HealthLink On Air

Interviews

How one hospital is working to keep patients satisfied

December 8th, 2016 by James Howe

Modern technology requires doctors, nurses and technicians to spend time on computers and record-keeping, while at the same time making sure that patients have good experiences during their hospital stay. Two Upstate University Hospital officials talk about how patients can expect to be treated with respect and empathy rather than as medical conditions. Amy Szczesniak (at left in photo), chief experience officer, and Karen Wentworth (at right), of the patient relations and guest services department, tell how and why patients are encouraged to ask questions or make requests during their stay and are polled about it afterward.

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Rural doctors say medical career rewards outweigh challenges

December 8th, 2016 by James Howe

A rural doctor is a vital part of his or her community, has nature nearby and a life outside of work, and it’s not as remote or technically backward as some might think. A rural doctor can offer state-of-the-art medicine and a more personalized approach than typically found in a bigger city, say Robert Ostrander, MD (at right in photo), and his son, Geoffrey Ostrander, MD (at left), graduates of Upstate Medical University who share a family practice in the Finger Lakes village of Rushville. They note the challenges of lower pay and less administrative support and their involvement with Upstate’s Rural Medical Scholars Program, which trains doctors to practice in rural areas.

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Adolescent stress a likely factor in increasing suicide rates

December 8th, 2016 by James Howe

Children growing up today are exposed to almost constant social media, which adds to the pressures of adolescence at a time when the suicide rate among youngsters is rising. James Demer, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Upstate, talks about the importance of maintaining communication and keeping track of any troubling changes in teens, and guiding them toward professional help when necessary as a way to help prevent teen suicide. He reviews risk factors and explains how a young person’s primary care doctor is often the go-to person about whether and where to seek help.

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How to prepare for child’s first mental health visit

December 8th, 2016 by James Howe

Preparing for a child’s first mental health appointment requires parents to be honest and patient, says an Upstate child and adolescent psychiatrist. Parents should tell the child why they are seeking help and how it can make things better, says James Demer, MD, who offers age-appropriate tips for this. He explains what to expect, how to deal with any stigma or anxiety and that it takes time for the assessment and treatment processes to take place.

 

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Researchers hope discovery will someday help blind to see again

December 1st, 2016 by James Howe

Ophthalmology researchers Andrea Viczian, PhD, and Michael Zuber, PhD, lead a team at Upstate’s Center for Vision Research that discovered just two genes — not seven, as previously believed — are responsible for beginning the process of eye development. Their work advances the understanding of how retinal cells are formed and offers hope that scientists someday might be able to prompt the development of cells to treat retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa. Viczian and Zuber study eye development in frog embryos, which contain the same retinal cell types and whose retinas develop in a manner similar to the human retina. They work with stem cells that have the potential to form a variety of adult cell types. (Click here for an abstract of their findings.)

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Though largely controlled, meningitis can be fatal

December 1st, 2016 by James Howe

Meningitis can range from unpleasant to deadly and typically causes a headache, fever, stiff neck and sensitivity to light as the membranes, or meninges, surrounding the brain and spinal cord become inflamed, explains Joseph Domachowske, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Upstate. The more serious, or bacterial, form of the disease can be “really scary” and spread quickly among otherwise healthy people living in close quarters under stress, such as college dormitories and military barracks, he says. The less serious, or aseptic, form is usually caused by a virus, he says, noting who is most at risk and treatments for the disease, which has been largely controlled in the U.S. through vaccines.

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Stereotactic radiation for cancer patients; treatment options for eating disorders; preserving medical history through art: Upstate Medical University’s HealthLink on Air for Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016

November 21st, 2016 by James Howe

Radiation oncologist Michael Mix, MD, explains how stereotactic radiation can shorten treatment for some cancer patients. Social worker Kathleen Deters-Hayes goes over treatment options for people with eating disorders. Cara Howe, curator of Upstate’s historic collections, talks with art conservator Susan Blakney about preservation and medical history.

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Check Up from the Neck Up: A smart way to cope with empty nest syndrome

December 1st, 2016 by James Howe

Upstate psychologist Rich O’Neill, PhD, shares one solution for the loneliness that can accompany an empty nest in this “Check Up from the Neck Up” essay.

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Donating a kidney to a stranger; how transplants save lives; advising a wilderness adventure show: Upstate Medical University’s HealthLink on Air for Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016

November 23rd, 2016 by James Howe

Upstate University Hospital nurse Jody Adams tells why she donated one of her kidneys to a woman she had never met. Transplant surgeon Vaughn Whittaker, MD, explains how such kidney donations are saving and improving lives. Emergency physician Jeremy Joslin, MD, and paramedic Todd Curtis tell about consulting for a wilderness adventure television show.

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A visit from the Healing Muse: ‘The Doctor’ and ‘Meeting Dr. N.’

November 21st, 2016 by James Howe

Deirdre Neilen, PhD, shares a selection from Upstate’s literary journal, “The Healing Muse,” every Sunday on “HealthLink on Air.” Neilen is the editor of the annual publication featuring fiction, poetry, essays and visual art focused on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing. Read The Healing Muse Cafe Blog.



Today’s selections are “The Doctor,” by Matthew J. Spireng, and “Meeting Dr. N.,” by Claudia M. Reder, and can be found in “The Healing Muse, Volume 16.” Order your copy of “The Healing Muse” today.

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A visit from the Healing Muse: ‘Taking the Stand’

November 21st, 2016 by James Howe

Deirdre Neilen, PhD, shares a selection from Upstate’s literary journal, “The Healing Muse,” every Sunday on “HealthLink on Air.” Neilen is the editor of the annual publication featuring fiction, poetry, essays and visual art focused on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing. Read The Healing Muse Cafe Blog.



Today’s selection is “Taking the Stand,” by Ann Sutera Botash, MD, and can be found in “The Healing Muse, Volume 16.” Order your copy of “The Healing Muse” today.

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A visit from the Healing Muse: ‘Killing Time’ and ‘Offering’

November 21st, 2016 by James Howe

Deirdre Neilen, PhD, shares a selection from Upstate’s literary journal, “The Healing Muse,” every Sunday on “HealthLink on Air.” Neilen is the editor of the annual publication featuring fiction, poetry, essays and visual art focused on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing. Read The Healing Muse Cafe Blog.



Today’s selections are “Killing Time” by Rebekah Keaton, and “Offering,” by Sarah Kennedy-Vaillant,  and can be found in “The Healing Muse, Volume 16.” Order your copy of “The Healing Muse” today.

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