Commonwealth Health Tips to Prevent Type-2 Diabetes

Over 30 million Americans have Type-2 diabetes. If left untreated or unmanaged, the disease can damage all aspects of the cardiovascular system, cause blindness, heart disease, loss of limbs and other serious conditions.

While Type-2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in adults 45 and older with a family history of the disease or in those who are overweight or obese, the condition is now becoming more prevalent in children, teens and young adults. Fortunately, there are small lifestyle changes and habits that can help prevent this chronic condition in people of all ages while also improving overall health.

As the most common type of diabetes, Type-2 diabetes is when the body creates too much insulin or resists it, which causes blood sugar levels to rise.

“The reality is that there is no cure for Type-2 diabetes, so taking steps to prevent this disease is your best course of action,” says Neda Danniel, M.D., family medicine physician with Commonwealth Health Physician Network.  “Even small changes in lifestyle like taking a daily walk or drinking water instead of juice can help ward off a diagnosis and make a big impact on your health.” 

Dr. Danniel suggests four ways to prevent Type-2 diabetes.

  • Manage weight and belly fat: Excess weight in the abdomen and obesity are main causes of Type-2 diabetes. Experts recommend maintaining a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 and a waistline of less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men.

  • Exercise regularly: Daily exercise can help avoid heart disease, reduce stress and Type-2 diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, like walking or biking, and two strength workouts each week.

  • Move more: Additional movement beyond exercise can also help keep off weight. Consider taking the stairs rather than an elevator or standing during work meetings to add more movement into daily life.

  • Eat fresh food: Avoid overly processed foods like chips, candy and deli meats, and focus on foods rich in fiber and nutrients like fruits, vegetables and lean protein.

Unfortunately, Type-2 diabetes could take years to develop and symptoms are often hard to detect. If you experience extreme fatigue, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet or blurred vision, it is important to get tested.

To learn more about preventing Type-2 diabetes, or to schedule a wellness exam, visit

The Greater Scranton YMCA Offering Tips to Keep Kids Safe

The Greater Scranton YMCA wants to ensure that water safety doesn’t get lost in our community’s eagerness to jump into summer. As temperatures rise, kids want to cool off, whether that is in home pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans. And that means the risk of drowning is as prevalent as ever. For National Water Safety Month this May, the Greater Scranton YMCA is encouraging parents and caregivers to reinforce the importance of water safety skills with the whole family.
“As ‘America’s Swim Instructor,’ the Greater Scranton YMCA annually teaches more than 1,250 children valuable water safety and swimming skills,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “Now more than ever, it’s important to remind parents and caregivers that water safety needs to be top-of-mind as families start to return to their favorite summertime activities.”
As part of National Water Safety Month, the Greater Scranton YMCA is encouraging parents to play an active role in promoting water safety and providing five tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for all.

Make sure children know to always ask permission before going in or near the water. Teaching your children to be water smart is the first step in water safety – be sure they understand the importance of asking permission before going in or near the water.
Never swim alone or without a water watcher. When children are swimming, make sure they are actively supervised at all times. Teach your children that they should only swim in locations where a lifeguard is on duty, or where a responsible adult agrees to watch the children in the water without distractions.

Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water. Whether it’s bath time or taking a dip in a pool or waterfront, make sure your children are within arm’s reach at all times.
Don’t engage in breath holding activities. Children should not hold their breath for a prolonged amount of time while swimming, as this can be dangerous.
Wear a life jacket. Inexperienced or non-swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life

Don’t jump in the water to save a friend who is struggling in deep water. If a child finds
their friend in deep water unexpectedly, their natural reaction may be to jump in the water
to try to save them. Even if a child is a great swimmer, a panicked person will overpower
them, pulling the rescuer underwater. The Y’s Safety Around Water program teaches the
“reach, throw, don’t go” concept of using a long object to reach for them and pull them to
safety. By using this technique children can help their friend without compromising their
own safety.
To learn more about the Greater Scranton YMCA’s swim programs, please contact Leslie
Kopa, Aquatics Director, at (570) 828-3112 or

IRS National Tax Security Awareness Week

To wrap up National Tax Security Awareness Week, the Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners today urged businesses to remain vigilant against cyberattacks aimed at stealing their customer’s personal information and other business data.

The IRS continues to see instances where small businesses and others face a variety of identity-theft related schemes that try to obtain information that can be used to file fake business tax returns. For example, phishing schemes continue to target businesses as well as tax professionals and individual taxpayers.

“Just like individuals and tax professionals, businesses of all types need to be on the lookout for attempts to steal information and data,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O’Donnell. “Businesses are especially attractive to cyberthieves because there is a potential to steal a lot of data. They may use the information to file a business tax return or use customer data for identity theft.” 

The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax software and tax professional industries operate cooperatively as the Security Summit to highlight data security and fight identity theft. Today marks the final day of the seventh annual week dedicated to information security and helpful tips for individuals, businesses and tax professionals.

Cyber criminals target businesses of all sizes; knowing some cybersecurity basics and putting them in practice will help business owners protect their business and reduce the risk of a cyber-attack. Criminals can target a business’s credit card or payment information, business identity information or employee identity information.

Businesses are encouraged to follow best practices from the Federal Trade Commission, including:

  • Use multi-factor authentication.
  • Set security software to update automatically.
  • Back up important files.
  • Require strong passwords for all devices.
  • Encrypt devices.

More information is available at FTC’s Cybersecurity for Small Businesses.

Businesses should especially be alert to phishing email scams that attempt to trick employees into opening embedded links or attachments. IRS related scams may be sent to so the IRS can try to track, stop or disrupt scams.
To improve security, the IRS now masks sensitive information from business tax transcripts, which summarizes tax return information, to help prevent thieves from obtaining identifiable information that would allow them to file fake business tax returns. Only financial entries are fully visible. Other information has varying masking rules. For example, only the first four letters of each first and last name will display for individuals and businesses. Also, only the last four digits of the Employer Identification Number will be visible.

The IRS also has the Form 14039-B, Business Identity Theft Affidavit, that will allow companies to proactively report possible identity theft to the IRS when, for example, an e-filed tax return is rejected.

Businesses should file the Form 14039-B if it receives a:

  • Rejection notice for an electronically filed return because a return is already on file for that same period.
  • Notice about a tax return that the entity didn’t file.
  • Notice about Forms W-2 filed with the Social Security Administration that the entity didn’t file.
  • Notice of a balance due that is not owed.

This form will enable the IRS to respond to the business and work to resolve issues created by a fraudulent tax return. Businesses should not use the form if they experience a data breach but see no tax-related impact. For more information, see Identity Theft Central’s business section.

In addition to phishing and other scams, all employers should remain alert to Form W-2 theft schemes. For example, a thief may pose as a company executive who emails payroll employees and asks for a list of employees and their W-2s. Businesses often don’t know they’ve been scammed until an employee reports that a fraudulent tax return has been filed.

There’s a special reporting procedure for employers who experience the W-2 scam. It’s available in the Identity Theft Central’s business section on

Finally, Security Summit partners urge businesses to keep their EIN application information current. Changes of address or responsible party information may be reported using Form 8822-B. Changes in the responsible party must be reported to the IRS within 60 days. Current information can help the IRS find a point of contact to resolve identity theft and other issues.

For more details and to learn more about this year’s National Tax Security Awareness Week’s efforts, visit