Have you had your flu vaccination yet? You’re going to get one, right? We’re enjoying unseasonably warm weather, the fall colors are beautiful and the flu is far from our minds, but the truth is, the flu season is here; now is the time to act. Those beautiful fall colors are our first reminder to protect ourselves from the flu, and the flu vaccine is the best way to get that protection. Public health officials recommend the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months. I realize that many people equate the flu with the common cold, but that’s not true. The flu is serious; it can put you in the hospital and is a killer. Every year thousands die from the flu.
I need your help. A major focus of mine in the legislature is health care and, as vice-chair of the Health Committee, I invite your input on our health future. The Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) is seeking your feedback on two documents: the 2014-18 Strategic Plan and the 2014-17 Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan. The documents and surveys are available at ongov.net/health/publicfeedback.html
Donation sparked by Smithfield tornado and East Syracuse storm damage
In the wake of the tornado and severe storms that hit Central New York on July 8, the Syracuse Crunch recently raised more than $1,000 for the American Red Cross through a jersey auction fundraiser. The money raised will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which will be used to help provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance for victims of future disasters.
Summer is in full swing, and it is more important than ever to donate blood. Blood donations often drop during the summer while schools are out and people are traveling to visit family and friends. In order to raise awareness and help prevent shortages, I’ll be hosting my annual Lifesavers Blood Drive along with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, July 15.
Our lives are busy. It can be hard to make time for doctor’s appointments or to take care of ourselves. But, June is Men’s Health Month, a time to educate ourselves about preventable health problems and the importance of early detection and treatment. With Father’s Day just around the corner and Men’s Health Month already in full swing, it’s a good time to focus on the men in our lives — fathers, friends, sons, brothers, uncles, husbands and grandfathers — and their health.
The 22nd Annual AIDS Walk/Run held June 1 at Beaver Lake Nature Center raised $181,860. Since it began in 1992, the AIDS Walk/Run has been the mainstay funding for ACR Health’s now extensive Adolescent Health Initiatives. The event has raised more than $2.3 million and positioned ACR Health as a state leader in youth education.
For the 17th consecutive year, Paige’s Butterfly Run will take place on Saturday, June 7, in downtown Syracuse. The event began in 1997, three years after Paige Yeomans Arnold, 8, a student at Palmer Elementary School, died from chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). CML is a disease in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells. It usually occurs during or after middle age and rarely occurs in children.
On May 8, Central New York’s very own Hope for Heather (hopeforheather.org) joins the global movement to raise awareness about ovarian cancer by pledging to spread the word about ovarian cancer during the second annual World Ovarian Cancer Day (WOCD).
Running a 10-mile race is a tremendous challenge. But if you’ve got the right motivation, those 10 miles can feel like nothing at all. That’s the idea behind Team Believe, a grassroots organization that brings together local runners to help the Central New York community. The group, which got its start in 2009, asks participants to help raise money for local children’s charities while training for the Dunn Tire Mountain Goat Run in Syracuse in May.
Public opinion split on idea to import trash from Cortland County
For 20 years, the waste-to-energy facility on Rock Cut Road in Jamesville has been Onondaga County’s answer to waste management. However, starting in 2015, Cortland County may also have the opportunity to bring its trash to the site through a potential agreement called “Ash for Trash.”
The Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter will hold its second annual Indoor Warrior Triathlon on April 6 at Gold’s Gym, Liverpool, in honor of the 1 million caregivers in New York state and 15.4 million caregivers nationwide. Athlete registration is now open at alz.org/cny.
It is that time of year again — time to “set New Year’s resolutions,” “get in shape,” “work on the waist line,” “go on a diet,” “start fresh,” whatever you want to call it, most people feel the need to reevaluate their habits in January after all the holiday hoopla is over. Usually diet and exercise habits rank high on the list of “needs improvement.” On Jan. 1 (or maybe Jan. 2), the “hard core dieters” and the “gung-ho gym members” begin their quest. They sweat, grunt, groan, “give up carbs” and step on the scale every day. A month later, most of them find themselves exhausted, sore, injured, hungry, deprived, miserable and frustrated (maybe even a few other adjectives). They may or may not be in better shape or weigh less. If you plan on trying this approach, please reconsider. If you want long lasting success and really want to feel better emotionally and physically, please try this approach…
Onondaga County is one of the counties across 10 states that has committed to helping lower prescription drug costs for underinsured residents. Onondaga County’s relationship with the Pro-Act Prescription Discount card began in 2007. Since then, residents have saved more than $21 million on prescription drugs. The goal of the program is to ensure that Onondaga County residents with little or no prescription drug coverage can obtain their medications at a reasonable price.
Don’t miss your chance to get chased by zombies — and help the hungry at the same time. The first-ever Hallowrun for Hunger, organized by Cicero-North Syracuse High School sophomores Liz Westfall and Megan Cuculich, will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at the McKinley Shelter at Oneida Shores Park in Brewerton. The 5K course will feature student zombies from Cicero-North Syracuse High School, who will chase runners as they make their way along the course. The event will raise money for the Food Bank of Central New York, the main food supplier to 268 emergency food programs in 11 counties in the state.
Ever since she was in third grade, Caroline Tangoren has been interested in human rights. She began volunteering with a family friend at Francis House, a local hospice home in Syracuse, where she would go once a week and talk with the residents.