Friday, Mar 01st

pesticidesPhoto Credit: Shutterstock, Submitted by the Office of Amy PaulinThe following was written by Assemblymember Amy Paulin and Senator Samra Brouk:

Spring is here and parents are now beginning to plan summer activities, including signing their children up for camp. After long winter days of being indoors due to COVID-19, we know that the demand for summer camps will be higher than ever this year—and we should make the health and safety of the children attending those camps our top priority. We have sponsored a bill in the New York State Legislature (A.528/S.4478) prohibiting pesticide use at summer camps.

Camps should be held to the same standards as schools, where pesticides have been banned for the last decade. In 2011, New York’s Child Safe Playing Fields Act went into effect, which prohibits pesticide use on school and day care center grounds. As with the current law for schools, our bill allows for exceptions to be made in emergency circumstances, such as hazardous infestations. Our proposed legislation would require the same standards for children’s day and overnight camps.

Children are highly vulnerable to the health risks of pesticides. Developing bodies and brains are particularly at risk from exposure to pesticides, which have been linked to delayed cognitive development, learning disabilities, lower IQ, and attention deficit disorders, as well as to cancer and endocrine disruption. Children receive more exposure through air and skin contact relative to their body weight than adults and have less developed organs and immune systems to detoxify contaminants. When at summer camps, children spend many hours outdoors and on fields. Yet research shows that even minute amounts of exposure to pesticides can have long-term negative impacts on our children.

There are many healthy alternative approaches to lawn care. These include using natural fertilizers and choosing grasses and plants that are appropriate for a region and therefore can grow successfully without pesticide use. Well-chosen plants resist pests, and healthy soils grow dense turf that outcompetes weeds. Camps are just one locale where we can support natural growth systems and encourage a culture of healthy yard maintenance—both for our children and for the environment.

Current procedures with respect to pesticides do not always protect children from exposure. Warning labels on pesticides give time limits for keeping children off the grass but may fail to reflect a wide variation in the half-life of ingredients, which depend on weather and soil conditions. Once these chemicals come indoors on shoes or through windows, they may remain active for years. At camps in particular, children may walk on grass with bare feet and then enter swimming pools and other water bodies, where the chemicals may then be ingested.

We can take steps to significantly improve the safety of children’s environments. We can pass this legislation banning pesticide use in camps, as a strong first step. We have already taken the lead in enacting The Child Safe Playing Fields Act that bans their use around schools, and on playgrounds and athletic fields. There is every reason to use the same standards for the grounds and fields our children are playing on all summer long.

Children and camps need grassy lawns for games and sports, as well as areas where children are free to discover nature. Over the last decade, it has been shown that New York State’s school pesticide ban works. Let’s put the same protections in place for camps. Please support our Camp Pesticides bill A.528/S.4478 so that we can eliminate pesticides from our children’s summer camp experience and instead give them one that is fun, healthy, and safe.

BariatricThe obesity rate for adults in the U.S. currently stands at 42.4%, the first time the national rate has passed the 40% mark. Many who have struggled with weight loss for years have tried multiple diet and exercise plans and seen some of their excess weight temporarily disappear, only to see it quickly return.

A Bariatric Surgery Success Story

Thomas Pallogudis weighed 466 pounds, and as a result his overall health suffered. He was a diabetic, had high blood pressure and took 14 pills a day to treat various medical issues. After being evaluated by Dr. Philip Weber, Director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Robotics and Bariatrics at White Plains Hospital, Pallogudis was deemed an ideal candidate for bariatric surgery.“Bariatric surgery, more commonly known as weight-loss surgery, is considered a last-resort option for patients with a longstanding history of obesity,” says Dr. Weber. “The ideal candidate has tried multiple medical or diet plans without long-term success.”

Pallogudis says he got a new lease on life after his procedure in October 2018. “The surgery saved my life. I’ve lost 240 pounds and my blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are back to normal, without having to take medication,” says Pallogudis. “The process has helped teach me healthy eating, allowing me to become more active. Most importantly, I feel better.”

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The most common bariatric procedure is sleeve gastrectomy, in which a surgeon removes 80% of the stomach, shaping what remains into a tubular pouch resembling a banana. Patients go home about 24 hours after the surgery and are back to work and normal activity within a week. On average, patients can expect to lose more than 50% of their excess weight.

Gastric bypass surgery is slightly more involved but achieves a significant weight loss of 60-80%. “A smaller stomach is also created in this procedure, but in addition, they reconfigure the small intestine to alter path that food takes through the body during digestion,” says Dr. Weber. “This procedure requires a short hospital stay, but most patients are back to work in a few weeks.”

In both cases, the smaller stomach holds less food, absorbing fewer calories. The surgery also suppresses hunger and makes the patient feel full.

“We encourage our patients to stay in close contact with us, so that we can continue to support them, and navigate through any issues that may come up, especially in the first year,” says Dr. Weber. “We’re not just performing surgery; we’re creating a partnership. We want them to succeed as much as they do.”

Dr. Philip Weber is the Director of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Robotics and Bariatrics at White Plains Hospital. To make an appointment, please call 914-948-1000.

KayLovigDr. Kay LovigDiabetes is a major public health problem in the United States and is rapidly growing in prevalence. Approximately 34.2 million people or 10.5% of all Americans have diabetes.

The chronic disease occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or when the body can’t effectively use the insulin it produces. Having diabetes increases the risk of serious health issues, including premature death, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and amputation of toes, feet or legs.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease and it’s anticipated that worldwide deaths death from type 2 diabetes will double by 2030. Surprisingly, an estimated 7.3 million people with diabetes remain undiagnosed, and 88 million people over the age of 18 have prediabetes, a condition in which their blood sugar is high, but not high enough to qualify as type 2 diabetics.

“With type 2 diabetes your body is resistant to the insulin your body is making, which ultimately results in elevated blood sugars.” says Dr. Kay Lovig, Chief of Endocrinology at White Plains Hospital. “You should get tested for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes if you have a family history, are overweight or obese, have a history of elevated blood sugars in pregnancy, or have symptoms of elevated blood sugars. Common symptoms of elevated blood sugars include increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and a darkening of your skin on your neck or fingers. The good news is, even if it’s prevalent in your family history, both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes can be regulated with diet and exercise.”

The likelihood that you’ll develop prediabetes begins to rise at age at age 45. To slow and reverse the onset of prediabetes, Dr. Lovig recommends these steps:

Change your eating habits. Studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial to weight loss. The diet encourages eating nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains while limiting processed foods and sugar. Dr. Lovig also suggests monitoring your carbohydrate intake.

Work up a sweat. Regular exercise can delay or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. A National Institutes of Health study indicated that a half hour of walking or other low-intensity exercise daily, combined with a low-fat diet, can reduce the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Lose a belt loop or two. “Being overweight increases your risk for prediabetes,” says Dr. Lovig. “Losing just 5% of one’s weight can help delay or reverse prediabetes as well as the long-term complications of uncontrolled blood sugars.”
Dr. Lovig also recommends talking with your doctor about medications to control prediabetes and having your sugar checked during office visits.

Dr. Kay Lovig is the Chief of Endocrinology at White Plains Hospital, seeing patients in Armonk, White Plains and New Rochelle. To make an appointment, please call 914-849-7900.

busdrill3Scarsdale Village Ambulance Corps is offering courses in emergency medicine. Here are the details about the courses and how to enroll:

Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps is offering EMT-Original courses which prepares individuals as entry level Emergency Medical Technicians in career and volunteer positions within the State of New York and nationally through the National Registry.

The following EMT-Original courses are available:

May 5th-July 31st – Meets Mondays and Wednesdays 6:30pm to 10:00pm and some Saturdays or Sundays 9:00am to 3:00pm – This course offers a combination of on-line independent learning with on-line and in-person real- time learning. All skills classes are in person.

May 6th–July 24th – Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30pm to 10:00pm and some Saturdays 9:00am to 4:00pm – This course offers a combination of on-line independent learning with on-line and in-person real-time learning. All skills classes are in person.

June 18th–July 23rd – Meets Monday through Friday 8:30am to 3:00pm – This course offers a combination of both on-line independent and in-person learning environments. All skills classes are in person.

September 2nd-November 13th – Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30pm to 10:00pm and some Saturdays 9:00am to 4:00pm - This course offers a combination of on-line independent learning with on-line and in-person real- time learning. All skills classes are in person.

Course tuition is $700.00, which is reimbursable by NYS DOH if you are an active member of an approved agency and you pass the NYS Written Exam. Materials, on-line access and textbooks are additional.

Space is limited. Tuition payment by check or money order is due within five days of enrollment.

For more information,visit www.scarsdalevac.com and click on Courses. Minimum age requirement is 17 years old.

If you have any questions, please call 914-722-2288 or e-mail EMT@scarsdalevac.com

vaccinecardsHere's some news and photos from around the neighborhood as spring emerges and spirits lift:

Opportunity Knocks

Maxwell(11) and Charlie (8) Geer realized that vaccination cards would soon be as essential as driver’s licenses. On one of the first warm days this year, they set up a table outside their Greenacres Avenue home to laminate neighbors inoculation cards. Let’s hope they keep it up as more of us get vaccinated.

Eagle Scouts

primoffGeorge Primoff rebuilt a patio at Scarsdale Synagogue.Tyler McCarthy and George Primoff were officially recognized as Eagle Scouts, the highest level attainable in scouting, at a Court of Honor held at Hitchcock Church earlier this year.

Both 18 years-old , George graduated in 2020 and Tyler is set to graduate this year from Scarsdale High School. They started out as cub scouts in Scarsdale Pack 440, chartered by Hitchcock Church, over ten years ago and then joined Troop 4, also chartered by Hitchcock, as Middle Schoolers.

Currently studying engineering at Northeastern University, George is an avid backpacker and was a member of the High School’s Ultimate Frisbee and Wrestling teams. For George’s Eagle Scout service project, he rebuilt by hand a large outdoor patio space at his synagogue, Scarsdale Synagogue, which had fallen into disrepair. George’s project resulted in an attractive outdoor space that allowed the congregation to gather in a safe, socially-distanced manner for celebrations.

Tyler has held leadership positions as Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader with the Troop. Tyler also attended the National Scout Jamboree and Sea Base High Adventure. By earning the rank of Eagle Scout, Tyler follows in the footsteps of two grandfathers, his father, brother and cousin. Tyler’s Eagle Project entailed building four houses for the Scarsdale Fire Department that are used for training. The houses are made of wood and stand about 4 feet high with four rooms and an attic with windows and doors. It teaches the different ways fire and smoke move through a house depending on the airflow in the house.firehouseTyler McCarthy built 4 woodhouses to be used for training of firefighters.

While Tyler and George grew up in scouting, middle and high school boys are welcome to join Troop 4 with or without previous scouting experience. For further information, please contact scoutmaster@scarsdale4.mytroop.us.

(Contributed by Midori Im)

White Plains Hospital’s Day of Hope

On March 9th, 2020, White Plains Hospital received its first COVID-19 patient—marking the start of a journey that changed us all. One year later, the hospital brought together its leadership, COVID-19 survivors, elected officials and community members to reflect and honor its healthcare heroes—first at 6:30 AM as its morning shift employees arrived to work, and again at 6:45 PM as first responders joined in a community applause in front of the White Plains Hospital Emergency Department. Attending were COVID-19 survivors, including Hugo Sosa, former FDNY Captain who beat COVID after a 44-day hospitalization; The Westchester Children’s Chorus; Susan Fox, WPH President and CEO; White Plains Mayor Tom Roach; and nurses, physicians and staff who led the COVID fight.

WPDayofHopeCOVID survivors thank White Plains Hospital.

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