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February 8, 2016

NYS Senator Cathy Young Tours the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center Project in Dansville

Noyes Health was pleased to host New York State Senator, Cathy Young for a tour of the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center project on Saturday, February 6th. Senator Young made a quick stop between scheduled events in the area to see, first-hand, the progress of the site work which will become the concrete vault for the cancer center linear accelerator, and visit the renovated Diagnostic Imaging and Physical Therapy space which will be opening soon. Tim Levee, Pike Company Project Superintendent and Deb McCray, Noyes Health Engineering Project Manager explained to Senator Young what phase the cancer center project was in and the next steps needed to complete the vault, along with additional renovations that would be occurring to existing space in the hospital. Amy Pollard, Noyes Health President/CEO was on hand to welcome the Senator, along with Mike Donegan, Director of Diagnostics and Rehab Therapy and Cynthia Oswald, Director of the Foundation and PR. The cancer center is a collaborative project between Wilmot Cancer Institute, Jones Memorial Hospital and Noyes Health. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center will be located on the campus of Noyes Hospital and provide patients in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Western New York more convenient access to comprehensive cancer care. It will serve as a hub for oncology services, and includes a medical oncology clinic in Hornell, Steuben County. Established with a $2 million gift from Ann and Carl Myers, the regional cancer center at Noyes is expected to be completed in 2017. The $5.8 million project will feature a 4,500-square-foot, lower level addition to house radiation oncology clinic and a 2,300-square-foot medical oncology clinic, featuring three exam rooms and five chemotherapy/infusion bays, in renovated and new first-floor space. The regional cancer center will also provide patients with access to services including advanced diagnostic testing, clinical trials, outpatient palliative care, and Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program. Physicians at the cancer center and medical oncology clinic at Jones will have access to UR Medicine’s region-wide electronic medical record system and regular consultations with multidisciplinary teams focused on cancer. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center project is unique in our region and comes at a time when health systems across the country are forging relationships to ensure specialty services while improving quality. For more information on Noyes Health visit, Noyes Health Facebook Page #AnnandCarlMyersCancerCenter, or contact Cynthia Oswald, PR/Marketing Director, at or 585-335-4323. ... Read More

February 3, 2016

Noyes Health Auxiliary Hosts Guest Speakers from UR Medicine Wilmot Cancer Institute

The Noyes Health Auxiliary held its annual meeting dinner at Jack’s Place in Dansville on Tuesday, January 27th. Guest speakers for the dinner were Dr. Chunkit Fung and Dr. Elizabeth Guancial, both from UR Medicine, Wilmot Cancer Institute. They spoke to the group about working with patients with cancer, bladder cancers in particular, and the holistic approach Wilmot takes. Most importantly they told the group of women attendees that many support programs for cancer patients will be made available in Dansville. The two young and impressive physicians shared their excitement for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center project in Dansville. They also explained how Wilmot Cancer Institute works with its regional partners to provide exceptional care for patients at all treatment locations. President/CEO of Noyes Health, Amy Pollard gave an update on the cancer center and all the construction and renovations taking place at the hospital. Auxiliary officers for 2016 were elected by the members present. Auxiliary President, Gerri Long; Vice-President, Mary Ann Scharmburg; Treasurer, Mary Hoad; Secretary, Loretta Stratton. The Noyes Memorial Hospital Auxiliary which began in 1952 as a small group of local women is now a group of over 120 dedicated volunteers from Dansville and the surrounding communities whose primary goal is to conduct fundraising projects and donate the proceeds to Noyes Health. The biggest source of revenue is the Spice Box Gift Shop and Coffee Bar located in the hospital lobby. The Gift Shop began in 1962 as a cabinet with items to purchase in the main lobby of the “old” hospital. It is now a full service shop with dedicated space in the hospital lobby carrying unique gift items, jewelry, fresh flowers and coffee bar open to the public. The Auxiliary has sponsored and donated to many of the hospital’s improvement projects throughout the years and is the second largest donor to the Mary Saunders Beiermann Emergency Department which opened in June of 2014. At the dinner Gerri Long presented a check for $56,500.00 to Amy Pollard, the second installment of the auxiliary’s four year commitment to the Mary Saunders Beiermann Emergency Department project. For more information on the Spice Box, how to volunteer or make a donation please contact Sue Mettler, Manager at 585-335-4288 or . ... Read More

January 31, 2016

Heart Disease

GOT A MINUTE February is Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 610,000 Americans die of heart disease each year. That is one of every four deaths in the U.S. Understanding the basics of heart disease, common symptoms, and risk factors is the first step to being heart healthy. Heart disease refers to several types of conditions. The most common condition is coronary heart disease (CHD) which can cause a heart attack and kills more than 370,000 annually. Anyone can develop heart disease. According to the CDC, it occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in your arteries. When this happens, your arteries narrow over time, reducing blood flow to the heart. This may eventually lead to a heart attack. There are two categories of risk factors for heart disease. The first category is beyond a person’s control. These include demographic and genetic characteristics such as growing older, being male, having a parent or parents with heart disease, or your ethnicity. The latest statistics from the CDC indicate that heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. The second category is under a person’s control. This category involves several physiological factors or lifestyle choices, many of which can be controlled by the person or through medication. The American Heart Association and CDC both agree that the following factors put a person at higher risk for heart disease: High blood pressure High cholesterol Smoking Diabetes Overweight and obesity Poor diet Physical inactivity Excessive alcohol use It is also important to know the warning signs of a heart attack so you or someone with you can call for help right away. Not everyone will experience every symptom. Although some heart attacks are sudden and intense, many start slowly with mild pain or discomfort over the course of several days. In general, someone having a heart attack may experience several of the following symptoms: Chest pain or discomfort that does not go away after a few minutes. Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back. Weakness, light-headedness, nausea, or cold sweat Shortness of breath If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. If when you look at the risk factors, you do not know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, weight) or you do know that you are at risk; make an appointment to see your doctor. You can also visit the American Heart Association’s My Life Check site at This health assessment and improvement tool encourages you to take actions and form habits to improve your heart health. After you complete an easy assessment, you will receive a Heart Health Score with recommendations to make improvements, and track your progress. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

January 29, 2016

Look Good Feel Better

Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite, and strength. But it doesn’t have to take away her self-confidence. Look Good Feel Better is a FREE program that teaches beauty techniques to women in active cancer treatment. The workshop includes skincare, makeup application, nail care and accessory style tips. Every woman will receive a complimentary makeup kit to take home. The next Look Good Feel Better session is on Monday, February 29th from 10 am to noon in conference room D at Noyes Health hospital in Dansville. Registration is required, please call 1-800-227-2345. ... Read More

January 27, 2016

Plate sizes and Our Waistlines

Got A Minute? I am a huge Downton Abby fan. If you are not a fan, Downton Abbey is PBS period series that focuses on the lives of an aristocratic family and their cadre of servants in early 20th century England. The producers of the show have made a great effort to be historically accurate in the smallest of details such as tableware. As I was watching the show this past week, my eye caught the size of the wine glasses and plates on the table. It struck me that everything looked substantially smaller than our current tableware. The wineglasses looked nothing like the currently popular gold fish bowls that pass as wine glasses. I could not help thinking that this was somehow significant. My curiosity led me to the research of Cornell University professor, Brian Wansink. Mr. Wansink, author of “Mindless Eating, Why We Eat More Than We Think,” discovered that indeed our plates are bigger today than 50 years ago – 12 inches compared to 9 inches. It turns out; our portion sizes are bigger too. This is significant in a country where 54% of adults aim to finish everything on their plates at every meal. It is equally significant in light of the current obesity epidemic. According to the CDC, in 1996, the obesity rate in the US was between 10 and 19%. Twenty years later no state in the union has a rate less than 20% with 18 states coming in at 30-35%. Furthermore, three states currently have rates that top 35%. So what lessons can we learn from Wansink and others in the food research world. Professor Wansink’s research shows that large bowls, plates, and glasses lead to more eating all for the same reason – they make portions look smaller. Our brains think there isn’t as much food because the size of the plate dwarfs the food. What is truly fascinating, however, is the connection between the serving sizes and the serving dishes. The Cornell Food and Brand Lab found that people feel equally full whether they eat off a small plate or large plate. (i.e., whether they consume 300 or 600 calories) The reality, however, is that most of our plates are larger with bigger portions and even people who think they are aware of portion sizes and caloric intake will often inadvertently consume more calories. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports the average portion sizes have grown so much over the past 20 years that sometimes the plate arrives and there's enough food for two or even three people on it. Growing portion sizes are changing what Americans think of as a "normal" portion at home too. This is called portion distortion. For example, 20 years ago, the average bagel was 3 inches in diameter and had 140 calories. Today the average bagel is 6 inches wide and comes in at 350 calories. In addition, the calorie/serving size link can be seen in cookbooks. “The Joy of Cooking,” has changed drastically over the years. The Cornell crew looked at recipes in seven editions of the famous cookbook spanning 70 years for serving size and caloric levels. According to a 2009 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “Over the period of time and cookbook editions, 18 recipes were continuously published in every edition. In 14 of these 18 recipes, the number of calories in the recipe increased by a whopping 43.7%. Serving sizes have increased gradually throughout the years and cookbook editions. The largest jump is a 33.2% increase in portion serving sizes since 1996 alone. This expanded portion size helps explain why calories per serving have increased from an average of 168.8 calories to 436.9 calories, which is a 63% increase in calories per serving. The chicken gumbo recipe for example, went from making 14 servings at 228 calories each in the 1936 edition, to making 10 servings at 576 calories each in the 2006 version.” Being aware of tableware sizes and portions is a good place to start on the road to healthy eating. The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the Cornell Food and Brand lab suggest the following tips when faced with large portions: Restaurant eating – Split an entrée with a friend or ask the server to put half the meal in a doggie bag before it’s brought to the table. Eating at home – To minimize second and third helpings, serve reasonable portions on individual plates, instead of putting the serving dishes on the table. Keep the extra across the kitchen out of reach. Get rid of your large plates and glasses. Antique and second hand stores are great places to find smaller plates and glasses (often at a better price than new!) TV snacking – Instead of eating out of the bag of chips, box of crackers, or container of ice cream, put an actual serving size per the label in a bowl. Between meal snacking – Snacking is good for you. It can keep you from overeating at meals. Grab fruit, veggie sticks, salad, nuts, or seeds. In the kitchen – Store tempting items like cookies and chips out of sight; place them on very high or very low shelves or behind something else. (better yet, buy them only occasionally as a treat) Replace the candy bowl with a fruit bowl on the counter. Put healthier items like brown rice, oatmeal, or quinoa at eye level in the cupboard. To learn more about portion control and everyday helpful hints, go to or Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

January 27, 2016

Lead with Experience – Volunteer to be a Peer Leader

Do you or someone you know have a long-term health condition? Would you like to meet new people, develop leadership and other valuable skills? We’re looking for open-minded, friendly individuals who are comfortable speaking in front of small groups and enjoy helping people. Volunteer peer leaders have been found to gain the same health benefits as Living Healthy workshop participants! You’ll teach important self-management skills and help other older adults learn to take charge of chronic conditions like arthritis, high blood pressure and chronic pain. Volunteering with us you’ll have the opportunity to share what you’ve learned about self-care with others! Peer leaders team up to teach the six week program in weekly 2½ hour sessions. Workshops are held each spring and fall. Workshop materials are scripted and content for the workshop is provided for you and easy to use! Free training and ongoing support from our project coordinator. More info. call: 335-4358 or email: or visit ... Read More

January 21, 2016

Ramsey Constructors, Inc. Employees donate $8,200 to the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center!

Thanks to the generosity of the employees at Ramsey Constructors, Inc., Noyes Health received an $8,200 donation for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center. Two weeks before the annual Ramsey Constructors Christmas party, the employees at Ramsey decided they wanted to start a collection for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center. President and CEO, Chris Ramsey and Vice President, Michelle Paroda told employees they would match the amount raised. The employees generously contributed $4,100, and with the match from Chris and Michelle, Ramsey Constructors employees awarded $8,200 to the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center. Presenting the check to Noyes Health CEO, Amy Pollard was Ramsey Constructors employee Catie Brice. Catie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. “I have cancer, cancer doesn’t have me” said Catie. “I hope this cancer center will offer a team that will provide the care that I myself have received.” “Noyes Health is grateful to have community partners like Chris, Michelle, Catie and the employees of Ramsey Constructors. We are humbled to have seen an enormous amount of support for this project already and we have just begun to gear up our fundraising efforts,” said Cynthia Oswald, director of Public Relations and the Foundation. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center project, a collaboration of Wilmot Cancer Institute, Jones Memorial Hospital and Noyes Health is unique in our region and comes at a time when health systems across the country are forging relationships to ensure specialty services while improving quality. Information on the project or how to make a donation is available on the Noyes Health website or by calling Kellie Sylvester at 585-335-4212. You can also follow the project on Facebook at: #AnnandCarlMyersCancerCenter Please contact Cynthia Oswald, Director of Noyes Health Public Relations, for more detailed information. Call (585) 335-4323, or visit our website at: LIKE us on Facebook ... Read More

January 21, 2016

Seasonal Affective Dissorder

Famed author, Willa Cather, once wrote, “Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.” Indeed winter does seem to hang on and dig in its heels for a long time in places like upstate NY. For some people, those shortened, cold days result in the winter blues and in extreme cases a type of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately half million people in the US suffer from winter SAD while another 10-20 percent of the population may suffer from a more mild form of winter blues. 75% of sufferers are women, and the onset generally occurs in early adulthood. SAD can also occur in children and adolescents; however, it is rare in older adults. According the National Institutes of Health, SAD is more common in northern regions. For example, in Florida only about 1% of the population is likely to suffer from SAD. But in places like Alaska, about 10% of the population is affected. Depression associated with SAD typically only lasts through the winter months and goes away the rest of the year. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments can help alleviate the suffering. While the exact cause of SAD is not known, researchers agree that SAD is triggered by changes in the availability of sunlight. Dr. Matthew Rudorfer, a mental health expert at the National Institute of Health, says, “Seasonal affective disorder…is a well-defined clinical diagnosis that’s related to the shortening of daylight hours. It interferes with daily functioning over a significant period of time.” One theory is that decreased exposure to sunlight disturbs our internal biological clock that regulates mood, sleep, and hormones. Others suggest that the limited light causes an imbalance of feel good brain chemicals in our brain called neurotransmitters. Whatever the exact cause, the symptoms are clear. SAD symptoms typically occur at the same time each year and usually start in the fall, get worse in the winter, and end in spring. This is more than the winter blues or cabin fever. It is depression that interferes with personal relationships, work, and interests. The most common symptoms of SAD are: enduring sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of interest in usual activities, withdrawal from social activities, inability to concentrate, extreme fatigue and lack of energy, increased need for sleep, and a craving for carbohydrates, and accompanying weight gain. The best treatment for SAD will be a combination of therapies and self-care habits. Because SAD is associated with lack of light, the first line of defense is to add light to your day. This can be done by getting outside more (even on a cloudy day), sitting by a window on a regular basis, or sitting in front of a light therapy box. Light therapy is delivered by a device that contains white fluorescent light tubes covered with a plastic screen to block ultraviolet rays. The patient does not look into the light but reads or eats while sitting in front of the device at a distance of 2-3 feet. This is usually done for 15- 30 minutes per day in the morning for the entirety of the winter. Most people tolerate light therapy well; however, some patients should not use a light box. For example, patients with diabetes, retinopathy, or on certain medications may experience damage to the retina of the eye. Furthermore, bright light therapy can cause mood changes which could be dangerous for patients with mood disorders. All individuals should seek guidance from their physician before initiating light therapy. In addition to getting more light, there are several things you can do on a daily basis to alleviate the symptoms. The American Psychological Association recommends these tips to manage seasonal affective disorder: Experience as much daylight as possible. Keep the curtains open, sit by the window or get out for a walk during daylight hours. Consider taking up a winter sport such as snowshoeing, cross- country skiing, or winter hiking. Eat healthy. Comfort foods are tasty but they are often loaded with fats, carbs, and calories. Reach for healthy foods like beans, veggies, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. They will give you sustained energy and don’t spike your blood sugar (causing a crash afterwards.) Be social. Spend time with family and friends. Talking and laughing elevate the mood. Move. Schedule in exercise and pleasant social activities. Avoid hibernating in front of a screen. Seek professional help. If you are feeling blue this winter and it lasts for several weeks, talk to a health care provider. He or she may recommend light therapy, an antidepressant, or talk therapy. If symptoms become severe and you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. For more information about seasonal affective disorder, go the National Institutes for Health at or the Cleveland Clinic at Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

January 13, 2016

Thyroid Basics

Years ago when my kiddos were preschoolers, I went to the doctor for what I thought was a run of the mill visit for an upper respiratory infection. As part of that exam, my physician felt the glands on my neck and pronounced, “My dear, your thyroid is enlarged. Are you fatigued?” I looked at him and said, “I have two small children and work – yes, I’m tired but isn’t everyone?” It turns out, I had been living with hypothyroidism (my thyroid was not producing enough thyroid hormone) and I had no idea. My story is not all that unusual. According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. Furthermore, an estimated 20 million Americans currently have some form of thyroid disease and up to 60% of them are unaware of their condition. Many of those people are women in that women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. One woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. Given these numbers it is worth looking at this small gland, its functions, types of diseases, and treatments. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. It has two cone-like lobes. Each lobe measures about 5 cm long, 3 cm and 2 cm thick (a little less than 2 inches by 1 inch by ¾ inch). This small glands job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, the gland may become enlarged and the person may experience several other symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thyroid functioning falls into two broad categories: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. If the gland is producing too little thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism. If the gland is producing too much thyroid hormone, it is called hyperthyroidism. The following is a list of symptoms associated with both. It is important to remember, however, that not all people will experience all symptoms. Hypothyroidism Symptoms Depression or feeling blue Trouble Concentrating Forgetfulness Tiredness/fatigue Dry skin and hair Weight gain Feeling cold all the time Hyperthyroidism Symptoms Nervousness and anxiety Weight loss Tremor (shaking) Muscle weakness Fast, irregular pulse Tiredness/sleep disturbances Vision problems/eye irritation Feeling hot all the time If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, a visit to your physician is in order. The doctor will feel for the size and texture of the gland and check for masses known as nodules. In addition, he or she will order a simple blood test to check your thyroid hormone levels. Most nodules are benign and usually do not cause any problems; but sometimes, nodules put pressure on the neck and cause trouble with swallowing, breathing or speaking. In addition, some masses may be cancerous. This is much less common and with treatment, the cure rate for thyroid cancer is 90%. Treatments differ depending on the diagnosis. According to the CDC, hypothyroidism usually requires only thyroid hormone replacement by taking a single daily tablet at a dose adjusted to produce normal thyroid hormone levels. Hyperthyroidism treatments may include antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine-131, or in rare cases, surgery. If a nodule is found, the doctor may order a biopsy to determine if it is benign or cancerous. Further tests could include a nuclear scan or an ultrasound. If appropriate, the patient may need to undergo surgery. The American Thyroid Association indicates that undiagnosed thyroid disease may put patients at risk for certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and infertility. That being said, diagnosis is simple and pain free and most thyroid diseases are life-long conditions that can be managed with medical attention. To learn more about the thyroid, its functions, diseases, and treatments, visit the American Thyroid Association website at: Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at UR/Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

January 6, 2016

Winter Sports and Concussion

It has finally decided to be winter in Upstate NY and folks are hitting the slopes. Skiing and snowboarding are definitely great ways to stay healthy but they can put people at increased risk for a concussion. According the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) indicates that winter sports included, more than 1 million young and adult US athletes in all sports sustain a TBI each year. Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully but others will have symptoms that last for days or even weeks. Serious concussions can last for months or years and potentially leave an individual with severe impairments for life. The Injury Prevention Journal cites that wearing a helmet while snowboarding or skiing can reduce head injury by up to 60%; in addition, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 44% of head injuries could be prevented by the use of helmets (53% for children 15 and younger.) And while wearing a helmet is recommended, it is not a 100% guarantee against injury. In fact, some studies suggest that despite more people wearing helmets, concussions are on the rise. This may be due to an increase in risk-taking behaviors marketed by the industry, more extreme terrain at the slopes, or a false sense of security while wearing a helmet. Whatever the reasons, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk as you head to the slopes. The American Academy of Neurology and the National Ski Areas Association recommend the following: Wear a helmet – be sure that it fits properly and is in good working order. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay on marked trails and never attempt a trail that is beyond your skill level. Don’t try tricks you see on TV or online without proper instruction. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid people or objects. Focus on technique. Warm-up ahead of time, take lessons to learn good form, and cool-down afterwards. Know the signs of a concussion: Headache and sensitivity to light; nausea and vomiting; changes in reaction time, balance and coordination; changes in memory, judgment, speech, or sleep; loss of consciousness (which happens in less than 10% of cases.) Coaches and parent should also know and understand the four-step action plan laid out by the CDC. If you think a person may have a concussion, follow these steps: 1) Remove from play. – Have the person sit out the rest of the ski session or game. 2) Seek Medical Attention – do not try to diagnose a concussion on your own. Always seek a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis. 3) Inform and Educate Parents/Family/Friends – inform any significant other about the concussion, symptoms, and treatment. 4) Get written concussion care instructions from your doctor. These instructions should include information about when it is OK to return to play or the slopes and what steps you should take to help the individual safely return to play. To learn more about concussion, go to the CDC’s concussion page at: or the American Academy of Neurology’s sport concussion guideline at: Enjoy the winter weather and be safe out there. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at or 585-335-4327. ... Read More