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September 12, 2016

“Night for Noyes” Event to Benefit New Cancer Center

Noyes Health Foundation and Noyes Health Auxiliary invite you to the first “Night for Noyes” on Saturday, October 15 at Nugget Hill Event Center in Wayland to benefit the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center. The festive-not-fancy evening under the stars kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to appetizers, entrée stations, and a live and silent auction, as well as a DJ taking requests throughout the night. Tickets are $40, and may be purchased at Noyes Memorial Hospital’s front desk, Dogwood Trading Company on Main Street in Dansville and the Not Dot Shop on Main Street in Geneseo. Lead sponsors of the event are The Gunlocke Company and UR Medicine, with co-sponsor Lent Hill Dairy Farm, LLC. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center is a unique collaborative project between Wilmot Cancer Institute, Jones Memorial Hospital, and Noyes Health currently under construction on the campus of Noyes Hospital. When it opens early next year, the Cancer Center will provide patients in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Western New York more convenient access to comprehensive, state-of-the art cancer care. It will also serve as a hub for oncology services and includes a medical oncology clinic in Wellsville and Hornell. Established with a $2 million gift from Ann and Carl Myers, the $5.8 million project will feature a 4,500 square foot radiation oncology clinic and a 2,300 square foot medical oncology clinic featuring three exam rooms and seven chemotherapy/infusion chairs. It will also provide patients with access to 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. Donations of auction items welcome! Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact Mary Sue Dehn, Noyes Health Foundation Director at (585)335-4363 with questions. ... Read More

September 9, 2016

Gardening - The season is coming to an end, but not the benefits!

When I was a little girl growing up in Honeoye, my family befriended a man named Al. He was a kind, gentle man who lived in a group home for veterans. Al’s therapy was his garden. He did not drive so during the summer months, we often picked him up in the morning and drove him to a small plot of land donated by a local farmer. There was a small shed, a rain barrel, and rows upon rows of vegetables. Al would plant, weed, water, and harvest all summer long. His vegetables fed the group home and our house as well. I still remember large crocks full of carrots and potatoes that lasted us well into the winter months. Al did not talk much but spoke volumes when he smiled and handed you a fresh cucumber out of the garden, still warm from the sun. Nothing tasted better. This was way back in the 1960s and 70s. Not too much was known then about all the benefits of gardening but since then, science has confirmed what Al knew intuitively. Gardening is good for the soul and for the body. Researchers use fancy language like gardening is positively correlated with social and interpersonal skills or gardening positively influences attitudes towards healthy nutrition and environmental stewardship. But all that really means is that folks who garden generally connect better with people, like fruits and vegetables more, and love the land! This past summer, a group of children in Lima had the chance to experience gardening first hand. Noyes Health with funding from the Rural Health Grant of New York State created new raised bed gardens and provided healthy nutrition curriculum for the Great Expectations Childcare Center. Petra Page-Mann, owner of the organic seed and plant company Fruition Seeds, spent a morning back in early June, teaching the children about seeds and how to plant. She also sent seed packets home with every child for their families to enjoy. Then the staff of Great Expectations took over. Under the direction of co-owner, Jane Chatterton, the teachers integrated a fruit and vegetable curriculum into their class work. In addition, the children had the opportunity to plant, weed, water, and harvest vegetables, herbs, and even edible flowers. The kiddos also got a lesson in entomology during a Japanese beetle invasion! Overall, the project was a grand success. The children learned the biology of plant growth, worked the soil, and harvested a variety of vegetables. They tasted cherry tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, beans, peppers, ground cherries and more. According to numerous studies over the last three decades, children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables or express a preference for these foods. In one past childcare garden project, 57% of parents reported that their children now ate veggies that they did not eat before gardening. Because garden programs like the one with Noyes Health and Great Expectations include lessons on nutrition, children are more knowledgeable about healthy eating in general. There is also mounting evidence that active learning in less structured spaces like gardens is more likely to transform children’s food attitudes and habits. All this leads to lifelong benefits. A 2005 study of over 2,000 men and women found that those who picked flowers, fruits and vegetables in childhood were more likely to show an interest in gardening as they aged. Even more important, is the lifelong desire to eat fruits and vegetables which is crucial for healthy digestion, immune function, and weight management. If we can hook children on vegetables at an early age, it may help curb the obesity epidemic. Noyes Health will once again be building a garden for a childcare center in Livingston County in 2017. If you know of a childcare center who would like to participate in this program, please contact Lorraine Wichtowski, Noyes Health community health educator, at 585-335-4327 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

September 2, 2016

Suicide Prevention Week

September 5th – 11th is Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States with one suicide occurring on average every 12.3 minutes. Even more startling is that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds. Furthermore, while the elderly make up 14. 5% of the population, they comprise 18% of all suicides. Overall, approximately 1.1 million Americans attempt suicide every year and an estimated 4.8 million Americans are survivors of suicide of a friend, family member, or loved one. Suicide has a huge impact on society. 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Mental illness is quite prevalent in American society. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S - 43.7 million, or 18.6% - experiences mental illness in a given year. In addition, 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. - 13.6 million, or 4.1% - experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits their life. 1.1% of American adults live with schizophrenia and 2.6% live with bipolar disorder. The most common disorders, however, are major depression, which affects 6.9% of the population and anxiety disorders which affect 18.1%. Statistics show that mental illness affects men and women, the young and the old, all races and ethnicities, and social economic classes. No group is left untouched. It impacts life and death on a daily basis in the US. Fortunately, most depressive disorders are treatable with psychotherapy, drugs, and other interventions. But if undetected and untreated, clinical depression can destroy quality of life and exacerbate health problems. It can lead to the person suffering, withdrawal from others, family disruption, and sometimes suicide. Because it brings the potential for suicide, depression is a life-threatening illness. The first step to combatting suicide statistics is to talk openly about mental health and seek help. There's no easy test to differentiate typical behaviors from mental illness. According to NAMI, each illness has its own set of symptoms but some common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents may include the following: Excessive worrying or fear Feeling excessively sad or low Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger Avoiding friends and social activities Difficulties understanding or relating to other people Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite Changes in sex drive Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality) Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight”) Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”) Thinking about suicide Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance (mostly in adolescents) Mental health professionals offer this advice. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you or someone you know needs help. Important first steps include: 1) Talk with your doctor; 2) Connect with other individuals and families; and 3) Learn more about mental illness, symptoms, and treatment. For more information, connect with the National Institute of Mental Health at or the National Alliance on Mental Illness at or the American Association of Suicidology at Locally, Noyes Mental Health Services can be reached at (585) 335-4316 and Livingston County Mental Health Services can be reached at (585) 243-7250. If you or someone you know is in danger or suicidal, call 911. 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

August 25, 2016

Duel in the Pool

Girls’ varsity swimmers from Dansville High School and Wayland Cohocton High School toured the under-construction Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center at UR Medicine / Noyes Health on August 23. The girls will compete with more than 200 varsity swimmers from across the region in the first ever “Duel in the Pool” on Saturday, September 24 at the Bath-Haverling Aquatics Complex starting at 10:30 a.m. The unique cross-conference meet, organized by Dansville High School swimming coach Jim Welch and his wife Natalie, will pit Livingston County Conference swimmers as one team against rivals from the Finger Lakes League. The $5 admission fee, as well as proceeds from t-shirt sales, a 50/50 raffle and pool games will benefit the Cancer Center. PHOTO IDs L to R: Jim and Natalie Welch, Emily Polizzi (Dansville), Kadelynn McInnis (Wayland Cohocton), Jesse Gunn (Dansville), MacKenzie Curtin (Wayland-Cohocton), Cheyenne Markowski (Dansville) For more information visit, Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Mary Sue Dehn, Director of PR/Foundation or 585-335-4323.... Read More

August 25, 2016

Prevent Falls

The number of adults over 65 years of age who die from unintentional falls continues to increase. About 12 million older adults, approximately 1 in 3, fall each year in the U.S. Over half of these falls occur in the home. Every year, 2. 5 million older people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries including fractured arms, wrists, legs, and hips. 250,000 older folks are hospitalized for hip fractures alone. In addition, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults but the good news is that many risk factors can be changed or modified to cut the risk for injury. According to the CDC, most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. Those factors include: Lower body weakness Vitamin D deficiency Difficulties with walking or balance Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. (Even some over the counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.) Vision problems Foot pain or poor footwear (high heels, floppy slippers, and shoes with slick soles should be avoided) Home hazards such as broken or uneven steps, throw rugs or clutter than can be tripped over, and no handrails in the stairways or bathrooms. Many falls can be prevented. Speaking with a physician, making your home safer, and increasing strength and balance can help reduce the risk for a fall. The Mayo Clinic, CDC, and Harvard Medical School recommend the following: Talk to Your Doctor Ask your healthcare provider to evaluate your risk for falling. Ask your doctor and pharmacist to review all your medications (prescription and over the counter) to see if any might make you sleepy or dizzy. Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update glasses as necessary. Make Your Home Safer Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords, and phone cords from walkways. Move coffee tables, magazine racks, baskets, and plant stands from high traffic areas. Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing OR simply remove all loose rugs from the home. Repair loose, wooden floors and carpet. Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach. Install railings on both sides of stair ways and grab bars inside and outside of tubs and showers as well as next to the toilet. Place night lights in bedroom, bathroom, and hallways. Place a lamp within reach of bed for middle of the night needs. Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs. Store flashlights in easy to find places in case of power outages. Increase Your Strength and Balance Note: Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Consider physical therapy for the balance system. Gentle exercises like a pelvic tilt or leg lift can increase strength. Tai Chi, Silver Sneakers, Matter of Balance, and Yoga help with control and the quality of movement. All three types of exercise help with balance, range of motion, leg and core strength, and reflexes. Contact 335-4359 for local programs. Ask a physician if a cane or walker would complement your balance and offer more stability. Locally, the Genesee Valley Health Partnership, the Livingston County Office for the Aging, and the Medical Reserve Corps in cooperation with Noyes Health are sponsoring the 3rd Annual Fall Prevention Workshop on Friday, September 16, 2016 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Lakeville Training Grounds in Lakeville. This free event will highlight several fall prevention experts and includes refreshments. Attendees will learn strategies and skills to prevent falls in the home and connect with local resources and agencies. Registration is required. To register, please call Noyes Health Community Outreach Services at 335-4359 or email 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

August 18, 2016

Your Child’s Vision

The world is getting blurry, fuzzy, and out of focus. Literally, we are not seeing as well as we did in the past. According to a May, 2016 article in the American Academy of Ophthalmology Journal, 50% of the world’s population, nearly 5 billion people will be myopic by the year 2050. Currently, 30% of the U.S. population struggles with myopia (nearsightedness). Overall, 40% of Americans need glasses to correct their vision. Children are not exempt from this malady. The American Academy of Opthamology (AAO) reports more than a third of U.S. children ages 12 to 17 are nearsighted, a sharp increase from the 1970s when only 24% in this age group had myopia. Researchers don’t know exactly all the reasons this is occurring but they suspect lifestyle changes are the culprit. Studies indicate that decreased time outdoors and increased near work activities, particularly computer, tablet, and cell phone use are to blame. The American Optometric Association (AOA) reports that 80% of the learning a child does occurs through his or her eyes. Good vision is necessary for reading, writing, music, art, sports, and more. Vision is more than just seeing clearly. The eyes work together with the brain to recognize, comprehend, and retain information. To effectively read and learn for instance, the eyes focus in on words, help us track sentences across and down a page, and work together to judge distances and spaces. In addition, as a child progresses through K-12, the eyes have a greater workload. With each successive grade, there is more reading, more computer work, smaller print, and increased homework and study time. Bottom line, good vision is critical for school work and success. If glasses or contacts are needed, specialists say the earlier, the better. When a vision problem is detected and treated in its early stages, it is more likely the treatment will be successful. Vision can change frequently during the school years so regular eye and vision care is important. Sadly, many children never have their eyes checked. The AAO states almost 40% of children in the U.S. have never undergone a vision screening. The school year starts in just a few short weeks and it is a great time to schedule a comprehensive exam. It is recommended that a child receive an eye examination at least once every two years – more frequently if there are specific problems or risk factors. It is important to note that school and pediatric vision screening may only test for distance visual acuity. Furthermore, children often do not recognize vision problems; they think everyone sees as they do and it is normal. The AOA and the AAO suggest the following signs may indicate your child has a vision problem: Frequent eye rubbing or blinking Short attention span Avoiding reading and other close activities Frequent headaches Covering one eye Tilting the head to one side Holding reading materials close to the face An eye turning in or out Seeing double Losing place when reading Difficulty remembering what he or she read Squinting when looking in the distance Sitting to close to the TV To learn more about children and vision, check out these websites: American Optometric Association - American Academy of Opthamology - National Eye Institute - To help a child in your life learn more about vision in a fun, creative way, log onto: 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

August 17, 2016


Brae Burn Golf Course welcomed teams of golfers from around the area to the second annual Kyle Button Golf Tournament on Saturday, August 6. The event raised more than $11,000 for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center, currently under construction on the campus of Noyes Hospital in Dansville. The tournament honors the memory of Dansville teacher Kyle Button who, at age 30, lost his battle with Stage 4 colon cancer in January of 2015. “We are grateful to Kyle’s wife Lynne and his son Matthew for allowing us to share Kyle’s story,” said Noyes Health Foundation chair Jon Shay. “Kyle knew the Cancer Center was coming and was so supportive of it. He knew that it will make things easier for his friends and neighbors seeking cancer treatment.” Shay also thanked the many local businesses who sponsored the event and continue to support the Cancer Center’s construction. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center, under construction on the campus of Noyes Hospital in Dansville, is a collaborative project between Wilmot Cancer Institute, Jones Memorial Hospital, and Noyes Health. When completed in early 2017, it will provide patients in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Western New York more convenient access to comprehensive, state-of-the art cancer care. Established with a $2 million gift from Ann and Carl Myers, the $5.8 million project features a 4,500 square foot radiation oncology clinic and a 2,300 square foot medical oncology clinic. The regional cancer center will also provide patients with access to advanced diagnostic testing, clinical trials, outpatient palliative care, and Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Judy DiMarzo Cancer Survivorship Program. Physicians at the cancer center and the 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. To donate, go to and click on the “Make a Donation” button. For more information visit, Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Mary Sue Dehn, Director of PR/Foundation, or 585-335-4323. ... Read More

August 14, 2016

Back to School Stress Busters

Whether you have a kindergartner or college student, the annual back to school preparations and schedule can be stressful. Financial, social, and emotional stresses can tax parents and kiddos alike. Financially, there are school supplies and clothes to be purchased. Socially, students may be prepping themselves to say goodbye to old friends and meet new ones. Emotionally, students, parents, and even grandparents may be dealing with separation anxiety and fear of the unknown. At the same time, the beginning of the school year brings promise and hope. It is an exciting time full of new opportunities. Studies agree that organization, preparation, and mindset are important tools for a successful transition to the fall school-year schedule. Here are some tips for reducing stress and zoning in on the positive: Organization Organize clutter – A 2011 Princeton University study showed that “when the environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus and limits your brain’s capacity to process information.” Basically, when too much stuff is on the counters, tables, and floors, your brain gets cluttered and you get stressed. Before school starts, conquer the clutter. Make a schedule and tackle a different room (or counter, etc.) each day. First, determine what to save, what to throw out, what to recycle, and what to donate. Second, take the saved items and find a home for them in boxes, on shelves, on hooks, or in bins. Develop a daily to-do chart for all family members – Even the youngest students can “read” a picture chart and participate in the daily responsibilities. Before the school year starts, determine the chore list for each person in the household and post it on the refrigerator or on each child’s door with their duties highlighted. Duties may include: make lunch, lay out clothes for next day, prepare backpack, clean off counters, wash sports uniform, etc. Work ahead for healthy snacks and lunches – Once a week, prepare foods into single servings sizes for on the go healthy snacks and lunches. For example, prepare single serving size baggies of carrots, celery, peppers, nuts, trail mix, or whole wheat crackers and cheese. Place them eye level and toward the front of the refrigerator for easy access when packing lunches and sport bags. Preparation Start early to prevent sleep loss – Everyone needs proper sleep to function well. Preschoolers, ages 3-5, need 10-13 hours of sleep per night. School-aged children, 6 to 13 year olds, need 9 to 11 hours and teens need 9 – 9.5 hours of snooze time. The reality is most families are relaxed about bed time during the summer. To avoid sleep deprivation and stress, begin going to bed earlier and getting up a tad earlier (mimic the school week schedule) starting two to three weeks before school starts. Being well rested will help keep everyone’s stress levels down. Do a walk-through – Visit the school and if possible teachers before the start of school. Take fear of the unknown out of the equation by visiting the hallways, lunchroom, and even bathrooms. If your child knows what to expect, he or she will be less anxious. Prepare a good breakfast every morning – A complete, balanced breakfast will energize you and your child for the day to come. Yogurt with berries and nuts or granola topping, eggs with wheat toast and fruit, oatmeal with berries, or even leftover rice with an egg and veggies is a great way to start the day. Avoid sugary cereals and toaster pastries which spike blood sugar but don’t provide any long lasting nutrition for the morning. Mindset Present your most positive self – Even if you are anxious about seeing your little one (or college one) off, conceal your worries and present a positive attitude. Children pick up on anxiety. Lend a listening ear, support and encourage students as they head off to new waters. Embrace change as an opportunity – The new academic year is a time to grow and develop new skills. This change can draw out new creativity, talents, and abilities. Concentrate on the positive things to come from change (even if it is a bit anxiety provoking!) Listen first, talk second – Ask open ended questions such as “What are you most excited about?” or “You seem a little nervous. What about school concerns you the most?” And then listen. If your child expresses some negativity, don’t discount it. Acknowledge the feelings and then work toward finding solutions. This is often a great time to talk about how to handle bullies and peer pressure. Discuss at dinner – Children whose families eat together on a regular basis achieve greater social and academic success. The open conversation also promotes communication which helps to eliminate surprises thereby reducing stress. Dinner is the perfect time to discuss the day, laugh, and problem solve if necessary. Again, ask open-ended questions, “What was the best thing/silliest thing/grossest thing that happened at school today?” 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

August 5, 2016

Food | Not a Reward, Not a Punishment

As a young child, I remember sitting in the grocery cart kiddie seat each week as my mother grocery shopped. Most of the time I was expected to just sit there quietly but occasionally, mom would treat me to a box of animal crackers. I would make the little delectable critters last a good long time. The best part was telling a story about each animal before popping it in my mouth. Nowadays when I go to the grocery store, I often see one of three scenarios unfold: 1) a child is misbehaving and a parent bribes the child with food to acquire the desired behavior; 2) the child is behaving and the reward is food or 3) the child is misbehaving and food is withheld as a punishment. In all three cases, food is attached to the behavior. The message is behave in a certain way and food will come your way. Food for some has become a reward or a punishment instead of nourishment and something to be enjoyed with family and friends in community. Unfortunately, the child who expects a sweet for being good at the store at age 4 or 5 may become an adult who reaches for food as a reward for a long day at work. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, parents should not use food as a reward or punishment. Punishment by withholding foods can make a child anxious. In addition, children may turn the table on their parents and punish them by refusing to eat (certain foods), thereby gaining attention, and causing the parents to be anxious. Furthermore, attaching treats to a behavior can undermine healthy eating habits and interfere with a child’s natural ability to determine if he or she is full and satisfied or still hungry. Currently, one-third of children and adolescents ages 6-19 are overweight or obese. Promoting healthy eating habits and making mealtime fun with good conversation and laughter is an important step to turning those numbers around. When food is used as a reward for achieving good grades, eating everything on the plate, or picking up toys, there are consequences. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) lists several consequences for using food rewards: It compromises classroom learning. Schools, child care centers, and even parents have nutrition programs. They extol the virtues of eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. These lessons are meaningless if they are contradicted by rewarding children with sweets. The state of Connecticut Department of Education states, “It’s like saying, “You need to eat healthy foods to feel and do your best, but when you behave or perform your best, you will be rewarded with unhealthy food.” It contributes to poor health. When food is presented as a reward, children are more apt to learn a preference for sweet foods and junk foods. Cookies, candy, and junk food all contribute to health problems including childhood obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cavities. It encourages overconsumption of unhealthy foods. Foods used as rewards often are high in sugar, fat, sodium, and calories. By associating these foods with celebration of even the smallest achievements, children learn to grab these foods as a default mode as they head toward adulthood. It contributes to the path to adult obesity. Statistically, children, who are rewarded frequently with food, are more prone to be overweight or obese adults. The associations are strong and hard to break. Educators have long used rewards in the classroom to motivate students. Parents have used refrigerator charts to track good behavior. Coaches have dangled “carrots” in front of players. You don’t have to do away with rewards. The key is combining motivational strategies with occasional, healthy rewards. The CSPI offers the following examples of beneficial, inexpensive rewards for children: Social rewards – praise, thanks, big hugs, nods, smiles, winks, high fives Recognition – little notes in the lunchbox, school paper tacked to the refrigerator, a special homemade ribbon or “certificate” Privileges – extra story time at night, play date with friends, playing an educational game on the computer, special outing on the weekend, child’s choice for movie or music Family rewards – game night, dancing together, hiking, playing outside together(everyone!), eating on a picnic blanket together, family reading time, art/craft time, puzzle time Stuff – little things like school supplies, toys, and trinkets – do this in moderation. Experts agree that the most effective rewards for children are time related not thing related. To learn more about alternatives to food rewards, check out these websites: Connecticut Department of Education Center for Science in the Public Interest 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

July 28, 2016

Breastfeeding – Benefits for Child and Mom

This August marks the first anniversary of the Healthy Baby Café at the Genesee Community College campus on Clara Barton Street in Dansville. To celebrate, the Healthy Baby Café will be hosting a drop-in open house on Thursday, August 11th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the GCC campus in Dansville. There will be light refreshments and a chance to win a gift basket. The celebration is open to anyone interested in breastfeeding including expectant moms, moms, and anyone who supports them. The café, open every Thursday from 1 pm – 3 pm, is a social place for anyone interested in knowing more about breastfeeding support and education. The effort coordinated by the Livingston County Department of Health and Noyes Health is designed to help women breastfeed and understand the benefits to both mom and child. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy but with education and support, most women can be successful. Two certified lactation consultants, experts in breastfeeding, are present at the Baby Café each week to assist moms and answer their questions. All of this is part of a New York State initiative to promote exclusive and sustained breastfeeding. Organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Nurse-Midwives recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continuing to breastfeed to twelve months as new foods are introduced. Breastfeeding or feeding expressed human milk provides optimal growth. It is the perfect mix of fat, sugar, water, and protein for brain and body development. In addition, it is scientifically well-established that breastfeeding has several other health benefits. The AAP and CDC support and promote breastfeeding as it protects against a variety of diseases and conditions. Research suggests that breastfed babies are at lower risk of: Bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) Diarrhea Respiratory tract infections Necrotizing enterocolitis (infection and inflammation of the bowel wall) Otitis media (ear infection) Urinary tract infections Late onset sepsis in preterm infants Type 1 and type 2 diabetes in later childhood Lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkin’s disease Childhood overweight and obesity Moms also benefit from breastfeeding. Mothers often feel relaxed and fulfilled when breastfeeding due to the release of a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone helps with milk production and uterine contractions (both during and after delivery.) In addition, oxytocin is known as a social bonding hormone. When it is released into the mom’s system during breastfeeding, she gets warm feelings of love for her child. It basically aids the bonding process between mother and child. While the emotional connection is fantastic, moms also benefit from breastfeeding physically. Health benefits for mom include: Quicker and easier recovery after childbirth. Oxytocin, released during breastfeeding, acts to return the uterus to its regular size more quickly and can reduce postpartum bleeding. Research indicates that women who have breastfed experience reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer later in life. Decreased menstrual blood loss and increased child spacing. Earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding also provides economic benefits. It is the most economical way to feed an infant. Except for the cost of added nutritional food for the mother, the cost is $0. Breast pumps are now provided by WIC and the Affordable Care Act requires health plans to provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. Insurance policies vary so a woman interested in a breast pump should call her insurance company for specifics. Infant formulas range in price and also require bottles and sterilized water. Depending on the chosen formula, costs can range anywhere from approximately, $1500 to $3000 per year. The added health benefits also lower health care costs as much as $475 per infant during the first year of life. To learn more about breastfeeding, visit one of these sites: New York State WIC at: American Academy of Pediatrics at: Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at: Livingston County resources include: Noyes Health OB nurses, the Baby Café, and breastfeeding classes. For more information, call either Noyes Health at 585-335-4249 or the Livingston County Department of Health at 585-243-7299. 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