health

Friday, September 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, announcements, lead, Wyoming County, health.

Press release:

Before you start your fall cleanup consider the age of your home and whether or not you may have a lead hazard.

“Lead poisoning can affect anyone, but is especially harmful to pregnant women, infants and small children who are growing rapidly,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties.

Lead poisoning can cause miscarriages and stillbirths, high blood pressure (hypertension), nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems and muscle and joint pain and in children it can lower IQ, cause growth problems, kidney damage, behavior problems, anemia and hearing loss.

If lead poisoning is not taken care of, it can also cause permanent damage to various organs in both children and adults. You may or may not experience any signs or symptoms of lead poisoning. State law requires all children be tested at age 1 and again at age 2. Contact your primary care doctor to be tested.

Federal law requires landlords and contractors who are hired for renovations, repair and painting in homes, childcare centers and schools built before 1978 that disturb painted surfaces, to be certified and follow specific practices to prevent lead contamination.

This law is the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RPR) Rule. Lead-based paint is especially problematic on surfaces that children can chew on such as windowsills, doors and doorframes, stairs, railings, banisters, porches and fences Lead can also be found in drinking water in homes that have plumbing with lead or lead solder.

“If you suspect that your house has lead hazards, here are some important things you can do to protect your family,” Pettit said.

  • Take advantage of the Free Lead Testing Pilot Program: A $1.5 million state program to test for lead in drinking water is available to New York State residents. Provides residents who are served by either a private well or public water system with an opportunity to have their residential drinking water tested for free. To sign-up visit, https://health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/lead/free_lead_testing_pilot_program.htm.
  • If you rent, call the landlord immediately to report peeling or chipping paint.
  • Damp mop and damp dust often. Clean up paint chips right away and clean all other surfaces with general all-purpose cleaner.
  • Let your cold water run for a minute before using it for making baby formula, drinking, brushing your teeth and cooking to flush lead picked up from pipes. Do NOT use warm tap water to make baby formula.
  • Wash children’s hands and toys often to wash off any lead dust. Keep them way from chipping paint and prevent destructive behaviors like chewing on painted surfaces.
  • Always hire certified contractors for work that will disrupt paint in housing or child occupied buildings before 1978 or get properly trained and certified yourself. For a certified firm check this site: http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm.

For more information about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) visit the Environmental Protection Agency web site at www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.

To learn about additional sources of lead visit, https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/sources.htm.

For information about services that your local health department provides visit:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 10:05 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, health, announcements, WCCH.
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Information sourced from a press release

Wyoming County Community Hospital established an Orthopaedic Clinic in 2014. Effective Dec. 1, Dr. Paul J. Mason (top right photo) and Physician Assistant James O’May (bottom left photo) will be providing orthopaedic services at the clinic on a full-time basis. In addition to his added hours at the clinic, Mason has also been named chief medical officer for WCCH. The full-time status is through Mason’s professional organization, Buffalo Bone and Joint Surgery.

Mason and O’May began providing orthopaedic services, along with Board Certified orthopaedic surgeons Dr. John Karpie and Dr. Lindsey Clark. 

Mason, a Board Certified orthopaedic surgeon, completed his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also completed his residency, as well as a Fellowship in hip and knee reconstruction, at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Mich.

Dr. Mason began practicing one day per week at WCCHS as his primary practice has been in Buffalo. He has performed more than 300 surgeries at WCCHS – approximately 100 have been hip or knee replacement surgeries. 

All three of the physician providers rank in the top 98th percentile in patient satisfaction in nationally conducted surveys. Eichenauer says he receives “many calls and letters with positive comments on the orthopaedic services and that more than a dozen of Dr. Mason’s patients have provided official testimonials in support of Dr. Mason.” 

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Mason’s practice grew rapidly and as a result, many orthopaedic surgeries at WCCHS were scheduled two to three months out. Having Dr. Mason and Jim O’May here five days a week will provide a significant benefit to the community and WCCHS, Eichenauer says. 

Having practiced orthopaedic surgery in Buffalo for more than 12 years, Mason decided to focus his practice at WCCHS full-time because he is “impressed by the changes at WCCHS over recent years including the new construction, the focus on patient service and the quality of the staff.” 

"I truly enjoy the patients, the staff, and the rural community," Mason said. “Don and I had discussed increasing time at WCCHS over recent months and the timing just seemed right.” 

Karpie and Clark will continue to provide services at the WCCHS Orthopaedic Clinic.

As Chief Medical Officer, Mason will assist with hospital strategic planning, physician recruiting, patient satisfaction, as well as community education and involvement. Mason will work closely with Dr. Mandip Panesar, WCCHS’s recently appointed Medical Director, who will provide medical leadership assisting the medical staff in the delivery of patient care, medical education/research and for the advancement of clinical quality/safety initiatives.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, health, Warsaw, Milestones.

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Press release, photo submitted:

Wyoming County Community Health System (WCCHS) Board of Managers' recently announced the appointment of Dr. Mandip Panesar, Acute Hospital medical director, effective Sept. 1. 

Panesar currently serves as the Chief Medical Information Officer at Erie County Medical Center Corporation, Medical Director of the Hemodialysis Unit at the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care, and a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University at Buffalo. 

Having received his medical degree from St. George's University, he completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Seton Hall University, St. Francis Medical Center, Trenton, N.J.  Additionally, he completed his Nephrology Fellowship at the University of Arkansas, Little, Rock, Ark., and holds a master of science degree in Physiology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. 

Panesar replaces Dr. Bilal Ahmed, who served in this capacity since 2015. 

At the Aug. 29, Board of Managers' meeting, Don Eichenauer, CEO, and members of the Board expressed their thanks to Ahmed for his time at WCCHS and for his enthusiasm, leadership, and dedication. Ahmed has been instrumental in improving quality initiatives and ensuring staff members and clinicians place quality and patient service at the forefront. 

In his role as Medical Director, Panesar will carry on the activities of his predecessor and provide medical leadership assisting the medical staff in the delivery of patient care, medical education/research and for the advancement of clinical quality/safety initiatives.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 12:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, health, Castile.
Event Date and Time: 
September 19, 2017 - 6:00pm

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. It is a progressive and fatal brain disease that is the most common form of dementia.

“The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease” is a free class presented by the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter for anyone who would like to know more about the disease and related dementias.

The program will be held in the Cordelia Greene Library, 11 S. Main St., Castile at 6 p.m. Sept. 19.

Attendees will learn:

    • Symptoms and effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia;

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 9:38 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Warsaw, health.

Press release:

Oak Orchard provides primary, dental and vision care for more than 21,000 adults and children in rural areas and small communities across Western New York and the Finger Lakes. It started in 1966 as a small health project serving migrant workers and has grown into an integrated, federally funded health center with locations in Albion and Lyndonville, Orleans County; Brockport, Monroe County; Hornell, Steuben County; and Main Street in Warsaw.

Oak Orchard Health has worked closely with UR Medicine physicians and hospitals for a number of years. A new agreement formalizes their institutional collaboration, and is expected to make it easier for Oak Orchard’s adult and pediatric patients to receive care from UR Medicine professionals — including telemedicine consultations for specialty care services such as behavioral and mental health.

“As we look to reduce barriers and address other critical gaps in rural health care, collaborations such as this make good sense,” said James J. Cummings, chief executive officer of Oak Orchard Health. “This is not just great news for our patients; it is great news for our communities at large, especially during this time of concern and uncertainty regarding health care. This relationship enhances the high-quality primary care, dental care and vision services for which Oak Orchard has become known.”

Mark B. Taubman, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center and UR Medicine, said the Oak Orchard agreement supports URMC’s strategy for increasing access to high-quality UR Medicine care for families across Upstate New York. Along with Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals in Monroe County, URMC’s affiliates include F.F. Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, and Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville. UR Medicine professionals also provide care to patients at the Strong West medical campus in Brockport, St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell and Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw.

“UR Medicine has outstanding providers in a full range of specialties,” Taubman said. “The goal of our regional strategy is to make these services as accessible as possible to patients throughout the region. We have great regard for the Oak Orchard Health organization and look forward to expanding the range of services available to Oak Orchard patients as part of this agreement.”

Oak Orchard Health will continue to maintain previously established relationships with other area health care providers and social service agencies.

Friday, August 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, WCCH, Warsaw, hospital, health.

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Press release, file photo:

Wyoming County Community Health System's (WCCHS) Chief Executive Donald Eichenauer today confirmed that WCCHS received the $20 million grant funding this week that was awarded in March 2016. The funding was part of the New York State’s Capital Restructuring Financing and Essential Health Care Provider Support program and was used to retire virtually all of the debt incurred with respect to the hospital’s 2014 renovations.

In March, Chairman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Doug Berwanger said that the money essentially clears the debt incurred during the hospital’s major upgrades and positions WCCH to provide health care to the residents of Wyoming County for a long time.

Having paid off virtually all of its debt, the hospital will be able to increase services in areas such as orthopedics, allergy and nephrology as well as take advantage of its new relationship with Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation.

"Having reliable health care services is important in a rural community,” Eichenauer said. “This funding will go a long way in ensuring WCCHS is prepared to provide high-level services for residents of Wyoming County and surrounding area today, tomorrow and far into the future.”

“This is a significantly positive outcome for WCCHS, thanks to the hard work of the hospital’s executive team and the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors led respectively by Don Eichenauer and Doug Berwanger,” said President and CEO of ECMC Thomas Quatroche Jr. “With the new partnership between WCCHS and ECMC, we can focus squarely on providing reliable quality health care services for Wyoming County’s residents.”  

Officials say Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Sen. Patrick Gallivan were instrumental in helping secure the funding.

Wyoming County Community Hospital is a 62-bed rural, acute-care hospital accredited by The Joint Commission. It is the sole inpatient provider for Wyoming County, which has a population of approximately 44,000. In addition to an acute care hospital, its services include an attached 138-bed nursing home, adult day health care, and inpatient Behavioral Health Unit. The hospital has approximately 2,500 inpatient admissions per year and 14,000 emergency department visits per year.

For more information about WCCH visit www.wcchs.net.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, health, mental health, news, announcements.

How do rural counties with limited resources combat an issue as multifaceted as heroin and opiate addiction?

Quite simply, they collaborate to find common-sense practices to beat the dragon.

In January, officials, doctors, healthcare providers, and community members from three counties -- Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming -- formed the GOW Opioid Task Force.

Its goal is to not only raise awareness of the growing epidemic but to also find and compile: a list of resources available to addicts and their families; data on the number of overdoses, deaths, and uses of naloxone within each county; and identifying roadblocks to treatment.

During the July meeting, a roadmap of sorts was laid out for the Task Force.

From the time an individual is born, they are, to some degree, rated on performing tasks independently. Doctors gauge a child’s progress: Sits independently. Walks independently. Teachers grade a student’s performance: Works independently. It’s a skill desirable to some employers: Must be able to work independently.

It is a mantra instilled in a person's mind from a very young age: Be an individual. Don’t follow the crowd. Learn to be independent. Yet, there are times, when being independent becomes counterproductive to the needs of a community.

Although each of the GOW counties are afflicted with the same problem – the increase in overdoses and deaths due to heroin and opiates – independently, there are gaps in services and help for both addicts and their families. However, collectively, the Task Force can help fill those gaps.

In an effort to find where each county is lacking and how to get funding for the resources it needs, the Task Force determined three areas to address: community education and action, data compilation and access to care.

Community education and action

Three goals were created to better educate the public:

    • Educate students, parents and community about the dangers of heroin and opioid use – Narcan training and education, sharps and medicine disposal sites, and develop materials for distribution;

    • Identify resources and local partnerships to help prevent use – pharmacies, law enforcement, recovery services, and mental health service; and

    • Develop recommendations for future goals and action steps to prevent use – encourage attendance and participation in Task Force meetings, recovery coaching, peer speakers, and more.

Data

Part of the requirements for applying for State funding is to have the data and statistics to back up the need. However, compiling those numbers becomes a collaborative effort between multiple agencies. Additionally, the task is further hindered by the fact that the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s (ME) Office handles cases from its own and the GOW counties. Subsequently, toxicology reports are often not received back for six months or more.

According to a recent report, the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office has performed 1,020 autopsies in 2016. In 2015 it was closer to 900. In 2008 approximately 975 were performed and in 2005 860. The years 2012 and 2013 both showed approximately 880.

The goals of this group are to develop a tool to track data, identify the data each county already has, and perform a gap analysis to identify missing data and create a plan to overcome any barrier.

Access to care

Again, a barrier addicts and family members face is access to care in relative proximity to where they live.

Officials say when an addict is ready to get the help they need to begin the recovery process, there is an immediacy to their need.

One of the goals of this group is to map out the access to care in the Western Region Naturally Occurring Care Network (NOCN).

The NOCNs include the Finger Lakes, Monroe, Southeastern, Southern, and Western regions of New York State.

In addition to finding a place to receive care, the group also identified eight groups of potential entry points for families and individuals in crisis. They include hospital emergency rooms, crisis hot line, primary care physicians, law enforcement, community-based organizations, healthcare homes, community-based groups, and schools and colleges.

Nationwide, every 17 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose. About two years ago, there were 100 deaths in Erie County. In 2015, it more than doubled. In 2016, that number could reach over 500. That’s about 10 per week. February alone recorded 23 overdose deaths in just one week.

In Wyoming County, between 2010 and 2014 the number of opioid-related emergency department admissions increased 47.6 percent – 42 and 62. The number of opioid-related inpatient hospital admissions rose from 61 to 91 respectively – a 49.2-percent increase. 

According to a recent article in The Batavian (the sister site of the Wyoming County Free Press), there were five deaths in Genesee County that the Monroe County Medical Examiner attributed to the overuse of opiate-related drugs in 2013.

In 2016, 17 deaths with toxicology completed were attributed to drug mixtures that included opiates, with four toxicology reports for last year still pending.

To date in 2017, there are seven deaths where toxicology is still pending.

Of the 17 known OD-related deaths in 2016, only five were attributed to heroin mixed with other drugs, whether prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter medications. (Note: the ME for 2016 was Erie County.)

There were nine deaths caused by a combination of prescription opiates mixed with other drugs.

There was one death caused by "acute and chronic substance abuse."

Of the 18 overdose deaths in 2015, 14 involved prescription opiates used in combination with other drugs and two were caused by heroin used in combination with other drugs.

In 2014, there were 12 drug-induced deaths. Nine of the 12 involved prescription opiates combined with other drugs. Heroin, used singularly or in combination with other drugs, contributed to three deaths. 

Between 2010 and 2014 those who were admitted for treatment for any opioid in Western New York was 7,679 in 2010. By 2014, the number of people seeking treatment rose by almost a third – 10,154 – a 32-percent increase.

Across the state, those in treatment for heroin use was 55,900 in 2010; in 2014, the number was 77,647. Deaths across the state due to heroin overdose increased 163 percent (215 in 2008, and 637 in 2013) and opioid overdoses increased 30 percent (763 to 952).

While nearby counties like Erie and Monroe have access to more mental health services and rehabilitation centers due to their populations, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties struggle to find those same services closer to home for their residents.

The next meeting date and time for GOW Opioid Task Force to be determined.

For more information, Kristine Voos at Kristine.Voos@co.genesee.ny.us

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, health, announcements, fire.

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Press release, file photo

Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) authored a bill that would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters. The bill recently advanced through the Energy and Commerce Committee.

This piece of legislation addresses an enormous gap in research conducted on the health impacts of a career of firefighting. Firefighters may experience detrimental health effects due to smoke inhalation and other harmful substances, and this bill takes a first step toward developing new protocols and safeguards for these men and women.

“Firefighters are some of the bravest among us and more needs to be done to keep them safe,” Collins said. “This legislation has the potential to lead to methods that save the lives of the courageous men and women that keep our communities safe. I’m humbled by the strong bipartisan support we have received and look forward to getting this bill on the House floor.”

A 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that in the United States firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths. Unfortunately, this study was limited in scope by a small sample size, yet the proposed legislation would establish and improve collection infrastructure and activities to collect a greater abundance of data.

The next step for the bill to become law is passage on the House floor.

For more information on the Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, click here. To read the text of H.R. 931, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, click here.

Monday, July 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Business, Attica, health.

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When Ryan LaVarnway was a child, 2 Market St., Attica, was Jim’s Deli and a general store. On Friday the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce welcomed LaVarnway, owner of Attica Pharmacy, to the address with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Local dignitaries, family and friends gathered at the corner of Market and Main streets to celebrate the official opening of Attica’s new independent pharmacy. The last time residents of the village and surrounding town had the option of pharmacies was in 1996 when Burling Drug closed its doors. 

“I had worked for Walgreens for 15 years and decided I didn’t want to be a staff pharmacist,” LaVarnway said. “I didn’t want to have to uproot my family to move up the corporate ladder.”

So, about four years ago he opened up his first pharmacy in Hamburg – a purchase he made from David Brooks. 

“Before I bought Brooks’ I thought about opening the pharmacy here, in this same building I’m in now, but it wasn’t doable at the time. But the real cool coincidence was in buying the store in Hamburg, the Brooks family used to live in this area.” 

The brick building that sits kitty-corner from the pharmacy was called the Duoform Company – a manufacturer of home remedies and medicines during the 1800s. David’s grandfather, Sewell Brooks, built the building. David’s father, Chester, was a pharmacist at a shop in the village. Sometime during the 1940s Chester moved his family to Hamburg to open up his own store – Brooks Pharmacy.

During the 1970s, David had taken over the pharmacy and in 2013 sold it to LaVarnway. While he still owns the shop in Hamburg, a couple of years ago he felt he could finally take the leap of bringing an independent pharmacy back to Attica. But he had a lot of work to accomplish first. 

“It’s totally different starting from new. There is a lot more involved in the process of starting a business from scratch.”

Licensing had to be obtained, a computer system needed to be installed and the building itself needed a bit of work.

“The building was a bank in the '60s and then sold to a store owner who had moved the door a few feet to the right, more in the center of the space. I wanted to make the front look like the old bank building.”

He not only renovated the interior, he restored the entrance back to its original facade – projects that were almost a year in the making. He also retained all the original woodwork and even repurposed an old door that he found in the basement that was labeled for the employee lunch room.

“This is my hometown. I saw a big need. The community hadn’t had a choice in pharmacies for 20-plus years. It’s a great community to open up in. To have done it on my own is rewarding, but the best part is seeing the people come in and the positive response of the customers.”

Attica Pharmacy leans toward a more traditional pharmacy in the sense that it sells prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and medical equipment. The shop has five employees: three pharmacists, of which LaVarnway is one, and a couple of part-time employees. 

The store is open from 9 a.m.  to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. For information call (585) 591-1111.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 4:55 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, health, government, announcements.

Press release:

Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) authored a bill which would require the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to develop and maintain a registry to collect data regarding the incidence of cancer in firefighters. Today, the bill advanced through the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. The legislation would take the first step toward addressing the detrimental health effects firefighters may experience due to smoke inhalation and other harmful substances.

“This is an important piece of legislation that truly can save lives,” Collins said. “This database will assist the CDC with research, and the more information they have the better when it comes to developing new protocols and safeguards for these brave men and women.”

There was a 2015 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that found that in the U.S. firefighters had a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer-related deaths. Unfortunately, this study was limited in scope by a small sample size, yet the proposed legislation would establish and improve collection infrastructure and activities to collect a greater abundance of data.

The legislation will advance to the full Energy and Commerce Committee, and if reported favorably can advance to the House floor.

For more information on H.R. 931, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, click here.

Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, health, news, announcements.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) recently reacted to news of anticipated steep increases in the price of BlueCross BlueShield plans available to New Yorkers through the New York State Insurance Marketplace.

“Not only has Obamacare been a failure for most of America, it is now failing the people of Western New York by making basic healthcare completely unaffordable and inaccessible,” Collins said. “I am absolutely appalled a BlueCross BlueShield plan in Western New York would increase by almost 50 percent in the marketplace.”

BlueCross BlueShield pointed to the failed Obamacare policies that have cost insurance companies millions of dollars, driving up costs for Americans. Regulations put in place under Obamacare have made the insurance marketplace less competitive, thus increasing costs for consumers.

While President Obama promised that premiums under his plan would decrease during these last few years, a May 23 report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed that Obamacare increased premiums across the country by 105 percent between 2013 and 2017.

“Obamacare’s chief cheerleader in our state, Governor Andrew Cuomo, owes our community an apology. Cuomo is part and parcel to (former President Barak) Obama’s promises that ‘you can keep your plan’ and premiums will be lower. Those have turned out to be lies.”

Collins said there was help on the way. The American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the House of Representatives on May 4, repeals and replaces Obamacare and removes more than $800 billion in onerous taxes and fees that have been stifling the economy and eliminating job growth.

“I am working with my colleagues in Congress to implement policies that allow the people of Western New York the opportunity to make their own choice when it comes to healthcare and provide lower premiums. Americans deserve to be able to pick which plan works best for their family, and I’m urging the senate to take up the American Health Care Act so we can get ourselves out of this mess.”

 The American Health Care Act:

    • Eliminates the individual and employer mandate;

    • For Western New Yorkers, the bill also includes the largest property tax reduction ever to be enacted. The legislation includes an amendment Collins introduced that would bar federal reimbursements for New York State Medicaid funds raised from local governments;

    • Guarantees protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions by prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, banning insurers from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition, and preventing insurers from raising premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage. Additionally, New York state law fully protects individuals with pre-existing conditions;

    •  Modernizes and strengthens Medicaid by implementing a per capita allotment which provides more flexibility for states;

    • Provides Americans access to affordable care that works for their needs by delivering monthly tax credits of $2,000-$14,000 a year, which individuals and families can use to purchase private insurance of their choice; and

    • A provision within the American Health Care Act (AHCA), The Patient and State Stability Fund, would provide solutions to help lower costs and repair insurance markets damaged by Obamacare.

The American Health Care Act is with the Senate where it will need to be approved before heading to President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, health, Varysburg, Warsaw, Silver Springs.

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As Mental Health Awareness month comes to a close, the Wyoming County Mental Health Department recently hosted a recognition breakfast at Byrncliff Resort & Conference Center, Varysburg. 

Awards were given out for Outstanding Business of the Year – Silver Lake Marina, Outstanding Community Member – Village of Warsaw Police Chief Pete Hoffmeister, Outstanding Community Organization – Restore Sexual Assault Services, and a Special Recognition Award was presented to former Mental Health Department Director of Community Services Nancy Balbick.

Silver Lake Marine, 4213 W. Lake Road, Silver Springs, was recognized for offering an opportunity to Joe Jackson. Silver Lake Marine President Quinn Bellamy was able to customize the job for Jackson to be able to help him be gainfully employed.

“My first memory with Joe was at our wedding reception in the showroom 14 years ago,” Bellamy said. “At one point in the reception, after the standard dances, a song came on that I would be prone to dance to. So I was dancing alone at the reception, when lo and behold, cutting the rug with me was Joe Jackson. Now we are together in that same showroom working side by side.”

Hoffmeister was nominated for his integrity. 

“We found in this man a place of respect, heart, and help,” Joann Robb said. “He is caring, compassionate, helpful, approachable, and kind-hearted. He can be trusted. We can call upon him for help with the assurance that help will be provided.”

“I surround myself with people who help and they make me look good,” Hoffmeister said. “I was born and raised in Warsaw and will serve the community until the day I retire.”

Restore Sexual Assault Services, specifically Outreach & Education Specialist Lauren Berger, was recognized for the protection and counseling of the most vulnerable in the community and collaborative efforts with assisting organizations.

“While Lauren is always hanging around our meetings, what I remember the most about her was at the 10th anniversary of the Suicide Prevention Walk,” Balbick said. “At the balloon launch, Lauren wrote and spoke a meditation that was important and needed to be heard by the people who were there. Restore is a better organization with her.”

Balbick received special recognition for her impact on thousands of lives throughout her career.

“In the same paper that headlined John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, there was an article written on mental health in which those same words could have been written today,” Gordon Lew said. “We must continue to bring awareness and services to those afflicted with mental health issues – and Nancy does just that."

Balbick began her career in the Foster Care field, and then the Child Protective Services Unit, before moving on to the Genesee County Mental Health Department. It was there that she found her passion, got her degree, and shortly thereafter, began her work with the Wyoming County Mental Health Department.

Although she has worked for the department for a dozen or more years, she recently retired from her county position to open a private practice in Warsaw.

In addition to the award presentations, guest speaker Megan Stapley, of Suburban Adult Services Inc. (SASI), spoke about High Hurdles Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program. The program, developed in 1997, is designed to provide a therapeutic riding experience for children with developmental disabilities. 

High Hurdles currently serves riders from 3 to 83 years old. The program helps clients feel more in tune with themselves by working toward a goal without the feeling of working, program officials say.

“There was a boy who wouldn’t speak,” Stapley said. “He would use noise, but the sound never meant the same thing twice. With horse therapy, he would mimic the sounds used to train the horses. He started using the ‘whoa’ sound to get the horse to stop or the ‘click’ sound to get the horse to trot. He started using vocalization as a means to get the animal to do something.”

Through the activity on a horse, instructors say it is more the horse teaching the rider than the counselor teaching them. According to Stapley, some of the horses even choose their own riders.

“Some of them (horses) do better with certain conditions or choose riders that have certain afflictions.”

For more information about High Hurdles click here.

For more information about the Mental Health Department click here, or call (585) 786-8871. 

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Friday, May 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, health, news, Business, Perry.

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Serving those with disabilities just got a bit easier for Independent Living of the Genesee Region. The organization recently opened a satellite office at 6470 Route 20A (in the Community Action building), Perry. To celebrate its opening, a ribbon cutting and open house was held at the new office.

The organization got its start in Batavia in 2010. Although the Batavia office has served residents with disabilities in Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans counties, the Warsaw office will make getting services more convenient to those in Wyoming County.

“It’s important to have a presence here because going to Batavia was inconvenient to some of our clients,” said Independent Living Director Rae Frank. “It was time to expand into other communities.”

According to its website, the organization is “designed by people with disabilities for people with disabilities.” Staff help their clients become advocates for themselves, while also being advocates for change in the community. 

Independent Living specialists can assist those with disabilities with Social Security, housing, employment, and other areas to improve the quality of their lives. Additionally, a facilitated enroller is available to help with the Medicaid application. 

The office is open from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information visit http://ilgr.org/ or call (585) 969-4258. 

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Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:00 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, government, health, announcements.

Press release:

The Senate recently passed a package of bipartisan bills aimed at encouraging more New Yorkers to become organ and tissue donors and protecting the rights of those who do. The bills enhance public awareness, remove bureaucratic obstacles and will increase the number of residents who sign up to help save lives through organ, tissue, bone marrow, and blood donation.

“Organ and tissue transplants save lives, but too few New Yorkers are enrolled in the Donate Life program,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “New York can and must do better. This legislation will help raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation, provide support for those who participate and make it easier for residents to get involved in this lifesaving effort.”

Currently, only 27 percent of potential New Yorkers are enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry – the lowest rate in the country. Additionally, nearly 10,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in New York – the third highest rate in the country.

The Senate continues to advocate for increasing resources and public awareness on the importance of organ and tissue donation through legislation and funding, officials say. This year’s enacted state budget included $1.3 million as part of the Senate’s ongoing commitment to help New Yorkers’ need of lifesaving transplants.

The two bills, cosponsored by Gallivan, provide a wide variety of protections and support for prospective organ donors. The measures would bolster the amount of lifesaving organ and tissue and donations and shield donors in New York by: 

    • Enacting the “Living Donor Protection Act of 2017” to prevent discrimination against living organ or tissue donors who have or are applying for life, accident, health, or long-term care insurance; designating transplantation preparation and recovery related to donation as “serious health conditions” covered by paid family leave; and directing the Commissioner of Health, in cooperation with the transplant council and other interested parties to develop and distribute information on live organ donation (S2496); and

    • Establishing a one-time personal income tax credit for up to $10,000 for expenses related to a taxpayer donating his or her organs for transplantation. The bill also repeals the personal income tax modification, reducing federal adjusted income, for such expanses (S2497).

To further increase public awareness of organ and tissue donation, especially among youth, a bill (S5283B) cosponsored by Gallivan would allow SUNY, CUNY, and library card applicants to register as an organ donor. The bill would expand Lauren’s Law, which changed DMV forms to require applicants to choose “yes” or “skip” the question about becoming a donor.

The Senate also passed legislation (S2162A) to help medical transport teams quickly operate within their necessary and sensitive periods. The bill would add human organ delivery vehicles to the list of authorized emergency vehicles in the state.

Additionally, the Senate passed a bill (S474B) that would give the option to applicants for the practice of a profession or occupation, state income tax filers, and applicants registering motor vehicles to register in the Donate Life Registry for organ, eye, and tissue donation.

The Senate also passed a measure (S1475) that would allow a taxpayer or the spouse of a taxpayer to deduct costs related to the taxpayer’s organ donation, and include childcare costs within such allowable costs.

The bills will be sent to the Assembly.

Additionally, another bill (S2495) cosponsored by Gallivan passed both houses this year. The legislation allows the state's Transplant Council to expand its scope. It aims to help New York organ donation efforts by making annual recommendations to the Commissioner of Health on organ donation, procurement organizations, and organ banks and storage.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 7:52 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Business, Warsaw, health.

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Hypno-psychotherapist Daniel Nightingale, who earned a doctorate in psychotherapy in the United Kingdom, can’t control a person’s mind through hypnosis. He can’t make a person cluck like a chicken. As a matter of fact, he can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, because in clinical hypnosis, the patient is always in control.

Nightingale, and his wife Kathleen, recently opened Nightingale Hypnosis at 4 W. Buffalo St., Warsaw. While Kathleen is a native Western New Yorker, Daniel’s homeland is England. The couple moved to Wyoming County in September after a four-year stint in Arizona. Daniel first opened his practice in Orchard Park, but the long trek from their home in Portageville during the Western New York winter prompted the move closer.

Although both use hypnosis to help heal a multitude of symptoms – it will also help with smoking cessation and weight loss – Daniel’s speciality is in dementia.

“My drive here is to cut the risk of dementia,” he said, “and smokers have got three times the risk of getting dementia than anyone else.”

Daniel trained for four years in the U.K. in hypno-psychology. However, he said one really doesn’t start learning until you begin to gain experience.

“I qualified in practice in 2002 and was U.K.’s first clinical dementia specialist. While I was there I was involved in its National Dementia Strategy and I was responsible for the dementia care for 800 care homes in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.”

When he first qualified, he worked in forensic medicine with offenders – serial killers, rapists and the like – in the U.K.. During that time, he was asked to cover geriatrics for six months. At first, he didn’t want the position, however, he said he was told he was going to be covering geriatrics.

“I didn’t want to do it at first, but what happened was I discovered how awful the care was for the elderly and people with dementia. After the six months were up, I was to go back to that really ‘sexy’ area of forensic medicine. However, I said no. I decided to retrain and specialize in dementia and start changing things.”

U.K.’s National Dementia Strategy is a nationwide effort to educate citizens on dementia and improve public spaces for those living with dementia. The strategy encompasses a community effort from a variety of organizations and the commitment of its residents. The effort extends from education to details like sign colors. Nightingale says people with dementia tend to lose the ability to see colors at the low end of the spectrum.

He also likens the treating of dementia with the fire triangle. Whereas fuel, oxygen and heat propel a fire, with dementia, anxiety and fear fuel memory loss.

“Just think about it. Every morning you wake up and look in the mirror and the fact you’re looking at is a face you don’t recognize anymore. The house that you live in, the one you’ve live in for 40 years and you’ve been married to the same person for 40 years, and all of the sudden it’s like ‘Who the hell are you?' and 'What is this stuff?’

“Every day I see it perpetuate. You’re in this constant state of fear and anxiety and throughout the course of the day this anxiety builds up and builds up. So, you’re symptoms of not being able to remember things or not being able to do something deteriorates throughout the day.”

Nightingale says hypnotherapy alleviates those symptoms. It relieves that anxiety so the person becomes more alive and empowered to start doing things again. Therefore, the anxiety and fear are what needs to be dealt with when working with people with dementia. While hypnotherapy is not a cure-all for the disease, it has been shown to slow down its progress and there are tools that can reverse some of the symptoms.

“Coconut oil has been shown to reverse some symptoms and repetitive muscular activity exercises, a form of Montessori therapy, is used to lay down new neuron pathways in the brain so the person relearns some of the skills they have lost.”

One of the research projects Nightingale was involved with was in a nursing home where none of the patients were able to feed themselves. About 45 minutes before the meal, repetitive muscular activity exercises were performed. On day four and day five and day six, the researchers noticed some of the patients started eating by themselves again.

“What you’ve done, because of the activity, you’ve laid down new neuron pathways in the brain. We also know the hippocampus – memory center of the brain – from the around the age of 40 shrinks every year. Walking and adult coloring stops that because people are using, and concentrating on using, their brain. There is so much people don’t know about dementia. I want to make Warsaw a dementia-friendly town.”

Hypnosis is a tool quite often used in forensic medicine to tap into issues that are deep-rooted at an emotional level. And while hypnosis is not meditation, it is a deep-seated state of relaxation.

“There are similarities with meditation as far as the state of relaxation is concerned and we take you to wherever your special place is – whether it’s in a forest, on a beach, a room, or on a ship or wherever that may be – and that’s where we start doing the work.”

He likened the deep state of relaxation to opening the door between the conscious and the subconscious mind.

“It’s kind of like a sliding glass door and you have to open that door to get into your subconscious mind. But always sitting on top of that door is what we call the critical factor – a hidden observer – so that if I were to take you to a deep state of relaxation and I were to say to you ‘What’s your bank account number?’ or ‘What is your PIN number to your credit card?’ The critical factor says ‘This is wrong’ and you come out of it.”

He says it’s the brain’s safety mechanism and that is why clinical hypnosis is safe. Not only can Nightingale not make you do anything you don’t want to, the brain also resists suggestibility. 

“I may get you raise your hand or touch your nose, but you know you are doing it. It’s a very safe form of treatment. In England we use it a lot. Every psychiatrist is trained to use it. I find that that’s not the case here in the U.S.”

Because the U.K. has socialized medicine, Nightingale says physicians have to be careful about the cost of treatments. The first line of defense for many illnesses is hypnotherapy – depression is first treated with six vouchers to go to the gym once a week, not an antidepressant. There are many illnesses where the first-line treatment is not pharmacological.

If the hypnosis is done correctly, the patient should be able to float in and out of consciousness and at any time be able to get up and walk out the door.

“When we work with smokers, we do put a suggestion in the subconscious mind. In big, bold, red letters we put the word ‘stop.’ When you get the urge to smoke, this word will flash in your mind and as soon as that word flashes into your mind, the craving will go away. There is only 10 percent that you think, feel, see, and do at the conscious level, 90 percent is done at the subconscious level – Kathleen would say 95 percent.”

When working with someone with a profound psychological problem, they may have been experiencing some issues but not know why. Hypnotherapy opens the subconscious mind and brings forward the negative experiences which have manifested into daily complications for the patient. Yet, even with hypnosis the subconscious mind will only bring forward what the person is ready to handle, but this type of therapy can help the client begin to recognize where the issues lie and then begin to work through it.

What hypnotherapy does is treat the issue quickly and for the long term with no side effects.

“Well, there is one. If you come out of hypnosis too quickly, you may experience a bit of dizziness but it goes away quickly.”

Like any kind of therapy, the patient has to find some inner strength to get through the underlying reasons for the feelings. Nightingale can get a person to a certain place where they actually have to deal with the issue. That’s the most difficult part. Some people just can’t deal with the issue and stop therapy. It’s a typical thing to happen, which is why he also uses cognitive behavior therapy, reiki, and a dementia risk assessment as a part of treatment.

Although his Warsaw office recently opened, he is already working with the Office for the Aging, teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Caregivers Partnership, and has joined the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Nightingale Hypnosis visit docdan.us, email him at info@docdan.us or call (585) 416-2032.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 3:18 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, health, Warsaw.

Press release:

Four Wyoming County nonprofit organizations in the health services sector were recently awarded a total of just over $250,000 in funding from the William F. Thiel Fund for the 2017 grant cycle. The Thiel Fund grant process prioritizes applications for programs strategically identified in the Wyoming County Health Needs Assessment

Awardees include:

    • Wyoming Community Hospital Foundation -- $107,885;

    • Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center Inc. -- $55,338;

    • Geneseo Migrant Center -- $38,000; and

    • Spectrum Human Services -- $49,000.

Since the Community Foundation For Greater Buffalo originally commissioned the Assessment in 2006, the Thiel Fund has distributed more than $2.5 million in grants to healthcare organizations that serve Wyoming County residents. The Community Foundation updated the Assessment in 2012 and the most recent outcomes indicate that one in three Wyoming County residents have benefited from Thiel funding.

William F. Thiel was a longtime philanthropist in the Wyoming County area. In 1974, he left a significant legacy to the residents of the county through the creation of the William F. Thiel Trust at the Community Foundation. Today, Thiel’s generosity continues to provide financial supports to Wyoming County Community Hospital and other health-related community organizations throughout the county.

The William F. Thiel grants process opens annually in mid-November. For more information on the granting process, visit www.cfgb.org/thiel.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, news, health.

This information was provided by the offices of Congressman Chris Collins'and Assemblyman David DiPietro:

Wyoming County has the lowest Medicaid liability in Western New York for fiscal year 2016 – 25.7 percent ($5,321,747) of the property tax levy. Erie County – 82.8 percent ($203,699,556) of the property tax levy – has the highest liability. 

The Collins-Faso amendment would save county governments billions of dollars, Congressman Chris Collins says.

Currently, New York State raises $7 billion from counties to fund its $27 billion Medicaid liability. Of that, $2.3 billion comes from outside of New York City, and would be subject to the amendment. In total, New York spends $60 billion per year on Medicaid. This amount of spending is second in the nation only to California, which is home to almost twice as many people as New York.

The following outlines the FY16 Medicaid liability for NY-27 counties:

    • Niagara: $44,152,519 (59.0% of the property tax levy)

    • Orleans: $8,074,102 (49.8% of the property tax levy)

    • Livingston: $9,064,064 (34.1% of the property tax levy)

    • Ontario: $16,033,295 (30.2% of the property tax levy)

    • Monroe: $175,851,749 (48.6% of the property tax levy)

    • Genesee: $9,403,509 (35% of the property tax levy)

    • NYS Total: $2.3 billion (44.3% of the county property tax levy)

"Governor (Andrew) Cuomo and his sidekick are using doomsday predictions to scare everyday New Yorkers into allowing Albany to continue taxing them to death,” Congressman Chris Collins said. “It's absolutely disgusting the governor would threaten the middle class with a tax increase, while holding a $14 billion taxpayer funded slush fund in his back pocket. As I have said before, if this governor can't find 1.5 percent to save in his budget, I am more than willing to find it for him."

New York spends 44 percent more per Medicaid beneficiary than the national average ($10,426 vs. $7,236), second only to Massachusetts in highest spending per full beneficiary in the nation. Additionally, while the state is home to only 6.5 percent of the national population, it accounts for 11 percent of total Medicaid spending. By passing Medicaid costs onto counties, New York State is not realizing the financial impact of its out-of-control Medicaid policy, causing more spending on the program. 

Collins says, the difference between the governor's proposal and the one introduced by him is that instead of saving hardworking taxpayer money, Cuomo's sole intention in forcing New York City to foot the bill to fund the Medicaid program was to “increase the size of his taxpayer funded slush fund.”

“For this governor to threaten to raise taxes, in the highest-taxed state in the nation, with the biggest burden on small businesses, with families fleeing for greener pastures, is absurd,” Assemblyman David DiPietro said. “We’re about to pass a budget somewhere north of $150 billion. He can’t find money for Medicaid in $150 billion because he simply doesn’t want to. Threatening the taxpayers over an issue he controls to get the attention of Washington is sad, and we deserve better.”  

DiPietro represents the 147th Assembly District, which covers all of Wyoming County and the southern portion of Erie County.

For more information visit: Medicaid Fact Sheet or NYS Medicaid Costs by County

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, health, events, Perry, organ donation.

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Ed Draves had called his wife one day and asked her if he could donate one of his kidneys – thinking he was joking, she promptly replied “yes.”

The following day, Draves asked the same thing of his boss, he did, after all have to find out if his boss would agree to the time off. Again, the question was thought of as a joke and his boss replied “yes.”

“On a trip to Mexico, one of the guys there, Brother Joe, had said, ‘If you really want to pray a great prayer…' ” said Draves during a presentation on live organ donation at the Perry Rotary March meeting.

“Gary had kidney failure and was looking for an organ donor. I felt I had to do something about it. So I thought of Brother Joe’s words…’If you really want to pray a great prayer…’ So I prayed a great prayer and went and got a blood test to see if I could be a match with Gary.”

Just two years ago, Draves donated one of his kidneys to a "brother" in need.

He first found out about Gary through an “open letter” in The Masonic News, a newsletter for the Masonic Lodge Draves belongs to. 

Gary Garippo was suffering from a form of noncancerous kidney disease and was in need of a transplant. After Draves read the letter, he went to get the initial blood test to see if he was a match. 

Draves is a member of Western Star Lodge No 1185 and is on the Grand Lodge of Free And Accepted Masons of New York Blood and Organ Donor committee, partnering with Unyts. 

According to its website, Unyts is a “donor center organ, tissue, eye and blood donation service in the Western New York community." Its vision is to “advance the dynamic Donate Life” message.

Draves ended up being the second-best match for Gary. Another Western New Yorker was the best match. However, as he put it, he did “pray a great prayer.” 

“The woman who was the first match for Gary ended up having to back out. During the testing, it was found that she was prone to kidney stones. I got a call and was asked if I was still willing to donate.”

Draves said yes and soon began a battery of health exams – he had to lose a few pounds – and testing – blood tests, health tests, stress tests, and psychological testing.

“They had to ensure that I would have no regrets if the recipient ended up being a ‘jerk.’ They also had to talk with my wife and daughter to make sure they were supportive of the decision.”

According to United Network for Organ Sharing, in 2015, close to 31,000 organ transplants took place nationally. Approximately 81 percent (24,982) of the transplants involved organs from deceased donors, who can donate multiple organs. The remaining 19 percent (5,986) were made possible by living donors.

However, at one point in the testing, doctors were unsure if Draves was really healthy enough to withstand the surgery.

“Come to find out, I have a heart issue – prolapse mitral valve. Basically, I have a leaky heart.”

While his condition isn’t serious now, annual exams allow the doctors to monitor it. If at any time they notice a change, surgery can be performed before a life-threatening condition arises. However, Draves decided to get a second opinion. And while his condition was confirmed by a cardiologist, he also cleared him for live organ donation.

“I passed all the tests and surgery was scheduled. I went in on a Friday. By Saturday the nurses had me up walking around. By Saturday afternoon I wanted to go home. On Sunday, I went home.

“On Monday, I went with my wife to go get her glasses and I wanted to mall walk, so we did, and then we went to Denny’s for a ‘Grand Slam.' I didn’t take any of the prescribed pain medication, I took Tylenol instead.”

In the United States, Draves says 118,000 people are in need of an organ transplant, of those people, 22 die everyday because there is no organ for them.

“During the time we have been here, one hour and 15 minutes, someone has died.”

And the irony is, prior to Gary’s open letter and Draves's subsequent donation, Draves was not even registered as an organ donor.

As he puts it, organ donating “saves lives and leave a legacy.”

Draves and his wife live in Orchard Park with their two children. A wine manager with Premier Wine & Spirit in Orchard Park, he is also a volunteer with Unyts, Shriners, Masons, Grand Lodge Youth Committee, Zuleika Grotto (which raises money for dentistry for disabled kids), Windom Elementary Shared Decision Committee, and he's a martial arts instructor.

For more information on becoming an organ donor visit http://www.unyts.org/

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 6:30 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, health, Business, WCCH, ECMC, Warsaw.

Wyoming County Community Health System (WCCH) and Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMC) have signed an administrative services agreement to strengthen and reposition WCCH for the future. On March 14, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors accepted the recommendation of WCCH’s Board of Managers and authorized WCCH Chief Executive Officer Donald Eichenauer to sign the agreement.

As WCCH has expanded its services, it has developed relationships with providers from the Buffalo area. Many of those providers are affiliated with ECMC and/or Kaleida Health. These include Dr. Lindsey Clark, Dr. John Karpie and Dr. Paul Mason, all of who provide orthopedic services at WCCH; and Western New York Urology Associates, a Kaleida Heath entity. Clark is a provider through UBMD Physicians Group. Karpie and Mason are providers with Buffalo Orthopedics Group. Additionally, new agreements are currently being finalized through existing agreements with ECMC or Kaleida Health-related providers, which will enhance Ear, Nose and Throat, Allergy and Nephrology Services at WCCH.

“Like most community hospitals, the path to survival in an ever-evolving health care market will be enhanced by relationships with larger facilities that are able to support the community hospital with administrative and provider resources they are not able to obtain independently,” Eichenauer said. “It is WCCH’s objective to take advantage of the opportunities provided by ECMC and its affiliation with Kaleida Health and the University at Buffalo through their mutual partnership in Great Lakes Health System, which will provide better access to a wide range of health care services at WCCH; we will now look at the necessary steps towards a future management agreement with ECMC.”

The Board of WCCH says it was also impressed with ECMC’s experience and knowledge related to the governmental and human resources requirements of WCCH. Both ECMC and WCCH have employees who are represented by the Civil Service Employees Association Inc. (CSEA). Although an independent Public Benefit Corporation since 2004, ECMC is one of the few remaining county-owned hospitals in the state.

“ECMCC is excited with the board’s decision, which will permit ECMC to work closely with WCCH and share best practices and scale that will create cost reductions and efficiencies,” said ECMC President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D.

“Importantly, through this agreement, we will integrate our health care service teams to identify opportunities to share practices that will enhance and strengthen the delivery of quality health care services to patients across the entire organization.”

As part of the new relationship, ECMC will also be working with WCCH to provide upgraded administrative and financial management resources and support.

“Through a deliberate and careful process over several months, the necessary steps have been taken toward an administrative services agreement with ECMC that will maintain the financial viability of WCCH,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Douglas Berwanger. “It will preserve quality health care at the hospital well into the future.”

Since October 2012, WCCH has had a previous collaboration agreement with (University of Rochester) UR Medicine, Rochester. WCCH anticipates having a continued positive relationship with UR Medicine and the services and providers it supplies to the hospital.

WCCH is a 62-bed rural, acute-care hospital accredited by The Joint Commission. It is the sole inpatient provider for Wyoming County, which has a population of approximately 43,000. In addition to an Acute Care Hospital, its services include an attached 138-bed Nursing Home, Adult Day Health Care, and an Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit. The hospital has approximately 3,000 inpatient admissions, and 14,000 Emergency Department visits per year.

Its mission is to provide outstanding healthcare services and to have a positive impact on the health of its rural community. For more information visit  www.wcchs.net or its Facebook page.

The ECMC Corporation was established as a New York State Public Benefit Corporation. Since 2004 it has included an advanced academic medical center with 602 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed, long-term care facility.  

ECMC is Western New York’s only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, as well as a regional center for burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, medical oncology and head and neck cancer care, rehabilitation, and a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan.

For more information visit ecmc.edu and follow ECMC on social media via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Friday, February 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, drugs, children, health, Sen. Gallivan, news.

Press release:

The Senate has recently passed two bills to help save the lives of abused children who may otherwise slip through the cracks of Child Protective Services (CPS). The bills require testing young children for drugs if their guardian is arrested on drug charges, and they restrict high caseloads from jeopardizing the investigation of child abuse or maltreatment.

Bill S137 would require hair follicle testing of an infant or toddler under the age of 3 who is in the vicinity of parent or guardian who is arrested on a drug charge. 

The legislation, known as Kayleigh Mae's Law, is named after a 13-month-old child in Washington County who died in 2015 after being given heroin and cocaine for 10 months after birth. 

For children who are not yet old enough to speak, the hair follicle test would give a new tool for child protective investigations to help determine if a child’s health is at risk from illegal drug exposure.

“The goal of this legislation is to protect the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “We must also ensure that the caseworkers charged with the responsibility of keeping children and families safe are not overburdened and unable to perform their jobs effectively.” 

Bill S3146 establishes a statewide standard of no more than 15 cases per month per full-time child protective caseworker. The state Office of Children and Family Services recommends a CPS caseload size of 12 active reports per month. However, average caseloads are higher in many counties throughout the state. 

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.

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