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Cornell Offerings
COVID-19 & Vaccine Webinar: The Latest Information
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
12:00-1:00 pm

Presented by Dr. Wayne Teris, Chief Medical Officer at Care Compass Network, Binghamton, NY
Dr. Teris will share the latest updates about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution in New York State. Following his presentation, Dr. Teris will address participant questions about COVID-19, preventing the spread, and staying healthy.
Wayne Teris, MD, CPE, FAAFP is currently Chief Medical Officer at Care Compass Network (CCN) in Binghamton, NY. Dr. Teris earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Graduate Certificate in biomedical informatics from Oregon Health and Sciences University. He completed his family medicine residency at The Washington Hospital, is board certified in family medicine, has been named as a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and is a Certified Physician Executive. He was an Emergency Physician at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital in Virginia, before moving to Binghamton and working with Associates in Medicine and UHS Medical Group as a Family Physician for the next 27 years.
The Care Compass Network was established in 2015 to support partner organizations in the development or expansion of programs that support the transformation of healthcare delivery, and improve outcomes and the overall experience for Medicaid members within our 9-county region. Board members of the network include representatives from the Cayuga Medical Center and Tompkins County Health Department.
Information in this program is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is intended to be patient education and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider, or contact your physician, before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.
Sponsored by Work/Life in Human Resources at Cornell University
Questions? Email
Meet Your Health and Fitness Goals with Cornell Wellness
The Cornell Wellness program has quickly adapted to the virtual world and continues to offer quality services that the program is known for. From fitness classes to cooking demonstrations, you can find a plethora of resources to increase your wellbeing as well as personalized nutrition and fitness counseling.

Cornellians that purchase an annual Wellness Recreation membership may also utilize the Healthy Living Program. Ideal for retirees, the program focuses on individuals 40+ or those who may have physical limitations. A new class schedule was released this year and includes two pilot classes -- Yogalates and Total Toning.

Check out some of their more recent videos:

For more information on Cornell Wellness, please visit their web page.
Off-Campus/On-Screen: Cornell Life in the Time of COVID-19
Sunday, January 24, 2021, at 2:00 pm

Off-Campus/On-Screen: Cornell Life in the Time of COVID-19 is a collage of student-initiated short films, created in collaboration with faculty and production staff in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University.
The nine shorts open windows onto the tumultuous lives of students scattered across the globe—from Ithaca to Iowa City, and Beijing to Novosibirsk—as they struggle with economic hardship, social distancing, depression, and political upheaval catalyzed by the pandemic. 
This project is funded in part by the Cornell Council for the Arts.
Reserve your free ticket at A link will be emailed to you prior to showtime. If you do not receive this email in your inbox, please be sure to check your spam/junk folder.
Soup & Hope Goes Virtual
Thursday, February 4, 2021, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

For more than a decade, dozens of Soup & Hope speakers have touched, inspired, motivated, and stirred the hearts of those who gather during the winter months at Sage Chapel. Stories come from a wide range of Cornell staff, faculty, students, alumni, and community members. They reflect diverse personal, cultural, religious, political, and philosophical beliefs and experiences. Each story is shared among friends and colleagues, over bowls of hot soup and bread.

This season, Soup & Hope will continue virtually on Zoom.
  • 12:00 Heat up your soup and settle in
  • 12:15 Talks begin
  • 12:45 Optional community connection via Zoom 

Talks are open to Cornell staff, faculty, students, and community members. We invite you to heat up your favorite soup and join us from the comfort of your home or office. 
Cornell Cinema Resumes Programming
Cornell Cinema resumes its virtual cinema program this semester with screenings beginning on Friday, February 5. As was the case in the fall, most films are offered at no charge, but reservations are required as there are limits to the number of views available. Reservations typically open one week in advance of a film’s first playdate. The best way to stay on top of the schedule is to sign-up for Cornell Cinema’s weekly e-newsletter (on their homepage), which comes out on Fridays. 
Upcoming highlights include a travel and culture series, subtitled Wish You Were Here, that will offer a virtual trip around the world, with stops in some of the planet's most beautiful and iconic locations.

The series begins with a new documentary about Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, whose early work was inspired by trips to the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and the Tuscany and Ramini regions of Italy, all of which are depicted in-home movie footage within the film. M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity, which focuses on the mathematical dimensions and widespread appeal of Escher's work will be offered from February 12 – 15th.
Estate Planning Practicum with Cornell Law School
This course will assist those who do not have access to an estate planning attorney. It will provide clients with a basic estate plan that includes a last will and testament, a living will, a health care proxy, and a power of attorney -- all tailored according to the client’s wishes. Law students will prepare and finalize these documents under the supervision of attorneys who specialize in trusts and estates.
Clients must meet income eligibility guidelines as this service is free of charge. The income limits are as follows:    
  • Single - less than $25k annually
  • Family - less than $50k annually

Clients should be aware that this service requires at least two meetings with students which may be conducted remotely, such as by Zoom, as appropriate. In addition, once chosen to participate, clients will be expected to commit to follow through with appointments, giving at least 24-hour notice if they will miss an appointment.
Availability is limited. If you are interested and meet the income guidelines, please email, and put "Estate Planning" in the subject line. You will be placed on a list of potential clients. Please include your full name, contact information including email address and telephone number(s), and a brief description of your planning needs (examples are: “I have children to whom I want to leave my property” or “I am caring for a disabled sibling who will need to be provided for”). Notification of client selection will begin in February of 2021.
Local and Virtual Offerings
More than Survival: Thriving Through Challenges with Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, & Post-Traumatic Growth
Thursday, January 28, 2021, from noon to 1:00 pm on Zoom

Dr. Carla Cheatham will kick off the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute’s free, virtual series on Stress Resilience in the Pandemic with a presentation on how we not only survive but actually thrive in challenging times. 

The circumstances of our lives and work can already be stressful, but current events offer even more potentially traumatic events that could invite compassion fatigue, moral distress, and secondary/vicarious trauma. Dr. Cheatham will discuss what the fields of resilience, emotional intelligence, and post-traumatic growth have to teach us about what we CAN do to support ourselves and others, regardless of what is happening in the world around us. 

Dr. Carla Cheatham is a national keynote speaker and consultant focusing on emotionally intelligent and resilient professionals and organizations. She has published books and videos about resilience, communication, boundaries, grief, healthy leadership, service recovery, and emotionally competent professionals.

Please contact Lisa Richards with any questions.
Winter Social Distance BioBlitz
Help Cayuga Nature Center count the highest possible number of species of plants and animals in the Cayuga Lake basin from 10:00 am Saturday, January 30, 2021, to 10:00 am Sunday, January 31st.

Join from wherever you are and contribute to the understanding of seasonal change in the biosphere of Tompkins and surrounding counties. All nature observers can assist by photographing plants and animals in their neighborhood using the iNaturalist app.

iNaturalist is a crowd-sourced online application, so if you don’t know what your species is - no worries - someone else will! With your help, Cayuga Nature Center hopes to produce a snapshot of the seasonal variation from our surrounding hilltops down to the shores of Cayuga Lake. If you make observations in our region using iNaturalist during the 24-hour period, your observations will automatically be added to this BioBlitz. All ages, all experience, all locations are welcome.

New to iNaturalist? Check out some tutorials.
Combating Social Isolation in the Aging Population
With Becky Preve, Executive Director for the Association of Aging in New York
Friday, February 5, 2021, 12:30 to 1:15 pm
Social isolation and loneliness are known risk factors for poor outcomes to aging. Research links these factors to a variety of health and mental health conditions, including, but not limited to depression, heart disease, cognitive decline, and impaired immune systems. Unfortunately, the need for social distance because of the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing to the increase in older adults experiencing isolation.
Becky Preve, Executive Director for the Association of Aging in New York, will discuss strategies to address this critical public health issue, particularly during the pandemic. She will share information about a pilot program in upstate NY that evaluated the use of robotic pets in community settings. These interactive companions, designed to enhance the quality of life for older adults coping with cognitive decline and dementia, have been the focus of research studies nationwide.  
Local Resources
Area Food Resources
A system is currently in place to help provide immediate food assistance to community members in quarantine. People required to quarantine/isolate who are in need of food can contact 211 to get set up with food delivery. 

Those not in quarantine but needing food assistance can use these resources:
  • The Cornell Food Pantry remains open for staff, faculty, and students. Located at 109 McGraw Place, the winter hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00 -7:00 pm & Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 am-1:00 pm. Enroll here.

  • Mutual Aid Tompkins— Neighbors Supporting Neighbors: Neighbors concerned about our communities are helping to make sure those most vulnerable and affected by COVID-19 get the help they need. Resources include Food Cabinets with non-perishable food located throughout the county. For more info, contact

  • Healthy Food For All & Nourish Tompkins: Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County's Healthy Food For All has been providing hundreds of low-income households every year with reliable and dignified access to locally grown fruits and vegetables via Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, coupled with nutrition and culinary education. During the pandemic, Nourish Tompkins was initiated with hunger relief partners to expand the services to provide over 10,500 pounds of local produce and 2,000 healthy meals to thousands of food-insecure community members. For more info, contact Liz Karabinakis, Director, at 607-272-2292 x 242

  • Tompkins County COVID-19 Food Task Force: Coordinates the efforts of over 70 entities involved in the hunger relief equation. For more info, contact Holly Payne, Task Force Coordinator.
Minor Home Repair Program
Ithaca Neighborhood Housing (INHS) has funds available to help homeowners in Tompkins County, including the City of Ithaca, make minor repairs to their homes. INHS provides professional quality, timely repairs to help seniors aged 60 years or older, individuals with disabilities of any age, and single heads of household with dependents to maintain their homes. Labor and materials are free.

Typical repairs include fixing or replacing deteriorated steps, improving lighting, alleviating trip hazards, adding handrails and grab bars, fixing leaky faucets, replacing broken windows, and installing wheelchair ramps. Repairs related to health and safety are given top priority.
If interested, please contact Josh Leach or visit
Free Tax Prep with Lifelong
Lifelong is committed to providing this valuable service to our community. However, to keep everyone safe, we have to do things differently this year. 

IRS Federal and NYS tax returns will be prepared virtually this year from late January until mid-April 2021 by Lifelong TCE volunteers, trained and certified by the IRS.

Who is qualified for our assistance?
  • All Seniors age 60+ (with spouses of any age),
  • All Individuals with disabilities, and
  • All Individuals with incomes below $35,000 and
  • All Families with incomes below $57,000

Note that some complex returns may not qualify.

Taxpayers will participate in a very brief face-to-face intake appointment to deliver their tax documents and required forms. Returns will be separately completed by volunteer preparers. After completion, taxpayers will return to sign and file their returns.

To schedule an intake appointment to begin your return,
call 607-279-6617, Monday thru Friday between 10 and 4:00. For more information, please visit the Lifelong web page.
Library Offers Books by Mail Service for Foodnet Meals on Wheels Recipients
Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL), in partnership with Foodnet and through a generous grant from Cornell University, provides books and audiobooks to homebound Foodnet Meals on Wheels clients who are residents of Tompkins County and physically unable to visit the library. Foodnet Meals on Wheels delivery people carry applications for the Books by Mail service. Interested patrons can also print the application and mail it to:

TCPL Books by Mail Service
101 E. Green Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

Please call the reference desk at 607-272-4556 or visit the web page with any questions about this service. 
Retiree Spotlight: Correction
The middle name of author Jane Leclere Doyle was misspelled in our December 2020 Retiree Spotlight. You can find more information on Jane’s recently published novel on her website. 

Retiree Spotlight is dedicated to sharing retiree experiences within our community. To share your story, email 
Miscellaneous Articles & Resources
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