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Precautions For Summer Posted July 18, 2018

Pennsylvania residents and visitors are urged to take precautions to avoid ticks and mosquitoes when spending time outdoors this summer. Spending time outdoors and participating in physical activity is a key part of living a healthy life; however, people need to be aware of ticks and mosquitoes and the serious diseases they carry. As Lyme disease and West Nile virus become more prevalent in Pennsylvania, it is important for people to protect themselves when spending time outdoors.

This year, funding was bolstered to protect Pennsylvanians from Lyme disease, Zika virus, and West Nile virus through increases to improve mosquito and tick surveillance and provide education about the diseases associated with these insects. Through simple means like wearing insect repellent and avoiding peak mosquito activity times, Pennsylvanians can reduce their risks of mosquito bites and possibly being exposed to West Nile Virus.

In 2017, there were 11,900 cases of Lyme disease recorded in Pennsylvania. Throughout the last several years, the state has consistently recorded one of the highest counts of suspected Lyme disease cases in the United States.

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are the most common carrier of Lyme disease. Ticks typically thrive in tall grass, brush, and wooded areas, but deer ticks have been found in every county in the state and can live in any habitat. Ticks can infect humans year-round, but are most likely to do so from late spring through the summer months.

Whether visiting one of Pennsylvania's 121 state parks or hiking through more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland, outdoors enthusiasts must be aware of their surroundings. The first line of defense against Lyme disease and any other tick-borne illness is to avoid tick-infested habitats, such as areas dense with shrubbery or tall grass. Proper use of personal protective measures such as repellents and protective clothing are also essential when enjoying public lands.

Before heading outdoors, it is important to cover exposed skin, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing to aid in insect detection, and use an insect repellent containing 20 percent or more DEET. Once returning home, people should immediately check themselves, children, and pets for ticks. Then, individuals should take a shower to remove any ticks that may be attached to their skin. Clothing and gear should be checked carefully and put in the dryer on high to kill any ticks.

Symptoms of Lyme disease can include a bull's-eye rash, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. It is important to know that someone bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease may not always get a bull's-eye rash.

Anyone who believes they have been bitten by a tick should speak to a doctor immediately. Antibiotic treatment during the early stages of Lyme disease can help prevent the onset of more severe symptoms. If not treated promptly, Lyme disease may lead to severe health concerns affecting the heart, joints, and nervous system.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes that breed in areas with standing and stagnant water. These areas include urban catch basins, clogged gutters, discarded tires, poorly maintained swimming pools, flower pots, roof gutters, and other containers that hold water.

The Department of Environmental Protection surveys communities affected by West Nile virus each year and monitors cases of the virus in humans, mosquitoes, birds, and horses. In 2017, there were 20 human cases of West Nile virus reported in Pennsylvania. So far in 2018, no positive human cases have been reported.

Symptoms of West Nile virus are often flulike and can include a fever, headache, body aches, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, and typically only last a few days. However, West Nile virus can cause a serious neurological infection, including encephalitis and meningitis. Symptoms of these infections include a severe headache, high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, paralysis, possible confusion and disorientation, tremors, and even a coma.


EMS Organization Purchases Ambulance July 18, 2018

This summer, Good Fellowship Ambulance and EMS Training Institute dedicated a new ambulance, which was purchased with a $184,000 donation from the Lasko Family Foundation. The donation was announced at the dedication ceremony honoring the late Oscar Lasko and all his contributions to the greater West Chester community. State Sen. Andy Dinniman thanked the Lasko family for the donation.

At the ceremony, Vivian Lasko, Oscar's widow, turned the ignition on the ambulance, officially putting it into service. The ambulance is fitted with a plaque that reads, "This ambulance is dedicated in memory of Oscar Lasko for his lifetime commitment of improving our community through his generosity. Time will never erase the work he has accomplished and the lives he has positively impacted."

Oscar Lasko, a West Chester native and lifelong resident, operated Lasko Metal Products. He used his success to give back to his hometown community, including the West Chester YMCA, which bears his name; the Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Kesher Israel Congregation; and Chester County Hospital. Lasko passed away in April 2017.

Good Fellowship Ambulance, located in West Chester, responds to more than 5,000 emergency service calls per year.


New Cancer Screening Guidelines Posted July 16, 2018

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has released new recommendations for colorectal cancer screening guidelines, including the age screenings should begin for colorectal cancer. Previously, the screening age for a person at average risk was 50. The new guidelines have reduced that age to 45.

By lowering the screening age, the goal is to detect colorectal cancer earlier in patients who are at an increased risk for the disease. Even with advances in detection and treatment, colorectal cancer is the number one abdominal malignancy that affects both men and women. Roughly 1 in 20 Americans will develop this cancer, and getting a colonoscopy can help in the detection and treatment of it.

Last year, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that colon cancer rates increased from 1 percent to 2.4 percent annually since the mid-1980s among adults ages 20 to 39. For the 39 years encompassed in the study, rectal cancer rates grew 3.2 percent annually for adults ages 20 to 39.

Colon and rectal cancer have, historically, affected older men and women. But the most recent research shows an increase in the number of adults in their 20s and 30s who are being diagnosed with these cancers, particularly rectal cancer.

Individuals already at an increased risk for colorectal cancer as a result of their lifestyle or family history may need to begin screenings at an earlier age. Individuals should talk to their health care provider about risk factors and what age they should begin screenings.

People who are at high or increased risk for colorectal cancer can include those with a family or personal history of colon or rectal cancer or colorectal polyps; a family or personal history of other cancers, including ovarian, uterine, gastric, and breast; a history of inflammatory bowel disease; and a personal history of radiation to the abdomen or pelvic area as a result of cancer treatment.

The ACS' new guidelines also issue recommendations about colorectal cancer screening methods. While colonoscopy remains the gold standard for both the detection and treatment of colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps, other options are available.

In its new guidelines, the ACS recommends choosing from six different types of screening tests. Screenings include a highly sensitive fecal immunochemical test, a highly sensitive guaiac-based fecal occult blood test, multi-targeted stool DNA tests every three years, a colonoscopy every 10 years, a virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography) every five years, and flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years.

These screening recommendations are for every patient, and it does not matter which method they choose. However, if a test is positive, people should make sure to follow up with their health care provider, as they will then require a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can detect potentially cancerous polyps and lesions before they develop into cancer or a more progressive form of cancer.

If an individual notices any of the symptoms of colorectal cancer, regardless of their age or health status, they should call their health care provider. Symptoms include a change in bowel habits, like diarrhea or constipation; rectal bleeding; blood in the stool; abdominal pain or cramping; weakness and fatigue; and unintended weight loss. Timely treatment can affect the choice of treatment options and survival.


Summer Health Talks To Continue July 12, 2018

UPMC Pinnacle is holding a series of Lancaster/Lititz Summer Health Talks. The next event, a Surgical Weight Loss Seminar, will take place on Thursday, July 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at UPMC Pinnacle Lititz, located on Highlands Drive, Lititz.

To register, readers may visit or call 717-627-0398.


Neighborhood Watch Sets Meeting July 12, 2018

The Rohrerstown Neighborhood Watch will hold a meeting on Monday, July 23, at 7 p.m. in the conference room at the Rohrerstown Fire Department, 500 Elizabeth St., Lancaster. The meeting is open to all Rohrerstown residents.

Police officer Matthew Spitler will be in attendance to answer questions.


TPA Pennsylvania Division Wins Award July 12, 2018


Farmers Market Vouchers Available July 11, 2018

To ensure that families with nutritional needs have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, the Community Action Partnership has announced that the agency's WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) locations will distribute farmers market vouchers to WIC customers through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), which helps ensure good health for mothers and children and support both community farmers markets and Pennsylvania farmers.

FMNP provides qualifying WIC customers with $20 in vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets through Friday, Nov. 30. Pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and children ages 1 to 5 are eligible.

WIC nutrition staff distribute the vouchers to WIC customers along with nutrition education emphasizing the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and a list of participating farmers markets in the area. The FMNP is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Across the commonwealth, more than 1,000 farmers benefit from the program.

More information about WIC is available by calling 717-509-3686 or visiting


PA Child Abuse Hotline Posted July 11, 2018

All schools in Pennsylvania will be required to publicly display a poster containing the statewide toll-free number for reporting suspected child abuse, beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Known as ChildLine, the toll-free hotline number to report suspected child abuse in Pennsylvania is 800-932-0313.

Posting this critical information in schools will let students know they have somewhere to turn if they need to report abuse or neglect that they have suffered or if they suspect another child is being abused or neglected. The poster is required to be displayed in a high-traffic, public area widely used by students. The poster also would include the address of the Department of Human Services' website that provides information and resources related to child protection.

For more information, readers may visit


Boosting The Immune System July 10, 2018

A strong immune system can go a long way toward ensuring one's overall health. But bolstering one's immune system is no small task, as even medical researchers admit there is still much to learn about the links between lifestyle and immune function.

The Harvard Medical School notes that a strongly functioning immune system requires balance and harmony. So it stands to reason that a highly unhealthy lifestyle will compromise the immune system, but it is also worth noting that pushing the body too hard in the other direction also can adversely affect immune function.

Researchers continue to study the potential links between immune response and variables such as diet, exercise, age, and psychological stress. Though studies are ongoing, the Harvard Medical School notes that the immune system is bolstered by various strategies associated with healthy living.

Smoking is linked to a host of diseases and ailments, so it is no surprise that it also compromises the immune system. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) notes that cigarette smoke contains high levels of tar and other chemicals, which compromise the immune system's ability to effectively combat infections. The effects of smoking on the immune system are both immediate and long-term. Smokers' immune systems may not be able to fend off infections like the common cold as effectively as the immune systems of nonsmokers. And over time, as smokers keep smoking, their immune systems will continue to weaken, which the NCI says makes them more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

There is no magical food or foods that can strengthen the immune system to a point where infection is impossible. However, the Cleveland Clinic notes that a balanced, healthy diet that includes a mix of vitamins and minerals plays a role in strengthening the immune system. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a bevy of vitamins and antioxidants that help the immune system fight off potential infections. Many people bemoan the absence of fresh fruits and vegetables at their local grocery stores during certain times of the year. But the Cleveland Clinic notes that manufacturers typically package frozen fruits and vegetables at peak ripeness. That means frozen fruits and vegetables provide similar nutrition to fresh fruits and vegetables during those times of year when foods are not in season.

Like a healthy diet, routine exercise provides a host of benefits, and one such benefit is its impact on the immune systems. The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that the precise relationship between exercise and immune system function remains a mystery. Some researchers suspect that physical activity may flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, reducing one's risk of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Another theory suggests that exercises causes changes in white blood cells, which the immune system uses to fight disease. These exercise-related changes may make it possible for the cells to detect illnesses earlier than they would if the body was not exercised regularly. While it is important to note that these are just theories, the Harvard Medical School suggests that it is reasonable to consider moderate regular exercise an important component of a healthy, immune-boosting lifestyle.

Men and women interested in boosting their immune systems will no doubt find many products claiming to do just that. The Harvard Medical School urges consumers to be skeptical of such products, many of which make dubious claims that are not rooted in recognized scientific research.

The immune system remains a mystery in many ways. But several healthy strategies may help people bolster their immune systems and potentially reduce their risk of infection.


Summer Travel Safety Tips Posted July 10, 2018

Anyone planning to travel this summer may want to consider taking precautions to protect their health. Patient First has posted health-related vacation tips.

Travelers should ask their doctor about health issues and health care in the regions they plan to visit. Vaccinations or certain medications may be necessary. Travelers should research the area's medical facilities, including hospitals, urgent care centers, and pharmacies.

Readers should also remember to take any prescription and nonprescription medication they might need. They should pack the medicine in a carry-on bag if they fly so they do not lose the medicine if their luggage gets lost.

While traveling, people should wash their hands frequently to protect against viruses and bacteria. When traveling by car, people should wear seat belts and take frequent breaks to help drivers stay alert behind the wheel and give everyone a chance to stretch their muscles.

Vacationers should not forget about sun protection. Before going outside, they should protect their skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. People should always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF, even when it is cloudy. Sunscreen should be applied 15 to 20 minutes before one leaves home. People should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and after swimming. Wide-brimmed hats help to shade the neck and face, but they do not offer complete protection. People should use sunscreen on these sensitive skin areas.

Travelers should also wear light-weight sun-protective clothing. Long sleeves and long pants will help protect skin. Travelers should wear sunglasses that block UV rays and also take advantage of shade whenever possible. They should keep in mind the sun's UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Travelers should carry any important medical history with them, along with the name, address and phone number of an emergency contact.

For more information, readers may visit


Information About Alzheimer's Shared July 10, 2018

Aging is associated with a host of mental and physical side effects. For example, many adults expect their vision to deteriorate as they grow older. Such a side effect can be combatted with routine eye examinations that may indicate a need for a stronger eyeglass prescription, a relatively simple solution that will not impact adults' daily lives much at all.

While physical side effects like diminished vision might not strike much fear in the hearts of aging men and women, those same people may be concerned and/or frightened by the notion of age-related cognitive decline. Some immediately associate such decline with Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and cognitive skills, ultimately compromising a person's ability to perform even the simplest of tasks.

But age-related cognitive decline is not always symptomatic of Alzheimer's disease. Learning about Alzheimer's and how to maintain mental acuity can help aging men and women better understand the changes their brains might be undergoing as they near or pass retirement age.

The National Institute on Aging notes that only a very rare form of Alzheimer's disease is inherited. Early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease, or FAD, is caused by mutations in certain genes. If these genes are passed down from parent to child, then the child is likely, but not certain, to get FAD. So while many adults may be concerned about Alzheimer's because one of their parents had the disease, the NIA notes that the majority of Alzheimer's cases are late-onset, which has no obvious family pattern.

Studies of Alzheimer's disease are ongoing, but to date there is no definitive way to prevent the onset of the disease. Although researchers have not yet determined a way to prevent Alzheimer's disease, adults can take certain steps to maintain their mental acuity into retirement.

Routine exercise may be most associated with physical benefits, but the NIA notes that such activity has been linked to benefits for the brain as well. For example, a 2011 study published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America" found that aerobic exercise training increases the size of the hippocampus, leading to improvements in spatial memory. The NIA also notes that one study indicated exercise stimulated the brain's ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones vital to cognitive health.

Avid readers may be happy to learn that one of their favorite pastimes can improve the efficiency of their cognitive systems while delaying such systems' decline. A 2013 study published in the journal "Neurology" by researchers at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center found that mentally active lifestyles may not prevent the formations of plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer's disease, but such lifestyles decreases the likelihood that the presence of plaques or tangles will impair cognitive function.

Maintaining social connections with family, friends, and community members also can help women prevent cognitive decline. Epidemiologist Bryan James of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center studied how social activity affected cognitive decline, ultimately noting that the rate of cognitive decline was considerably lower among men and women who maintained social contact than it was among those with low levels of social activity.


Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic Planned July 3, 2018

PAWS and The Dogs' Den will hold a low-cost vaccine clinic for cats and dogs on Sunday, July 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PAWS, 9803 Jonestown Road, Grantville. Distemper and rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs will be administered. For a three-year rabies vaccination, proof of previous rabies vaccination is required. Microchips will also be available for a set price, which includes registration.

The clinic will be first-come, first-served. Breeders will not be serviced. Cash and checks will be accepted as payment. All cats must be in secure carriers, and all dogs must be leashed. For more information, readers may contact The Dogs' Den at 717-469-7325 or


Student Raises Funds For Foundation July 3, 2018

State Sen. Andy Dinniman recently recognized Dylan Blair, an eighth-grade student at the Montgomery School who raised more than $1,500 for the Aidan's Heart Foundation.

Dylan chose to focus on sudden cardiac arrest for his final project, and he set a goal to raise money for the foundation, which is committed to providing awareness, education, and support to create heart-safe communities for youths regarding the prevention of and/or response to sudden cardiac arrest.

An athlete and basketball player whose father is head coach of men's basketball at West Chester University, Dylan challenged people via Facebook to donate to the Aidan's Heart Foundation point-for-point for every basket he scored during a weekend tournament. He scored 65 points.

Dylan presented a check to the Aidan's Heart Foundation for $1,558 during the eighth annual 5K for Aidan J on June 17 at Kerr Park in Downingtown.

The foundation was started by Steve and Christy Silva and named for their late son, Aidan, who passed away from sudden cardiac arrest in 2010 at age 7.

In 2014, Dinniman worked with the Silva family to pass "Aidan's Law," Act 35, which helps ensure every school in Pennsylvania has an automated external defibrillator (AED) that is up to date and ready to use. Since then, the Aidan's Heart Foundation has trained more than 4,500 students in performing CPR and the use of AEDs and has placed more than 60 AEDs in schools and locations throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.

From 2011 through 2018, the foundation has also screened more than 1,700 young people between the ages of 5 and 19. Serious cardiac issues have been detected in more than 10 of these children, and critical follow-up care has been recommended for dozens of others.

For more information on the Aidan's Heart Foundation, readers may visit


Oral Hygiene Tips For Pets July 3, 2018

It is not just what a pet puts inside its mouth that can make a difference in comfort and health, but the way pet owners take care of pets' teeth, gums, and more. Oral hygiene, this oft-overlooked component of pet care can mean the difference between a happy, healthy pet and one that may be suffering in silence.

The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) says brushing an animal's teeth is the single most effective means to maintain oral health between professional vet examinations. Bacteria that forms naturally in an animal's mouth will contribute to the formation of plaque which, left untreated, can lead to periodontal disease. By brushing away the precursors to plaque, pet owners can achieve optimal dental health for their pets.

Oral hygiene does not begin and end with regular brushing. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) also suggests pet lovers work with a veterinary dentist to evaluate the health of teeth, the jaws, and the roots below the gum line. These professionals are invested in all aspects of oral health care and can be called on for routine cleaning, filing, extraction, or tooth repairs, if need be.

The AVMA says that periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats, and by the time the animal reaches three years of age, it may have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which can only worsen if preventative measures are not taken.

Pet dental problems are similar to those that occur in people. While dental caries (cavities) are less likely, abscesses, infections, broken teeth, and palate defects can occur. Signs of potential oral problems include bad breath, abnormal chewing, disinterest in eating, swelling in the gums, tenderness when the mouth is touched, or bleeding. Pets may become irritable if their mouths are bothering them, so if behavior changes are observed, dogs or cats should be seen by a veterinarian to find out if a dental issue is at the root of the problem.

Some pet owners are reticent to handle oral health care for their companion animals because they fear the pet may bite if uncomfortable. Although this is always a possibility, dogs and cats can grow accustomed to teeth being brushed or wiped with patience, says AVDC. Oral rinses and special chews also can reduce plaque formation.

Dental health is an important component of responsible pet ownership. Home oral hygiene and professional cleanings and examinations can help pets remain healthy.


Goldsboro Sets National Night Out July 2, 2018

Goldsboro invites its residents and neighbors to celebrate the 14th annual Goldsboro National Night Out on the borough square on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The 14th annual community-building celebration aims to promote public safety partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. The purpose of the event is to help bring back a true sense of community.

The family-friendly event will offer fun and games for children, along with free food for everyone, including desserts like cotton candy, snow cones, and ice cream. The Corn Wallace Band will provide music all evening. Prizes will be given out. Dozens of area agencies, businesses, and services will also be on hand to provide information.

Any agency, business, or service interested in having a booth or table at the event, along with individuals or groups wishing to volunteer, should call the committee at 717-424-1963.


Dealing With Extreme Heat June 26, 2018

As Pennsylvanians prepare to spend more time outdoors, the Department of Health shares important tips to keep families safe in extreme heat this summer. During the heat, it is important to protect oneself from harmful ultraviolet radiation and stay hydrated to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Several safety tips are recommended to help people prepare for the summer weather. People should remember to wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing; a hat or visor; sunglasses; and SPF 15 or higher sunscreen and reapply as necessary. To stay hydrated, people should drink plenty of water throughout the day and not wait until they are thirsty; outdoor workers should drink between two and four cups of water every hour; avoid consuming caffeinated, alcoholic, or sugary beverages; and replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks.

To safely exercise during the summer, people should limit outdoor exercise and stay indoors in air conditioning on hot days; exercise early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and pace oneself when running, walking, or otherwise exerting one's body.

To protect others, children, older adults, or pets should never be left behind in a vehicle. Individuals who may be more at risk from extreme temperatures should be checked on, including infants and young children, people age 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions.

It is also important to know the difference between heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Symptoms of a heat stroke include a high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot, and dry skin, but no sweating; a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.

If someone is having a heat stroke, it is important to first call 9-1-1. After calling for help, the person should be taken to a shady area and cooled down quickly by putting them in a tub of cool water or spraying them with a garden hose. The victim should not be given any fluids, including water, to drink.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, and nausea or vomiting. The person should be assisted in cooling off and seek medical attention if symptoms are severe, symptoms last more than one hour, or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure.

During extreme heat waves, cooling centers are opened in cities across Pennsylvania for individuals without air conditioning. To find a cooling center, readers may contact the local municipality or county office.

Additional information on how to prepare for summer weather can be found at


UDS Hosts Service Dogs Graduation June 22, 2018

The graduates on June 4 did not wear caps and gowns and they did not receive diplomas, but they all had four paws. This ceremony recognized the five canines that have successfully completed the UDS Service Dogs program.

The large meeting room on the first floor of the new UDS facility at 2270 Erin Court, Lancaster, was filled with UDS clients, sponsors, trainers, and supporters, all of whom were there to cheer on littermates Brodey, Reece, and Renner, as well as Murray and Wyatt.

"It is emotional - believing in them and the difference they'll make in the lives of their people," commented Linda Rineer, who provided a puppy home for Reece and served as the secondary trainer for Brodey.

The crop of graduates serve various functions for their owners. Brodey and Murray interact with students daily in the Northern York School District. Wyatt provides calm and comfort for clients during sessions at a counseling center in Philadelphia. Renner and Reece perform assistive tasks for their owners.

Although their work differs, the dogs' early training was similar. At 8 weeks old, each puppy was placed in a private home or assigned to an inmate at a Pennsylvania prison. The animals learned dozens of commands and became comfortable with people. At 18 months, the dogs were transferred to secondary trainers, who honed their skills and taught them tasks specific to their work assignments.

While there were numerous supporters in the audience at the graduation event, Wyatt's were the most obvious. Karen Schatz had provided a puppy home for Wyatt, but she was not alone in the effort. Her household also included two elderly people who used walkers and canes, 3-year-old twins, and several other children ranging in age from 4 to 8. Schatz and the children attended the ceremony dressed in bright yellow T-shirts imprinted with the outline of a large dog bone surrounding the words "Team Wyatt."

"It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a team to raise a dog," Schatz remarked during the ceremony.

Ida Devers accompanied Wyatt to the ceremony, as her husband, Gene, was meeting with clients at the counseling center. The Deverses had contacted several service dog organizations after Gene had met with a woman who had experienced a traumatic event. He felt that a therapy dog might help her work through the trauma. The only response came from UDS, and Ida said the folks she spoke with were excited to help. After being matched with Wyatt, Gene and Ida took turns traveling to Lancaster to attend training sessions, and they brought him home full time in October 2017.

"That first weekend, Gene said he had breakthroughs with clients he had for two to three years," Ida marveled. "He's great." To express her gratitude to Schatz and Team Wyatt, Ida gave each team member a blue T-shirt commemorating Wyatt's graduation.

While the graduation is the first such event at the new facility, it will not be the last, and UDS Service Dogs staff members are excited for the possibilities. With nearly double the space, there is more room to move and to accommodate more dogs and clients. A dog run and eight kennels are on-site, and five more are scheduled to be installed by September. Staff members can sign out kenneled dogs for walks or to spend time in their offices. Office manager Lori Breece noted that there are plans to convert a room off the training room into a puppy cuddle corner.

A ribbon cutting was held on June 6, and an open house is planned for September.

"We're really pleased with this building," Breece remarked.

For more information, readers may visit or contact Breece at 717-715-8753 or


Fireworks Safety Tips Posted June 20, 2018

While many Americans spend the Fourth of July holiday with friends and family, some actually spend their time being medically treated for a fireworks injury. The latest report from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission found an estimated 7,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during the Independence Day period.

There were an estimated 11,100 fireworks-related injuries for the year. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for 31 percent of the estimated injuries.

Although most injuries result in burns, firework-related injuries to the eye include contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies. Injuries may be so severe that permanent vision loss or blindness may occur. In 2016, four people died from direct impacts from fireworks.

Prevent Blindness, an eye health and safety nonprofit organization, warns that even professional displays can be dangerous, due to the erratic or unpredictable nature of fireworks.

In the event of an eye emergency, Prevent Blindness recommends the following: seek help from a medical professional immediately; do not rub the eye, which may increase bleeding or make the injury worse; do not attempt to rinse out the eye, which can be even more damaging than rubbing; do not apply pressure to the eye itself, but rather hold or tape a foam cup or the bottom of a juice carton to the eye to protect the eye from further contact; do not stop for medicine, which will not do much to relieve pain and may increase bleeding; and do not apply ointment, which may not be sterile and makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.

For more information on the dangers of fireworks, readers may call Prevent Blindness at 800-331-2020 or visit


Emminger Earns Certification June 15, 2018

Stacy Emminger, executive director of Donegal Substance Abuse Alliance (DSAA), has been approved by the Pennsylvania Board as the first Certified Family Recovery Specialist (CFRS) in Lancaster County. In this role, Emminger will provide support and education to families affected by addiction. This will allow DSAA to add services such as CRAFT-based support groups, self-care education, and one-on-one family support. CRAFT stands for Community Reinforcement and Family Training.

To achieve this certification, Emminger completed 60 hours of education, including 24 hours in Family Recovery and Wellness, 12 hours in Advocacy and Support, six hours in Professional Ethics, six hours in Confidentiality, and 12 hours specific to substance use disorder.

DSAA, located at 15 W. Main St., Suite A, Mount Joy, is a nonprofit organization that specializes in operating a resource center supporting individuals and families impacted by the heroin/opioid epidemic as well as other substance abuse diseases. DSAA, through its comprehensive database of detox, rehab, and counseling organizations, aims to connect its clients with support that meets their specific needs. All DSAA's personal services are free of charge. To learn more, readers may visit


Students Receive Healthy Snacks June 14, 2018

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