Reduce Your Risk of Lyme Disease

LYME DISEASE IS GRADUALLY RISING ACROSS THE U.S.

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THE ILLNESS IS SPREAD WHEN BACTERIA IS TRANSMITTED THROUGH A TICK BITE.

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TIME SPENT OUTDOORS INCREASES THE CHANCES OF BEING BITTEN BY A TICK BUT CLEVELAND CLINIC’S DOCTOR ALAN TAEGE (TAY-GEE) SAYS THERE ARE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO REDUCE THAT RISK.

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CG: Dr. Alan Taege /Cleveland Clinic “You can protect yourself. Use the insect repellent, particularly those with DEET, D-E-E-T, when you go out to work in your yard, camping, hiking, whatever you’re doing, put it on, because it can be very effective.” [:16]

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IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE CAMPING, DOCTOR TAEGE SAYS YOU CAN ALSO USE AN ADDITIONAL CHEMICAL ON CLOTHING, TENTS AND CAMPING EQUIPMENT CALLED PERMETHRIN (PER-METH-ER-IN) TO KEEP TICKS AWAY.

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ACCORDING TO DOCTOR TAEGE, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO TUCK PANT LEGS INTO SOCKS OR BOOTS. THIS MAKES IT HARDER FOR TICKS TO GET ONTO YOUR SKIN.

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HE ALSO RECOMMENDS WEARING LIGHT-COLORED CLOTHING.  IT WILL BE EASIER TO SPOT AND SWAT A  DARK-COLORED TICK ON A SLEEVE OR PANT LEG.

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HE SAYS THE AVERAGE TICK HAS TO BE ATTACHED FOR SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE IT CAN CAUSE ILLNESS.  REMOVING THEM QUICK IS VITALLY IMPORTANT.

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CG: Dr. Alan Taege /Cleveland Clinic “When you come in from any of those activities where you’ve exposed yourself to ticks you should do a tick check to try to be sure that you haven’t collected any of the little creatures on your body.” [:12]

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[MEDIA:  Pathfire#: 10808 “Preventing Lyme Disease” June 14, 2017 Sound Bites/VO]

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Health Benefits of Drinking Water

 

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Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of drinking plenty of water.

By Dr. Nina Radcliff

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You may know that water makes up about two-thirds of who we are – but did you know it influences 100 percent of the processes in our body?

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Yes, we are made of about 70 percent water!

But did you know that our muscles and kidneys are about 75 percent water?

Lungs about 83 percent.

Brain cells about 85 percent?

And even our bones are approximately 30 percent.

That probably explains why we feel better when we drink enough of it, everyday.

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Because of water’s abundant and varied functions in our body, it is a vital nutrient. Our body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions.

It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and assist the passage of food through the intestines.

The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.

In fact, to function properly, all the cells and organs of our body need water.

Every day, on an average, our body loses about 2 quarts of water through breathing, sweating, digestion – and it’s E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L that we rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain high water content (soups, tomatoes, oranges).

Keeping hydrated has a huge impact on our overall health.

However, despite how crucial water is, a significant number of people fail to consume recommended levels of fluids each day.

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To understand how water is helping us – here are some great reasons why we should be hydrating with clean, natural water right now:

Your Kidneys. Water is essential for the kidneys to function. Every day, the kidneys filter around 120-150 quarts of fluid. Of these, approximately 1-2 quarts are excreted in the form of urine, and 198 are recovered by the bloodstream. When dehydrated, our kidneys resort to desperate measures in order to conserve water—meaning, decreasing urine output. However, this can also result in the buildup of waste products, electrolyte imbalances, and, if severe, acute kidney failure. And, as we start seeing temperatures rise, so too the incidence of miserable kidney stones. When properly hydrated, we maintain good urine flow and this prevents the build-up of minerals within our kidneys that can form stones.

 

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Calories. Water is void of calories, the original and healthiest zero-calorie drink. As we know, our weight is dependent on the balance of calories consumed versus burned. And, when we take in more than we use as fuel, we gain weight. Too many drinks that we commonly reach for are laden with calories (and added sugar). The average can of soda contains approximately 140 calories; a glass of wine 140 calories; and 12-ounces of unsweetened apple juice 170 calories. And, if you think you are safe with a “diet” drink that gets its sweetness from artificial sweeteners and lacks calories, think again. Research shows that they are linked to weight gain. So, the next time we want to quench our thirst, consider reaching for a glass of no-calorie water.

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Combats Dehydration-Driven Sugar Cravings. H2O is essential to a number of our body’s chemical processes, including the ability to release and tap into energy stores. Glycogen is primarily found in the liver and is our main storage form of glucose. However, when we are dehydrated, our liver cannot release glycogen into the blood stream where it can be utilized as fuel. Consequently, our body sends signals to our brain that it needs to consume something sweet—STAT! So the next time you are craving for a cookie, pastry, or something with sugar, it may not be your sweet tooth you are trying to satisfy, but, instead, your thirst.

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Combat Headaches. Headaches are one of the first signs of dehydration and there are two possible theories for this. First, is that when we do not have enough water, our blood volume decreases, and in order to prevent inadequate blood and oxygen flow to our brain, the brain’s blood vessels compensate by dilating. This causes “crowding” and pain. The other theory is that dehydration results in electrolyte imbalance and stimulates the nerves in our brain to send pain signals.

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Keeps us looking young. Our skin cells can either maintain the form of a grape or a raisin, depending on our hydration. When we are properly hydrated, they are like a grape. And, when dehydrated, our cells are shriveled up and can make wrinkles we have appear more prominent. Drinking water can keep our fountain of youth from drying up.

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Healthy Digestion. When dehydrated, our body resorts to extreme measures to conserve water. This includes “pulling” or “absorbing” water from stool before it exits our digestive tract. The result is hardening and decreased transit time of “poop”—also known as constipation.

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Stroke and Survival After Stroke. In studies by leading centers including one out of Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that nearly half of patients who presented with a stroke due to a clot were dehydrated. And, too, they did worse in the long run.

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Concentration and Energy. Approximately 80 percent to 85 percent of our brain’s weight comes from water. So it is no surprise that when our water levels are low, our brain function is affected—chemical production that signals between brain cells and nerve transmission that is responsible for thinking, movement, and memory. And when you are feeling sluggish, like your energy has been zapped or tired – this, too, is a sign of dehydration and time to reach for some clean, natural water.

Too many are living in a mildly dehydrated state—impacting their health with various irritations like headaches, joint pain, low energy, digestive issues…the list goes on. I consider H20 one of the essential building blocks of good health. Clean, natural water is important for all of us, every day!

And do check the source of your water. One of the best waters you can drink is filtered water. And don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water as that generally means you have waited too long and are probably already dehydrated.

An age-old question is how much water is enough? The answer is not as simple as we often hear. The recommended amount of water that should be drunk everyday varies from person to person depending on factors such as level of activity, weight, diet and surrounding temperature.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an estimated adequate intake for men is approximately 13 cups a day. For women, an adequate intake is around 9 cups.

And while we have often heard the directive: “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day” (and it is close to the IOM’s recommendation for women), drinking “8 by 8” is an easy-to-remember amount that can help people on the right track in terms of water consumption.

Take time – and take note – to ensure you are getting enough. One guideline is to drink water in the morning, when you wake and too, 30 minutes before meals and about an hour or two after meals (aim not to drink excessive amounts after 7 p.m. as it may interfere with your sleep).

If you find in your day you have had very little water, I encourage you to set a timer or a smartphone reminder. The goal is to be properly hydrated, everyday – it can make a world of difference in your overall health.

Make a commitment today!!

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Today’s Fitness Tip from Mayo Clinic:

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The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups of water two to three hours before your workout, and and at least 1/2 to 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout.  Continue to hydrate after your workout to replenish lost fluid.

Remember, balance is key:

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Happy Hydrated Mother’s Day weekend everyone!

 

New Study: High Tech Baby Monitors

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SO MANY NEW SMART PHONE MONITORS AIM TO GIVE PARENTS PEACE OF MIND.

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BUT A RECENT STUDY LOOKS AT THEIR REAL SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS.

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DOCTOR KIMBERLY GIULIANO OF CLEVELAND CLINIC CHILDREN’ S DID NOT TAKE PART IN THE STUDY, BUT SAYS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONCERNS DOCTORS HAVE ABOUT THESE MONITORS IS THEY’ RE NOT REGULATED.

CG: Dr. Kimberly Giuliano/Cleveland Clinic Children’s [19:10:35-19:10:47] “They are not tested and regulated by the FDA, so they don’ t have to go through the same rigors that medical equipment would. So it’ s quite possible that something could happen to a child that the monitors wouldn’ t necessarily pick up on.”  [00:12]

THE TYPE OF MONITORS STUDIED ARE THOSE WITH SPECIAL SENSORS TO ALERT PARENTS WHEN THERE IS A PROTBLEM WITH A BABY’ S PULSE OR HEART RATE.

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STUDY AUTHORS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER THESE MONITORS TRIGGERING FALSE ALARMS, WHICH CAN CAUSE UNNECESSARY STRESS TO PARENTS AND BABIES.

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DOCTOR GIULIANO SAYS WHEN IT COMES TO MONITORING A HEALTHY BABY, A DEVICE THAT WILL AID YOUR ABILITY TO HEAR OR SEE THE BABY IS ENOUGH.

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SHE SAYS VIDEO MONITORS HELP BECAUSE WHEN YOU CAN SEE THE BABY ON YOUR SMART PHONE SCREEN, YOU CAN SEE IF THEY’ RE JUST CRYING BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE HELD, OR BECAUSE SOMETHING HAPPENED AND YOU NEED TO GO IN AND HELP.

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WHAT MOST PARENTS AND DOCTORS WORRY ABOUT IN THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE IS ‘ SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME,’ WHICH IS AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH OF A SEEMINGLY HEALTHY BABY DURING THEIR SLEEP.

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DOCTOR GIULIANO CAUTIONS PARENTS FROM ALLOWING ANY MONITOR TO GIVE THEM A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY.

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CG: Dr. Kimberly Giuliano/Cleveland Clinic Children’s [19:08:41-19:08:57] “The biggest thing that we’ re concerned about when babies are sleeping at night is SIDS, is ‘ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,’ and that’ s silent. There’ s nothing that’ s going to show up on a monitor that’ s necessarily going to tell us that. So just because you’ re not hearing anything, doesn’ t always mean that everything is one hundred percent okay.”  [00:16]

DOCTOR GIULIANO SAYS THE MOST VITAL THING WHEN IT COMES TO LAYING BABY DOWN TO SLEEP IS TO RECALL WHAT DOCTORS CALL THE
‘ A-B-C’ S’ OF SLEEP.

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THIS MEANS A BABY MUST SLEEP ALONE, ON THEIR BACK, AND IN A CRIB, TO MINIMIZE THE RISK FOR ACCIDENTAL SUFFOCATION.  AGAIN, THAT’S:

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COMPLETE RESULTS OF THE STUDY CAN BE FOUND IN JAMA.

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(Media:  Cleveland Clinic News Service 9500 Euclid Ave. / JJN4-01Cleveland, OH 44195 Phone: 216.444.0141 “Study Looks at Safety, Effectiveness of High Tech Baby Monitors”April 26, 2017 Sound Bites/Voice Over Pathfire#: A)

It begs the question why a sensor product for newborns was able to raise $25M with no proof that sensors keep babies safe.  In fact, $3M of that funding came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) –the government.

If the National Institutes of Health wants to conduct a study on how to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or how to keep newborns safe –why wouldn’t it perform an independent study.

In 2013, a Baby Monitor Sensor pad product was recalled after two babies died. The cord attached to the baby monitor’s sensor pad, which was placed under the crib mattress caused strangulation. There have been 7 reports of strangulation by baby monitor cords since 2002.

According to the CDC, almost 2000 babies die each year under SIDS circumstances.

Placing a foreign object inside the crib or worse on your baby with a sensor is not the answer.

Remember, the most effective thing you can do to help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS, say pediatricians, is to maintain a safe sleep environment—and not one that involves complicated home monitoring devices.

“If sleep position and infant bedding are appropriate, there shouldn’t be much SIDS left to try to prevent with home monitors,” Dr. Alan Jobe of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital wrote in an op-ed for the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001.

Sixteen years later, the thinking remains the same. The American Academy of Pediatrics revised and expanded its SIDS prevention recommendations.

In addition to putting your baby to sleep on his or her back, APA recommendations include sharing a room with your infant but, crucially, not a bed; keeping baby’s sleeping area clear of any loose bedding, pillows, toys, or cords; and making sure your baby isn’t too warm when sleeping.

Nos. 12 and 13 on the APA’s list of guidelines?

“Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. … There is no evidence that these devices reduce the risk of SIDS or suffocation or that they are safe.”

And:

“Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS. … They might be of value for selected infants but should not be used routinely.”

(In fact, there’s some evidence that they might not be safe: In November, monitor behemoth Angelcare voluntarily recalled 600,000 under-mattress sensor pads after two infants died of strangulation when the cord attached to the pad wrapped around their necks.)

The point is clear: Infant monitors, even the newest generation of smartphone-friendly wearable tech, do not reduce the risk of SIDS.

Bottom line:  Exposing your newborn or infant to an unregulated sensor gadget placed so close to their tiny body isn’t deemed safe or advisable by physicians.

Safewise rates 10 Best Baby Video Monitors for 2017 here:
http://www.safewise.com/resources/baby-monitor-buyers-guide

 

Simple Ways To Improve Indoor Air

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American Architect, Interior Designer, Writer and Educator, Frank Lloyd Wright loved creating designs in harmony with the environment. Here’s how you can bring the outdoors in AND improve the air quality in your home for better health.

by ALEXA ERICKSON – APRIL 22, 2017

With people spending more than 90 percent of their time indoors, it makes sense that air quality matters.

There are various factors in many people’s homes working against this, however. From furnishings and upholstery to synthetic building materials and cleaning products, toxic compounds are being emitted all around you.

There’s also the concern of pollen, bacteria, and molds that need to be considered. And all of this, combined with poorly-ventilated spaces, such as a windows that have been painted shut in your apartment, it’s incredibly important that you become aware of ways to combat all that junk being inhaled.

 

Enter houseplants.

 

Though you may only have them to better your green thumb, or decorate your home with a sense of nature — which are both great reasons — they’re also extremely beneficial for improving air quality. According to NASA, plants’ ability to purify air makes them “nature’s life support system.”

Plants clean the air in your home by absorbing some of the particles from the air while also taking in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. Additionally, microbes in the potting soil of the plants also provide a cleaning effect.

Plants may even be more beneficial in the evening. Because they are void of sunlight to carry out photosynthesis during this time, their carbon dioxide output increases, therefore providing you with an abundance of oxygen. If you have anxiety, insomnia, or are just looking for a calming effect, the following five plants will aid you in a healthier home and better quality sleep.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a great plant for someone new to the plant game, since it’s very easy to care for. This plant gives off plenty of oxygen at night, and, according to NASA, is capable of removing the pollutant formaldehyde.

Orchids

Orchids are stunning to look at, but they’re a whole lot more than just eye candy. Even when you can’t see them, they’re benefitting you by giving off lots of oxygen at night. Another plant that can withstand a bit of neglect, orchids are able to banish the pollutant found in paint called xylene from the environment.

For 3 More Visit:  http://www.collective-evolution.com

“5 PLANTS THAT GIVE OUT OXYGEN, EVEN DURING THE NIGHT”   

Happy Earth Day!  🙂

Today Is National Walking Day!

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THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN THE MONTH OF APRIL IS DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL WALKING DAY.

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MY FAVORITE NON-COMPETITIVE SPORT!  BUT ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C, EIGHTY PERCENT OF AMERICANS DO NOT GET THE RECOMMENDED TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF MODERATE-INTENSITY AEROBIC EXERCISE EACH WEEK.

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ERICA STEPTEAU IS A HEALTH COACH AT CLEVELAND CLINIC. SHE SAYS THAT STARTING A WALKING ROUTINE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS GETTING YOUR BODY MORE ACTIVE.

CG: Erica Stepteau, MPH/Cleveland Clinic “Get up every five to ten minutes. Put a timer on your phone and see that those are ways that can actually help you get up more instead of just sitting all day.”[00:08]

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STEPTEAU SAYS WE TEND TO UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF WALKING.

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SHE SAYS IT DOESN’T TAKE A GYM MEMBERSHIP OR A PERSONAL TRAINER TO GET YOURSELF UP AND MOVING.

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WALKING IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN FIT INTO YOUR DAY ALMOST ANYWHERE. AND IT NOT ONLY HELPS YOUR HEALTH, BUT CAN ALSO BOOST YOUR MOOD.

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STEPTEAU RECOMMENDS WALKING DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK, TAKING THE STAIRS, AND WHEN YOU GET HOME, GET YOUR PETS OUT AND MOVING WITH YOU.

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SHE ALSO SAID THAT SPRING IS A GREAT TIME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEATHER CHANGING TO START WALKING OUTDOORS.

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IF BRISK WALKING IS YOUR GOAL, SHE SAYS YOU WANT TO WORK YOUR WAY UP TO THE POINT WHERE IT’S A LITTLE CHALLENGING TO TALK WHILE WALKING.

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AND LIKE ANY EXERCISE PLAN, STEPTEAU SAYS YOU’LL HAVE BETTER RESULTS IF YOU CAN FIND A BUDDY TO WALK WITH.

CG: Erica Stepteau/Cleveland Clinic “It can help you push you beyond your own limits because that person may be at a different level than you; higher or lower, depending; but it helps you either be the encouragement that that person needs to step it up, or it could be the encouragement for you to step it up for yourself.”[00:14]

IF GETTING YOURSELF MOVING IS A REAL CHALLENGE, STEPTEAU SAYS THAT IT’S IMPORTANT NOT TO BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT AND TO JUST START SLOW.

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SHE SAYS IF YOU’VE BEEN INACTIVE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING A NEW EXERCISE ROUTINE.

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[MEDIA SEE Pathfire#:10752 FOR VT]

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HAPPY NATIONAL WALKING DAY!  Stay healthy.  -Maria Dorfner

http://www.clevelandclinic.org

 

 

Longevity Ladies of Lehigh Valley

 

 

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Ruth, Elizabeth, Angie and Theresa reside in Lehigh Valley. Lehigh Valley is in Pennsylvania.  It consists of small picturesque towns with principal cities being Bethlehem, Allentown and Easton.

It’s 60 minutes north of Philadelphia, and 90 minutes west of New York City. The valley is between two mountains to north and south. Blue Mountain and South Mountain.

These beautiful four ladies have one more thing in common. They are all centenarians. They range in age from 100 to 105.  They also share a common love of family, health and honesty.

“I always say, ‘Never lie or be mean to anyone.'”
-Theresa J. Roth, age 105

Full link:

As seen in the March 2017 issue of Lehigh Valley Style. 

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Related Stories:

 

How A Tiny Pennsylvania Town Held the Secrets to Long Life

[1 / 17  by Jim Deegan for Lehigh Valley Live]
Kathie Marinucci and brother Sam Nittle display a portrait of their uncle, Carmen ‘”Armie” Ruggiero, who was enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. When Ruggiero died Dec. 20, 2015, at age 103, he was believed to have been the oldest person alive from Roseto and one of the only remaining to have participated in a landmark study of mortality rates from 1955 to 1961 that came to be known as “the Roseto Effect.”

In spite of the dark suits and solemn hymns at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, there was a celebratory tone to the funeral for Carmen Ruggiero.

Ruggiero was born in tiny Roseto on Jan. 21, 1912, the year the Titanic sank and the year in which leaders incorporated the predominantly Italian-American borough near the tip of the Lehigh Valley.

The man nicknamed “Armie” died Dec. 20, a month shy of his 104th birthday.

At the time, he was believed to be the oldest living Rosetan and one of the last alive to have participated in a landmark 1950s study that tied good health and long life to the close-knit Italian family structure defined by the town.

Carmen ‘Armie’ Ruggiero at his 100th birthday party
Carmen “Armie” Ruggiero at his 100th birthday party in January 2012 at Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Monroe County. (Courtesy photo)

“Everybody firmly believed he had a long, good life and he went the way he wanted to go,” said his nephew Sam Nittle, of Wind Gap. “He lived life to the fullest and had no regrets about anything. He was the patriarch of the family.”

Ruggiero was one of 11 children and never married or had kids of his own.

He worked at clubs and taverns, tending bar at popular watering holes like the Buckhorn and Luigi’s Ranch-O outside Belvidere and running the bar service at Florida hotspots such as the Boca Raton Resort and Hollywood Beach Hotel.

His life and outlook came under special interest by Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy, an Easton Hospital specialist in internal medicine. The doctor’s fascination with the so-called “Roseto Effect” blossomed after first treating Ruggiero about two years ago.

Ruggiero, he said, was a special patient.

“He was happy with very little,” said Krishnamurthy, program director of the internal medicine residency program at Easton.

“I believe that’s key. When you feel contented with what you have as opposed to always reaching for the sky and keeping up with your neighbor, it was a lesson learned.

“To me his story was told in four words: happy with very little.”

The Roseto Effect

Movies have been made and books written about the secrets of longevity. In 1964, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association hit upon an astonishing find in the hilly town in Northampton County.

A University of Oklahoma physician, Dr. Stewart Wolf, studied the effect of social structure on health from 1955 to 1961. He concluded that Roseto’s low rate of heart attacks and mortality compared to the rest of the region and the nation was attributable to the close-knit community and generations under one roof typical of Roseto at the time.

Roseto produced such results despite health risk factors that were all around: jugs of homemade red wine, foods cooked in lard, the smoking of cigars.

Fifty-five years later, Krishnamurthy encountered living proof that there must be something to the hypothesis and believes it might be applied to centenarians in general.
An article he wrote with a colleague, Dr. Raafia Memon, after spending time with Ruggiero notes that nearly 20 percent of the 55,000 100-year-olds in the U.S. in 2014 lived below the poverty line.

“These people have very little income but they have an attitude to life that is phenomenal,” Krishnamurthy said. “Mr. Ruggiero told me that’s how you live a happy life and a long life.

“The moment you start stressing about things, he said, is when the problems come. He believed that being happy with very little was the secret to longevity.

“Once people are older, they are very contented people,” Krishnamurthy said. “I can’t prove it based on the life story of one person, but I have seen it in people like him who don’t have a gloomy attitude and aren’t ticked off about small things. I do believe that there is something to it.”

Proud of his independence

Most of Ruggiero’s siblings lived into their 80s and 90s. He moved to Florida in the late 1960s then came back in the 1990s to help tend to two of his sisters, said niece Kathie Marinucci, of Roseto.

He maintained a fierce independence and lived the past few years at the Walden III assisted-living facility in Wind Gap.

Ruggiero drove until he was 100, could recall stories from his childhood in vivid detail and passed along traditions to his many nieces and nephews that they say would be lost forever were it not for his insistence.

With decades in the service industry, for example, he prided himself on his Caesar salad.

“It had to have the 13 ingredients,” said Marinucci, who lives in the house where she grew up. “You had to use the wooden bowl, which you never washed, and you had to smash the anchovies.”

Marinucci and Nittle are brother and sister whose late mother, Rose Nittle, was the youngest of Ruggiero’s family. While they looked after their uncle Armie, he lived essentially on his own up until the end.

One day last month, he called Nittle at home and summoned him to Walden III.

“I need you to come and see me,” he said.

To me his story was told in four words: happy with very little.”
Nittle said Ruggiero was uncharacteristically serious and business-minded that day. He pointed a crooked finger at his nephew and shook it at him.

“He said ‘This is my home now,'” a surprised Nittle recalled.

“He said ‘I had a home in Florida and don’t have it anymore. I had a home in Roseto and don’t have that anymore. This is my home. I go and come as I please.

“‘Don’t you ever put me in a home and don’t you ever let people see me if I can’t take care of myself.'”

Ruggiero also related something that Nittle says he can’t explain today. The family traditionally gathers at Nittle’s home on Christmas Eve and the nephew makes Manhattans.

“He said, ‘I don’t want you to feel bad about this, but I’m not coming over this year for Christmas,'” Nittle said.

A few hours after leaving, NIttle got a call from his sister. Ruggiero had taken a fall in the dining area and was going to Lehigh Valley Hospital. Doctors said he had fractured his neck in the spill.

Ruggiero died of bronchial pneumonia about 10 days later, his family said.

“The day this all happened, which was the beginning of the end, is the day he called me and told me all this,” Nittle said.

A different time

Roseto is different today than the town that gained recognition for its endurance. About 1,500 people live there, but the concentration of Italian-Americans has been diluted.

In 1989, Dr. Wolf restudied the Roseto Effect and found the mortality rates were in line with other communities such as Bangor and Nazareth. The difference was gone.

“The Rosetan values of cohesive family structure started fading away in the late 1960s,” Dr. Krishnamurthy said.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Roseto
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Roseto has been the place of worship for generations of the borough’s Italian-Americans. (Jim Deegan | For lehighvalleylive.com)

Even today, the mayor and most of borough council have last names, like the streets, that end in vowels. But it’s not the place it was, according to longtime residents.

“Back then everybody knew everyone else,” said Michael Romano, 62, the borough council president. “If you walked down the street and you were doing something wrong, the parents didn’t have a problem disciplining someone else’s child. It’s not that way today.”

You can still get tomato pie and cannoli at Roseto Bakery, formerly LeDonne’s, and there’s Italian fare and espresso machines for sale at Ruggiero’s Market on Dante Street. But the days when Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church was packed and Catholic schools were open have faded like the Roseto Effect.

Romano said the Italian-American culture that emphasized education and college served to diminish the effect.

“There’s still a core of Italians with the church and the fire company, but the composition of Roseto has changed,” he said.

Doc looks back on colorful 57-year career
Doc looks back on colorful 57-year career

While the Roseto Effect may be long gone, its documentation remains useful, according to Easton Hospital’s Krishnamurthy.

He feels grateful to have been able to capture a fleeting phenomenon in Carmen Ruggiero and his stories of Roseto.

“All of my patients are equal because I care for their medical conditions,” he said, “but sometimes there are cases that speak to you much more.

“He had a profound effect on me,” he said of Ruggiero. “There was a different connection. He would make you so comfortable and you could talk to him for hours and not even realize it.”

With further study involving other centenarians, Krishnamurthy hopes to one day publish a medical paper that ties attitude and longevity together.

It’s something he says is worthy of emphasis.

“We’re going through tough times all across the world,” he said. “I see a lot of discontentment in the youth of today and I don’t know how to change that.”

An old man from Roseto who didn’t drive anymore still may have held the keys.

“There’s something about the centenarians who find joy in small things,” the doctor said. “They find a purpose in life. We need to find some level of happiness and contentment with what we are and who we are.

“For me, it is going to be a lifelong quest.”

                              ###

[Jim Deegan may be reached at jdeegan@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @jim_deegan. Find lehighvalleylive on Facebook]

 

 

 

Humor Helps Cancer Patients Heal

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When 28-year-old Oncology Nurse, Lexi Timmons works with cancer patients, which she’s done for two years, she notices what helps most is humor to brighten their spirits.

She also observes they receive a lot of greeting cards from well-meaning loved ones, but most are downright depressing instead of what they need most during this time, which is cheer.  She realizes it’s not their fault  because the majority of Greeting cards for illness in major retailers are typically glum offering sympathy, along with a Get Well Soon salutation.  She could see her patients get sad as they open and read them.

That’s how Lexi got the idea to create a line of Greeting cards that make cancer patients smile, laugh and feel good.  She calls them LUMPY CARDS.   Everyone knows stress has a negative impact on your mind and body. When people have cancer, they need their immune systems to stay strong and humor helps diffuse stress.  When someone is laughing they’re not thinking of being sick, even if it’s only for a little while.  It’s a step in the right direction.  Laughter is always positive, which is why we love Lexi’s idea and spirit. Sometimes, her patients inspire the cards.

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Lexi says, “I love to crack jokes and so do my patients. I realized that when people are going through the roughest of times, it actually brings out the best comedian in them.  It helps them cope and it also releases feel good endorphins in them, which are healing.”

Another inspiration was unexpected.  In 2012, cancer hit home when her Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Lexi Timmons with a cancer patient she didn’t expect – her own Mom

“My Mom is at her best when she is laughing and not thinking about her cancer. I knew this would help her too.”

LUMPY CARDS sure did make her Mom smile.

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Now, Lexi’s Mom inspires some of the Greeting cards. Together, they share great laughs and beautiful smiles.

Laughter really is the best medicine

 Her Mom Sherry says, “I just love Lexi’s cards! She has a knack for finding just the right line to make people feel better. When I was going through cancer treatment, and I would read one of her cards, they would make me laugh or feel loved. Her cards captured what I needed to hear at each stage of my treatment, and were neither too sympathetic or mushy. So many of the cards out there make you feel like your life is over now that you have cancer or you’re dying.”

Lexi writes the humorous cards herself, but would love to partner with some professional comedians, who would like to volunteer for a good cause and get credit on them.

There are a range of cards uniquely tailored for men, women, friends, family and spouses dealing with cancer and they’re reasonably priced at $3.99 a card.

Healthy Within Network and NewsMD give these cards two healthy thumbs up. 

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And so does the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, who has this to say:

“Now THIS is interesting!  A company that makes unique and provocative greeting cards for cancer patients. Lumpy Cards certainly doesn’t tiptoe around the topic of cancer.  The animal selection is particularly cute.”

 

 Way to go, Lexi.  An absolutely beautiful person inside and out, like her Mom.

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Lexi with her biggest fan, Mom

 

 

Here’s a link to Lexi on-camera talking about her inspiration for Lumpy Cards:

 

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  You can contact Lexi for an interview (Contact Us page on link) or order cards here:  http://www.lumpycards.com

Maria Dorfner is an  award-winning health journalist, and the the founding CEO of Healthy Within Network and NewsMD Communications.  This is her blog. She has been working in Media since 1983 and began specializing in Health in 1993, creating and sharing original and trusted health content for healthcare consumers. Her award-winning health series and segments have been seen on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, DISCOVERY HEALTH and more.

“Today, the floodgates are open to anyone reporting on health. Consumers are now well aware that physicians may have ties to pharmaceutical companies, health devices or hospitals, so they question everything. They are also now aware that food and beverage companies promoting products may not have their best interests in mind. When your Mom, Dad, sister, brother or loved one has a health issue, you want to know you’re getting trusted unbiased information. We maintain the experts need to be questioned to ensure not only transparency, but that profits aren’t placed before people.  Additionally, we focus on prevention and maintaining good health.  Virgil said it best when he said, “Health is your greatest wealth. Invest wisely.” ~Maria Dorfner

How To Explain Pet’s Death To A Child

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At all ages, honesty is the best policy, says Marty Tously, a bereavement counselor.

“That means using the words death and dying, and explaining the permanence of death. You do it gently but without confusing what dying actually means.”

Tously is a counselor with the Pet Grief Support Service. She says that a child’s ability to understand what death means depends on his/her emotional and cognitive development, but outlined the generally understood guideline of how children perceive death and dying:

Under 2: A child can feel and respond to a pet’s death, based on the reaction of those around him or her. A child picks up the stress felt by family members, no matter what the cause.

2 to 5: The child will miss the animal as a playmate, but not necessarily as a love object. They will see death as a temporary state – something like the way leaves fall off a tree in fall but grow back in the spring. As they perceive the trauma around them, however, they may regress in their behavior (e.g., thumb sucking).

5 to 9: Children begin to perceive death as permanent, but they may indulge in “magical thinking,” believing that death can be defied or bargained with. This is also the period when children recognize a correlation between what they think and what happens. For instance, a child may resent taking care of the pet and wish – however briefly – that the pet would die. If the pet then dies, the child is often consumed with guilt. Parents need to reassure children that they did not cause the pet’s death.

10 and up: Children generally understand that all living things will eventually die, and that death is total. Understanding and accepting are two different things, however. They may go through the normal stages of grief that grownups do: denial, bargaining, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance. (To learn about the stages of grief, see the story Coping with Pet Loss.)

Or they may react in other ways:

For More Please Visit:  http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/behavior-training/loss-mourning-a-dog/explaining-pet-loss-to-children-six-dos-and-donts

IN LOVING MEMORY OF BLAKE PALLANTE – REST IN PEACE 2000-2016

 

Digital Strategy & Value-Based Care

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Digital Strategy and the Shift to Value-Based Care
by Guest Author, Terence Maytin

The U.S. healthcare system is rapidly transitioning from fee-for-service to value- based care as part of massive and ongoing industry-wide transformation. Digital strategy is evolving to meet new challenges, help drive disruptive innovation, and better engage a large, growing audience of connected health consumers.

Already complex and fragmented, the healthcare sector will look very different over the coming years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has spurred rapid innovation and disruptive change across the entire ecosystem in the quest for better quality care across the entire population at lower per capita cost. Payers are accelerating rollout of value- based payment models with providers, and the shift to pay for performance arrangements with Pharma companies is increasing as well.

Moving an entire industry from volume-oriented reimbursement requires aggressive, innovative approaches to move from traditional siloed care to collaborative models, with system-wide provider coordination, patient engagement and proactive interventions. Technology will continue to act as a critical change agent, enabling large- scale improvements in process efficiency, automation, connectivity, collaboration, interoperability and advanced analytics.

With the convergence of healthcare and digital technology, industry stakeholders are reassessing their digital strategies to help tackle new business opportunities and challenges. Just a few years ago, digital health efforts largely focused either on acquisition marketing, community aggregation, or customer service portals designed to redirect volume from higher cost channels. However amid the current environment, digital offers much greater and far-reaching impact potential than ever before.

Digital investments are ramping up to support the shift from volume to value, particularly in the areas of care coordination, patient engagement, post-discharge monitoring, measurement, and behavior change. Since 2014, venture capital has provided $10B in new funding for clinical tools, analytics, consumer engagement, mHealth, telemedicine, wearables, and business services. In 2016, firms have raised a record $1.8B.

Two important trends drive home the relevance and importance of having a comprehensive, well articulated digital strategy: the rise of consumerism and nearly ubiquitous web/mobile adoption. Across all age groups, large audiences not only already consume digital services but also expect high quality, omni-channel experiences. In order to deliver on this promise, companies must design optimized, journey-based experiences that balance customer needs, preferences, and behaviors against desired business objectives and outcomes. Companies must embrace the concept of “putting the customer first” throughout the organization and across functions (e.g. strategy, product development, marketing, operations and technology). This also must be accompanied by an insights-driven, decision-making approach.

Essentially, digital strategy will be most effective if viewed as an organizational imperative. Armed with a holistic vision and comprehensive strategy, stakeholders will be better able to leverage and capitalize on digital’s full disruptive potential to help solve some of the most pressing challenges facing healthcare today.

Healthcare Industry Transformation

The transformation of healthcare is multidimensional and complicated. Disruptive innovation, technology and consumer trends are upending traditional business models. The competitive landscape is getting ever more crowded with new entrants while at the same time, insurer and provider consolidation is accelerating.

Consumers are motivated with more skin in the game and greater information access than ever before. Payment models are shifting from volume to value, and payers, providers, pharma, and medtech will need to collaborate and coordinate to a much larger degree within a more integrated care delivery system. These factors along with intense focus on quality improvement and evidence-based outcomes have big implications for the entire care delivery continuum…

Click here to read full article

TerenceMartin  Guest Author, Terence Maytin is VP/Director | Head of Digital Strategy and Delivery | Digital Health Business Analytics and Technology  and  Strategic Advisor for First Growth VC.

Stay healthy!

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Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD and Healthy  Within Network. This is her blog.
She can be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com
Be sure to click red FOLLOW on upper right of this blog to be notified of new posts.
On Twitter:  Maria_Dorfner

 

 

 

 

Healthy Spring Reminder

 

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Add good nutrition and percentages for reducing your chances of illness skyrockets.

 

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That one thought can help you when faced with unhealthy vs. healthy food choices.  There is no need to obsess because no one wants to live like that.  It’s all about healthy habits you maintain over a lifetime. Focus your tracking, measuring, comparing and weighing on how much you’re helping others, getting fresh air, getting sunshine, listening, caring, reading books, exploring, hiking, building, creating, sharing, praising, giving, inspiring, educating, laughing, walking, motivating, thinking, imagining, dreaming, dancing, singing, humming if you can’t sing, noticing nature more and the beauty surrounding you, turning off TV and electronics, spending time with positive, uplifting people with healthy habits who make you laugh, lifting someone up just because you can and not because you’re expecting something in return.

There are also people who have a healthy, calming presence.  These are people you can be around and feel good even if you’re walking in silence.

No one has a perfect family, friendships or relationships.  What they have is what they themselves bring to the equation.  Allow your ship to be strong and calm, so that you can weather any storm without needing to yell,”Man (or woman) overboard!” or “Abandon ship!”  I tend to see the good in everyone, but I’ve learned there are dark people with bad vibes.  The best you can do is avoid them and delete them from your social media networks. If you can’t avoid them entirely, limit exposure as you would any toxin.

Being healthy allows you to navigate your ship better. It doesn’t get rid of any storms.

If you’re currently poor in a job that you hate think of yourself as an actor in a movie playing a role. Imagine you’re the owner or CEO of the establishment. How would you behave differently?  How would you carry yourself?  Would you smile more when customers entered? Would you want your place to look better and know what works and what doesn’t?  Try it.  You will not only smile more, but one day when you do run a place you’ll be an incredible leader because you took pride in doing the little things well and you know how to treat customers. Listen to them. Learn to be a good communicator by being a good listener and observer. Respond. Don’t react.

Ashton Kutcher talks about this extensively in an excellent Commencement Speech he gave. Google it if you haven’t heard it as it will change the way you think of ALL jobs from sweeping a floor to being the Chairwoman.  I was thrilled when my Dad took me to the restaurant when I was a little kid. I begged him to let me work behind the counter even though I could barely reach it. Then, I begged him to let me make ices for customers. Customers were amused and SO nice saying, “Well, hello there young lady. I’ll have one Italian ice.”  I stood on a chair and made the biggest ice in the world. I remember my Dad saying, “I’ll go out of business if you keep doing that.” I asked questions and got my first lesson in business. My Dad also told me to smile and say thank you, so I learned to treat customers well too.

Remember, everyone of every size has fears, doubts, anxieties and feelings of sadness. Notice singers of all shapes and sizes have a sad song.  It’s part of life.

The best thing you can be is kind, compassionate, sincere, smart and imperfectly real.

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Be sure to follow this blog for new posts. There is a follow button on the upper right hand corner. Thank you!   My first book, “Healthy Within: A Story of Loss of Gain” is still available on-line on Barnes & Noble. They always have a coupon code you can use at checkout to get 30% or more off.  Thanks!

Follow me on Twitter: @Maria_Dorfner

Stay healthy!  ~Maria Dorfner

p.s.  Red Robbins are singing outside my window, so Spring-like weather should be here soon.