safe. Ending the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products in pharmacies will reduce the availability, visibility, and social acceptability of tobacco use, especially to youth.

Implements display restrictions: New York will prohibit the display of tobacco products and packaging, including e-cigarettes, in all retail stores that are not adult-only. This practice will reduce youth exposure to predatory marketing practices.

Clarifies the Health Department’s Authority to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarette liquids: Flavored combustible cigarettes, except menthol, were banned by the FDA in 2009 to reduce youth smoking as they were frequently used as a starter product.  Most e-cigarette users said their first e-cigarette was flavored. Flavors, such as sweet tart, toffee, and bubble gum, make e-cigarettes more attractive to youth. The budget will include a proposal to provide the Department of Health the authority to ban the sale of certain flavored liquids that target youth use of e-cigarettes.

Restricting available discounts provided by tobacco and electronic cigarette manufacturers and retailers: New York has the highest cigarette tax in the nation, but manufacturers and retailers have developed tactics to reduce prices, such as “buy one, get one free” discounts. These tactics directly target price-sensitive consumers, including youth. Restricting discounts on tobacco and vapor products will strengthen the impact of New York’s tax on tobacco and disincentivize tobacco use.

Require e-cigarettes be sold only through licensed retailers: Currently the sale of e-cigarettes is almost entirely unregulated. Restricting the sale to licensed retailers will allow the current enforcement infrastructure to ensure that minors do not purchase tobacco products.

Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has moved from the 18th healthiest state in the nation in 2012 to the 10th healthiest state in the nation in 2017. In 2017, Governor Cuomo expanded the Clean Indoor Air Act to prohibit e-cigarette use in nearly every workplace to protect workers and the public from harmful secondhand tobacco smoke and vaping aerosols.

Despite this progress, tobacco use continues to be the number one cause of preventable death in New York State. About 28,000 adult New Yorkers die every year as a result of smoking. Additionally, an increasing number of underage youth are using both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. From 2014 to 2018 youth use of e-cigarettes increased by 160 percent from 10.5 percent to 27.4 percent and more than half of teens falsely believe that e-cigarette use is harmless.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “New York State, under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, continues to fight the epidemic of nicotine addiction and this important legislation will further safeguard New Yorkers from the adverse health effects associated with exposure to tobacco products, especially among our youth.”

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Medina couple lost more than 300 pounds together last year

Photos by Tom Rivers: Adam and Kelly Uderitz take their dog Maggie for a walk by the Erie Canal in Ridgeway on Fruit Avenue.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 January 2019 at 1:53 pm

Adam and Kelly Uderitz embrace a healthy lifestyle

Provided photo: Adam and Kelly Uderitz are shown at their wedding about 16 months ago on Aug. 17, 2017.

MEDINA – A Medina couple embraced a healthy lifestyle last year and the results have been life-changing, Kelly and Adam Uderitz said.

Together they lost about 340 pounds in 2018. They drank lots of water each day, ate healthy foods, got more sleep and made a commitment to exercise regularly.

Kelly lost 96 pounds and Adam took off 245. They used to get home from work and crash on the couch. Now they go out for walks or a jog.

They both say they have far more energy during the day, after cutting out their caffeine.

“I feel like I got my freedom back, the freedom from myself,” Adam, 43, said at their home on Saturday on Fruit Avenue.

He used to drink a lot of soda. The switch to drinking water cut out hundreds of calories each day. He has experimented in the kitchen, using more vegetables in their meals. He makes a cauliflower-crusted pizza, or mashed cauliflowers instead of mashed potatoes. On Saturday evening, it was scallops over cauliflower grits.

The change in diet took off a lot of pounds. Adam also embraced something he hadn’t done since he was a kid: he rode a bike. He first pedaled it down Fruit Avenue to the canal and back to his house, about a 3-mile ride. He built up his endurance and would ride 25 miles to Albion and back.

He started walking, then doing a walk-jog. In October, he was running a mile and then longer. In November, he completed two 5-kilometer races and is looking to try some longer races, a 5-miler and maybe a half marathon. Adam is often joined by the family dog, Maggie, a mixed breed.

Adam is at 176 pounds. He hasn’t been that low since he was a freshman in high school. Some of his own family members didn’t recognize him last year at some family gatherings.

Adam and Kelly Uderitz frequently take walks on the Erie Canal Towpath with their dog Maggie.

“I just feel so much better,” he said on Saturday.

He works at Saint-Gobain Adfors in Albion as a “fixer” or in maintenance. He used to sit down for most of his shifts at work, but last year decided to stay on his feet throughout the workday. That gave him about 10,000 steps each day at work. He has a step counter on his watch and averages about 15,000 steps a day, including his exercise outside of work.

Adam no longer needs medication for high cholesterol and blood pressure. He no longer suffers from sleep apnea. He gets a good night’s sleep and starts the day with zest.

Kelly and Adam have been friends for 16 years. They married on Aug. 17, 2017.

Kelly has lost nearly 100 pounds this year. She has steered herself away from deep-fried foods. If she goes out to eat, she has a salad instead of French fries or other food that tends to have a lot of grease.

Kelly, 44, said she started to put on weight after quitting smoking in 2000. Before embracing a healthy lifestyle about a year ago, she said she typically felt tired and would go to Tim Hortons once or twice daily for an iced cappuccino. Even then, she felt sluggish, especially when she got home after working. She is a special education teacher at Albion High School.

Kelly is an active parent volunteer with the Medina Mustang Band. Her son, Danny Squire, is a senior with the band this year.

His mother noticed that Jimmy Steele, the band director, has lost a lot of weight – more than 100 pounds. She asked him how he did it.

Steele shared his insights and offered to be a coach for Kelly and Adam Uderitz. He gives them recipes and encouragement.

Kelly and Adam both say they try to stay positive, even if they slip up and don’t have a good eating day.

“If you have a bad day, it’s not over,” Adam said. “Go forward and continue on.”

It is hard to eat good food all the time, especially during the holidays when there are some many cookies and treats.

The couple say Americans are inundated with junk food, fast food and unhealthy food.

“It’s always in your face,” Kelly said. “Everyone is trying to get you to supersize junk all your life.”

‘I feel like anyone can be successful. You have to remember why you’re doing it. It’s a journey not a diet.’ – Kelly Uderitz

Kelly and Adam try to eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours. In between meals that is often a handful of almonds. That fights off hunger and the cravings for fast food or junk food.

“It keeps the metabolism going,” Adam said.

The first couple months on the program were like being in detox as he shifted from soda to water, and from deep fried food to lean meats and lots of vegetables.

Kelly, like Steele, has become a health coach and is working with five people. She welcomes others to contact her through her Facebook page if they are interested in following the program that has worked for her and her husband.

Adam and Kelly have also become avid kayakers. That’s something that seemed unrealistic a year ago. Now they spend three or four hours in the kayak, traveling the Oak Orchard River.

“I feel like anyone can be successful,” Kelly said about the weight-loss program. “You have to remember why you’re doing it. It’s a journey not a diet.”

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NY sees rise in flu cases

Posted 27 December 2018 at 5:40 pm

Governor says not too late to get vaccinated

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that over the past week, cases of influenza in New York State rose by 72 percent, and new cases of influenza were reported in 58 out of 62 counties, including one case of influenza type A in Orleans County.

In addition, the number of patients hospitalized with laboratory- confirmed influenza was 363, a 41 percent increase from last week. The governor also urged all New Yorkers six months of age and over who have not yet received a flu shot to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“With an increase in flu cases in every corner of this state, I want to remind New Yorkers who have not been vaccinated against the flu that it is not too late to take this critical action,” Cuomo said. “Flu season is in full-swing, and as the number of cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, we must do everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

This influenza season, New York has had 5,400 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in 58 counties, including all five boroughs of New York City. During this period, there have been 1,305 influenza-related hospitalizations reported, and one influenza-associated pediatric death. Over the last three seasons, there have been 19 influenza-associated pediatric deaths in New York and an average of 15,101 influenza-related hospitalizations.

Last week, State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker declared that influenza is prevalent in New York State. This announcement put into effect a regulation requiring that healthcare workers who are not vaccinated against influenza wear surgical or procedure masks in areas where patients are typically present.

In addition, the Department of Health launched the New York State Flu Tracker, a new dashboard on the New York State Health Connector that is an easy to understand source of influenza data to keep the public informed of rates of influenza in their county. The dashboard displays the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases by county, week and influenza type (A, B or not specified) for the current season and the three previous seasons.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “We strongly encourage anyone who has not yet gotten the flu vaccine to get one immediately to combat this significant threat to public health. Getting vaccinated protects you as well as the people around you, including those who are more vulnerable, like babies and young children, elderly people and people with chronic health conditions.”

In addition to getting a flu shot and staying home when sick, it’s important to practice good hand-hygiene:

• Unlike some viruses, influenza is easily killed by soap and hot water.

• Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds to protect yourself from germs and avoid spreading them to others.

• Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not available. Choose a product with at least 60 percent alcohol.

• Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. People with the flu are infectious for up to 7 days after symptoms begin.

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Ortt announces proposed legislation to improve care at nursing homes

Photo courtesy of Rob Ortt’s office: State Sen. Robert Ortt is joined at a news conference by Kelly Bentley, who is chairwoman of the Family Council at The Villages of Orleans Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Albion.

Posted 27 December 2018 at 3:08 pm

Press Release, State Sen. Robert Ortt

LOCKPORT – Today, Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda) presented a package of bills aimed at protecting senior citizens and improving care standards in nursing homes around New York State.

This collection of legislation was constructed with the assistance of local senior citizen advocacy groups and families who have met with the senator over the last few weeks. Several disturbing stories reported by local media outlets also played a role in the crafting of these bills.

“Since I have been in office, the quality of care in the nursing homes across our state has been a persistent issue and it has continually gone unaddressed,” said Sen. Ortt. “While there are a number of facilities that continue to provide great care for our seniors, we have seen far too many cases of unacceptable care. This legislation is aimed at ensuring that those establishments we trust to take care of our aging parents are doing so to the highest standard.”

“I am deeply concerned with the system that is currently tasked with protecting the most vulnerable in our society,” said Kelly Bentley, Family Council Chairwoman, The Villages of Orleans Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Albion. “It is our responsibility to protect our most vulnerable, and in order to do so, we must revamp the system that is in place. Our elderly are not just dollar signs for the investors that are buying nursing facilities at alarming rates. They are human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”

The first bill of this package would increase the Department of Health’s regulatory enforcement capability. It would require the presence of Independent Quality Monitors in failing nursing homes to enforce compliance with corrective plans. The bill also authorizes DOH to enter a nursing facility whenever the Department of Health feels conditions in the facility could pose a danger to residents and increases fines on nursing homes who do not meet state standards.

The second bill announced would make nursing home inspections unpredictable by requiring that 40 percent of nursing home inspections are performed outside of business hours including nights, weekends, and holidays. The bill also bars Department of Health employees from giving any form of advance notice to a nursing home before inspection.

Finally, the third bill of this package would prevent owners of a nursing home from purchasing new nursing homes while any of their currently owned facilities are facing violations or compliance issues. Also included in this bill is a two-year probation period between coming into compliance of a violation and the acquisition of a new facility.

“We must hold our nursing homes to a higher standard,” said Ortt. “By increasing regulatory overview, we are improving lives and work environments for all parties involved. The way a community treats its elderly speaks volumes about its values. Our seniors deserve the best care possible.”

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Genesee-Orleans says 2-county health department collaboration has improved services

Posted 24 December 2018 at 5:31 pm

Genesee and Orleans Public Health Column

With the year closing out, both the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year!

The collaboration between the two counties has provided several opportunities to meet our joint mission to work collaboratively ensuring conditions that promote optimal health for individuals and the communities we serve. In 2018, we have had a successful joint Point of Distribution (POD) exercise to test our Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program. Staff have had the opportunity to work across the county borders to assist in department functions during times of limited staff. We have added the Weights & Measures program in both counties to provide a consumer connection with vendors of food, fuel and other providers to test and verify the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices.

Our children’s programs work diligently to provide education, case management, support and referrals to help the children of our counties succeed and enjoy a good quality of life. The Community Health Services of both departments work hard to limit the spread of communicable diseases by providing immunizations, lead poisoning prevention direction, as well as provide guidance for pregnant moms and families with new babies. The nursing staff has provided migrant health outreach to assist the farm workers in both counties along with investigating disease / foodborne illness outbreaks.

The Environmental Team provides quality inspections to assure we are safe from foodborne illness, have working septic systems, and help keep our pets safe from rabies. The Public Health Education Team has welcomed Marlowe Thompson to work in both counties assisting with the upcoming Community Health Assessment (CHA), Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), and the Public Health Accreditation Board process.

The team along with one of our nurses is able to provide Narcan training to local businesses and organizations to help battle the opioid crisis. Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Workshops will be starting up in early 2019 in both counties in partnership with our hospitals. Our support team is always working to make sure the department is run within budget, keep our forms straight and provide guidance with insurance reimbursement.

In 2019, we are looking to shift from organizational thinking to community focused thinking by taking the role of Community Chief Health Strategists. Our departments have always worked collaboratively with other agencies within our borders and are looking to focus community resources on improving specific health outcomes as we develop our tri-county CHA/CHIP and in partnership with the local hospital systems, Community Services Plan.

We will be looking to community members to assist in this process by participating in community conversations and taking a community health assessment survey. Both departments look forward to having a joint web site where you can access forms and information from both county health departments. We continue to provide timely posts on our GO Health NY Facebook and Twitter pages along with increasing interviews on our GO Health NY YouTube site.

“It is our pleasure to serve the residents and visitors of Genesee and Orleans Counties,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “On behalf of the staff in both counties thank you for the opportunity to serve you and we look forward to a great 2019!”

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CNA at Medina Memorial honored with ‘Caring Heart Award’

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 24 December 2018 at 10:19 am

Provided photo: Pamela Heideman, center, is a certified nursing assistant at Medina Memorial Hospital. She was recently honored by the New York State Health Facilities Association and New York State Center for Assisted Living at a reception at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in Buffalo. With her are Sarah Bateman, left, administrator of Medina Memorial Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility, and Kerry Mikits, nurse manager of the SNF.

MEDINA – Each year, the New York State Health Facilities Association and New York State Center for Assisted Living (Western Region Buffalo) honors staff of local skilled nursing facilities for service and dedication to the health care field.

At this year’s awards reception at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, a Medina Memorial Hospital employee was one of the recipients of a Caring Heart Award.

Pamela Heideman has been a certified nursing assistant in the hospital’s skilled nursing facility for three years.

According to her supervisors, Heideman is recognized by her peers as a team player, completing her tasks ahead of time so she can help other staff members. She has donated accumulated personal benefit time for another staff to use in their time of need.

She is flexible, has a positive attitude and goes above and beyond to provide excellent care to residents every day. She truly cares and treats every resident as family. She willingly arrives early and assumes special assignments, additional duties and reports on short notice to cover open positions by working extra shifts.

Her care reflects the highest quality that is expected by residents, and her positive attitude and genuine smile have earned her the love and respect of peers and residents alike.

Pam is considered a role model for others to emulate.

“When Pam is working, you know it is going to be a great day,” her peers agree.

The Caring Hearts Award is presented to one who lends a hand in times of need, puts others needs before their own, makes a positive impact in the community, brings warmth to everyday activities, takes the time to listen, creates energetic team spirit, rallies around a cause and reaches out to make a difference.

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