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Health notes

Drug Take Back Day set for next Saturday

The fifth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is next Saturday, when many drugstores, police departments and other locations will accept unwanted or unused prescription drugs.

“We want people to stop flushing them down the toilet or the drain,” said Helen Domske, coastal education specialist with New York Sea Grant. The organization is encouraging participation as a way to keep unwanted and unused medicines, including veterinary drugs, out of the Great Lakes. She has authored a fact sheet available at

To find a collection site near you, visit and click on “Got Drugs?”

Attention drawn to prosthodontics

Regional, Erie County and leading dentists from the University at Buffalo Dental School gathered April 12 at Buffalo City Hall as Mayor Byron W. Brown helped proclaim National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, which ran April 7-13.

Prosthodontic dental changes help restore dental health but also improve the lives of patients by enhancing a their ability to chew, smile and speak with renewed confidence, said Dr. Marshall Fagin, an East Amherst prosthodontist and associate clinical professor at UB Dental School who helped organize the recent gathering.

We’re the wealthiest, but not the healthiest

Wealthiest it may be, but healthiest it is not. The U.S. population experiences poorer health at all stages of life than the populations of 16 other rich countries.

The U.S. trails its richer “peer” countries in almost all other measures of health and longevity, says a recent U.S. National Research Council.

Steve Woolf, of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, chaired the report panel.

Woolf and his colleagues said the problem has less to do with faults in the U.S. health system, and more to do with behaviors that put U.S. citizens at risk. “They consume the most calories per person, have higher rates of drug abuse, are less likely to use seat belts, and are more likely to use firearms in acts of violence,” Woolf said.

Assessing health in Niagara County

Niagara County recently began a new Community Health Assessment (CHA) to understand strengths and needs when it comes to health and wellness.

Along with all other counties in the state, the county is working to understand how to best serve its citizens and improve health care.

During the next few months, the county Health Department will work closely with local hospitals and community partners to identify key priority areas and create plans to help improve health. Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton asks county residents to consider taking a few minutes to fill out a confidential 2013 health assessment survey that can be found at

– Staff and wire services

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