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December 23, 2015

Noyes Health Employees Donate to Local Charities

Once again this holiday season, Noyes Health employees participated in a local holiday charity drive! This year employees reached out to both Pregnancy Resource Center in Bath and Focus on the Children in Caledonia. The Noyes Health employees donated gladly, with over 1500 items, of diapers, clothing, toys, personal items and cash donations, which were collected at the hospital by Gail Wing, and the Human Resources Department. The two charities had to make numerous pickups throughout the season and were amazed by the outpouring of support for the less fortunate in our region. Pregnancy Resource Center Board of Directors and Staff wrote in their thank-you message, “Your staff is a rare kind of generous. We’re having a hard time putting our gratitude into words.” And Focus on the Children Director, Carrie Johnsen commented, “Thank you for orchestrating and initiating the collection of diapers, clothes, personal items, etc. for Focus on the Children. We are already putting the donated items to good use.” Noyes Health employees and volunteers have a long standing holiday tradition of selecting a different nonprofit, or two, each year to focus on for support and donations. ... Read More

December 23, 2015

2015 Ugly Sweater Contest Tie for First Place at Noyes He

On Friday, December 11th Noyes Health Employees participated in the 2015 Ugly Sweater Contest. Departments and individuals participated in the contest this year. There was a department tie for first place this year. The Winning Departments are: the Business Office, for their traditional group of very ugly sweaters and accessories, and the Mary Saunders Beiermann Emergency Department for their homemade creation of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special! The 2015 Individual Winner was Maranda Spears for her delightfully ugly holiday sweatshirt. Our winners have set the bar high for next year’s competition. A special THANKS to our 2015 contest judges: Jennifer Howe; Genesee Valley Penny Saver, Salome Farraro; Artworks (Tony’s Pizza), and Nicole Alioto; Artworks, all located on Main Street Dansville. ... Read More

December 21, 2015

Know Your Numbers

Year-end audits and financial reviews are in full swing. It is critical for businesses and households to know and understand their finances in order to plan for the future. Likewise, individuals should know their health numbers; yet, few people put this on their end-of-the-year review list. Many people either don’t know their health numbers or understand them. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 12% of Americans are proficient in health literacy; meaning they can look at health tables, charts, and numbers and interpret them correctly. Yet, those numbers are important for good health and well-being. Critical health numbers include: blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and body weight. The Centers for Disease Control state “Keep track of your numbers for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), and others. These numbers can provide a glimpse of your health status and risk for certain diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.” Visiting your physician and getting a blood draw is the first step in knowing your numbers. Once that is accomplished, a thorough discussion of the results along with a game plan for either maintaining or improving your numbers is next. Before you analyze your results, look at the following guidelines for healthy numbers: Blood glucose – There are two basic measurements. One is the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood after fasting. This is measured in milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL. A normal reading would be under 99 mg/dL. Blood sugar is also measured by the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in your blood. An HbA1c test gives you a picture of your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months. This is commonly known as your A1c and is measured as a percentage. A normal reading would be 4.0%-5.6%. 5.7%-6.4% indicates an increased risk for diabetes and a reading above 6.5% indicates diabetes. Blood pressure – Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury or mmHg. This refers to the height to which the pressure in the blood vessels pushes a column of mercury. There are two numbers. The top number is the maximum pressure your heart exerts while beating (systolic pressure), and the bottom number is the amount of pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure). Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Prehypertension is 120/80-139/89 and hypertension (high blood pressure) is 140/90 or higher. Cholesterol – A blood draw for cholesterol will reveal four numbers: total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL) of blood or mg/dL. A desirable total cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dL. HDL or the “good” cholesterol is best at 40mg/dL or higher and LDL or “bad” cholesterol optimally should be less than 100 mg/dL. Triglycerides are best at 150 mg/dL or lower. Body weight – To determine optimal weight, doctors refer to the Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is a formula developed to test how much body fat we have in relation to our weight. In the USA, we use the following formula: BMI= 703 x weight/height2. A normal BMI reading is 18.5-24.9. Overweight is 25-29.9 and obese is 30 or greater. Doctors will also take into consideration your build, muscle mass, and age when analyzing the BMI. As you finish out this year and start planning for 2016, consider putting a visit to the doctor on your calendar. Ask for a blood draw and a BMI reading so you can know your numbers and start off the New Year on the right track. On behalf of Noyes Health, Happy New Year! We wish you good health for 2016. 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

December 16, 2015

Holiday Stress Management

My husband and I have been married 27 years and we still laugh about our first Christmas tree. We were so excited. We had just bought our first home, a real fixer-upper in Schenectady, NY and wanted to make that first holiday season something special. Off we went to the local tree farm, picked out the perfect conifer and stuffed it into the trunk of our Ford tempo. (Why we did not tie it to the top of the car is still a mystery.) Needless to say, an entire tree does not fit in the trunk of a compact sedan, so my hubby took some rope and did his best to tie the hood down over the bulging tree. Loaded up with Christmas merriment, we eagerly headed for the two-lane expressway to take the fast way home. About five miles down the road, cars started to beep at us and then pull alongside us pointing to the rear of our car. Puzzled, I stuck my head out the window and looked behind the car. The next thing out of my mouth was, “PULL OVER! We are dragging the tree!” Somehow, the rope had loosened and the tightly secured tree was, well, not tight or secure anymore. Miraculously, the rope had looped itself around the tree and stayed connected to the latch of the trunk. The resulting picture was something like a 20 foot fishing line hanging out the back of our car with a whale of tree at the end of the line. Well, here is the deal. If you drag a tree behind your Tempo at 60 miles per hour for several miles, it does not exactly look fresh anymore. In fact, it does not look like a tree anymore. In our case, one whole side of tree had sheared off. This tree made the Charlie Brown Christmas tree look good! At first we were heartbroken but then we started to laugh and said, “This baby is going up in our living room anyways!” It was the best first Christmas ever. I relay this silly tale to point out the holidays don’t have to be perfect to be memorable. In fact, sometimes it is the greatest mishaps that cause us to laugh and remember. The holiday season can be stressful with parties, shopping, baking, wrapping, cleaning, and entertaining; not to mention finances and families. Taking some time for relaxation and keeping it all in perspective is the key to not only surviving the holidays but perhaps really enjoying them as well. The American Psychological Association and the Mayo Clinic have the following tips for coping with holiday stress: Be Realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Families grow and change over time. Being flexible with traditions and creating new traditions together makes for a happier holiday for everyone. Stick to your budget. Decide on your food and gift budget ahead of time and stick to it. If you don’t, not only will December be stressful but January will as well when the credit card bill lands in your mailbox. Take a bit of time to relax. Make some time for yourself. Fitting in a 15-20 minute catnap, taking a quiet walk by yourself, or listening to some great music may be just enough to clear your mind before you tackle the next project. Don’t stuff your feelings but reach out. If someone close to you has recently died, you can’t be with loved ones, or the holidays are the anniversary of something traumatic, acknowledge those feelings. It is OK and perfectly normal to feel sadness and grief. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it is the holidays. That being said, often the best antidote is reaching out. If you feel lonely and isolated, seek out community, religious, or social events. Consider volunteering. Helping others is frequently a great way to lift your spirits. NOTE: If you feel persistently sad or anxious for an extended period of time, speak with your physician. If you feel that you may harm yourself or others, call 911. Learn to say no. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. Plan ahead and keep a calendar so you don’t overschedule. To learn more about stress management and the holidays, try these websites: American Psychological Association at or the Mayo Clinic at On behalf of the entire Noyes Health team, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a healthy, joyous new year. Be Well. 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

December 10, 2015

Holiday Eating

I went to my first holiday party of the season last night. It was wonderful – beautiful people, great conversation, and an incredible assortment of holiday foods including my personal favorite, good old-fashioned cut-out sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles. It is definitely tricky to stay on track with healthy eating this time of year. Rumor has it that a lot of folks gain all sorts of weight during the holiday season. Research, however, indicates otherwise. While some people do put on five pounds or more, the average person puts on a pound or two. The problem isn’t the amount of pounds gained as much as the fact that most people do not lose that weight after the New Year. Over the course of many years, those holiday pounds (in addition to birthday, vacation, and other pounds) add up and stick with us. “Weight gain over the holidays is a large part of the typical weight gain that adults have over the years,” says Dr. Jack Yanovski, head of the Unit on Growth and Obesity at the National Institutes of Health. He and his colleagues found that almost all the weight people had gained over the course of a year could be explained by the pounds they added over the holiday period. That’s why it’s particularly important to make sure you maintain your weight during the holiday season. Of course, this is a bit difficult, when the buffet line is staring you in the face. Understanding your choices ahead of time is the key to navigating the chow line. For instance, when approaching the appetizer table, choose shrimp over stuffed mushrooms. One stuffed mushroom may contain 70 calories versus 1 large shrimp with cocktail sauce is only 13 calories. Also, decide on your drinks carefully. Eggnog (8 oz.) is a whopping 400 calories; the same amount of red wine is almost 200 calories; while mulled cider weighs in at 120 calories. And not all desserts are created equal. One piece of pumpkin pie is 230 calories; however, that same size piece of pecan pie is 450 calories. The humble sugar cookie (3-inch) on the other hand can be anywhere from 70 to 150 calories. In addition to knowing your calorie counts ahead of time, the Cleveland Clinic and the NIH offer these tips for creating a healthy holiday season with minimal to no weight gain: Get Moving. Regular, sustained activity is one of the most effective ways to balance out calorie intake. (Exercise also helps ward off holiday stress.) Cheat a little, but only once a day. You don’t have to totally deny yourself treats. Allow yourself one small serving or share a dessert with a friend or family member. Control the risk for temptation. Clear your office and home of tempting goodies. When you bake, keep a small amount and share the rest. Eat your veggies and fruits. Aim for 7 or more servings of fruits and veggie each day. These contain no empty calories and the fiber will help you feel full. Never go to a party hungry. Eat a healthy snack such as fruit, yogurt, or nuts beforehand. (Starving yourself all day for the evening party does not work. Most people eat even more because they are so hungry from not eating all day.) Be in charge of your party choices. Choose a small plate. Eat more veggies and fruits than treats. Limit your alcohol and soda intake as both are full of calories. Say no politely. Just because it is offered, does not mean you have to eat it. Focus on socializing, not food. Conversation is calorie-free! Stand while chatting and offer to clean up. Every little bit of movement helps. Above all, enjoy the holidays. For more information about healthy holiday eating, go to the American Heart Association’s site at, or the American Diabetes Association’s site 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

December 7, 2015

National Influenza Vaccination Week

December 6th -12th is National Influenza Vaccination Week. You may be thinking, “Isn’t it too late for the flu shot?” The answer is definitely not. As long as flu viruses are spreading, it’s not too late to get a vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones. For millions of people every season, the flu can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. Flu also causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of deaths. “While influenza cases are still sporadic across New York State, the season typically peaks in January or February depending on the year,” says Mary Stewart, Infection Prevention Coordinator at Noyes Health. “We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now.” Stewart suggests calling your primary care physician or visiting a local pharmacy to obtain a flu shot. While how well the vaccine works can vary, the benefits from vaccination are well documented. Studies show that flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Stewart indicates that “the influenza shot is highly effective but not a 100% guarantee that you will not get the flu. If you do contract it, however, chances are the symptoms will be mild compared to a person who has not been vaccinated.” This is why CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Flu vaccine is available as a shot and as a nasal spray. According to Dr. Jernigan of the CDC, however, “the most important thing is that you get vaccinated, not necessarily which vaccine you get.” Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about which vaccine is best for you and your family. Some people are at high risk for serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, that can lead to hospitalization and even death. This includes young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with certain medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes or heart disease. For those at high risk for complications, getting the flu vaccine is especially important. It’s also important to get the vaccine if you care for anyone at high risk, including babies younger than 6 months because they are too young to get the vaccine. To learn more about high risk conditions, visit Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting vaccinated for the first time may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected. If a child has not received his/her first dose, get them vaccinated now. For children who are 6 months through 8 years of age and who have been vaccinated with one dose, parents should check with the child’s doctor or other health care professional to see if a second dose is needed. “Getting the flu vaccine is simple, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” says Dr. Jernigan. Millions of people have safely received flu vaccines for decades. Mary Stewart of Noyes Health also recommends the following precautions during flu season: Wash your hands often Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow NOT into your hands Please do not visit the hospital if you are ill; if you must come to visit, please stop at the receptionist desk in the main lobby and ask for a mask. Use alcohol hand sanitizer when entering AND leaving the hospital. For more information about influenza or the flu vaccine, talk to your doctor or other health care professional, visit or call CDC at 1-800-232-4636. 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

November 30, 2015

Winter Back Troubles

After an absolutely glorious fall, the first snowflakes are in the air. Shoveling and sloshing through snow and slush are right around the corner and with it, more than a few sore backs. For most of us, shoveling, building snow forts, and trudging through snow piles will cause a few aches and pains that will go away simply with a bit of rest. Unfortunately, many Americans are not so lucky and suffer from chronic back pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 80% of Americans will suffer from lower back pain during their lifetime with 20% of those cases developing into chronic back pain. In addition, the National Institutes of Health indicate that it is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. The magnitude of the burden from low back pain has grown worse in recent years. In 1990, a study ranking the most burdensome conditions in the U.S. in terms of mortality or poor health as a result of disease put low back pain in sixth place; in 2010, low back pain jumped to third place, with only ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranking higher. Most folks will suffer with acute back pain that lasts from a few days to a few weeks and resolves itself with rest. Some, however, will suffer with chronic back pain which is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. Acute lower back pain is generally mechanical in nature, meaning the components of the back (the spine, muscle, intervertebral discs, and nerves) are somehow disrupted and not fitting together and moving correctly. A few examples of mechanical causes of back pain are: sprains and strains (sprains are caused by overstretching or tearing ligaments, and strains are tears in tendon or muscle), disc degeneration, ruptured or herniated discs, sciatica, a traumatic injury, spinal stenosis, or spinal irregularities. Everyone is somewhat at risk for back problems, however, there are several factors that elevate your risk for low back pain, including: Age – As people grow older, loss of bone strength can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. Most people start to notice back pain between the ages of 30 and 50. Fitness level – Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise and core strengthening exercise is beneficial to the back. Pregnancy – Pelvic changes and alternations in the weight load on the body cause back issues during pregnancy. This is usually resolved after delivery. Weight gain – Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain. Genetics – Some forms of arthritis cause immobility of the spine and pain. Occupational risk factors – Jobs that require heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or twisting can lead to injury and pain. Desk jobs can also lead to pain, especially if you have poor posture or sit all day in a chair putting pressure on the lower spine. Mental health factors – Stress, depression, and anxiety can all influence muscle tension, focus on pain, and perception of pain. Backpack overload – The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that a child’s backpack should weigh no more than 15- 20 percent of the child’s body weight. Overloaded backpacks cause strain and muscle fatigue. Despite the risk factors, there are ways to keep one’s back healthy. The key is consistent exercise that increases strength and flexibility. Walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes daily can help keep the back in shape. In addition, stretching, standing and sitting tall (avoid slouching), wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes, and lifting from the knees while keeping a straight back all can aid in back health. Furthermore, maintaining good nutrition is important not only for weight management but for bone health. A diet rich in calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth. One final note, smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis and impedes healing. It also reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration. As you head out to shovel those first inches of snow, keep in mind, a healthy back is a year round affair. Exercising, stretching, maintaining good posture, and eating right all play a huge role is keeping us upright and pain free. For more information about back health including how to lift objects properly and stretch, go to the North American Spine Society website 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

November 24, 2015

Jack’s Place Rib Cook-Off Raises $500 for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center!

Thanks to the Jack’s Place owner Jason Howard, and Rib Cook-Off Organizer Ashley Derrenbacher (an employee of Noyes Health and Jack’s Place), Noyes Health received a $500 donation for the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center. Jack’s Place first Rib Cook-Off was held Sunday, November 22 outside the restaurant on Main Street Dansville. Despite the cold temperatures the event drew a crowd who not only had an opportunity to enjoy the ribs but also contribute to a good cause. Kyle & Matt Tracy received the first place award and Jason Howard took second place. Judges for this year’s contest were: Samantha Hendley, Justine Fox, Daniel Howard and Patrick Flaherty. “First and second place winners, along with the 50/50 raffle winner all returned their winnings to the Cancer Center donation.” said Ashley Derrenbacher, organizer of the event. “It’s important to have social activities like this in Dansville for individuals and families and to be able to give back to the community at the same time. The Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center Project will impact so many people in the area.” “We are always excited and honored when local businesses look for creative ways to support the projects at Noyes Health.” said Cynthia Oswald, director of Public Relations and the Foundation. “This is an example of Small Town at its finest.” 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

November 23, 2015

National Diabetes Month Part 3

Welcome to week three of National Diabetes Month. During this month we are looking at some of the myths surrounding this condition. Week one was myths about the condition in general, week two was myths about food and this week, myths surrounding some of the treatment options available for diabetes. Myth #1: Diabetes pills are oral insulin. Reality: Insulin does not come in pill form because it is a protein and the body starts to break down protein as soon as it is consumed and that would destroy the insulin before it could get into the blood stream. There are many types of insulin, some fast acting, some long acting and all available by injection or insulin pump with one new option available by inhalation. There are a number of different categories of pills for diabetes; some help the body use insulin better, some help the body produce more insulin, some help the body excrete additional glucose and some slow down the amount of glucose produced by the liver. Myth #2: If I need to go on insulin, I have failed and my diabetes is in its final stage. Reality: Diabetes is a chronic and progressive condition that affects the beta cells, those cells that make up 1% of the pancreas and produce insulin. The need to start insulin indicates the progressive nature of the condition, the beta cells are no longer able to produce any or enough insulin to maintain a normal blood sugar reading. Myth #3: The more insulin I’m on, the worse my diabetes must be. Reality: The amount of insulin any one person is on is very unique to that individual and directly relates to the body’s ability to move glucose from the blood into the cells. Myth #4: Once started on insulin, I will never be able to stop. Reality: This myth has some truth to it and it depends on the individual and why the insulin is being started. There are certain medications that increase blood sugar beyond that which the body can handle. In this case insulin may only be needed for the duration of the medication. Similarly, surgery and pregnancy can both place extra stress on the body and the resulting high blood sugars need to be managed with insulin for a period of time. If the insulin is being started because blood sugars have not responded to oral medications, then thank goodness it is available! Just read some of the reports about those individuals with diabetes before insulin was discovered. Myth #5: Insulin causes weight gain. Reality: When there is a lot of sugar in the blood, the kidneys work to eliminate the excess in urine (not good for the kidneys), but also, these are calories not going to the cells. You may hear of someone eating lots and still losing weight. Once insulin is started, glucose is no longer eliminated and is moved into the cells for energy. This means the person retains the previously lost sugar or calories. If the individual was eating large amounts of food and continues, they will gain weight. If the diet is high in fat, the person will gain weight, if the person is not exercising, they will gain weight. If the amount of insulin taken is not matched to the amount of food being consumed and the person takes too much insulin, the resulting low blood sugar will have the person eating more food than planned and over time it will contribute to weight gain. I hope you have gotten the message here. Yes, insulin moves glucose into cells, but there is more to the weight gain story than just insulin. When was the last time you updated your diabetes education and learned about some of the new treatment options, such as carbohydrate counting? Maybe it’s time. Nancy M. Johnsen RN, CDE is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Community Health Education Coordinator and Coordinator of the Diabetes Education Program at Noyes Health. The program has locations in Geneseo, Dansville, Hornell and some local physician offices. ... Read More

November 18, 2015

Noyes Health and UR Medicine in the news again!

Jones Memorial Hospital, Noyes Health to affiliate with UR Medicine written by Emily Rappleye and featured in Becker's Hospital Review. To see the source, click here. Rochester, N.Y.-based UR Medicine is expanding its network to five hospitals with the addition of two new affiliations, with Wellsville, N.Y.-based Jones Memorial Hospital and Dansville, N.Y.-based Noyes Health. The affiliations were unanimously approved by the boards of each organization and announced Tuesday. In addition to UR Medicine's work with Hornell, N.Y.-based St. James Mercy Hospital, the affiliations will allow the entities to collaborate and strengthen healthcare in the Southern Tier of New York. The regional effort will bring UR Medicine specialists to Wellsville, Dansville and Hornell. "The changes taking place in America's healthcare system have significant implications for rural hospitals and the communities they serve," University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, said in the university's affiliation announcement. "The regional approach of UR Medicine ensures that these hospitals remain the cornerstone of local healthcare and also an economic anchor for their communities." To see the source, click here.... Read More