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May 19, 2016

Summer Food Safety

Memorial Day, graduations, barbeques, boating, camping, picnics … summer is here NY! I don’t know about you but I love the tastes and smells of summer. There is nothing better than sitting in the sun, smelling the BBQ, and sitting down with friends and family for a summer banquet. For sure, this season brings a different way of cooking and entertaining – throw some hots and hamburgers on the grill, fix a few salads, and bring out the ice cream for dessert. Alas, sometimes the party does not go well when the potato salad has been sitting in the heat for too long and well, several tummies rebel. Every year, the CDC estimates that 1 in 6 (or 48 million) American get sick with a foodborne illness. In addition, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Safe food handling during the warm weather is the first step to reducing your risk for foodborne illnesses and keeping the party fun. Unfortunately, rates of foodborne illnesses are higher in the summer months. This is for two primary reasons: 1) There is bacteria present in the soil, air, water, and on the bodies of animals and people. These microorganisms grow faster in the summer months. They are particularly fond of temps between 90°and 110° Fahrenheit; and 2) People have food outside more often without the temperature control of refrigerators, ovens, and heating trays. Bottom line, lack of temperature control and extended time in the heat = bacterial growth. Safe food handling is critical for protecting yourself, your family and friends from foodborne illnesses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers the following tips: Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Store food at 40° F or lower to prevent bacterial growth. Pack meat, poultry, and seafood while still frozen so they stay colder longer. Organize cooler contents. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable items in another cooler. That way, as people replenish their drinks, the perishable items won’t be exposed to the warm outdoor temperatures. Keep coolers closed. Try to limit the number of times you open the cooler. The fewer times you open it, the colder it will remain. Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped and contained. Make sure no meat juices come in contact with other foods. Clean your produce. Before you pack the cooler, rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water. Be sure to do this for all produce including melons. Packaged fruits and veggies that are labeled “ready to eat,” “triple washed,” or “washed” need not be washed. Keep it cold/hot. When serving, keep cold foods at 40°F or colder until ready to serve. Once served, it should not sit out for longer than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90°F. Hot food should be at or above 140°. Just as with cold foods, hot foods should not sit out for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if above 90° outside. IF FOOD IS LEFT OUT LONGER THAN THESE PRESCRIBED TIMES, THROW IT OUT. Clean your hands. If you don’t have running water, wash your hands with jugged water, soap, and paper towels OR use moist disposable towelettes. Thaw safely. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water. For quicker thawing, use the microwave’s defrost option if the food will be placed immediately on the grill. Marinate safely. Marinate foods in the refrigerator – never on the kitchen counter or outdoors. If you plan to use some of the marinade for a sauce later, reserve a portion in a separate container before you start the marinating process. NEVER REUSE MARINADE. Cook immediately after “partial cooking.” If you partially cook food to reduce grilling time, do so immediately before the food goes on the grill. Cook food thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to ensure the food is cooked all the way. Refer to the package or FDA chart for proper temperatures. Don’t reuse platters or utensils. Never put cooked meat on a platter used to transport raw meat. Bacteria from the raw meat will contaminate the cooked food. Always use a clean plate for cooked food. Keep the cooler in a shady spot. If at all possible, keep coolers under a table or in a shady spot. You can also cover it with a tarp or blanket to preserve the cool temperature. For more information on summer food safety, go to: or Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

May 12, 2016

May is Stroke Awareness Month.

May is Stroke Awareness Month. Out of the myriad of awareness months, this is one of the most important because of the sheer numbers of people affected. Stroke is the number five cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people per year. To put that in perspective, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of stroke every four minutes. But stroke is more disabling than fatal. Approximately, 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year and according to a 2016 report from the American Heart Association, it is projected this number will increase by 20% (from 2012 numbers) by 2030. Many of those people will suffer long term disability or memory loss. The need for awareness and education is, therefore, more critical than ever. Defining stroke, understanding the risk factors and warning signs, and knowing the treatment options are all part of the learning process. Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Blood carries oxygen and when the brain is deprived of blood rich oxygen, brain cells die. In fact, nearly two million brain cells die each minute a stroke goes untreated. There are two basic types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic. 87% of strokes are classified as ischemic. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or a mass blocks a blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures, spilling blood into the brain. A TIA (transient ischemic attack) often called a “mini stroke” is a blockage but is it temporary. The symptoms are exactly the same as stroke but usually last less than five minutes. People are at risk for stroke primarily because of high blood pressure although there are other risk factors including smoking, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle. According to the National Institutes for Health, 80% of strokes can be prevented. This is because high blood pressure, the leading risk factor for stroke, can be treated. 77% of people who have a first stroke have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg; however, almost 20% of American adults with high blood pressure don’t know they have it. Knowing your blood pressure number is very important in the fight against stroke. To maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke, physicians will often prescribe medications and advocate for a healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends following “Life’s Simple 7” to achieve ideal health: don’t smoke, be physically active, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy body weight, and control cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. In addition, knowing the stroke warning signs is critical to limiting the negative effects of a stroke. Recognizing the warning signs and calling 911 are crucial when it comes to limiting the severity of a stroke. Literally every minute counts. The American Stroke Association promotes the F.A.S.T. acronym to help people remember what to do: F – FACE DROOPING –have the person smile – is one side drooping? A – ARM WEAKNESS – have the person raise his or her arms – is one arm drifting down? (is one side of the body not responding or moving properly) S – SPEECH DIFFICULTY – have the person repeat a phrase – is the speech slurred? Or is there difficulty in finding words? T – TIME TO CALL 911 – call 911 IMMEDIATELY if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms Time is of the essence for all stroke patients. The sooner one is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin. Stroke medical treatments work to either open the blockage or treat the rupture. For ischemic strokes, there are two basic treatments: the administration of tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) or an endovascular procedure called a mechanical thrombectomy. tPa works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain deprived of blood flow. If administered within 3 hours, tPA may improve the chances of recovering from a stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health, stroke patients who receive tPA within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost three times more like to recover with little or no disability. Many stroke victims do not get to the hospital in time for tPA treatment; that is why it is important to identify the stroke quickly and call 911 immediately. Endovascular procedures involve inserting a catheter with miniature instruments through the skin into a blood vessel for treatment. One such procedure is a mechanical thrombectomy which allows doctors to remove large blood clots from the brain with small instruments inserted via a catheter. The procedure is typically done within six hours of acute stroke symptoms, and only after a patient receives tPA. Hemorrhagic strokes may also be treated with endovascular procedures or by other surgical treatments. Remember time is incredibly important. If you or someone you are with exhibits facial drooping, arm weakness, or speech difficulty, call 911 immediately. You will be transported to a designated primary stroke center such as UR Noyes Health. Being a designated stroke center means a specially trained clinical team meets the stringent standards set by New York State for stroke care. The Noyes Health team is further advanced through affiliation with the University of Rochester Medical Center that allows emergency providers to connect with a team of interventional stroke neurologists 24/7. This brings the specialized resources of UR Medicine, a comprehensive stroke center, to Dansville and surrounding communities. To learn more about stroke prevention, symptoms, and treatment, go to: or To test your stroke knowledge, take a quiz 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

May 5, 2016

Your (not so) Healthy Smartphone Addiction

I have a love hate relationship with my smartphone. Love that I can facetime or skype my adult children who live out of state. Love that I can text my hubby a simple question or “I love you” message in the middle of the day. Love the maps, weather, and camera apps. BUT… Hate that I check my email way too often. Hate that I waste time on Facebook (even when I have pledged not to look at it for a week). Hate that I sometimes feel like a Pavlovian dog, trained to check my phone the second the little bell goes off. I am not alone in my misgivings with the wonderful world of technology. Who could have imagined 20 years ago, that technology would be such a blessing and curse all in one package. It provides a world of information and communication at our finger tips; however, it can also produce anxiety, angst, and addiction. Researchers are now delving deep into the use of smartphones, the effects, and possible ramifications for the human race. This research is timely as the use of smartphones and our desire to be with them has sky rocketed in just the past few years. According to the Pew Research Center: 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011. 86% of those ages 18-29 have a smartphone, as do 83% of those ages 30-49 and 87% of those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually. 67% of users check their smartphone for calls, text messages, and social media activity even when the phone is not ringing. 44% of smartphone owners sleep with their phones next to their bed to make sure they don’t miss any text messages, calls, or social media alerts. 29% of users admit that they cannot imagine their lives without smartphones. These statistics are particularly relevant for the millennials. Pew reports younger adults are constantly connected: Fully 36% of 18- to 29-year-olds go online (via smartphones) almost constantly and 50% go online multiple times per day. And many suffer from FoMO, that is Fear of Missing Out – a psychological effect now being studied here in the states and across the pond. FoMO produces anxiety and can lead to addiction and other serious psychological problems. Email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Candy Crush, Skype, and other sites, make smartphone use very attractive. But as your mama said, there can be too much of a good thing. Researchers in the U.S. and U.K. have now published several studies showing the addictive qualities of smartphone use and the detrimental psychological effects. Dr. Saheer Hussain from the University of Derby co-authored a study that looked at smartphone addiction and its related psychological characteristics. The study revealed that 13% of participants were classified as being addicted, with the average user spending 3.6 hours per day on the device. Dr. Hussain explains, “Higher scores of narcissism (excessive interest or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance) and levels of neuroticism (negative personality traits including moodiness, jealousy, envy, and loneliness) were linked to smartphone addiction.” But much like not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes an alcoholic, not everyone who uses a smartphone will become addicted. The majority of people, however, do report that mobile devices are affecting their relationships. Pew Research Center cites 89% said they used their phone during their most recent time with others, and 86% report that someone else in the group used their cellphone during the gathering. As a result, 82% of adults say that when people use their phones in these settings it hurts the conversation. Calls, texts, and social media alerts obviously divert your attention away from the live human being sitting in front of you. The intended or unintended message is – well, you are not as important as this call (text, alert). A 2012 University of Essex study found evidence that mobile phones have negative effects on closeness, connection, and conversation quality. The researchers found that “the mere presence of mobile phones inhibited the development of interpersonal closeness and trust, and reduced the extent to which individuals felt empathy and understanding from their partners.” Bottom line, just having a cell phone sitting next to your dinner plate sends a message and actually affects your ability to effectively listen and care for the person you are with. The research on phone use, psychological well-being, and interpersonal relationships is relatively new. The overwhelming evidence, however, indicates that excessive use is not healthy. Recommendations from researchers vary from suggesting a warning a label on cell phones to simple calls for limitations and restraint. and Psychology Today offer the following advice: Create special no-phone zones. Disallow smartphone use in certain rooms such as the kitchen, bedroom, or dining room. Set special times for smartphone use. For children and teens, institute certain times for phone use, such as two hours after school. For adults, create a shut down time. Reclaim family time. No smartphones at the table should be the rule for mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and kiddos alike. This includes silent mode and “I am just going to check it real quick.” Family dinners, birthdays, and holidays should be smartphone free, with perhaps the exception of taking a few pics. Enjoy the people in front of you. No driving or texting. According to the a May 2015 National Safety Council Report, cell-phone related crashes have increased for the third straight year and now account for 27% of all crashes. NYS law dictates no texting and driving. Try a technology fast. Go for a day or more without a computer, tablet, or phone. Put your phone away at night. Place your phone at least 15 feet away from you when you sleep (even if you use it as your wake up alarm). Block off times for real, in front of your face people. Schedule in time every day to spend with people free from technology. This might be going for a cellphone free walk with a friend, working out without being plugged in, or playing a board game and leaving the smartphone in another room. 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

May 3, 2016

Noyes Health Celebrates National Lab Week 2016

Happy Laboratory Week to our hardworking and caring Laboratory employees here at Noyes Health! Lab Week offers us a chance to show our gratitude to all of our dedicated workers on the Noyes Health Laboratory team—pathologists, medical laboratory professionals, phlebotomists and the administrative support personnel who keep things moving along on a day to day basis. We are certain you have seen the phlebotomists and technicians from the Noyes Health Laboratory as they go about their jobs of collecting blood specimens from all areas of the hospital. You may have even come inside the door to drop off a specimen. Since many medical laboratory professionals work "behind the scenes", few people know very much about the critically important testing that laboratories perform every day. So what really goes on behind the doors of the lab? Do you imagine "mad scientists" and beakers and wild experiments? Here is a sample of the just a few of the roles each of our staff must be able to perform every single day: Software Expert: (Mover over Bill Gates!) In addition to being proficient in the MEDITECH applications of Blood Bank, Microbiology, Pathology, Laboratory, and LIS Shared, each analyzer we use comes with its own unique software program. Users must be able to move from analyzer to analyzer, knowing the specific details of each program. Equipment Mechanics: (Mr. Goodwrench has nothing on us!) Our lab staff performs maintenance on all the analyzers we use. Daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance is crucial to assuring accurate results. In addition, most of the troubleshooting and repair of these delicate instruments is performed by our staff. Hours are dedicated to analyzer care - we must know these analyzers inside and out. Artists: (Michelangelo) Our staff can take the tiniest sample of tissue, embedded it in wax, and cut multiple pieces 4-6 microns thick! The sample is then treated with colorful stains to enhance the appearance of the cells when viewed microscopically. We examine the color and the consistency of bacterial colonies to identify the organisms. Detectives: (Dr. Quincy is our hero!) We must hunt for the one abnormal cell on a slide of thousands. We investigate results that are abnormal by looking at all factors that may influence the result - ranging from what the patient might have ate the night before to the length of time the sample has been exposed to light. Circus Performers: Okay, this is a stretch, but if you think about all of the juggling of phones, analyzers, timers, and tasks that we do, you will get the picture. These are a few of the many roles that they play during the workday. They are also moms and dads, sisters and brothers, children and friends. The Medial Technologist, Medical Laboratory Technicians, Histotechs, Lab Assistants, Pathologists, Cytotechnologists, Phlebotomists and Clerical staff are so much more than mere scientists. Author: Diane Dale Noyes is proud of all of the team members in our Laboratory Department, that serve a critical role with professionalism and courtesy at all times, in all areas of our organization. Noyes Laboratory professionals work hard to ensure that critical information about our patients’ health is delivered accurately with minimal turnaround time. Medical Laboratory Professionals Week allows us to spotlight the important role that laboratory professionals play as a vital part of the patient care team at Noyes Health. We thank you for your hard work and dedication! For more information visit, Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Cynthia Oswald, Director of PR/Foundation or 585-335-4323.... Read More

May 2, 2016

Mark Your Calendars! 2nd Annual Kyle Button Golf Tournament Taking Place August 6th

The 2nd annual Kyle Button Memorial Tournament benefiting the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center at Noyes Health in Dansville will be held at Brae Burn Golf Course on Saturday, August 6th. There will be a morning and afternoon golf shift with dinner to follow the afternoon shift. Event organizers are hoping the community response to this year’s tournament will be as resounding as last year. This annual event supports a very worthwhile community project as well as honors the memory of a special young man, Kyle Button, taken from us way too soon. More information on how to register for the tournament coming soon. Questions? Call Jon Shay at 585-370-0733.... Read More

May 2, 2016

Are you a Noyes Health Baby or Employee Past/Present?

Are you a Noyes Health baby or employee past/present? Please join the Noyes Health float as we march in the 50th annual Dogwood Parade on Saturday, May 14th. The parade begins at 5pm and the floats will be lining up prior to the start time. We are hoping for quite a crowd to march alongside the float to show the impact of Noyes Health in the community over the past fifty years! There is no need to register, just join the fun on May 14th! If you would like more information, or cannot march and need a seat on the float, please call, Jessica Carnevale @ 585-335-4214.... Read More

April 27, 2016

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Chances are you or someone you know has high blood pressure, medically known as hypertension. It is one of the most common medical conditions in the world. According to the CDC, about 1 of 3 U.S. adults – 67 million people – has high blood pressure. It was the primary or contributing cause to more than 360,000 American deaths in 2010; that is approximately 1,000 deaths per day. Understanding your BP numbers, knowing your risk level, and implementing healthy habits are all key factors to lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is the force of blood on walls of your blood vessels. While it is perfectly normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate throughout the day, it is unhealthy for it to be consistently high. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). There are two numbers associated with BP, systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure (the top number) is the force on the blood vessel walls when the heart beats and pumps blood out of the heart. Diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is the force that occurs when the heart relaxes between beats. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, high blood pressure measures higher than 140/90 mmHg, pre-hypertension between 120/80 and 139/89 and normal 120/80 or less. When a person has high blood pressure, his heart has to work too hard, the walls of the arteries harden, and it can cause the brain to hemorrhage or kidneys to fail. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart and kidney disease, stroke, and blindness. Overall, men and women are just about equally likely to develop high blood pressure over their lifetimes but as they age, women are more likely. 72% of men and 80% of women will develop high blood pressure if they live to be 75 or older. In addition to age, race and ethnicity are risk factors. African Americans develop high blood pressure more frequently and at an earlier age than whites or Hispanics. The CDC states that uncontrolled high blood pressure among African American men aged 20 and older is 59.7%; compared to 47% of white in the same age category. Uncontrolled hypertension among African American women is 47.3% compared to 43.2% for white women. Factors such as age, race, and ethnicity cannot be controlled. Lifestyle factors, however, can be controlled. Healthy habits can lower your BP and significantly lower your risk for disease. The National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following healthy habits: See your doctor on a regular basis. If you have high blood pressure, talk with your doctor about a BP goal and the game plan for reaching it. Take your medications daily. If you are on a BP medication, take it exactly as prescribed. If it not working, discuss other medication and timing options. Quit smoking. (or if you don’t smoke, don’t start) Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet – this is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat daily, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, and nuts. It is low in sodium, added sugars, and fats. Move everyday – 20-30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily will lower your blood pressure. For example, this could be a good walk, pulling weeds in the garden, cleaning your house…the key is move, don’t sit. Research shows that even several shorter (1-2 minute) brisk walks throughout the day are beneficial. Manage stress. Reduce stress through exercise, time with family or friends, meditation or quiet time, hobbies, and time/activity management (saying no when necessary). Limit alcohol consumption – no more than one drink each day for women and two for men. For more information about high blood pressure, go to: To learn how to lower your blood pressure with the DASH diet, go to: This is an excellent resource that gives you step by step instructions to help you gradually change your diet. 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

April 21, 2016

Allergy Season Is Upon Us

It has started. Folks are rubbing their eyes, sneezing, and grabbing the tissues. Allergy season is here - an annual occurrence of plentiful pollen and mold that for some people triggers an allergic reaction. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), approximately 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Those allergies can range from foods and additives to trees and plants. This time of year many suffer from allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever. It is a common condition in the spring and summer months that causes symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes and itching of the nose, eyes or the roof of the mouth. In spring, the allergens floating around tend to be from tree pollens. Summer brings the grass and weed pollens, and fall finds the ragweed in full bloom. If you are suffering all season, you may have sensitivity to all these plant pollens. Mold is another common outdoor allergen. It can be found in rotting logs, hay, mulches, commercial peat moss, compost piles and leaf litter. Not good news for sneezing, snuffling, suffering gardeners out there. This allergy is usually worse during rainy weather. In addition, all these outdoor allergies can be made worse by windy conditions and humidity. Treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis varies from person to person. Some find relief with over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops, and nasal sprays. Other allergy sufferers find that a trip to the doctor’s office is well worth the effort, as there are some treatments available by prescription that can significantly relieve the symptoms. Before starting any course of treatment, speak with your physician and pharmacist as some allergy medications, both OTC and prescription, can negatively interact with other medications. Besides medications, there are practical things you can do to limit your exposure to pollens and molds. The ACAAI recommends the following: Keep windows closed at night to keep those allergens out. If you have air conditioning, better to use it as it cleans, cools, and dries the air. If you don’t have air conditioning, consider purchasing a unit just for the bedroom. Keep your car windows closed. Take any prescribed allergy medicines per physician instructions even if you are feeling better on any given day. If at all possible, have someone else mow grass or rake leaves as these activities stir up molds and pollens tremendously; or wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing outdoor chores. Be sure to take appropriate medication beforehand. Avoid line drying your clothes and bedding as pollens and mold spores can collect on the fabric. Eliminate indoor plants if you are allergic to mold. Damp soil harbors mold. Limit exposure on mornings that are especially warm and dry or days that are dry and windy as these will usually be high pollen count days. Minimize touch with items that have come in contact with pollen, such as pets and people that have spent a large amount of time outdoors. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen, and in severe allergy cases, wear a facemask when daily pollen counts are extremely high. If you’re traveling, check allergy forecasts for your destination. Monitor pollen and mold counts via newspaper, radio, or internet reports. Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing outdoors. For more information about allergies, go to the: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology at or the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology 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

April 18, 2016

Noyes Honors Volunteers

On April 12th, Noyes Hospital honored 100 hospital volunteers along with members of the Noyes Auxiliary, Board of Directors and Foundation Boards, with a reception at the hospital. Speaking at the event were Amy Pollard, President and CEO and Leslie L. Cole, Jr., Chairperson, Noyes Health Board of Directors. Noyes volunteers donated 11,860 hours to the Noyes community in 2015! An independent sector has placed the value of a volunteer at $26.86 an hour. For Noyes, this translates to $318,560! 26 volunteers were recognized for accumulating 250+ hours of volunteer time in 2015. This year’s theme was “Volunteers Giving Time & Touching Hearts.” Noyes volunteers serve in many different capacities and come from diverse backgrounds, lives rich with stories which include pain, difficulties and hardships. Yet these volunteers serve with a grateful heart, giving back to their community despite their own personal losses. The reception highlighted the life-story of three volunteers: Bill Griffin, Graham Frazer, and Helen Lent. Bill has been the Noyes Chaplain Volunteer Leader for the past 10 years As a young man, Bill suffered an injury while serving in the army and spent 9 months in the hospital. While there, he saw that many people did not have any visitors. Later in life, this sparked his interest to go through training to become a hospital chaplain. Noyes is grateful for Bill and his team of 7 Chaplain Volunteers who provide a spiritual dimension of care and support, ministering to the sick or dying. Graham Frazer was recognized for donating over 1,000 hours in volunteer time each year to Noyes. Graham is a long time resident of the Dansville community and has been with Noyes Hospital as a volunteer for the past 6 years. Despite deep personal losses, including the loss of a daughter to a drunk driver, Graham chooses to spend his time giving back to the community. Former owner of the local Chrysler dealership, he currently volunteers 4-5 days a week in the Engineering Department and also serves as a Noyes Board of Directors member for the past 13 years. Amy Pollard, President and CEO, recognized Helen Lent who has volunteered with Noyes Spice Box Gift Shop since it opened in 2006. Helen is no stranger to pain. She lost a husband and daughter and so the opportunity to volunteer at Noyes, using her business experience to help get the new gift shop up and running in 2006, was a blessing to her and a huge help to staff. During a difficult time when her daughter was going through cancer treatment at Strong, Helen said, “the volunteers at the gift shop are like family to me – they are all supportive of each other through hard times and through joyful times.” Helen shared, “Being a volunteer is good for people and everyone has different experiences in life that they can contribute as a volunteer.” Graham Frazer also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, along with 40 other Noyes volunteers. The President’s Volunteer Service Award encourages U.S. citizens to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition. It is a tremendous honor to receive this award. Even though volunteers may not seek recognition, their example can deliver a powerful message that encourages others to take action in their communities. The mission of Noyes volunteers is to offer an extra dimension of care and support to patients and their families, visitors and Noyes Hospital Staff. Noyes Volunteers provide assistance in many areas throughout the hospital, including: Human Resources, E.A.R.S. Lifeline, Physician Services, Gift Shop and Coffee Bar, Chaplain Program, Front Desk, Blood Pressure Clinics, Engineering, Medical Library, Living Healthy workshop facilitators, in-home respite, the “Noyes Welcome Team” who greets visitors and patients, gives directions, and assists with wheelchairs in Patient Registration in Geneseo and Dansville. If you are interested in learning more about Noyes Volunteer opportunities, contact Christa Barrows, Volunteer Coordinator at 335-4358 or email: or visit to complete a Volunteer application.... Read More

April 14, 2016

STD Awareness Month

There is no anecdote to introduce this topic only startling statistics that paint a serious picture. April is Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Awareness month. The CDC and World Health Organization recently released some numbers that illustrate a serious epidemic and its consequences. Globally, more than 1 million new STDs are acquired every day. There are 20 million new STDs each year in the United States; that is, almost 55,000 new cases each day. The CDC states that for the first time in nearly a decade, rates for three of the most common STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis) all increased at the same time. There are more than 110 million STDs overall among men and women nationwide (this includes both new and existing infections.) American youth, ages 15-24, make up just 27% of the sexually active population but account for 50% of the 20 million new STDs each year. Young people, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men continue to be at greatest risk for infection. Out of the eight most common sexually transmitted diseases, four are currently curable: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. The other four are viral infections and are incurable: hepatitis B (HBV), herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes), HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV). The issue, however, is not simply whether it is curable or incurable; it is – do people know they have a STD and are they are being treated. 80% of people who have a STD experience no noticeable symptoms. Because they are not feeling ill, they quite often do not get screened. The STD in the meantime may be causing damage. In addition, the STD may be passed onto a partner. For example, 200,000 cases of gonorrhea where diagnosed and reported among 15-24 year olds last year. The CDC estimates that in reality there were 570,000 total new gonorrhea cases in that age group. Likewise, 1 million youth were diagnosed and reported to have chlamydia. Again, the CDC estimates the actual number to be 1.8 million cases. Any STD can have health consequences ranging from discharge from the vagina or penis and a burning sensation while urinating to infertility and cancer. Because many of these infections go undetected, people, especially young women, are at risk for long-term health issues. The most common STD, for instance, is HPV. There are over 100 strains of the HPV virus. About 90% of the HPV infections will go away on their own within two years. Some of the HPV strains, however, will lead to genital warts or cervical cancer. Women are also disproportionately affected by chlamydia and gonorrhea. Undiagnosed and untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can spread to a woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). While some women with PID experience abdominal and pelvic pain, others have no symptoms. With or without symptoms, PID can cause permanent damage including long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Undiagnosed STDs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year. In addition, lifelong infections such as Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV-2), HBV, and HIV have potentially severe consequences. HSV-2 can lead to painful chronic infection, miscarriage or premature birth, and fatal infection in newborns. HBV can lead to cirrhosis. HIV weakens the immune system increasing the infected person’s susceptibility to a number of diseases. HIV can also lead to AIDS. Almost 18,000 people in the United States die with AIDS each year. Sexually transmitted diseases have a profound effect on society. The numbers are staggering and the short and long-term consequences are painful and potentially deadly. The CDC recommends the following steps to prevent a sexually transmitted disease: Abstain from sexual relations (vaginal, anal, and oral) – The surest way to avoid STDs is to not have sex. Mutual monogamy – Agree to have sex with only one person who also agrees to only have sex with you. Make sure both parties get tested to know for sure that neither has a STD. Talk with your partner – Reveal your history and risk level to your partner. Discuss getting tested together. Use condoms – correctly every time you have sex, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Get vaccinated for HPV – the vaccine can help you avoid HPV related health problems such as genital warts and some cancers. Get tested – Even if you have only had one partner or only engaged in sexual activity once. Get treated if you have a STD. This is a very complex health issue that requires education and open, frank conversations. To learn more about sexually transmitted diseases, risks, symptoms, effects, and treatments, go to: To learn more about STD screening, speak with your physician or contact the Livingston County Department of Health’s Reproductive Health Center at 585-243-7540 or 1-800-243-9240. The Reproductive Health Center has three locations in Mount Morris, Avon, and Dansville. All offer low-cost or no-cost STD and HIV testing. 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