Senior Wellness Fairs


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elderlyEvery year, around Fall time, Patty Richie, State Senator, presents a series of Senior Health and Wellness Fairs.   In September and October the communities of central and northern New York are privy to such fairs at which they can access tips and tools needed to enhance their wellness.

At these fairs are free lunches, entertainment and more. This year is expected to be “bigger and better than ever.” It is a fabulous opportunity for seniors to find a way to actually enjoy enhancing their quality of life in a fun way. There will be over 50 exhibitors at each event presenting ways to improve health. And the free lunches will be prepared by the “future chefs” at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and Oswego County CiTi.”


David Bershad: Fighting Breast Cancer


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breast-cancerDavid Bershad is fighting against the clock. As a supporter of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, he is on the fight to end breast cancer by 2020. Indeed, the NBCC even has a countdown clock if you visit as that is what Bershad and many others like him are fighting for – to find a cure once and for all to stop breast cancer from taking lives.

What the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 does is unite “visionaries and leaders, scientists and advocates, to catalyze, plan and implement work in two major areas: how to prevent the development of breast cancer and understanding the causes and prevention of metastasis to save lives.” David Bershad is a part of this.

Indeed, the NBCC has set and reached many goals since its inception back in 1991. For example, as part of the Artemis Project, the organization has been able to give “seed grants to allow scientists to accelerate progress in each of the key areas identified in the collaborative research plans.”  Further the NBCC was behind the reintroduction of the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act in the US Senate and House of Representatives. All of these actions and more are working toward the ultimate goal of 2020 – deadline to end breast cancer.

New York: The Legal Dispensation of Marijuana


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marijuanaFive New York pharmaceutical companies will be given a license from the New York State Department of Health to both grow and dispense medical marijuana. These are: Bloomfield Industries Inc., Columbia Care NY LLC, Empire State Health Solutions LLC, Etain and PharmaCann LLC. They were selected out of 43 companies that applied for the licenses.

It is hoped that the medical marijuana program for New York will be fully functioning by early next year. Until that time a lot has to happen, such as, first and foremost the registration of doctors and patients. Doctors need to participate in a four-hour New York State Department of Health-approved course before registering with the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry. Without this no medical marijuana will be sold legally. Even those in desperate need from illnesses such as cancer will not be able to get it and have to date, not been able to access this.

Julie Netherland PhD., Deputy State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance further explained that “in the coming weeks, we will be taking a closer look at the companies to learn what we can about them. And over the long term, we’ll be working to insure they are held to the highest standards of corporate integrity and patient care.”

It was in July of last year that Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act to provide patients who “suffer from designated serious conditions who also have a condition clinically associated with, or a complication of, the serious condition to be certified by their physicians” to be able to access marijuana for medical use.

NY Offices: When Environment Meets Wellness

wellnessAll employers want their staff to function well and take as few sick days as possible. But how can they have any control over that? The real estate company Colliers International believes there is a lot employers can do to enhance wellness in the workplace. Indeed, according to Keith Perske, Executive Managing Director of Workplace Strategy and Innovation for the Colliers Corporate Solutions Team, workplaces should be perceived as “holistic systems, not just panel heights and office sizes. By thinking this way, we don’t just focus on cost savings and space reduction, but on creating spaces that actually serve their purpose as tools for productivity and touchstones for culture. For this reason, we include a wellness component in all our workplace engagements.”

The question still remains though, how exactly does the real estate company fit into this? And what – in practical terms – is it doing? Perske explained: “We partner with clients to build workplaces that help people and create competitive advantages for companies. We think about workplaces as holistic systems, not just panel heights and office sizes. By thinking this way, we don’t just focus on cost savings and space reduction, but on creating spaces that actually serve their purpose as tools for productivity and touchstones for culture. For this reason, we include a wellness component in all our workplace engagements.”

There are so many things – way beyond a fitness room – a company can do to enhance workplace wellness. Offer employees healthy food choices, provide lower fat milk for coffee, make sure there is a lot of natural sunlight, boost authentic interactions. What does this do? Research has found that people just work better and are motivated to push themselves more when they are relaxed. For example, the Principal Financial Well-Being Index survey found that 40% of employees say they want to work harder and perform better and 26% miss fewer days of work by participating in wellness programs.

And when employees are relaxed, they are less likely to hate coming to work, more likely to stay healthy and thus will take sick days off less frequently.

So the more wellness in the workplace, the better productivity for the company. It just makes “cents” to care for one’s employees.

Beauty Skin Tips from the Experts


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beauty-creamModel Zillin Luo has some great beauty tips for everyone to easily maintain that summer sheen without looking sweaty!

It’s so easy to get caught up in the crazy heat and give up on your beauty routine. But you can instead take advantage of how the sun can dry out problematic pores on the skin. In other words, you can become more beautiful rather than less. What’s more, it doesn’t have to take the time it takes a model to beautify herself either. It just takes a few easily changeable tactics to turn sweat into shimmer!

For example, rather than using a standard cleanser and face cream, one should instead opt for an oil-free daily lotion with at least SPF 20. When it comes to make-up, this is a great time to go a shade lighter, suggests Luo. Opt for tinted moisturizer and lip gloss and ditch heavy-color-based lipstick. Next, add some summer splash to your skin, with a citrus smell to get your body smelling super fresh at all times.

Summer doesn’t have to be a disaster for beauty – it can actually be transformative if one just mixes up their skin care routines a bit.


Matt Lyons: Blackstone Medical and the Latest on Spinal Pain Relief


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spineSpinal pain relief has made a substantial leap in technological advancement since Matt Lyons founded Blackstone Medical Inc. back in 1996. At that time while Lyons’ successfully built up the company to become “the largest private held spine company” when it was brought out by Orthofix in 2006, no-one had ever even heard of the half of the technology that is being used today to aid in pain relief.

Today, a lot has changed – and continues to change – in the way chronic pain (such as spinal discomfort) through technology. Indeed, earlier this month St. Jude Medical Inc. announced it had received approval to sell a new neuromodulation device (initially in Europe) known as the Invisible Trial System. Using an iPod Touch app, electric pulses are sent from a kind of pacemaker device into the epidural space by the spinal column to block pain signals that travel up the spine to the brain which are controlled via Bluetooth technology signals. These signals come with built-in security features.

Of course, back in the 1990s, such technology did not exist. But when Lyons co-founded Blackstone Medical Inc., at the helm of the firm, he developed sales from zero to $92 million in less than a decade. Today, Orthofix remains committed to similar values, with its mission being to: “Improve patients’ lives by providing superior reconstructive and regenerative solutions orthopedic and spine solutions to physicians worldwide.”

New York: Health Care System



healthcareNationwide, based on 274 regions, some of the cities in upstate New York have the most affordable healthcare according to a recent report put out by the Niagara Quality Health Coalition. Rochester came in fourth and Syracuse 19th. Conversely, Santa Cruz was the most expensive.

In addition, New York comes in at number four nationwide for encouraging the most people to sign up for coverage under the individual health insurance market. Indeed, just last year the city of New York worked heard in an attempt to fulfill one of the key goals of the Affordable Care Act.


The Health Risk of a Manicure?



nail-polishOne may not imagine that getting a manicure could possibly come with a health risk. But that is exactly the sort of question that is currently being asked in the city of New York. Indeed, according to nail technician Sri Janamalla, “the chemical makes a breathing problem, and the dust makes our noses blocked and have breathing problem.”

Thus it is probably good news that the new York City Council committees on health and consumer affairs has introduced a new bill which seeks to make sure conditions are safe. One argument is that there could be a problem with regards to reproductive health and respiratory problems, and even possibly cancer.

So what this may mean in New York City nail salons as that a ventilation system needs to be installed to ensure odors do not enter neighboring spaces. If the bill becomes law, salons will need to have that ventilation to be properly licensed and publicize a pamphlet to ensure that all who come to do their nails know their rights and can avoid any potential dangerous situations.

Counseling for New York Teens



smartphoneStudents from ten public high schools in New York City are going to be given smartphone access to free and confidential counseling for mental health. NYC Teen Text was developed following a survey in 2013 on Youth Risk Behavior that revealed 27 percent of NYC public high school students feel sad/hopeless every day for two or more weeks. Of this figure, only 18 percent accessed a counselor. The idea behind NYC Teen Text is to close this gap.

It is a great idea given the amount of time teens these days spend on their phones. NYC Teen Text will have approximately 2,000 local providers of counseling services in the database. In addition, for teens that seem like they might harm themselves, counselors can work alongside the local police department to check in on them.

A substantial supporter of the program has been Chirlane McCray, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife.  Their own daughter has suffered from mental illness.  McCray pointed out quite simply that: “our goal is to meet teens where they are – and where they are is on their phones.”

One should realize however that this program should NOT be used in place of traditional one-on-one counseling, as that is very important to be face-to-face with a counselor. But it is a good start, especially for those teenagers reluctant to make an appointment with a counselor.

New York: Environment, Pollution, Disease


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ratsNew York City has always been plagued with rats as it were. This is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, just two years ago the city’s health department made a staggering 95,000 rat inspections. But it’s not just the rats (gross as they are) that are causing a problem for New York residents. It’s actually what lives on them – the insects – that can infect residents with some of the most awful diseases including plague.

It might seem like plague is no longer an issue, given that the last time the US witnessed this was in 1925 on the other side of the States in Los Angeles. So it was the first time in close to a century that the amount of fleas and lice on NY rats were calculated. There have been reports published on how to deal with rat problems – that are actually people problems – in New York. Because when there are rats, there is disease and when there is disease, this impacts the health of the people.

But New Yorkers really shouldn’t feel so bad. They are not the only ones encountering these vermin. In fact, in a recent study of the 10 most rat-infested cities, New York only came in at Number 10 (with Deshnoke, North West India, being Number 1 and Chicago, Atlanta and other US cities coming in before New York).

Still, the estimate of NY rats is that it is 1:1 ratio to people. That’s not good.   But in 2013 the municipal authorities did attempt to undertake a way of sterilizing the rats. Still, the issue remains. And New Yorkers – understandably – are worried about how the rats and what they are carrying will impact pollution and ultimately their health.


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