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Issue Home March 11, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Food For Thought
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

FOREST CITY: A number of base ball enthusiasts met in the Family theatre to talk over the base ball prospects for this season. It was reported that the C.T.A.U. has organized a team to represent Forest City in the league of that name in the valley and as some of the young men in this club were relied on to play with the team being organized by S. L. Rothapfel, it was decided to ask the managers of the C.T.A.U. team to meet with the representatives of the Forest City club and talk matters over. It is desirable that the teams work in unity.

DUNDAFF: The inhabitants of the town were aroused last Wednesday at midnight by the ringing of the Methodist church bell. The two young men were very thoughtless in so doing as only in the case of fire and public meeting is the bell ever rung.

FRIENDSVILLE: On the morning of March 14, Rev. Father Dunne, assisted by his choir, will celebrate a high mass in the old St. Patrick’s church of Middletown. The service will be the last conducted in the building, as the old structure will be torn down shortly to give place to the fine new St. Patrick’s [church] soon to be erected.

LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: Maple syrup making is now in order. A good run of sap is reported. AND: A blizzard struck this neck of timber March 4th, and the first snow drifts of the season are visible.

HALLSTEAD: The ladies of the Methodist church are busily engaged in rehearsing and expect to produce an old-fashioned drama, entitled “Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Bee,” by home talent at the church on or about March 20, for the benefit of the church fund.

MONTROSE: Large crowds have attended the Nickelet which is being conducted in the Republican building by Jacob Steine. Last Saturday evening there were about 400 paid admissions and every evening during the week the attendance has been good and from the quality of the entertainment provided it is likely the interest will not abate. The illustrated songs prove an enjoyable feature with Russell Sprout, the well known tenor soloist, in the role of vocalist. The pictures, which were not entirely distinct the opening nights, have been improved to a considerable extent by increased knowledge of the handling of the machine and it is hoped to bring them near perfection by increasing the electric voltage. The program is changed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

OAKLAND VALLEY: Last Monday afternoon a fatal accident occurred in a stone quarry near Oakland Valley that resulted in the death of Walter Crumm, an employee. Between 3 and 4 in the afternoon Crumm and a fellow workman prepared a blast and immediately after the fuse was ignited and before the men had time to get out of the way, the explosion occurred. Crumm was struck in the face and chest by the flying rock and debris, receiving serious wounds from which he died that night, after being removed to his home. The other man escaped injury. The deceased was 35 years of age and leaves a wife and five small children.

LAWSVILLE: Last Saturday Fred L. Bailey, who owns a poultry farm and who drives to Binghamton nearly every week with the fruits thereof, hitched his team to his egg wagon and proceeded to make his customary trip to the Parlor City, while his friends and neighbors along the route laughed inwardly at the surprise they had in store for him and the partner of his joys and sorrows, the following Sunday being the 20th anniversary of their marriage. When nearly to Conklin he received a telephone message to return to his home. Sixty guests left some pleasant reminders of their visit in the shape of glass and china, a beautiful oil painting and a cash gift of $6.45. The day ended with vocal and instrumental music.

SHANNON HILL, Auburn Twp.: Jared Hyde and family moved from this place to Meshoppen this week. They have always lived in Auburn and for the past 28 years in this neighborhood on the old homestead where Mrs. Hyde was born. They were kind, obliging neighbors and will be missed.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: The Baptist Ladies’ Aid Society went to Mrs. I. W. Chamberlain’s at Harford, last week, to sew carpet rags. About 35 people attended and the proceeds were three dollars.

SOUTH MONTROSE: The old blacksmith shop on the Loren Allen property, at S. Montrose for half a century, has been torn down by the new owner of the place, John Struple.

GELATT: The farmers kept a hustling Friday and Saturday hauling logs, lumber and feed while the sleighing lasted.

HERRICK CENTER: The snow fall and drifts made great work last week, [wagon] teams out for the day had great times getting home. The school [wagon] teams were among the unfortunate, but by persistent effort they got home alright.

GREAT BEND: Mrs. Norman L. Roosa entertained the East Great Bend Thimble Club.

SUSQUEHANNA: Saturday the Bucknell University Five defeated the locals in a fast game of basket ball. The score, 23 to 25.

LAWTON, Rush Twp.: Wm. Brotzman had a lively runaway Monday. He had his team of two mules and one horse at the planing mill at Rushville, loading on a load of lumber. He drove up as far as Terry & Shadduck’s store. Leaving the team standing in the road he went in the store. The wind blowing a piece of paper in front of the team, away they went at a 2.10 gate. They ran as far as J. A. Haney’s where they were stopped by parties holding a plank across the road. None the worse for the run. Moral—tie your team.

NEWS BRIEFS: Many sugar bushes have been tapped and good runs of sap are reported. Warm days with north winds, following sharp, clear nights, are said by old sugar makers to be the best for sugar making, the sap running freest under these conditions. AND: Today is the 21st anniversary of the great blizzard of March 12, 1888, which out blizzarded all the other blizzards in memory, when New York city was practically cut off from the rest of the country for three days. In Susquehanna County it tied up the railroads and other roads for about a week. And about 65 years ago there was four feet of snow in April.

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

In 1994, Randy Hayes was convicted of battery for assaulting his wife in West Virginia. Hayes then divorced his wife – and found love again. Ten years later, the police were called to another domestic assault involving Hayes and his new girlfriend. During the course of investigating this new assault, the police discovered that Hayes had firearms in the residence. The police turned the firearms over to federal authorities, and Hayes was indicted for unlawfully possessing the firearms in violation of federal law. The federal authorities argued that the 1994 battery conviction made it unlawful for Hayes to possess firearms. If convicted of the federal offense, Hayes could serve up to 10 years in prison.

Under a 1996 law sponsored by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), any person convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” is barred from possessing a firearm. In particular, this Act indicated that for an offense to be a “misdemeanor crime of violence,” two criteria had to be met: (1) a person must be convicted of a crime which required proof of “the use of attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon;” and (2) the crime must be committed by a person who has a domestic relationship with the victim.

As noted earlier, Hayes had a misdemeanor battery conviction, which, under West Virginia law, only required proof that Hayes had unlawful physical contact with someone or intentionally caused physical injury to another person. In essence, the West Virginia statute was very broad – and involved any type of unwanted physical contact by a defendant toward a victim.

Hayes could not argue that he had been convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving the use or attempted use of force. Battery under West Virginia law clearly encompassed the unlawful use of force against another person. Hayes argued that his 1994 conviction was not a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” as it did not include as an element that required proof of a domestic relationship between the defendant and the victim. In other words, the generic battery statute was not designed to combat domestic violence – it simply prohibited all acts of physical violence regardless of the relationship between the parties. As such, it was a misdemeanor crime of violence, not a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

The government argued the statute only required a conviction for a misdemeanor assault and that the record could then be supplemented to demonstrate that the defendant and the victim had a domestic relationship when the assault occurred, i.e., there was no requirement that the domestic relationship be part of the statutory elements of the crime. On February 24, 2009, the United States Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, determined that there is no requirement that the underlying misdemeanor conviction include a specific element that the parties had a domestic relationship. Justice Ginsburg, writing for the majority, concluded that Congress clearly intended that domestic abusers be prohibited from possessing firearms – regardless of whether the underlying conviction was a generic statute not designed to combat domestic violence.

Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia were the sole dissenters. They criticized the majority for judicially correcting the perceived drafting errors that Congress made – and also creating a difficult situation for law enforcement. Rather than resting solely on the fact of the misdemeanor conviction that required proof of a domestic relationship, the Court had now opened up the door for every misdemeanor assault conviction as a bar to possession of a firearm. If law enforcement now runs a person’s criminal history and sees an assault conviction, the law enforcement officer will have to research the underlying facts of the conviction itself to determine if the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm, i.e., what was the defendant’s relationship with the victim. A criminal history is no longer enough to determine if a person’s possession of a firearm is lawful.

Over the past ten years that I have worked in this office, there have been many convictions for domestic disputes that have been resolved between the parties with a guilty plea to a misdemeanor offense at the magistrate level and the payment of a fine. Generally, the parties have reconciled, for good or ill, and the victim no longer wishes to pursue criminal charges. Now, as a result of the Supreme Court decision, those defendants are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law. I suspect that the same thing applies to the other counties throughout the Commonwealth, and throughout the nation as a whole. If you have such a misdemeanor conviction that arose out of domestic dispute, and you possess firearms, you should contact an attorney immediately to review the matter to determine if you can lawfully possess a firearm.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I don’t get it. Is ozone a good thing or a bad thing?

Ozone, a gas, is a form of oxygen. It is created when an electric spark or ultraviolet light passes through air, or when pollutants react chemically with sunlight.

Beneficial ozone is in the upper atmosphere, 10 to 30 miles above the surface of the Earth. It protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Too much of these rays may increase the risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and problems with our immune systems. Part of the good ozone layer has been destroyed by man-made chemicals.

Detrimental ozone is at ground level and is the main component of smog. This bad ozone is horrible for your respiratory system. Ozone may aggravate chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis, and reduce the immune system's ability to fight off bacterial infections in the respiratory system.

Seniors and children are especially vulnerable to ozone pollution. Those with asthma and nasal inflammations seem to be more sensitive to pollutants.

Active children are at highest risk from ozone exposure, because they spend a lot of time playing outdoors. Obviously, adults who work and play outdoors are at higher risk than indoor types.

Ozone can make you cough, suffer from throat irritation, and experience an uncomfortable sensation in your chest. This gas can also make it more difficult to breathe deeply.

People who experience high ozone levels may discover that their initial symptoms disappear after a while. However, ozone continues to cause lung damage even when there are no symptoms.

Studies done in the U.S. reported that ozone with concentrated ambient fine particles cause a significant increase in blood pressure. The studies also found that increased levels of ambient sulfate and ozone may increase the risk of heart arrhythmia in older people.

Seniors with respiratory problems should check the news and highway signs for reports of high ozone levels.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) reports levels of ozone and other common pollutants in the air. The higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern.

An AQI value of 0 to 50 is “Good.” This range has no cautionary statement.

An AQI value of 51 to 100 is “Moderate.” The cautionary statement is: “Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.”

An AQI value of 101 to 150 is “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.” The statement is: “Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.”

An AQI value of 151 to 200 is “Unhealthy.” The statement is: “Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.”

An AQI value of 201 to 300 is “Very Unhealthy.” The statement is: “Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.”

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Our children are our future. The Susquehanna County Library is investing in our future. Throughout the year, various programs geared for children are conducted at the main library in Montrose and at the various branches. These programs range from baby lapsits for children under 2, toddler time programs, or story time for pre-schoolers. You can check out the specific programs available at each of your local library branches or by going online to

For some children, nothing is more intimidating than entering school for the first time. The Susquehanna County Library system can help you in easing that transition. Your children will find friendly faces and new experiences waiting for them at the public library.

The Library also sponsors various programs geared for school age children, including the just recently completed 13th Write and Illustrate Your Own Book Contest. The winners of this contest will have their books professionally bound and added to the Library’s book collection. Summer reading programs are also available.

These are some of the programs available to benefit your children at your local library. The Library continues to invest in your children’s future. However, what can you do for us? Many of the major sources of revenue for libraries are being cut back. The Library is at the mid-point of its 2009 fund drive and needs your help. If you have not yet contributed, please consider doing so. Remember, the Susquehanna County Library is your resource for lifetime learning.

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Fleas: control and prevention

Once they have established themselves in a household, the control and elimination of fleas can be very problematic. Prevention is the key to having a flea-free home. There are many home remedies touted as successful flea repellents. These include the oral ingestion of garlic, brewer’s yeast and B-complex vitamins. While many pet owners claim success in their use, there is limited scientific evidence to endorse their overall effectiveness. In fact, some research has indicated that garlic can be detrimental to a pet’s health, especially if they are diabetic. Although their primarily protein diets mask it, dogs and cats can be diabetic. Garlic aggravates insulin problems and can cause death of the beloved pet. Garlic has also been attributed to anemia in cats and dogs. Despite these concerns, there are many pet owners who swear by their home remedies. The biggest caution here is that any detrimental effects of such use are long term and may not be immediately noticeable.

The use of products that quickly kill the adults are very effective in controlling flea populations. Spot-on pesticides are applied to one or more spots on the animal’s back. These products control adult fleas effectively because the natural oils on the fur help transfer the pesticide to all parts of the pet’s body. Imidacloprid found in Advantage™ or fipronil in Frontline™ are spot-on pesticides that have a low toxicity to mammals and pose minimum risk to pets and their owners. Applied monthly, they provide extended protection from fleas. Frontline Plus™ also kills ticks for up to a month from the time of application. These products are liquids which are spot applied onto the skin of the animal’s neck, where they cannot be licked by the pet. Both products are available from veterinarians or online. My personal experience with these products has been very positive for two dogs and a cat that have considerable outside exposure. They have all remained flea free when treated on a timely basis.

Periodic bathing with a flea shampoo can remove or drown many fleas. Those fleas managing to “hang on” and survive the bath will dry out and die because the shampoo has removed the integumental waxes that act as a moisture barrier. A follow-up grooming with a flea comb is helpful in the further removal of adult fleas. Flea collars were once popular and are probably somewhat effective on smaller pets like cats, but cannot be strong enough to protect a large dog from flea invasions. There are even natural, herbal impregnated collars, such as Petguard™, available online.

Frequent vacuuming will help to reduce, but not eliminate, fleas that have invaded a home. It is best to use a vacuum with disposal dust bags. The adults and eggs can be successfully vacuumed, but the larvae can cling to carpet fibers and will not be removed. The bags need to be removed immediately after use, sealed with tape and promptly disposed of in a plastic garbage bag. Otherwise, the trapped fleas will escape and reinvade the home. Application of pyrethrin based flea powder, boric acid, and diatomaceous earth on bedding and carpets frequented by infected pets can help reduce, but will not eliminate flea problems.

Insect growth regulators, or IGRs, are a newer, safer form of insecticide. Considered a saver preventative treatment for fleas, they work by disrupting the normal development of flea eggs and larvae. Adult fleas exposed to IGRs are unable to reproduce because their eggs fail to hatch. The larvae die before they complete their development. Most IGRs kill only eggs and larvae. Because they do not quickly eliminate the adult fleas, IGRs are usually mixed with a mild insecticide. Program™ is an example of an IGR flea control product. It doesn’t actually kill fleas, but it prevents them from producing viable eggs. Another IGR control is Revolution™. This is a spot medicine that can be washed off after several hours. It is also effective in controlling heartworm. Sentinel™ is also an IGR flea medication that treats heartworm.

Laboratory tests of ultrasonic repellent devices have indicated that they have negligible effect on fleas.

Successful flea control includes proper cleanup of the pet and its environment. Once an infestation has occurred, it will take time and diligence to eliminate it. Even though cold weather will substantially reduce flea problems, the fleas will survive and return with a vengeance in the spring. Although the use of chemical pesticides is something that should be done with caution, the mental and physical well-being of your pet, as well as yourself, are more than enough to offset its minimal risk.

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters are welcome. Please email them to

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Food For Thought
By Lauretta L. Clowes DC

No Food For Thought This Week

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that some baby bottles contain chemicals that can cause health problems for babies? If so, how can I find alternatives that are safer?

Amy Gorman, Berkeley, CA

No links connecting specific human illnesses to chemicals oozing out of baby bottles have been proven definitively. Nonetheless, many parents are heeding the call of scientists to switch to products with less risk. A 2008 report by American and Canadian environmental researchers entitled “Baby’s Toxic Bottle” found that plastic polycarbonate baby bottles leach dangerous levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that mimics natural hormones and can send bodily processes into disarray, when heated.

All six of the leading brands of baby bottles tested – Avent, Disney/The First Years, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex – leaked what researchers considered dangerous amounts of BPA. The report calls on major retailers selling these bottles – including Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, CVS, Target, Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart – to switch to safer products.

According to the report, BPA is a “developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant that mimics estrogen and can interfere with healthy growth and body function.” Researchers cite numerous animal studies demonstrating that the chemical can damage reproductive, neurological and immune systems during critical stages of development. It has also been linked to breast cancer and to the early onset of puberty.

So what’s a concerned parent to do? Glass bottles are a tried-and-true chemical-free solution, and they are widely available, though very breakable. To the rescue are several companies making BPA-free plastic bottles (out of either PES/polyamide or polypropylene instead of polycarbonate). Some of the leaders are BornFree, thinkbaby, Green to Grow, Nuby, Momo Baby, Mother’s Milkmate and Medela’s. These brands are available at natural food stores, directly from manufacturers, or from online vendors.

Most of the major brands selling BPA-containing bottles are now also offering or planning to offer BPA-free versions of their products. Consumers should read labels and packaging carefully to make sure that any product they are considering buying says unequivocally that it does not contain the chemical.

Unfortunately, switching to a BPA-free bottle is no guarantee the chemical won’t make its way into your baby’s bloodstream anyway. BPA is one of the 50 most-produced chemicals in the world. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is used in everything from plastic water jugs labeled #7 to plastic take-out containers, baby bottles and canned food liners. It is so omnipresent that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has found that 95 percent of Americans have the chemical in their urine.

Also, nursing mothers – especially those who haven’t discarded their old BPA-containing Nalgene water bottles – may be passing the chemical along through their breast milk. And if that weren’t enough, BPA is also used in the lining of many metal liquid baby formula cans. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has posted email links to the consumer affairs offices of the major formula manufacturers so concerned parents can ask them to remove BPA from their product offerings and packaging.

CONTACTS: Baby’s Toxic Bottle Report,; NRDC,; CDC,; EWG,

Dear EarthTalk: How much “old growth” forest is left in the United States and is it all protected from logging at this point?         

John Foye, via e-mail

As crazy as it sounds, no one really knows how much old growth is left in America’s forested regions, mainly because various agencies and scientists have different ideas about how to define the term. Generally speaking, “old growth” refers to forests containing trees often hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years old. But even when there is agreement on a specific definition, differences in the methods used to inventory remaining stands of old growth forest can produce major discrepancies. Or so complains the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry (NCSSF) in its recent report, “Beyond Old Growth: Older Forests in a Changing World.”

In 1991, for example, the U.S. Forest Service and the nonprofit Wilderness Society each released its own inventory of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. They both used the Forest Service’s definition based on the number, age and density of large trees per acre, the characteristics of the forest canopy, the number of dead standing trees and fallen logs and other criteria. However, because each agency used different remote sensing techniques to glean data, the Forest Service came up with 4.3 million acres of old-growth and the Wilderness Society found only two million acres.

The NCSSF also studied the data, and they concluded that 3.5 million acres (or six percent) of the region’s 56.8 million acres of forest qualified as old growth – that is, largely trees over 30 inches in diameter with complex forest canopies. By broadening the definition to include older forest with medium-diameter trees and both simple and complex canopies, NCSSF said their figure would go up substantially.

In other parts of the country, less than one percent of Northeast forest is old growth, though mature forests that will become old growth in a few decades are more abundant. The Southeast has even less acreage – a 1993 inventory found about 425 old growth sites across the region, equaling only a half a percent of total forest area. The Southwest has only a few scattered pockets of old-growth (mostly Ponderosa Pine), but for the most part is not known for its age-old trees. Old-growth is even scarcer in the Great Lakes.

It is hard to say whether the remaining pockets of scattered old-growth in areas besides the Pacific Northwest will remain protected, but environmentalists are working hard to save what they can in northern California, Oregon and Washington. The outgoing Bush administration recently announced plans to increase logging across Oregon’s remaining old-growth reserves by some 700 percent, in effect overturning the landmark Northwest Forest Plan of 1994 that set aside most of the region’s remaining old growth as habitat for the endangered spotted owl.

Protecting remaining old-growth is important for many reasons. “These areas provide some of the cleanest drinking water in the world, critical salmon and wildlife habitat, world-class recreational opportunities and critical carbon storage in our fight against global warming,” says Jonathan Jelen of the nonprofit Oregon Wild, adding that as much as 20 percent of the emissions related to global warming can be attributed to deforestation and poor forest management. “A growing body of evidence is showing the critical role that forests – and old-growth forests in particular – can play in mitigating climate change.”

CONTACTS: NCSSF,; Oregon Wild,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: or e-mail: Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoski

National Patient Safety Week March 8 – 14

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Patient Safety Week, March 8 through 14.

Each year, thousands of careless mistakes are made by doctors and patients alike, that jeopardize a patient’s health. These mistakes are usually because of a miscommunication from the patient and healthcare facility.

According to the National Patient Safety Awareness Foundation, there are many simple things that you, as a patient can do to help improve your healthcare, and avoid careless mistakes. One idea is to write down and carry with you a list of all the prescriptions and over the counter medications that you are currently taking. Another idea is to list any allergies. Making sure that your doctor knows these simple things can avoid any negative reactions to drugs that are prescribed to you.

Most human errors in the hospital occur at night, the time at which many doctors and surgeons are tired and groggy. As patients, though, we must remember that doctors are people as well, and do get tired when night falls. At the same time, we can help prevent these errors by making it easier on our health care provider, to cure the ailments we possess. Some ideas are to write down questions for your doctor before your visit, and to make sure your doctor knows about all the medications you take. This includes prescriptions, medications you bought at a store, and things like vitamins and herbs. Most doctors won’t remember what medications you are currently taking until they read your chart, but it helps if you remind them. If you have a question about a test result, ask. And if you aren’t sure of the results, you can ask for a second test if your insurance will cover it. Most doctors don’t mind when their patients ask questions. In fact, many believe that it makes their job easier, because it helps prevent any accidental injuries or negative reactions from prescribed treatments.

When visiting your doctor, remember to inform them of your medications and do not be afraid to ask questions. If you are given a new prescription, make sure you know what it is for and what the side effects may be. Barnes Kasson Hospital would like to remind you that your health is important to us, and that it’s okay to be inquisitive.

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