Howard County General Hospital will offer the following wellness classes in April. Classes will be held at the HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia unless otherwise listed. Register in advance online at http://www,hcgh.org. or call 410-740-7601.
•Starting a family. Learn the steps to the importance of parent wellness; health care matters and emotional, physical, environmental and social considerations from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 11.
•Essential in baby sitting. Learn the skills to become a responsible baby sitter including how to manage children, create a safe environment and apply basic emergency techniques from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 13. Cost $50. The program is offered to children ages 11 to 13.
•Smoke free lungs. Education and support from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 18.
•CPR course for the adult and child victim. Sponsored by the American Heart Association, the course will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, April 20. This is a not a certification course.
•Financial issues for new and prospective parents. A certified financial planner will discuss starting a family, including income and expenses from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 22.
•Shoulder pain. Dr. Umasuthan Srikumaran, orthopedic surgeon, will discuss common shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff and labrum tears from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 23.
•Happy baby. Learn successful techniques to soothe your crying baby and promote restful sleep for your infant, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 23. This course is for parents of babies up to 3 months old. $50 per couple.
•Choosing a pediatrician. Learn factors to consider and questions to ask when choosing your pediatrician as well as ways you can promote the health of your newborn, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 24.
Caregivers and seniors
Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland has received an 18-month, $500,000 challenge grant from the Maryland Home and Community Care Foundation, and additional funding from the Howard County Department of Citizen Services. SERVE (Services, Education and Resources for Vulnerable Elders) will work to improve the safety of seniors, enhance the quality of life for caregivers, help families find services, prevent premature institutionalization and reduce incidents of elder abuse and neglect. For information or to donate, go to the website, fcsmd.org.
The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross is requesting blood donations. Eligible donors can call 800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule an appointment. Platelet donors should call 800-272-2123.
Look good, feel better
This free program teaches beauty techniques to women with cancer to help them combat appearance-related side effects of treatment. Participants receive a bag of cosmetics donated by major manufacturers as well as instruction and suggestions for wigs and head coverings. The class is taught by a licensed cosmetologist. Classes are held the third Monday of the month at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center in the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive in Columbia. For information or registration, call the American Cancer Society at 888-535-4555.
VA outpatient clinic
The Department of Veterans Affairs has opened a 13,300-square-foot facility to serve veterans in Anne Arundel and Howard counties. The clinic is at 2479 Fifth St. adjacent to the Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center at Fort Meade. Services include general outpatient medical care, preventive health and education services, various medical screenings, TeleHealth services and referrals to specialized programs and inpatient services available throughout the VA Medical Health Care System. Information: 410-305-5300.
Spiritual reflections: Bon Secours Spiritual Center offers spiritual enrichment programs, 1525 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville. Information and registration: 410-442-1320.
Dance classes: Presented by Vantage House, a continuum of care retirement community will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday in the Vantage House auditorium, 5400 Vantage Point Road, Columbia. Dance is shown to improve balance, gait and mood in those with Parkinson's disease. The program is funded by the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area. Registration and information: Megan Wallnofer at 410-992-1691, or go to vantagehousepd.eventbrite.com.
The county Health Department's North Laurel Health Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, will offer walk-in HIV/AIDS testing services from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. by appointment: 410-313-0630.
Also, the Columbia Health Center, 7180 Columbia Gateway, conducts HIV testing at 8 a.m. Mondays for the first 20 people. Information: 410-313-7500. Testing is free, anonymous and confidential.
Howard County General Hospital will offer a prostrate cancer screening, including PSA blood test and digital exam from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 in the HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. Cost: $15.
Howard County General Hospital will sponsor a diabetic screening from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. April 24 in the HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. Meet with a registered nurse and receive immediate results. Fasting eight hours prior to test is recommended.
Choosing a pediatrician. Learn factors to consider and questions to ask when choosing your pediatrician as well as ways you can promote the health of your newborn, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. April 24.
Laurel Regional Hospital Offered free at 7300 Van Dusen Road, Laurel (301-497-7914 or 410-792-7636):
•Alcoholics Anonymous, 7 p.m. Sundays.
•Bipolar disorder, 6 p.m. Thursdays.
•Narcotics Anonymous, 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.
•Parkinson's disease, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Information: 301-776-3426.
•Rehabilitation for strokes and long-term illness, 6 p.m. the second Thursday of the month.
Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center Offered free at 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G050, Columbia (410-740-5858):
•Support group for men and women diagnosed with cancer meets from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. the fourth Saturday of each month. Registration: 410-740-5858.
•Support group for caregivers offering help for a loved one suffering from cancer or other illnesses meets at 3:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month and the third Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Medical Pavilion, Howard County General Hospital, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G010, Columbia. Registration: 410-740-5858.
•A breast cancer support group meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month. Registration: 410-964-9100, ext. 5.
•A living with breast cancer support group meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month. Registration: 410-740-5858.
•The Teens Together support group, a networking group for teens who have a friend or family member with cancer, will meet from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month. Information: 410-740-5858.
Widows and widowers The group meets from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at Jilly's in the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, 10300 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. Information: 410-740-5858.
Parkinson's disease An education and support group meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of every month, 8180 Lark Brown Road, Elkridge. Information: 410-955-8795.
HIV support group for those infected with or affected by HIV. A women's group meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Friday of every month. A group for men and women meets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. the first Thursday of every month. Meetings are at the county Health Department, 7180 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia. Information: 410-313-6267.
Prostate cancer support group Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Program is a forum for men to learn about diagnosis and treatment options, management and side effects and quality-of-life issues. The program provides a comfortable and confidential setting among peers to discuss and share common experiences and problems related to prostate cancer. There are occasional guest speakers. The program is held at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of every month (excluding July and August) at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center in the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive in Columbia. Information: American Cancer Society, 800-227-2345.
Caregivers support group for those who tend to adults with cognitive or communication disorders will meet from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursdays now through May 2 at the Loyola University Columbia Graduate Center, 8890 McGaw Road, Columbia. Information and registration: 410-617-1200.
Alzheimer's support group for caregivers will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, April 4, 11, 18 and May 2 and 9 in the Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Information and registration: Junnell Sample 410-561-9099 ext. 2222.
Vision impaired support group sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month at the Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia. Information: Sharon Maneki 410-715-9596.