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DBA Certificates Departments

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the months of June and July 2017.

AMHERST

Christmas Cat Press
12 Teawaddle Lane
Thomas White

Desiderius Press
12 Teawaddle Lane
Thomas White

Ren’s Mobil Service
161 North Pleasant St.
Reynold Gladu

SWCA Environmental Consultants
15 Research Dr.
Julie Marcus

CHICOPEE

D & N Nail Salon
505 Grattan St.
Dung Xuan Nguyen

Dianne Carol Enterprises
139 Shepherd St.
Dianne Wuensch

The Hair Force
358 Britton St.
Janet Hughes

The Kung Fu Academy
551 East St.
Binh Quoc Nguyen

L. A. Cleaning
189 Broadway, Apt. 2
Leonardo Alvares

Pluxx Painting
21 Olea St.
Juan Torres, Mark Klyuchik

Precisions Barber Shop
97 Main St.
Alex Nieves

DEERFIELD

Drawn to Ecology
323 Conway Road
Alyssa Black

Matt Reopel Farrier Service
9 Braeburn Road
Matt Reopel

EASTHAMPTON

Competitive Roofing, LLC
229 Main St.
Matthew Carrier

Drisana Kane, Esthetician
186 Northampton St., Suite B
Drisana Kane

That’s a Wrap
2 Oliver St.
Mike Kerr

EAST LONGMEADOW

Coughlin Appraisers
57 Pease Road
Joseph Coughlin

Country Glass & Mirror
174 Shaker Road
Stephen Zepke

Louis & Clark Medical Equipment & Supply
436 North Main St.
Clark Matthews

Redstone Media Productions
579 Prospect St.
Aiden McDonald

GREENFIELD

Smoke Haven
239 Main St.
Yasin Khan

HADLEY

Hadley Farms Meeting House
41 Russell St.
Kishore Parmar

MedExpress Urgent Care
424 Russell St.
MedExpress

HOLYOKE

CVS Pharmacy
250 Whiting Farms Road
CVS Pharmacy Inc.

Finding-Time
583 Pleasant St.
Marie Sheedy

Gene’s Ford & Chevrolet
103 North Bridge St.
Christopher Wenzel

Grandma’s Attic Thrift Shop, First Baptist Church
1926 Northampton St.
Sharyn Kazunas

Hollywood Nails
5 Cabot St.
Quyen Nguyen

Ready-to-Work Construction
95 Chestnut St., Apt. 304
Edward Vanderpool

LONGMEADOW

Ascent Dental Solutions
1051 Converse St.
Kevin Coughlin

Boston Bay Consulting
39 Albemarle Road
Scott Soares

J & C Car Transport Inc.
218 Meadowlark Dr.
Juan Adorno

Lavender and Rose
247 Crestview Circle
Sarah Goetz

LUDLOW

D & C Granite & Marble
664 Center St.
Luis Serrazina

Family First Barber Shop
263 Fuller St.
Roman Burgos

Hair Haven
251 Cady St.
Nicole Afonso

Nancy Richter at From Hair On
733 Chapin St.
Nancy Richter

NORTHAMPTON

Dalco Custom Works
91 North St.
David Collins

The Hub Studio
292C Nonotuck St., Suite 202
Tracy Roth

M. Z. Drywall Services
80 Damon Road, Apt. 6109
Manuel Zaruma

OMG Tree Service
491 Bridge Road, #1102
Maria Colon, Felix Rodriguez

Tack Upholstery Studio
320 Riverside Dr.
Hannah Ray

Zee Mart
15 Locust St.
Muhammad Pazir

PALMER

The Computer Wiz
1605 North Main St.
Glen Whitney

Elite Wedding Vendors
106 State St.
Steven Henn Jr.

Millennium Die Group Inc.
2022 Bridge St.
Richard Sweeting

Route 20 Auto Sales and Service, LLC
234 Wilbraham St.
Stephen Dion

Viral Booth
106 State St.
Steven Henn Jr.

Wireless Wedding Lights
106 State St.
Steven Henn Jr.

SOUTHWICK

KG Enterprises
9 Salem Road
Keith Goyette

SPRINGFIELD

A-List Babes Fashions
67 Thompson St.
Jennifer Hogan

A-List Lashes
67 Thompson St.
Jennifer Hogan

Aary’s Variety
11 Dorset St.
Jahleea Tennyson

AKS Mesopotamia, LLC
295 Allen St.
Khaleel Alsaadi

Exercise in Disguise
166 Main St.
Jade Rivera-McFarlin

Extreme Appliance
95 Mill St., #77
Mitchell DeBlock

Franco Auto
248 Laconia St.
Thomas Connors

A Fresh Coat of Paint
22 Montcalm St.
Adam Hill

Gemtech
2100 Roosevelt Ave.
Smith & Wesson Corp.

JCS Auto
140 Michon St.
Julio Soto

Justin Time Cleanouts
159 East St.
Lourdes Mercado

L.A. Construction
16 Athol St.
Arkadiusz Dobronski

LeBest Printing
1291 Parker St.
Stephen Lemieux

Performance Center
2100 Roosevelt Ave.
Smith & Wesson Corp.

Royal Roots
27 Lyman St.
Kamisha Bryant

Samalot Chiropractic
1271 Liberty St.
Leonardo Samalot

Spartan Transport, LLC
62 Larkspur St.
Robert Harold

Splaquet Designs
93 Duryea St.
Shannon Plaquet

Springfield Power Washing
92 Euclid Ave.
Jose Hernandez

SavageALERT
1 Monarch Place
Millennium Builders

Tatiana Cole
17 Gillette Ave.
Tatiana Cole

WARE

Grid Iron Landscaping
96 Coffey Hill Road
Joshua Kusnierz

Pennington Painting Co.
18 Bellevue Ave.
Dustin Pennington

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Associated Home Care
138 Memorial Ave.
Associated Home Care

Banaru Electric
64 Ashley St.
Pavel Banaru

eRPortal Software Inc.
59 Interstate Dr.
Edward Garibian

Interim Healthcare
442 Westfield St.
William Anjos

J.H. Miller Framing & Gallery
86 Elm St.
James Hutchinson

Parsons Sewing Connection
2005 Riverdale St.
Marlene Warren

Perfect Supplements, LLC
171 Doty Circle
Paul Morelli

Pho BQ Vietnamese Cuisine
764 Riverdale St.
Kelly Huang

West Side Tire & Auto Service
930 Memorial Ave.
Holyoke Tire & Auto

WILBRAHAM

Susie B’s Sweets-n-Treats
4 Ely Road
Susan Burke

Wingate at Wilbraham
9 Maple St.
Wingate at Wilbraham Inc.

Daily News

AMHERST — Results of a new study from epidemiologists at UMass Amherst and Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health suggest that long-term, high intake of vegetable protein from such foods as whole grains, soy, and tofu may protect women from early menopause and could prolong reproductive function.

Consuming enriched pasta, dark bread, and cold cereal were especially associated with lower risk, while they observed no similar relation to eating animal sources of protein.

“A better understanding of how dietary vegetable protein intake is associated with ovarian aging may identify ways for women to modify their risk of early-onset menopause and associated health conditions,” wrote first author and then-graduate student Maegan Boutot and her advisor, Professor Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson. Details appear in the current early online edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Early menopause, the cessation of ovarian function before age 45, affects about 10% of women and is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and early cognitive decline, the authors note. Few studies have evaluated how protein intake is associated with menopause timing, they add, and to their knowledge this is the first to look specifically at early menopause.

Boutot, Bertone-Johnson, and colleagues in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst, with others, evaluated the relationship between diet and risk of early menopause among members of the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS2), an ongoing prospective study of 116,000 women aged 25-42 when they entered it in 1989.

Participants were asked to report how often they ate a single serving of 131 foods, beverages, and supplements over the previous year, from never or less than once a month to six or more times per day. They observed that women consuming approximately 6.5% of their daily calories as vegetable protein had a 16% lower risk of early menopause compared to women whose intake was approximately 4% of calories.

For a woman with a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet, the authors explain, this is equal to three to four servings of such foods as enriched pasta, breakfast cereal, tofu, and nuts, or about 32.5 grams a day. They adjusted for age, smoking, body-mass index, and other possible confounding factors.

Others on the study team were from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The study was supported by a grant from NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

For the NHS2, follow-up questionnaires have assessed nurses’ lifestyle behaviors and medical conditions every two years. Nearly 90% have continued to participate in follow-up. Diet was assessed five times over the 20-year study, allowing the researchers to capture within-person variation in changes in food and nutrient intake over times, Boutot explained. Participants in the study contributed more than 1 million person-years of follow-up, during which 2,041 women experienced early menopause.

Boutot and Bertone-Johnson suggested that more prospective studies of their findings are warranted, including studies that compare soy-based and non-soy vegetable proteins.

Business of Aging Sections

Sight Restoration

Dr. John Papale says most patients who undergo cataract-removal surgery see a more than 95% restoration of vision.

Dr. John Papale says most patients who undergo cataract-removal surgery see a more than 95% restoration of vision.

As the population ages, eye problems will become an increasingly large healthcare issue for society. Fortunately, modern science and new surgical techniques are bringing improved vision — and better quality of life — to those suffering from a number of common ailments.

Several months ago during a routine eye exam, Louise Pugliano was told that she had cataracts in both eyes. The 84-year-old doesn’t drive at night and had no symptoms, but had worn glasses or contact lenses for more than 20 years, and agreed to have cataract-removal surgery.

The first procedure took place Jan. 8, and the second was done Jan. 23, and they were not only painless, but the Springfield woman was thrilled to find she no longer needs prescription eyewear.

“I’m so glad I did this; I had a great experience and wonderful results: I don’t need glasses anymore and can read the small print in the newspaper,” Pugliano said, adding that she had complete faith in her surgeon, Dr. John Papale of Papale Eye Center in Springfield.

Her diagnosed condition, treatment, and response to it are all typical of what’s happening within the broad realm of eye care today — as the population ages, more people are being diagnosed with problems, but modern science has created solutions, many of which are truly life-altering.

Papale told BusinessWest that cataract removal is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S., and more than 3 million people have the procedure done every year. The 20-minute outpatient operation corrects vision and eliminates troublesome symptoms that affect many seniors, such as seeing halos or being bothered by the glare of oncoming headlights when driving at night.

“Most people have more than a 95% restoration of vision, assuming there are no other problems such as glaucoma and macular degeneration,” Papale said, as he spoke about conditions that affect aging eyes.

Indeed, they are common. The Mayo Clinic reports that about half of all 65-year-old Americans have some degree of cataract formation, and more than 30 million Americans are expected to develop them by 2020. In addition, more than 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older have a severe visual impairment, and rates of severe vision loss are expected to double by 2030.

Dr. Camille Guzek-Latka, an optometrist at Chicopee Eyecare, P.C., says many people use over-the-counter glasses to avoid getting an eye exam. “But the exam is important; we not only evaluate the need for glasses, we look for evidence of eye disease because, as people age, their risk of developing a problem increases.”

Annual eye exams are critical for people over the age of 60 because eye disease can cause irreversible blindness and there may be no symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage.

Dr. Andrew Jusko says an eye exam is needed to detect glaucoma, as there are no symptoms in the early or middle stages.

Dr. Andrew Jusko says an eye exam is needed to detect glaucoma, as there are no symptoms in the early or middle stages.

Although some people don’t have vision coverage on their insurance plan, Eye Care America has provided free exams to almost 2 million eligible seniors (visit www.aao.org), and health-insurance plans cover the cost if a minor medical problem is uncovered, which usually happens as people get older.

“It’s important to protect against damaging eye diseases; people are living longer today and want to maintain full visual functionality through the end of their lives,” said surgeon Dr. Andrew Jusko of Eyesight and Surgery Associates in Springfield and East Longmeadow.

Papale agrees. “The eye is our most important sense: 25% of all input to the brain comes from the eye and nerve endings,” he noted.

For this issue and its focus on the business of aging, BusinessWest examines problems that affect aging eyes and what can be done to prevent and correct them.

Cause, Effect, and Treatment

The lens of the eye consists of a flexible jelly that begins to stiffen as people enter their 30s and 40s. The condition is called presbyopia, and most people need reading glasses to compensate for the fact that their eyes can no longer shift focus easily.

“Many people in their 40s and 50s get by with over-the-counter reading glasses, but by the time they reach their 50s or 60s they usually don’t work well,” Jusko said, adding that early stages of other diseases such as diabetes or hypertension can be seen in the eyes during an exam.

Cataracts cause the lens to change from crystal clear to cloudy, and typically develop as people age. They don’t harm the eye but do affect vision, and surgery to correct the problem involves replacing the aging lens with an artificial one.

In the past, eye drops were always needed for a few weeks following the procedure, but Guzek-Latka said a newer approach is often used today called ‘dropless cataract surgery,’ which occurs when the surgeon injects a combination of antibiotics and steroids into the eye at the time of the procedure to reduce the need for drops after it.

“The surgery is safe and wonderful; it can restore sight, reduce the risk of falling, and people are thrilled with the results,” she noted, adding that, although cataracts are related to aging, prolonged use of steroids for conditions such as asthma can cause them to develop earlier.

Cataracts are a change that occurs as the eye ages, but glaucoma is an age-related disease that causes blindness as the peripheral or side vision is lost.

“It’s called the silent thief of sight because the vision loss occurs slowly and painlessly,” Guzek-Latka said, adding that the condition is linked to a buildup of pressure inside the eye, but it can take many years for the vision loss to occur.

The disease can start in the 40s, but risk increases with age. “People cannot tell if the pressure inside their eye is normal, so they can be going blind and not know it,” Papale told BusinessWest, noting that, since glaucoma frequently only affects one eye, the other eye compensates for it so the person doesn’t realize what is happening.

As a result, it’s critical to catch the disease before irreversible damage is done. “An eye exam will show whether the pressure is normal and if the optic nerves appear abnormal,” Jusko said.

Some forms of glaucoma can be cured, and treatment ranges from surgical procedures to prescription eye drops that control pressure inside the eye.

Jusko often uses eye stents during surgery, which are small devices implanted in the drainage area of the eye to help reduce the need for future medication.

“The average age for glaucoma is the 70s, which is about the same age that people need cataract surgery,” he said, noting that stents can also be used during that procedure.

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is one of the most serious eye diseases and the leading cause of blindness in seniors. “The macula is the part of the retina that gives you the sharp vision you need to read, drive, and recognize faces,” Papale said.

More than 2 million Americans are afflicted with some form of the disease, and that number is expected to more than double to 5.4 million by 2050 due to the aging population.

“It’s the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people age 50 and older, and treatment for it is limited,” Guzek-Latka said.

“There are usually no symptoms in the early stages, but the disease can be seen when the pupil is dilated during an eye exam,” she continued, adding that, as the disease progresses, it causes distortion in the central vision. “People can still see things on the side, but they can’t read, and faces often appear as dark gray areas. Most people think blindness means total blackness, but it’s very rare not to be able to see any light.”

The cause of AMD is unknown, but it’s important for people to be aware of risk factors. Smoking doubles the risk of macular degeneration, it tends to run in families, women are more likely to develop it than men, and it is more common among Caucasians than African-Americans, Hispanics, and other races.

“People might be able to reduce their risk of macular degeneration or slow the progression by making healthy choices such as regular exercise, maintaining normal blood pressure, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish,” Guzek-Latka said.

The disease is divided into two categories — wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Although there are no symptoms associated with early dry macular degeneration, the vision becomes distorted over time, and once function is lost, it cannot be restored.

However, further damage may be prevented with special vitamins formulated for the eye. “But we don’t recommend taking them unless the person has been diagnosed with macular degeneration,” Jusko said, noting that studies show no definitive or preventive benefits for people without the disease.

Wet macular degeneration is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula that are fragile and prone to bleeding.

“The bleeding is not visible because the macula is in the back of the eye,” Papale said, adding that the dry form of the disease can progress to the wet type.

Treatment includes injections of medicine that block the growth of abnormal blood vessels and can lead to some improvement.

“It won’t cure the disease, but it’s definitely an advance; 10 years ago, there was less hope for people with wet macular degeneration then there is today,” Guzek-Latka said.

She added that FDA approval was granted for an implantable device in 2010 that is used at the end stages of the disease. It’s the size of a pea and magnifies images onto the retina.

“But it’s only used as a last resort. It will not restore vision, but might allow someone to identify faces, even if they are not clear,” she said.

Diabetes is another disease that affects the eyes. According to the National Eye Institute, 40% of Americans over age 40 have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, and one of every 12 people with diabetes in this age group has advanced, vision-threatening retinopathy.

That’s a condition that results when small blood vessels in the retina leak blood or other fluids that cause progressive damage to the retina, which is the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.

“Once someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they need yearly eye exams to detect it,” Jusko said.

Treatment ranges from the use of lasers to injections and surgical procedures, and primary-care physicians usually work closely with the person to ensure their blood-sugar levels and blood pressure are under control.

Hope for the Future

Dry eye is another condition that can affect people of any age, but is more prevalent in elders and post-menopausal women. It results from inadequate tear production and causes burning, stinging, itching, or the feeling that sand is in the eyes.

It can be alleviated with over-the-counter lubricating drops, fish-oil supplements, and vitamin C. But dry eye that is moderate or severe can cause damage, so people whose symptoms aren’t helped with over-the-counter remedies should see their eye doctor.

There is no doubt that eyesight is affected as people age, but there are things everyone can do to help to prevent disease. Eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, and since both are stimulated by regular exercise, it ranks high on the list.

People should also do their best to maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet light.

But getting an annual eye exam is the most important measure anyone can take to preserve vision.

“Eyesight is our most important sense,” said Guzek-Latka. “We rely on it for so many things, and having good vision is a driving factor in people’s well-being as they age.”

Health Care Sections

Thinking Outside the Pillbox

Dr. Christopher Keroack

Dr. Christopher Keroack

Dr. Christopher Keroack, like so many who grew up in the Northeast, recalls a childhood visit to Riverside Park in Agawam, now known as Six Flags New England. Back then, at the center of the grounds was a crowded area known as the International Plaza, connecting the north and south sides of the amusement park.

He was 7 years old on this particular visit, and his mother told him to hold her hand while crossing the plaza, so he did — he thought. “The density of the crowd resembled a New York nightclub, but I struggled through it and emerged holding my mother’s hand — only, when I looked up, I was shocked to find the hand wasn’t hers.”

He describes the feeling — still resonant decades later — of being lost and frightened, and his decision to go to the park’s magic show, a location he and his mother both knew well. He sat down in the front row and cried as the show began, but the plan worked — his mother intuitively found him there a short time later, and all was right with the world again.

Keroack, director of Pioneer Valley Weight and Wellness Center in Springfield, tells this story at the start of his new book, Changing Directions: Navigating the Path to Optimal Health and Balanced Living, and retold it recently while sitting down with BusinessWest. The point is that being lost as a child is an alarming experience, and returning to a place of safety and familiarity is a hallmark of finding one’s way again.

“Part of me believes this is what has happened in the medical field,” he told BusinessWest. “Once compassionate healers, our field has transitioned into protocols, ICD-10 code diagnoses, prior-approval paperwork, and endless uses of drugs.”

As a result, Keroack — and many of his colleagues, he believes — long for a return to the “golden years” of medicine, when one-to-one relationships with patients were richer, and when doctors were committed to healing and compassionate caring, not a sea of protocols and quick-fix prescriptions. “I believe,” he said, “that we can return to those days.”

His book, published earlier this year, is a primer on the philosophy of ‘functional medicine,’ which is, at its core, a blending of the ancient arts of medicine, including Eastern medicine, and the modern approaches of scientific, Western medicine. Having studied both, Keroack has crafted a practice in the Valley that incorporates elements of these two worlds and demonstrates to patients why they should — and do — work in tandem.

“It just fits into everything all physicians originally wanted to believe in,” he said. “We went into medicine for the purpose of helping and healing people.” The book — which he calls “a field guide to navigate the confusion of healthy living” — is an effort to help people understand these concepts and put them into practice.

He likens functional medicine to a tree. The roots of the tree — unseen but taking up as much space underground as the branches do above — are what nourish the tree, not the leaves. The leaves may show the outward signs of disease,  but the deeper problems originate in the roots. “Functional medicine,” he notes, “sees the roots and knows that, by nourishing the roots, the leaves will grow.”

Another metaphor, he said, sees the body’s systems as a flowing stream, one in which pollutants and chemicals from a factory upstream are contaminating the water, creating imbalance and toxicity. The ‘downstream’ approach of Western medicine is to put a water filter on the kitchen faucet — but what about the water in the dishwasher, shower, and washing machine? Ideally, the correct approach would be to remove or divert the pollutants and chemicals at the source. That, in a nutshell, is functional medicine.

At the Core

The core of this philosophy revolves around what Keroack calls the “fab five” — food, movement, stress, sleep, and relationships — and the way they intertwine to impact one’s overall wellness.

“If we ate the correct food, stayed up on hydration, went to bed on time, had our debts paid, had harmony in our marriages, and got out of the chair and moved around, we would be radically healthier. But we don’t do these things, because we rely on pills, potions, and lotions.”

One barrier, he said, is that Western physicians are trained in pharmacology and diagnosis codes, so they get locked into that pathway. “But I get to have real conversations with people about these foundational factors, and then they get better.”

KeroackCoverKeroack is board-certified in internal medicine and bariatric (weight-management) medicine, and originally built his practice around weight loss, moving gradually into a broader wellness focus, where patients lose weight as just one benefit of a total lifestyle shift. But in addition to his formal training, he has certifications from the Institute of Functional Medicine and the Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation for Age Management Medicine.

Beyond the ‘fab five,’ each personalized health and wellness plan takes into account five foundational imbalances: nutrition, metabolism, inflammation, detoxification, and oxidation. Together, he calls them the ‘star of wellness,’ noting that “all five aspects of your health are equally important. A problem in any one leads to imbalance with the others.”

According to the Institute of Functional Medicine, “functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both person and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. … By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more person-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.”

That’s why it’s important to spend time with patients, he explained, understanding their histories and considering the interactions of their genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence chronic disease — in a way that goes far beyond mere diagnostic codes.

At the root of functional medicine, the book notes, is the idea that the body, given the right balance of food, movement, stress, sleep, and relationships, will take care of itself.

“It’s not that complicated, but it does require discipline and planning,” he told BusinessWest. “At the same time, you can find the necessary components at the supermarket, in the backyard, and in the bedroom.”

That’s not to say medications and technology don’t play a role in modern healthcare; they certainly do. The key word is balance — and it’s safe to say many doctors lean much further in the opposite direction, putting far less emphasis on elements like food, stress, and positive relationships than they do on a prescription.

“The Western-medicine approach to illness looks at things from the bottom up — once we get sick, we can do something about it,” he went on. “Functional medicine looks at things from the top down — what can we do not only to avoid getting sick, but to optimize your health? I’d like to think most people want that. Rather than just not having diabetes, they want to be in the best health of their lives.”

Keroack claims that most people eating correctly — say, a Mediterranean diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables from all the color groups — are getting the vitamins and minerals they need from their food, but dietary supplements are often helpful. But the average consumer gets overwhelmed going into stores that sell supplements because no one has explained what will work best for them.

“I had an elite hockey player in the other day. He wanted to take some performance-enhancing supplements, but the ones he was using were all turmeric and ginger, which are anti-inflammatories, which are fine afterward, but they don’t enhance performance; he needed carnitine and taurine. Somebody sold him the wrong thing, based on the chemistry of these botanicals. Just like I can’t play hockey at his level, he’s trusting people to give him the right stuff.”

Another patient, diagnosed with yeast overgrowth, was taking a supplement better suited for liver cleansing before Keroack steered her differently.

“She had spent her hard-earned money on something intended for something else,” he said. “If you pick the wrong things, spend your money, and get frustrated, you think, ‘that’s one more provider that has not helped me.’”

Guiding Hand

Keroack, on the other hand, wants to teach patients how to maintain their own health so they’re not as reliant on medications and other trappings of modern medicine.

“In Western medicine, we talk about diet and exercise, but we don’t explain how,” he told BusinessWest. “Studies show they have more impact on diabetes than medicine, but we don’t educate people — really educate them — in diet and exercise at all.”

The bottom line, he went on, is that the simple tenets of functional medicine can seem, frankly, too good to be true to a generation raised on pharmaceutical marketing. “But if you change your food, change your movement patterns, change your stress levels, you’ll get better. And it’s logical and intuitive that you would.”

Keroack’s father was an emergency-room physician decades ago, using much more primitive technology than doctors have available to them today — and he wouldn’t recommend a return to that. But why, he asks, not marry today’s capabilities with the sensibilities of yesteryear, a practice of medicine based on communication, understanding, and the doctor-patient relationship?

“I’m shooting to return to the golden age of medicine, just not using old-school technologies,” he explained. “I understand that technology has changed, but I’d like to see our policies and protocols match the information that’s available. There is legitimacy to the colors in fruits and vegetables, the inflammatory effects of gluten and dairy, the chemical effects of pesticides and herbicides and pollutants. There’s real science behind that. We don’t have to stop at lowering calories and walking 10,000 steps.”

In the end, when he thinks of how Western medicine has evolved, he returns to that story of a 7-year-old at Riverside losing — and then finding — his way.

“We think we’re holding on to a hand we trust, only to go through the journey and find it’s not what it was,” he said. “We’ve been disheartened, disillusioned. Patients are constantly telling me, ‘doctors have no time to spend with me and listen; all they have is pills.’”

Through his practice — and, now, his book — Keroack is doing his part to change that paradigm.

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Sections Travel and Tourism

What Summertime Blues?

SummerHappeningsDPart

In the mood for some live music or theater? Or are art shows and antiques more your style? How about clambering through the trees or soaring on roller-coaster tracks? Whatever your taste, Western Mass. boasts plenty of ways to enjoy the summer months, making any day potentially a vacation day. Here are 25 ideas to get you started, in a region that’s home to many, many more.

July

> Berkshires Arts Festival
Ski Butternut, 380 State Road, Great Barrington
(845) 355-2400; www.berkshiresartsfestival.com
Admission: $7-$14; free for children under 10

July 1-3: Ski Butternut may be best-known for … well, skiing, of course. But the property also plays host to the Berkshires Arts Festival, a regional tradition now in its 15th year. Thousands of art lovers and collectors are expected to stop by to check out and purchase the creations of more than 175 artists and designers, as well as experiencing theater and music from local and national acts. Founded by Richard and Joanna Rothbard, owners of An American Craftsman Galleries, the festival attracts top artists from across the U.S. and Canada.

1Fireworks>Fireworks Shows Various Locations

July 1-4: Independence Day weekend is brimming with nighttime pageantry throughout the Pioneer Valley. The Valley Blue Sox in Holyoke kick things off with fireworks following its July 1 game. July 2 brings displays at Beacon Field in Greenfield, while on June 3, Michael Smith Middle School in South Hadley and East Longmeadow High School get into the act. July 4 will bring the spectacle to Riverfront Park in Springfield and McGuirk Stadium at UMass Amherst. And Six Flags in Agawam will light up the night on July 2, 3, and 4.

> Brimfield Antique Show
Route 20, Brimfield
(413) 283-6149; www.brimfieldshow.com
Admission: Free

July 12-17, Sept. 6-11: After expanding steadily through the decades, the Brimfield Antique Show now encompasses six miles of Route 20 and has become a nationally known destination for people to value antiques, collectibles, and flea-market finds. Some 6,000 dealers and close to 1 million total visitors show up at the three annual, week-long events; the first was in May. The Brimfield Antique Show labels itself the “Antiques and Collectibles Capital of the United States,” and — judging by its scope and number of visitors — it’s hard to disagree.

2GlasgowLands-2> Glasgow Lands Scottish  Festival
Look Park, 300 North Main St., Florence
(413) 862-8095; www.glasgowlands.org
Admission: $16; $5 for children 6-12; free for kids under 6

July 16: This 23nd annual festival celebrating all things Scottish features Highland dancers, pipe bands, a pipe and drum competition, animals, spinners, weavers, harpists, Celtic music, athletic contests, activities for children, and the authentically dressed Historic Highlanders recreating everyday life in that society from the 14th through 18th centuries. Inside the huge ‘pub’ tent, musical acts Enter the Haggis, Soulsha, Albannach, Screaming Orphans, and Charlie Zahm will keep toes tapping in the shade. Event proceeds benefit programs at Human Resources Unlimited and River Valley Counseling Center.

> Pioneer Valley Beer & Wine Festival
Look Park, 300 North Main St., Florence
(413) 584-5457; www.lookpark.org
Admission: $35 in advance, $40 at the door

July 30: Hungry — or thirsty — for something to do as the dog days of summer take hold? Look Park presents its first annual Beer & Wine Festival at the Pines Theater from noon to 4 p.m. Attendees (over age 21 with ID) will get to sample local beer and wine from the Pioneer Valley, live music, and food vendors including Local Burger, La Veracruzana, and Sierra Grille.

August

> Pocumtuck Homelands Festival
Unity Park, 1st Street, Turners Falls
(413) 498-4318; www.nolumbekaproject.org
Admission: Free

Aug. 6: This annual celebration of the parks, people, history, and culture of Turners Falls is a coordinated effort of the Nolumbeka Project and RiverCulture. The event features outstanding Native American crafts, food, and live music by Theresa ‘Bear’ Fox, Mohawk (Wolf Clan), ‘wave artist’ Mixashawn, the Medicine Mammals Singers, and Kontiwennenhawi, the Akwasasne Women Singers. Also featured will be the Black Hawk Singers, the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition Singers, a Penobscot hoop dancer, round dancing, elder teachings, craft activities, storytelling, and traditional dances. The Nolumbeka Project aims to preserve regional Native American history through educational programs, art, history, music, heritage seed preservation, and cultural events.

3SpringfieldJazz

> Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival
Court Square, Springfield
(413) 303-0101; springfieldjazzfest.com
Admission: Free

Aug. 6: The third annual Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival will offer a festive atmosphere featuring locally and internationally acclaimed musical artists, dance and theater workshops, local arts and crafts, and plenty of food. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend and enjoy the sounds of jazz, Latin jazz, gospel, blues, funk, and more. Featured performers include Taj Mahal, Eric Krasno Band, Joey DeFrancesco Trio, Terri Lyne Carrington Group, Samirah Evans and Her Handsome Devils, Rayvon Owen, Heshima Moja and Ofrecimiento, and Jose Gonzalez and Banda Criolla. The festival is produced by Blues to Green, which uses music to bring people together, uplift and inspire, and help build a more equitable and sustainable world.

> Agricultural Fairs
Various locations and admission costs; see websites
www.thewestfieldfair.com; www.theblandfordfair.com; www.3countyfair.com; www.fcas.com; www.belchertownfair.com

Starting in late August and extending through September, the region’s community agricultural fairs are a much-loved tradition, promoting agriculture education in Western Mass. and supporting the efforts of local growers and craftspeople. The annual fairs also promise plenty of family-oriented fun, from carnival rides to animal demonstrations to food, food, and more food. The Westfield fair kicks things off Aug. 19-21, followed by the Blandford Fair and the Three County Fair in Northampton on Sept. 2-5, the Franklin County Fair in Greenfield on Sept. 8-11, and the Belchertown Fair on Sept. 23-25.

September

> Stone Soul Festival
Blunt Park, 1780 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield
(413) 636-3881; www.ssfestival.weebly.com
Admission: Free

Sept. 2-4: Stone Soul began in 1989 as a community reunion picnic aimed at gathering together the Mason Square Community. It has since evolved into a three-day event, and New England’s largest African-American festival. Stone Soul aims to provide family-oriented activities, entertainment, and cultural enrichment, and is a vehicle for minority-owned businesses to display their wares and crafts. Entertainment includes gospel, jazz, R&B, and dance. Sunday’s free picnic includes ribs and chicken cooked by talented pitmasters, as well as barbecued beans, cole slaw, and more, with the backdrop of an afternoon of live gospel music performed by local and regional choirs.

4MattoonStreet> Mattoon Street Arts Festival
Mattoon St., Springfield
(413) 736-0629
www.mattoonfestival.org
Admission: Free

Sept. 10-11: Now in its 44th year, the Mattoon Street Arts Festival is the longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley, featuring about 100 exhibitors, including artists that work in ceramics, fibers, glass, jewelry, painting and printmaking, photography, wood, metal, and mixed media. Food vendors and strolling musicians help to make the event a true late-summer destination.

> Glendi
22 St. George Road, Springfield
(413) 737-1496
www.stgeorgecath.org/glendi
Admission: Free

Sept. 9-11: Every year, St. George Cathedral offers thousands of visitors the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and old-fashioned Greek hospitality. In addition, the festival offers activities for children, tours of the historic St. George Cathedral and Byzantine Chapel, various vendors from across the East Coast, icon workshops, movies in the Glendi Theatre, cooking demonstrations, and a joyful atmosphere the whole family will enjoy.

> Fresh Grass
1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams
(413) 662-2111; www.freshgrass.com
3-day pass: $99 for adults, $89 for students, $46 for ages 7-16

Sept. 16-18: The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is known for its musical events, and the Fresh Grass festival is among the highlights, showcasing more than 50 bluegrass artists and bands over three days. This year, the lineup includes Old Crow Medicine Show, Glen Hansard, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, The Devil Makes Three, Rosanne Cash, the Infamous Stringdusters, and many, many more. Also on tap are new-artist competitions (with prizes totaling $25,000) and bluegrass workshops open to festival attendees.

All Summer Long

> Berkshire
Botanical Garden
5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge
(413) 298-3926
www.berkshirebotanical.org
Admission: $15; free for kids under 12

Through Oct. 10: If the flora indigenous to, or thriving in, the Berkshires of Western Mass. is your cup of tea, try 15 acres of stunning public gardens at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge. Originally established as the Berkshire Garden Center in 1934, today’s not-for-profit, educational organization is both functional and ornamental, with a mission to fulfill the community’s need for information, education, and inspiration concerning the art and science of gardening and the preservation of the environment. In addition to the garden’s collections, among the oldest in the U.S., visitors can enjoy workshops, special events, and guided tours.

> CityBlock Concert Series
Worthington and Bridge streets, Springfield
(413) 781-1591
www.springfielddowntown.com/cityblock
Admission: Free

Through Aug. 25: Downtown Springfield’s annual Thursday-evening summer music series is again studded with a mix of national touring acts and local lights, starting with FAT on June 30 in Court Square. The shows then move to Stearns Square for the rest of the summer, and include Ricky Nelson Remembered (July 7), Forever Motown (July 14), the Machine (July 21), Natalie Stovall and the Drive (July 28), Terry Sylvester (Aug. 4), Max Creek (Aug. 11), Blessid Union of Souls (Aug. 18), and the Shadowboxers (Aug. 25). The presenting sponsor for the shows is MassMutual, and the series is presented by the Springfield Business Improvement District. See article on page 27 for more information.

> Crab Apple
Whitewater Rafting
2056 Mohawk Trail, Charlemont
(413) 625-2288; www.crabapplewhitewater.com
Admission: $110-$116 through Sept. 11; $99 after Sept. 11

Through Oct. 9: Wanna get wet? Crab Apple is a third-generation, multi-state family business that operates locally on the Deerfield River in the northern Berkshire Mountains of Western Mass. Its five separate rafting excursions range from mild to wild, full- or half-day runs, in rafts and inflatable kayaks. In short, Crab Apple offers something for everyone, from beginners to more experienced rafters.

> Hancock Shaker Village
1843 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield
(413) 443-0188; www.hancockshakervillage.org
Admission: $8-20; free for children 12 and under

Through October: In 1774, a small group of persecuted English men and women known as the Shakers — the name is derived from the way their bodies convulsed during prayer — landed in New York Harbor in the hopes of securing religious freedom in America. Nearly 250 years later, their utopian experiment remains available to the public in the restored 19th-century village of Hancock. Through 20 refurbished buildings and surrounding gardens, Shaker Village illuminates the daily lives of its highly productive inhabitants. After spending a day in the recreated town, visitors will surely gain a greater appreciation of the Shakers’ oft-forgotten legacy in the region.

JacobsPillowSuchuDance-BRuddick-2008> Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
358 George Carter Road, Becket
(413) 243-0745; www.jacobspillow.org
Admission: $25 and up

Through Aug. 30: Now in its 84rd season, Jacob’s Pillow has become one of the country’s premier showcases for dance, featuring more than 50 dance companies from the U.S. and around the world. Participants can take in scores of free performances, talks, and events; train at one of the nation’s most prestigious dance-training centers; and take part in community programs designed to educate and engage audiences of all ages. This year’s events introduce a quirky, charming company from Germany, the explosive footwork of South American gauchos, inspiring ballet companies from across the U.S., astounding flex dancers from the streets of Brooklyn, and 12 high-flying men from Algeria — plus, more live music than ever before. See article on page 25 for more information.

> Lady Bea Cruise Boat
1 Alvord St., South Hadley
(413) 315-6342; www.brunelles.com
Admission: $10-$15; free for kids 3 and under

Through Labor Day: If you’re in the mood for a scenic meander up and down the Connecticut River, consider the Lady Bea, a 53-foot, 49-passenger, climate-controlled boat operated by Brunelle’s Marina, which typically runs Thursday through Sunday between South Hadley and Northampton. If you don’t feel like sharing the 75-minute narrated voyage with others, rent the boat out for a private excursion. Amenties include a PA system, video monitors, a full bar, and seating indoors and on the sun deck — but the main attraction is the pristine water, sandy beaches, and unspoiled views along the river.

6Mahaiwe> Mahaiwe Performing
Arts Center
14 Castle St., Great Barrington
(413) 528-0100; www.mahaiwe.org
Admission: Varies by event

Year-round: The beloved Mahaiwe Theatre dates back to 1905 — continuously running programs since its opening — and underwent an extensive, $9 million renovation starting in 2003. Today, the theater seats just under 700 and hosts year-round arts programming, including music, dance, theatre, opera, talks, and movie classics. It’s leaders say Mahaiwe is a staple and a resource: its live performances inspire tens of thousands of audience members each year, its family and educational events are vital to the region, its embrace of modern technology supplements programming with live, high-definition satellite broadcasts from around the world, and its year-round schedule enhances the quality of life for those who reside in and visit the Berkshires.

> Nash Dinosaur
Track Site and
Rock Shop
594 Amherst Road, South Hadley
(413) 467-9566; www.nashdinosaurtracks.com
Admission: $3 for adults; $2 for children

Year-round: Walk where the dinosaurs walked, literally. It’s hard to believe that the first documented dinosaur tracks found in North America were on the shores of the Connecticut River, in 1802, near today’s site of Nash Dinosaur Track Site and Rock Shop in South Hadley. Over the years, thousands of dinosaur tracks have been discovered; many were sold to museums and private individuals all over the world, but many more can be seen due to the extensive work of Carlton S. Nash. Visit the site and learn about some of this region’s earliest inhabitants, and also about the geology of the area.

7PeacePagoda> New England Peace Pagoda
100 Cave Hill Road, Leverett
(413) 367-2202
www.newenglandpeacepagoda.com
Admission: Free

Year-round: A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, a monument to inspire peace, designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, and to help unite them in their search for world peace. Most peace pagodas built since World War II have been built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist monk. Fujii was greatly inspired by his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1931 and decided to devote his life to promoting non-violence. In 1947, he began constructing peace pagodas as shrines to world peace.

> Ramblewild
110 Brodie Mountain Road, Lanesborough
(844) 472-6253; www.ramblewild.com
Admission: $69 for adults, $59 for youth

Year-round: Aerial parks are an outdoor activity in and among the trees that offer excitement, challenge, and personal growth for families and adventurists of all kinds. At Ramblewild, the focal point is a central wooden platform about 10 feet above the ground from which eight aerial obstacle courses originate, meandering from tree to tree at various heights through the forest. Each course consists of 15 to 17 elements (high wires, ziplines, balancing logs, rope ladders, cargo nets, suspended bridges, etc.) that meander through a pristine hemlock forest. These tree-to-tree challenge courses are designed to have a profound impact on visitors’ self-confidence — while having lots of fun, of course.

8SixFlags> Six Flags New England
1623 Main St., Agawam
(413) 786-9300
www.sixflags.com/newengland
Admission: $61.99; season passes $91.99

Through oct. 31: Continuing an annual tradition of adding a new major attraction each spring, Six Flags New England recently unveiled Fireball, a looping coaster, and rethemed Bizarro to its original Superman motif, adding a virtual-reality component (via goggles) to boot. Other recent additions include the Wicked Cyclone, the 420-foot-tall New England Sky Screamer swings, the 250-foot Bonzai Pipeline enclosed waterslides, and the massive switchback coaster Goliath — in addition to a raft of other thrill rides. But fear not: the park has attractions for everyone along the stomach-queasiness spectrum, from the classic carousel and bumper cars to the wave pools and lazy river in the Hurricane Harbor water park, free with admission.

> Valley Blue Sox
Mackenzie Stadium
500 Beech St., Holyoke
(413) 533-1100
www.valleybluesox/pointstreaksites.com
Admission: $4-$6; season tickets $79

Through Aug. 1: Western Mass. residents don’t have to trek to Boston to catch quality baseball. The Valley Blue Sox, members of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, play close to home at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke. These Sox feature a roster of elite collegiate baseball players from around the country, including some who have already been drafted into the major leagues. Frequent promotional events like postgame fireworks and numerous giveaways help make every game at MacKenzie Stadium a fun, affordable event for the whole family.

> Williamstown Theatre Festival
1000 Main St., Williamstown
(413) 597-3400; www.wtfestival.org
Admission: $40 and up

Through Aug. 21: Six decades ago, the leaders of Williams College’s drama department and news office conceived of an idea: using the campus’ theater for a summer performance program with a resident company. Since then, the festival has attracted a raft of notable guest performers. This season will spotlight a range of both original productions and plays by well-known lights such as Tennessee Williams (The Rose Tattoo) and Wendy Wasserstein (An American Daughter), as well as a number of other programs, such as post-show Tuesday Talkbacks with company members.

Joseph Bednar can be reached a  [email protected]

Business of Aging Sections

Into the Light

 

Dr. Katherine White

Dr. Katherine White says tanning can be a difficult habit to break, due to the way it makes people look and feel.

In recent years, many teens have turned to tanning beds to enhance their looks on prom night and graduation day. But that practice is no longer possible, due to a new state law that Gov. Charlie Baker signed in February that bans anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed.

Prior to passage of this measure, Massachusetts allowed teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 to visit tanning salons with consent from a parent or legal guardian, and those under age 14 to tan if a parent or guardian was present.

However, research by the American Academy of Dermatology, the Melanoma Research Foundation, the American Assoc. for Cancer Research, and other prestigious groups have led to legislation in 42 states prohibiting young people from using tanning beds due to studies that prove exposure to artificial ultraviolet light before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by up to 75%.

Melanoma is not only the deadliest form of skin cancer, it is the most common form of cancer in young adults 25 to 29 years old, and the second-most common form in young people 15 to 29 years old. It is also the leading cause of cancer death in women aged 25 to 30 and the second-leading cause of death in women between the ages of 30 and 35. In addition, ultraviolet radiation emitted by tanning beds can lead to basal-cell and squamous-cell cancer and cause wrinkles, lax skin, brown spots, and other signs of premature aging.

Dr. Catherine White, a dermatologist and founder of Hampshire Dermatology and Skin Health Center in Northampton, said dermatologists have been advocating for changes in the law for years, and herald the newly passed legislation, as well as the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed two new rules last year regarding tanning beds. The first would not only restrict use of sunlamps in salons to individuals 18 and older, but also mandate that users sign a certificate before their first tanning session and every six months thereafter acknowledging they have been informed of the risks to their health.

The second proposal would require sunlamp manufacturers and tanning facilities to take additional measures to improve the overall safety of their devices. Suggestions include improving eye safety by limiting the amount of visible light allowed through protective eyewear; improving labeling on replacement bulbs to ensure tanning facility operators are using the correct bulbs, which would reduce the risk of accidental burns; preventing the installation of stronger bulbs without recertifying and re-identifying a device with the FDA; and requiring all sunlamp products to have an emergency shut-off switch that users can easily find and identify by touch or sight.

Artificial tanning has become a $2.5 billion industry, so these measures are deemed critical to people’s safety. Approximately 7.8 million adult women and 1.9 million adult men in the U.S. tan indoors, and reports show that 35% of American adults, 59% of college students, and 17% of teens have used a tanning bed.

White acknowledges that most tanning salons are small businesses that are often owned by women and add vibrancy to local communities, and says it’s important to recognize that fact, but agrees with other experts that medical information regarding tanning beds must be transmitted to clients in a clear way that outlines the risks.

“The World Health Organization has said that ultraviolet light is a known human carcinogen,” she told BusinessWest. “Using a tanning bed is a dangerous activity and increases the risk of developing basal-cell cancer, squamous-cell cancer, and potentially life-threatening melanoma.”

Overcoming Obstacles

Dr. Richard Arenas, chief of Surgical Oncology at Baystate Medical Center, has seen patients in their early 20s with melanoma, and says researchers believe the intensity and type of ultraviolet radiation emitted by tanning beds may be forcing changes at an accumulated rate in cells. Environmental factors may also be at play, and some people may be more sensitive to UV light than others and have family histories that could predispose them to getting skin cancer.

Dr. Richard Arenas

Dr. Richard Arenas says the incidence of melanoma, which is a life-threatening cancer, is on the rise in young people.

“But the biggest challenge is determining at what age a person is capable of making a decision to acknowledge the potential risk of using a tanning bed,” he explained, adding that there has not been enough publicity about the dangers and the fact that the rate of melanoma is on the rise, especially in young Caucasian women.

White concurs, and says education needs to be ongoing, especially since tanning is part of youth culture; college students often rent limos and go tanning as a group, and she has heard of cheerleading coaches who bring their teams to a tanning salon prior to a meet.

“The light and warmth may feel good, and there may be social benefits, but the fact is, when ultraviolet light hits the skin, it damages genetic material,” she noted. “A tan is an emblem of injury, and is the body’s last-ditch effort to prevent DNA damage and protect against damage to the cells. Sometimes the body can repair the damage, but it’s not always possible.”

Still, most human beings love the sun, and the reasons for visiting tanning salons are complex and include societal reinforcements — people often tell others with a tan they look great — and many women consider going to a tanning salon a way to pamper themselves.

But the dangers that have come to light are clear, and the Commonwealth’s new legislation mirrors similar laws in California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont that ban the use of tanning beds for all minors under 18.

However, experts say tanning not only is it a difficult habit to break, it can be addictive, which was documented in studies released in 2013 that show ultraviolet light increases the release of endorphins or feel-good chemicals that relieve pain and generate feelings of well-being.

“People like to tan. It’s calming, relaxing, and something that they may regard almost like a treat. And although most adults know it’s not a good thing to do, they have the right to visit a tanning salon. But they need information about the risks spelled out clearly,” White said, adding that dermatologists hope the FDA’s proposal to have adults sign consent forms acknowledging the risks of tanning beds will be adopted nationwide.

As for the addictive nature of the habit, researchers often compare tanning to cigarette smoking. “Both industries can injure customers, and it is to their benefit to start people young before they are able to make informed decisions. And both have an addictive quality which make them difficult to break,” White told BusinessWest.

Misconceptions also exist that range from benefits associated with ultraviolet light and vitamin D — experts say taking supplements is safer — to the fact that some people believe it’s a good idea to get a base tan in the winter before going to a sunny locale such as Florida or the Caribbean.

But that is indeed a myth. “There is nothing protective in going to a tanning salon before a trip, because each exposure increases the risk of developing skin cancer, especially in young people,” White said. “We know that intense ultraviolet exposure is more dangerous early in life than it is later on, and people with a history of childhood sunburns are at greater risk for cancer.”

Prevention is Key

Ultraviolet radiation is made of UVA and UVB wavelengths, or rays. UVA rays cause aging of the skin, while UVB rays are short, more powerful, and can lead to cancer.

The sun delivers both, but Arenas says tanning beds deliver a more significant dose of both UVA and UVB.

“The damage caused at a young age can carry forward for the rest of a person’s life. Tanning beds are an unnatural source of UV radiation and are dangerous,” he noted, adding that the propensity for problems may be exacerbated if people are fair-skinned, sport red hair, or have a lot of moles. In addition, the fact that people are living longer means they will have more exposure to the sun, so putting oneself in harm’s way at a young age is even more dangerous than it may have been generations ago.

Arenas urges people to be their own advocates when it comes to skin cancer, and said everyone should get a full skin checkup each year.

“Insist that your doctor examine your entire body, including the cracks and crevices,” he told BusinessWest, explaining that skin cancer can occur on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet, as well as in the genital and anal areas. “You really need to have respect for your skin. We can’t avoid the sun, but people need to appreciate the fact that it causes changes that could lead to skin cancer.”

White says people who love the look of a tan can achieve the same result with spray tans, bronzers, and gradual self-tanners, and since many salons offer spray tans, clients who have purchased tanning packages should ask to have their sessions converted to spray tans. She also advises people using tanning as a means of pampering themselves to think of other ways to reward themselves that they find equally relaxing.

“The bottom line is that skin cancer can be prevented, and the new laws will help,” Arenas said. “All it takes is good judgment.”

Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW — W.F. Young Inc., makers of Absorbine pet, equine, and livestock products, announced it has acquired Pure Ocean Botanicals, LLC of Petaluma, Calif.

Pure Ocean Botanicals products include Pet Kelp powdered supplements for dogs and cats, Kelpies soft chews for dogs, and Pet Kelp jerky for dogs. The acquisition expands Absorbine’s position in the pet-care market from its current topical flea/tick and grooming products into nutritional supplements, providing pet retailers with a more robust lineup from this dedicated animal health and wellness company.

“Since W.F. Young made the strategic decision to focus significant growth efforts in the companion animal market, we are always on the lookout for acquisitions to expand our presence, in addition to developing products in-house,” said Ken Oh, general manager, Pet Division. “Pure Ocean Botanicals is a perfect complement to our existing philosophy and way of doing business — namely, offering quality products intended to enhance the lives of our pets.”

Led by David Grover, who will remain involved as a consultant, Pure Ocean Botanicals was established in 2009. “W.F. Young has the sales and marketing strength and expertise to bring Pure Ocean Botanicals products to a much broader market,” Grover said. “I’m looking forward to helping expand distribution and consumer awareness of all our kelp-based nutritional supplements for dogs and cats.”

Many veterinarians and animal nutritionists recommend kelp as a holistic source of the essential nutrients pets require. Kelp, a class of seaweed, is known to be nutrient-rich, and kelp living in the ocean waters of Nova Scotia produce a particularly high nutrient content of 70 vitamins and minerals. The blend of Nova Scotia kelp used in Pure Ocean Botanicals products is among the purest and most nutrient-rich available, the company says.

Health Care Sections

Down to a Science

Dr. Barrie Tan

Dr. Barrie Tan, seen here in the early stages of construction of American River Nutrition’s plant in Hadley, says he’s “all in” when it comes to researching and manufacturing tocotrienol vitamin E.

For some time now, Dr. Barrie Tan says, vitamin E suffered from what might be considered a public relations problem of sorts.

Indeed, the dietary supplement, a noted antioxidant discovered in 1922 and available to the public for decades now, had been drawing mostly unfavorable reviews for its disappointing lack of benefits for cardiovascular health. One large-scale clinical study even concluded that it actually increases the risk of prostate cancer.

But Tan, president of American River Nutrition (ARN), stressed that the bad press essentially concerned what would be considered one form of vitamin E.

As he explained, the supplement is not a single compound — contrary to popular belief up until a few decades ago — but rather a family of at least eight similar, yet structurally different, molecules. And while the once-popular vitamin E alpha-tocopherol has seen its stock fall somewhat in recent years, the lesser-known form of the supplement — tocotrienols, as they’re called — have seen theirs rise amid links (through tests on animals) to everything from improved cardiovascular health to delaying the onset of cataracts; from enhanced bone health to cancer treatment and prevention.

And it is a product known as DeltaGold, with the marketing slogan “Simply Tocotrienol,” that Tan will be manufacturing at a 25,000-square-foot facility now taking shape in Westmass Development’s Hadley University Business Park, in the shadow of the UMass Amherst campus, where he was once a professor of Food Science and Nutrition.

In recent months, the company, the plant, and Tan have been in the news — primarily because the facility will use propane rather then natural gas, simply because there is a moratorium on new natural-gas hookups in that region, a ban that has many concerned about possible long-term effects on economic development and that has also thrust the proposed but highly controversial Kinder-Morgan pipeline even further into the spotlight.

But Tan hopes to change the tenor of the headlines concerning his venture, and, in many ways, he already has.

Indeed, there’s been a steady stream of articles in various health publications regarding tocotrienols, DeltaGold, and Tan. Most of these stories talk about the supplement’s potential and about ongoing studies and trials. However, evidence is mounting that this natural form of vitamin E, derived from annatto (an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree — more on that later), could have a number of significant health benefits.

“We’re engaging a study on cardiovascular benefits, and there are also studies on several forms of cancer,” said Tan, adding that the phrase “Simply Tocotrienol” captures the essence of this development, and its significance, because DeltaGold is considered to be the only natural, annatto-derived tocotrienol that is free of tocopherols.

And that’s important because research has shown that tocopherol interferes with tocotrienol benefits, essentially resulting in that aforementioned bad press, he explained, adding that, in 1996, it was first determined that the cholesterol-modulating properties of tocotrienol were found to be compromised by what Tan called a vitamin E “sibling” — alpha-tocopherol.

“The researchers concluded that effective tocotrienol preparations should contain less than 15% of alpha-tocopherol and more than 60% of desmethyl tocotrienols [gamma- and delta-tocotrienol],” he told BusinessWest, adding that the only natural source of tocotrienols that fits those tight parameters is annatto, derived from trees grown mostly in Central and South America, but also India and Sri Lanka.

annatto

Tocotrienol is extracted from annatto, a substance derived from the seeds of the achiote tree.

Tan has found a way to extract the tocotrienol from annatto through a proprietary distillation process that produces no toxic or harmful byproducts, and he’s ready to take his venture to a much higher level.

For this issue, BusinessWest talked at length with Tan about DeltaGold, American River Nutrition, research on possible pharmaceutical versions of the product, and where he wants to take this company in the years to come.

A Venture Takes Root

Tan has taken a rather circuitous route to his current station as an entrepreneur and researcher at the forefront of developments with vitamin E. In fact, he summed up that path and detailed what’s transpired over the past several years by borrowing from Robert Frost.

“We certainly took the road less-traveled,” he said, referring to what became years of research and development of the far-lesser-known variety of vitamin E, and eventually DeltaGold. It’s a trek that’s taken him from his native Malaysia to Amherst and eventually to South America, where he found not only what he originally set out to find — a plant rich in carotene — but also something more promising, and lucrative, just a few yards away.

Our story begins in late November 1982, when Tan arrived at UMass Amherst. He taught there for more than a decade, first in the Chemistry department and later the Food Science department. It was during that latter assignment when he initiated work with vegetable oil and, through that, the tocotrienol form of vitamin E, which he found in palm oil.

“We didn’t know much more than that this was a different kind of vitamin E,” he explained. “We started doing research and found that it was different in its properties than tocopherol.”

Research in this area eventually led to formation of a business venture called Carotech, which, as the name suggests, was involved in products derived from carotene. It was later sold to a Malaysian concern. At  the time, Tan said, he lacked the skills needed to lead a business, and when the Asian economy tanked in the mid-‘90s, Tan started a lab from which he created American River Nutrition in 1998. He told BusinessWest that he soon put aside work with tocotrienols and went back to researching potential medical uses of carotene.

This work took him to South America in early 2000 to search for a plant said to be a potent source of carotene. He found that plant, a much larger version of the traditional, garden-variety marigold, but 30 feet away, he found something else.

“It’s what the British call the ‘lipstick plant,’” he noted, referring to the achiote, which bears a red fruit, or seeds, which natives of that region used as body paint and, yes, lipstick; other uses include the coloring of cheese, margarine, fabric, and other products.

But Tan made another key discovery.

“The chemist in me hypothesized a theory,” he explained, “which is that there must be something very powerful that protects the carotene color from this annatto, which is not protected otherwise, from degradation. I wondered what it might be.

“This question that I raised eventually helped us in the discovery of this form of vitamin E [natural tocotrienol],” he went on. “We thought that it could be a powerful antioxidant, or anything, really. But shocking to us, and to everyone else, it was the most potent form of vitamin E.”

Seed Money

Fast-forwarding a little, Tan said ARN eventually filed a patent and commenced work on a method for effectively extracting this new form of vitamin E, one free of tocopherol, from the plant’s fruit.
“I decided that this was a gamble worth taking,” he said. “So … to use the simplest term I can think of, I was all in.”

Over the next six years, research continued into the engineering of a process to extract the tocotrienol and take what eventually became known as DeltaGold to the marketplace.

“It was very risky — we weren’t making any sales,” he said. “Those were lean years, but we had a rich patent, and we found places that would process this for us in the United States and were able to get into the business.”

The timing wasn’t ideal — the nation’s economy nosedived in 2008, slowing Tan’s pace of progress with his venture. But a critical mass of sales had been achieved, and solid foundation had been established on which to build.

And he’s doing just that — figuratively and quite literally.

Indeed, with financing from Citizens Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Tan is erecting his facility in Hadley, one in which he expects to grow the workforce from the current nine to 15 or 20.

Meanwhile, he’s working to broaden a customer base that already includes a number of manufacturers of dietary supplements and related products, including Nutricology, Biotics Research Corp., Bronson Laboratories, and many others who use DeltaGold in products bearing their brand names.

Tan’s undertaking is another gamble, but he remains all in, as he said, because the news on tocotrienols, and especially those derived from annatto, is increasingly promising.

One recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Missouri, for example, found that certain doses of tocotrienol, combined with a healthy diet, decreased lipid levels significantly after four weeks. According to another report’s findings, published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, tocotrienols from annatto, mainly composed of delta-tocotrienol, stimulated bone formation and cut back bone decay in a post-menopausal osteoporosis rat model.

Another study found that vitamin E tocotrienals from annatto may slow the development and reduce the number and size of breast tumors in rats, and still another concluded that annatto tocotrienol may delay the onset and progression of cataracts when given in a topical formulation.

“There might be 100 researchers at universities and institutions conducting research on tocotrienols, and they seem to say that they are good for chronic conditions,” said Tan, listing as examples type-2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.

Research involving DeltaGold and a number of cancers is ongoing, with involvement from students at the university, he continued, adding that others, as noted, are exploring its potential benefits with cardiovascular health, bone health, cholesterol, and other health issues.

“Over the past five years, we’ve been focusing on investments in clinical studies,” Tan went on. “Everyone wants to know what this will do in human beings. It’s an easy question to ask, but not an easy question to answer.”

Fruits of His Labor

Just how that question is eventually answered will obviously be a huge factor in the future of DeltaGold and ARN, Tan acknowledged.

But in many ways, the gamble he has taken is already paying off.

That chance discovery in South America years ago is bearing fruit in many ways, and this venture has tremendous potential to blossom into a business with national and international reach.

Indeed, by taking that road less traveled, Tan and ARN have embarked on an intriguing and potentially lucrative entrepreneurial path.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Health Care Sections
The Obesity Epidemic Broadens the Role of Today’s Pharmacists

Melissa Mattison

Melissa Mattison, clinical assistant professor at the Western New England University College of Pharmacy.

In June, the American Medical Assoc. (AMA) made official what all those in healthcare already knew and understood — that obesity wasn’t simply a problem, but a disease, and one that reached epidemic proportions in this country.
The motivation behind the declaration was to advance treatment and prevention of obesity, one of the leading causes of diabetes, said Ardis Dee Haven, president of the AMA, in remarks made in June. “This issues a call for a paradigm shift in the way the medical community tackles this complicated issue so that we can reduce the number of Americans suffering from the effects of heart disease, diabetes, disability, and other potentially life-changing health conditions.”
And perhaps nowhere is this shift being seen and felt more than in the realm of pharmacology, said Melissa Mattison, clinical assistant professor at the Western New England University College of Pharmacy, who also spent 18 years as a pharmacist at Walgreens.
Indeed, the emergence of obesity as a major issue in healthcare — and the many health problems it leads to — has been a huge factor in an ongoing evolution in the role pharmacists play, she told BusinessWest.
“Diabetes is definitely an epidemic,” she explained. “As clinicians, we need to educate patients that obesity, which can lead to diabetes, is a preventable disease and that there are many lifestyle modifications that a patient can embrace.”
Elaborating, she said that obesity and the problems that stem from it have impacted myriad aspects of pharmacology — from the products sold and medications dispensed to how diabetes-related items are displayed in the store.
But perhaps the biggest change has come in the relationship between the patient and the pharmacist, she went on. While there has always been an educational component to this profession — it’s never been about simply putting pills in bottles — that aspect of the job description has become far more prominent in recent years.
And obesity and its correlation to diabetes and other health problems is a big reason why.
“The doctor may see the diabetes patient once a month or once every three months, but the pharmacist sees that patient almost every week,” said Mattison, noting that such patients generally take 10 to 12 medications. “And if you see me that many times a week, we start to form a close relationship.”
Skip Matthews agreed. He’s president of the independent and locally owned Lewis & Clark Drug and Medical Supply. He’s not a pharmacist, but manages his family’s 48-year-old business, which includes two pharamacies and two medical-equipment stores in the Springfield area.
“We’ve always seen patients with diabetes, but the demand has really grown,” he explained, adding that this surge in volume affects a host of decisions he makes regarding his stores.
“Our pharmacies are geared toward those with multiple conditions, maybe a little more than a chain pharmacy,” he continued. “And we’ll see diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, and anything to do with the heart — and every one of those issues is directly or indirectly related to obesity.”
For this issue, BusinessWest talked with area experts about how what has become the nation’s most pressing health problem has in many ways changed the job description for pharmacists and made them more prominent players in the delivery of healthcare.

It’s Weighing on Them
When it comes to obesity, diabetes, and the collective impact on the role pharmacists play, the numbers tell the story — or a big part of it, anyway.
The most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 23 million Americans, or close to 8% of the population, have diabetes, and more than one-third of the adults in this country (35.7%) are clinically obese. These numbers have doubled in just the past two decades, and current projections show that the number of people with diabetes in the U.S. will rise to 48 million by 2050.
And this dangerous trend is quite visible in Western Mass. and especially its largest city. According to the Mass. Behaviorial Risk Factor Surveillance System, Springfield has the highest percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the Commonwealth (13.1%) and the highest percentage of adults being told they have pre-diabetes (10.2%).
The impact of all this on pharmacies is made clear by statistics compiled by the Pharmacy Times which show that, while the average consumer spends $300 annually on retail pharmacy purchases, a consumer diagnosed with diabetes will spend $2,500 on average each year in medication, insulin, blood-glucose-monitoring products, and other over-the-counter supplies.
These alarming statistics help explain everything from the rising numbers of health screenings in pharmacies (especially the larger chains) to the fact that many different types of medical equipment have been altered and recalibrated to reflect a much heavier America.
“It really sticks out on the medical-equipment side,” said Matthews, noting that the walkers, canes, hospital beds, bath-transfer seats and commodes that his stores sell, which once were ‘200-pound rated’ (to support patients up to that weight), now come rated at 250, 300, or 350 and higher for the morbidly obese. “The manufacturers have changed what they make, and we’ve had to change our product mix accordingly.”
But perhaps the biggest change that can be traced to those statistics has been the emergence of the pharmacist as educator and counselor, said Mattison.
Elaborating, she said that, in many respects, the pharmacist acts as a liaison between the patient and the primary-care physician.
“In pharmacy school, our focus is not just on the disease state and what the medications are used for,” she noted. “Now, the pharmacist has the responsibility, and the privilege, to spend time with the patient and say, ‘look, Mrs. Jones, we did your screening, and your body-mass index is in the obesity range; what do you know about that? Can I talk to you about that?’”
Matthews agreed.
“There is a greater recognition of the role of pharmacists, even by insurance companies and doctors, in just the past five years, and that wasn’t always the case,” he told BusinessWest. “That’s because the pharmacist brings a lot of value, due to his or her position in healthcare between the doctor and the patient.”

Dispensing Information

This larger, more prominent role takes many forms, said those we spoke with, who noted, for starters, that pharmacists are doing much more, historically speaking, to hold patients accountable for adhering to their medication and recommended lifestyle changes.
“Typically, diabetic patient-adherence rates are somewhere around 50%, so they don’t take their medication every day, and for numerous reasons,” Mattison told BusinessWest. “Adherence is a big push now with pharmacist intervention.”
There’s also that educational component, she went on, adding quickly that, while pharmacists have always welcomed and answered questions, they’re doing much more of that today.
“Now, they [pharmacists] are on the ground floor, and many of the new pharmacists are out on the floor with an iPad and helping customers,” she explained. “They are the first person that the patient sees [after a doctor’s visit], and they can be a continuing point of contact.”
This ongoing evolution in the pharmacist’s role brings with it both opportunities and challenges, said Matthews and Mattison.
In that first category, they place the prospects for growth that come with quality customer service, which takes on new meaning in the expanded role. In other words, pharmacies and individual pharmacists can stand out as a result of how well they accept — and carry out — their new responsibilities.
Mattison added that pharmacies have an advantage over other retail outlets in that they have the opportunity to sell the self-management items diabetic patients need, and also the experience and knowledge needed to offer positive medical support. For this reason, retail pharmacists may choose to place their diabetes-care display near the pharmacist’s counter, or place weight-control and nutritional foods, vitamins, and dietary supplements near the diabetes-care section. The marketing-savvy pharmacists will offer more and more product demonstrations, educational sessions, nutritional advice, blood-pressure screenings, coupons, and store sales.
As for challenges, perhaps the biggest stems from the fact that, in simple terms, pharmacists are not paid to dispense information and be that liaison between patient and physician, said Mattison, adding that doing so takes time, which in this business (or any other, for that matter) is money.
“The expanding role of the pharmacist now involves much more than counting pills,” she explained. “But the problem becomes, who’s going to pay for it, or make it reimbursable, and create a profitable model for the pharmacy?”
Another challenge, Mattison continued, stems from the fact that this broader, pharmacist-as-educator role requires a skill set that for many must be acquired.
And the university is responding accordingly, she said, adding that, in addition to a year-long class focused on the business skills needed for setting up and then operating a successful pharmacy, the school also includes a customer-service component within its healthcare communications class.
It teaches students how to talk compassionately with patients, adherence to a doctor’s plan, and how to navigate customers’ financial, socio-economic, and language issues.
One of the more hands-on aspects of healthcare communications is the process of physically putting the student in the patient’s position, she noted, by making them wear heavy gloves and macular-degeneration goggles that mimic deteriorating eyesight. They’re then asked to read a prescription or open a bottle of pills.
“And they find they can’t do it,” she went on. “So now this 22-year old student gets the perspective of a 78-year old patient, and it teaches them empathy.”

Counting on Them
Empathy is just one of many skills pharmacists now need to do their jobs effectively.
Indeed, where once being able to count was the most visible skill set, now, those in this profession must be able to listen, consult, and help lead their customers to healthier lifestyes.
The epidemic of obesity has much to do with this phenomenon, and all indications are that it will continue to be a large problem — in every sense of that phrase — for a long time to come.

Elizabeth Taras can be reached at [email protected]

Briefcase Departments

Colleges Form Partnership on Workforce Training
SPRINGFIELD — Businesses throughout Hampden and Hampshire counties can now access custom-designed workforce training through a partnership between Holyoke Community College (HCC) and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). TWO — Training & Workforce Options — is a joint endeavor that provides a single source for customized workforce development and training in the region. HCC President Bill Messner noted that the colleges have offered extensive workforce training and development for decades, but now there is one telephone number and easy Web access for this business resource. STCC President Ira Rubenzahl added that TWO will offer a wide range of training, from computer software and certification preparation to manufacturing; from management skills to ESL in the workplace. “Our goal is to make Western Mass. a more desirable place to grow your business,” said Rubenzahl. Messner added that “both colleges have a long-term track record; it makes sense for us to combine and offer greater efficiency.” Classes will be scheduled at the need and desire of the customer, whether immediately or at some preferred time in the future. TWO can also provide distance classes online if that’s more convenient for the individual employees, or provide an instructor at the business address. Debbie Bellucci, dean of the STCC School of Continuing Education and Distance Learning, noted that contract training can be designed based on an individual company’s specific needs and desired outcomes. For more information on TWO, call (413) 755-6100.

UMass Wins Grant to Host $7.5 Million Northeast Climate Science Center
AMHERST — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced that UMass Amherst has been chosen to lead a consortium of seven universities and host a major new endeavor, the Northeast Climate Science Center, through a five-year, $7.5 million grant. It will support federal, state, and other agencies by studying the effects of climate change on ecosystems, wildlife, water, and other resources in the region. UMass Amherst and partner institutions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, and Massachusetts will together receive $1.5 million core funding each year for five years, with more project-specific funds available. The Northeast CSC is one of eight established by the Interior Department since Salazar founded the program in 2009. The region includes New England and states west to Minnesota and south to Maryland. “Selecting the locations for the final three of our eight climate science centers is a major milestone in our efforts to implement our department-wide climate-change strategy,” Salazar said. “The nationwide network of climate science centers will provide the scientific talent and commitment necessary for understanding how climate change and other landscape stressors will change the face of the U.S., and how the Department of the Interior, as our nation’s chief steward of natural and cultural resources, can prepare and respond.” Specific challenges could include climate impacts on water resources, agriculture and grazing, fish and wildlife responses to climate change, forest resilience, invasive species, protecting migratory fish and waterfowl, sea-level rise, coastal erosion, flood management, and water quality. Funded research is only one benefit of being named a CSC. The designation also positions the university for a future leadership role in regional and national climate research, according to Michael Malone, UMass Amherst vice chancellor for research and engagement. Principal investigator of the new CSC at UMass Amherst is Richard Palmer, head of Civil and Environmental Engineering, with co-principal investigators Raymond Bradley, distinguished university professor and director of the Climate System Research Center; Curt Griffin, professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and co-director of the Environmental Sciences Program; and Keith Nislow, wildlife and fish team leader of the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. Bradley noted there is a pressing need for information on how climate change will affect conditions at the local level, which requires studies using high-resolution climate models. “Most studies so far provide broad-scale assessments at the national level,” he said, “but resource managers need more detailed information that is relevant to their specific problems. One of our goals for the new center is to develop this capability.” Palmer said that, to win this major federal recognition, UMass Amherst and its partner institutions demonstrated that they offer unparalleled research strengths and established multi-disciplinary collaborations spanning the Northeast region needed to carry out research on specific regional climate-change effects. Graduate students from many UMass Amherst departments and undergraduates in the Commonwealth Honors College will be involved in the Northeast CSC, including a possible exchange program with other regional centers. In addition to UMass Amherst, other Northeast CSC members are the University of Wisconsin Madison, the University of Missouri Columbia, the University of Minnesota, the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wis., the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass., and Columbia University in New York City. According to the Department of the Interior, the eight regional climate science centers extend from a hub at the National Climate Change and Wildlife Center at the U.S. Geological Survey national headquarters. In addition to Interior Department bureaus such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service, other federal cooperating agencies taking part in the CSC program are the U.S. Forest Service and NOAA. State, tribal, landowner, and non-governmental organization interests also will be engaged in identifying science priorities for the CSCs. Other climate science centers are located in Alaska, the Pacific Islands, and the Northwest, Southwest, North Central, South Central, and Southeast regions of the U.S.

UMass Amherst Cops $3M Grant for Science, Math Teacher Development
AMHERST — The School of Education at the UMass Amherst has received a six-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a network that helps train and retain science and mathematics teachers for middle and high schools in Western Mass. The project addresses the critical need for middle- and high-school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers through collaboration between UMass Amherst educators — and researchers from the School of Education and the colleges of Natural Sciences and Engineering — and mathematics and science administrators from regional school districts. The participating schools include the Springfield, Holyoke, and Greenfield public schools and the Mahar Regional School District in Orange. The Amherst-based Hitchcock Center for the Environment, a nonprofit organization focused on the professional development of teachers and the education of young people in the sciences, is a key partner in this project. The program is designed to encourage talented students and professionals to pursue teaching careers and develop long-term commitments to teaching students in high-needs secondary schools. This grant was accompanied by $1.5 million in matching contributions from the university and project partners. UMass Amherst faculty involved in the grant are Kathleen Davis, Sandra Madden, and Barbara Madeloni, all of the School of Education’s department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies; Stephen Schneider, head of the department of Astronomy in the College of Natural Sciences; and Paula Sturdevant Rees, from the Water Resources Research Center and the College of Engineering. The six-year project supports an engaged community of 20 master teacher fellows — teachers with master’s degrees and demonstrated excellence in teaching currently working in the partner districts — and 20 teaching fellows who are post-baccalaureate students and professionals holding STEM degrees who will earn a teaching credential and teach in a high-needs district. It provides these science and mathematics teachers with community support, licensure, graduate degrees and certificates, and salary supplements while they teach.

Massachusetts Public Higher Ed Enrollment Hits All-time High
BOSTON — The Mass. Department of Higher Education recently released data showing that the state’s public colleges and universities continue to experience substantial enrollment growth, hitting a 10-year record high in 2011. The 2011 Early Enrollment and Long-term Trend Comparisons, presented to the Mass. Board of Higher Education this morning, show a 23% increase in undergraduate enrollment at the state’s community colleges, state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses between fall, 2001 and fall, 2011. The report also shows that selected colleges and universities have witnessed dramatic fall-to-fall enrollment increases in the past year. Framingham State University’s enrollment increased 15%, while Worcester State University’s enrollment grew by 9%. These increases occurred despite a smaller pool of high school graduates across the state due to various demographic changes. “The data tell an important story, namely that our public colleges and universities continue to play a decidedly more important role in educating the future citizens and workforce of the Commonwealth,” said Richard M. Freeland, Commissioner of Higher Education for Massachusetts. “While the numbers are not as dramatic as in recent years, this new analysis shows that our enrollment growth remains consistent and our role in educating the state’s future citizenry and workforce continues to expand.” While the greatest growth in enrollment over the past few years has been at the community college level, this past year saw the highest enrollment increases in the state university segment. Framingham State University President Timothy Flanagan attributes the increase to the university’s own growth plan, accommodation of transfer students, and current economic realities. “Families are seeking value, which they define as high quality academic programs and world class faculty to prepare students for careers and further study,” said Flanagan.

School of Public Health Wins $2.5M Grant, National Recognition
AMHERST — Training to improve the nation’s public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial, and leadership competence of current and future public-health workers will soon be under way in Springfield, Holyoke, Pittsfield, and the Berkshires, supported by a four-year, $2.5 million grant to the School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) at UMass Amherst. Dean Marjorie Aelion, with lead faculty investigators Dan Gerber and Stuart Chipkin, recently announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services award to the SPHHS at UMass Amherst, which creates a Public Health Training Center on the campus. Similar awards were also given to Yale, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins universities. Through the center, training will be available to 30 current community health workers in Springfield, Holyoke, Pittsfield, and the Berkshires each year over the next four years. Concurrently, 30 UMass Amherst SPHHS undergraduate student interns will be placed in some of the communities to help administer new programs each year.