February is American Heart month. The Anne Arundel Department of Health offers kits and fact sheets about heart disease, its risk factors and prevention on the website learntolivehealthy.org.
The Department of Health is offering free vaccinations. Nasal-spray vaccine is for healthy people age 2 to 49. It is not for pregnant women. The clinics also have the high-dose flu shots for people 65 years of age and older. Pneumococcal vaccine is also available. The following locations will provide vaccinations:
•Glen Burnie Health Center, from 8:30 .m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, 416 A Street, Glen Burnie. 410-222-6633.
•Parole Health Center, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 1950 Drew Street, Annapolis. 410-222-7247.
The Department of Health's Learn to Live program encourages county residents to make healthy lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of cancer and other illnesses. For information visit the websites, learntolivehealthy.org and smokingstinks.org.
Baltimore Washington Medical Center will host an American Red Cross blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at the center in the Dr. Constantine Padussis conference center, 3rd floor, 301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie. Information: American Red Cross at 1-866-236-3276 or the medical center 410-787-4367.
Heart month special events
Anne Arundel Medical Center will sponsor heart healthy special events at the following sites:
•Health fair, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12; from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Feb. 19 and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at Westfield Annapolis, 2002 Arundel Mall, Annapolis. Cardiac nurses will provide blood pressure screenings, answer questions and provide information about heart disease.
•Smart woman talk, "Learn to fight heart disease." The lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at the AAMC Doordan Institute, Belcher Pavilion, 7th floor, 2000 Medical Parkway, Annapolis. Register at aamcevents.org.
•docsTALK: saving a million hearts. Drs. John Martin and Briana Walton will discuss the common myths and facts about heart disease and stroke from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26, Westfield Annapolis, Crate & Barrel Court, 2002 Annapolis Mall, Annapolis.
The Department of Health offers information on how to safely enjoy cold weather: Visit the website aahealth.org. Click on "cold weather tips" under "Hot topics." This includes dressings for cold weather, suggestions for items to have at home in case of a snowstorm and a list of symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Also, how to maintain space heaters and fireplaces.
Gastroenteritis is an illness of the stomach and intestines, often caused by a virus. Some gastroenteritis infections tend to occur during the cooler months of the year (October to April.) Learn about the virus including symptoms, treatment and prevention on the Department of Health's website: aahealth.org. Click on "Gastroenteritis" under "Hot Topics."
Breast cancer awareness
The Department of Health's Learn to Live program is offering a free women's health kit that includes information on cancer screenings, nutrition and other women's health topics. The health department also offers free mammograms and breast exams to eligible women. Call 410-222-7979 or visit learntolivehealthy.org.
Walk for better health
Walking is the most popular form of physical activity. A web page sponsored by the Department of Health, aahealth.org/walk, features information about walking programs, trails and tracks.
Widow/Widowers support group for adults grieving the death of a spouse or life partner. The group meets from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 12 through March 5 and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of, Feb. 19, March 19, April 16, May 21 and June 18, in the Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.
Child loss support group providing social and emotional support to parents grieving the death of a child regardless of age or circumstance from 10 a.m. to noon, March 1, Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.
Perinatal loss for individuals or couples coping with an unexpected diagnosis during pregnancy or infant loss meets from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.
Phoenix Rising: a support group for teens, ages 13 to 18, a place to connect with others who are also grieving the death of a loved one meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.
HIV/AIDS Weekly meetings for men and women will be held every Monday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of every month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 1 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis. Information: 410-222-7108.
Diabetes Support and educational programs will be offered at 7 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Anne Arundel County Medical Center, 2001 Medical Parkway, Annapolis. Information: Anita Smith 443-481-5188.
Trauma recovery support The group meets at 6 p.m. every Monday in the Anne Arundel County Medical Center, 2001 Medical Parkway, Annapolis. Information: Elizabeth Cush, 443-481-1209.
Young adult cardiac support The group meets the second Monday of every month at 4:30 p.m. in the Anne Arundel County Medical Center, 2001 Medical Parkway, Annapolis. Information: Dianne Walters, 443-481-1928.
Substance abuse The Western Anne Arundel Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition offers information on the prevention of alcohol and other drug use among youth and promotes safe and healthy behaviors. Meetings are held the fourth Friday of every month at noon in the Anne Arundel County Western District Police Station, 8273 Telegraph Road, Odenton. Information: 443-351-7989 or email WASPCoalition@gmail.com.
Substance abuse The Northern Lights Against Substance Abuse is a coalition in north Anne Arundel County working to help reduce substance abuse in young adults. Meetings will be held the second Friday of every month. Information: Loretta Lawson-Munsey, 410-777-2527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cancer The group offers support and educational programs for patients diagnosed with any type of cancer. Sponsored by the Baltimore Washington Medical Center, the group meets at 5 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month in the Aiello Breast Center, 203 Hospital Drive, Suite B100, Glen Burnie.
Lung cancer The group provides emotional support and information to patients and families coping with a diagnosis of lung cancer. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of every month in the Donner Pavilion, Anne Arundel Medical Center, 2001 Medical Parkway, Annapolis. Information: 1-800-966-2619. Registration: aamcevents.com.
Breastfeeding Mothers discuss topics determined by participants and directed by a certified lactation consultant. Babies, grandparents and care providers welcome. The group meets the second and fourth Thursday of every month in the Sajak Pavilion, second floor, Anne Arundel Medical Center, 2002 Medical Parkway in Annapolis. Register online at aamcevents.com.
Breast cancer A support group for patients, families and caregivers. The program will be led by a licensed counselor and a registered nurse. The group will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month at Kent Island, Anne Arundel Diagnostics, lobby, Chester. Information: call 800-966-2619. Register online at aamcevents.com.
Trauma recovery The group focuses on empowerment, learning new skills for managing the effects of trauma and building healthy relationships. Anne Arundel Medical Center's in-house Abuse and Domestic Violence Program has professional, trained staff. The group meets 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Monday at the Doordan Institute, AAMC Health Sciences Pavilion, seventh floor in Annapolis. Information: call 443-481-1209.
Joslin Circle A diabetes support group discusses issues regarding management of the disease. The group meets from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month in the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology *name changed from Joslin Diabetes center: http://www.mybwmc.org/baltimore-washington-medical-center-changes-name-diabetes-center Joslin Diabetes Center, Suite 223, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, 301 Hospital Drive in Glen Burnie. Information: 410-787-4940.
Man-to-Man prostate cancer Offers information about diagnosis, treatment and management. The group meets from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of every month in the Tate Cancer Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, 301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie. Information: 410-787-4367 or the American Cancer Society, 410-421-4304.
Stroke support Meets to discuss stroke recovery and prevention from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month in the Dr. Constantine Padussis Conference Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, 301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie. Information: 410-787-4457.
Caregivers Provides information, respite and support to people who give care to family and friends. The group meets from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the Heritage Office Complex in the Department of Aging and Disabilities office, fourth floor, 2666 Riva Road, Annapolis.
Joint school A free session on the preparation, recovery and benefits of hip- and knee-replacement surgery will be held at 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every other month at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, 300 Hospital Drive in Glen Burnie. Information and reservations: call 410-553-8282.
Stepping Stones A support group for children ages 6 to 14 who are grieving the loss of a loved one meets from 10 a.m. to noon monthly on Saturdays at the Life Center, 445 Defense Highway in Annapolis. Registration is required. Information: 410-987-2129.
Mental health A support group for community members and families seeking information about psychiatric issues. The programs discusses depression, anxiety, addiction and bipolar disorder. The group meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month in Room A of the Partial Hospitalization Program, second floor, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, 301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie. Information: 410-553-8070.
Diabetes A support group to help understand living with diabetes is sponsored by The University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. The groups meets bimonthly from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday and from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month. Both groups meet in the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Baltimore Washington Medical Center, 300 Hospital Drive, Suite 223, Glen Burnie. Information 410-787-4940.
•Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Anne Arundel County after lung cancer. Screenings and informational kits are available through the Department of Health's Learn To Live program. To order a free kit, call Learn To Live, 410-222-7979, or go to learntolivehealthy.org. Also, the Department of Health's LifeScreen program offers free colorectal cancer screening to county residents ages 50 to 64 who are uninsured and income-eligible. Information: 410-222-6640.
•The county Health Department offers free breast exams, mammograms, AP tests and cervical-cancer screenings to eligible county residents 40 and older. Information: 410-222-6180 or learntolivehealthy.org.
The Department of Health will conduct mandated vision and hearing screenings in public schools for children in preschool, kindergarten, first and eighth grade and for students new to Anne Arundel County schools. Students in the following schools and programs will be screened in February.
•High Point Elementary, Monday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 11
•Bodkin Elementary, Tuesday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 12
•Pasadena Early Learning Center, Wednesday, Feb. 12
•Linthicum Heights United Methodist Preschool, Mayo Elementary, Odenton Day Nursery, Friday, Feb. 14
•Crofton Elementary, Feb. 18 and 19
•Hillsmere Elementary, Feb. 19
•North Glen Elementary, Feb. 20
•Brock Bridge Elementary, Feb. 20 and 21
•Magothy Cooperative Preschool, Feb. 21
•Central Middle, Feb. 24 and 25
•West Annapolis Elementary, Feb. 25
•Jacobsville Elementary, Pasadena Elementary, Feb. 26 and 27
•Crofton Day School, Feb. 27 and 28
•Bates Middle, Feb. 28
For additional information call vision and hearing technician supervisor Kim Roussey at 410-222-6838.
The Learn To Live program of the Department of Health offers a free archive of more than 675 healthy recipes; most are low in saturated and trans fats and high in fiber. Many are suitable for diabetic, meatless and low-sodium diets. To view recipes and to print out free recipe cards, go to learntolivehealthy.org. Click on "Search Recipes" under "Food and Fitness."
The Department of Health offers information on how to prevent the spread of rabies and what to do in the event of exposure. Rabies is most often seen in raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks. Information: call 410-222-7168 or visit aahealth.org.
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 on the Fort George G. Meade Installation. 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.
Men's health kits
The Learn to Live program of the Department of Health offers free men's health kits with information on prostate health and colorectal cancer screening, as well as HIM magazine, which includes information on sun safety, smoking, nutrition and other men's health tips. To order a kit, call Learn to Live at 410-222-7979. Information: learntolivehealthy.org.
Health email alerts
The Department of Health has a community health email alert system to provide timely notices about department services and community health issues. Also, a recreational water-quality email alert system has been in effect since 2006. It alerts subscribers when a closure or advisory is issued for a county waterway. Information: 410-222-4508 or aahealth.org/alerts.
The Learn To Live program of the Anne Arundel County Department of Health offers quit-smoking and power-to-quit-smoking kits. Kits are available from the Learn To Live line, 410-222-7979, or from the Spanish-language line, 410-222-4479 or visit learntolivehealthy.org. Free classes include counseling and may include nicotine replacement. Pre-registration is required at the following sites:
•Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Parkway, Arnold. Classes on going. Information: 410-777-2480.
•Anne Arundel Medical Center, Health Sciences Institute, 2000 Medical Parkway. Annapolis. Classes begin in January, February and May. Information: 443-481-4000 or visit aamcevents.com.
•Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Tate Cancer Center, 301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie. Classes begin in February and April. Information: 410-787-4367 or visit mybwmc.org.
•Owensville Primary Care, 134 Owensville Road, West River. Classes begin in January and April. Information: 410-867-4700 or visit owensvillepc.com.
Visit Anne Arundel Health at pinterest.com/aahealthdept and become a follower for healthy recipes, get moving activities and obesity prevention.
•The Department of Health offers healthy eating advice and car safety seat kits. Also, pregnancy and baby care kits are available online or to take the free online "Taking Care of a Baby" and "Home Safety" classes, go to aahealthybabies.org. or call 410-222-7223. For car seat inspection dates go to the Maryland Kids in Safe Seats (KISS) website, mdkiss.org.
•Medical coverage for families. Medical Assistance for families/MCHP provides comprehensive medical coverage to income-eligible families, children and pregnant women through managed care organizations (MCOs). Information: call the Department of Health 410-222-4792 or visit aahealth.org/mchp.
•HIV/AIDS services. The Department of Health offers free, confidential testing and counseling for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. For an appointment call: Annapolis, 410-222-7493; Glen Burnie, 410-222-6633; or Parole, 410-222-7248. Additional information: 410-222-7108.
•Behavioral health services for children and teens and their families without private medical insurance. For mental health services and referrals 410-222-6785. For substance abuse services call 410-222-6725.
•The Administration Care Coordination Unit provides services to clients who are enrolled in or may be eligible for medical assistance and HealthChoice to help them gain access to health care. Information: 410-222-7541 or 410-222-4380.
•Children's immunization shots at two months, four months, six months, 12 months, 15 months and 18 months. Information: 410-222-4896 or visit the community health section at aahealth.org/immunizations.
•Education and outreach services for adolescents and parents are available on the following topics: benefits of abstinence, responsible decision making, pregnancy prevention and the prevent of sexually transmitted infections. Information: 410-222-4468.
•Substance-abuse treatment services through Community Treatment Services. Information: call 410-222-0120. Methadone and suboxone maintenance services through the Health Department's adult addictions clinic: 410-222-0100.
•The REACH health care program offers low-cost doctor visits, checkups, prescription medicine, lab work and tests, radiology services and dental services to uninsured county residents. Information: 410-222-4531.
•Maryland birth certificates. Information: 410-222-4462 or visit aahealth.org/birthcertificates.
•The Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program provides free nutritious foods, education, breast feeding support and resource referrals to pregnant, breast feeding and postpartum women and children up to age 5. To qualify, call 410-222-6797 or 410-222-0139 (Spanish).
•The Learn to Live program has more than 675 free recipes low in saturated and trans fats and high in fiber. Many are suited for diabetic, meatless and low-sodium diets. Visit learntolivehealthy.org and click on "Search Recipes" under "Food And Fitness."
•A free booklet, "Don't Let Us Get Hooked on Tobacco," is available to parents who want to dissuade children and teens from smoking. The booklet is sponsored by the Learn to Live program and can be ordered or downloaded online at learntolivehealthy.org. Information: call 410-222-7979.
•The Learn to Live Healthy program offers an annual newsletter for child care providers and parents. The newsletter includes healthy eating tips, advice on when to keep ill children home, facts on pertussis (whooping cough) and approaches to prevent temper tantrums. In addition to "Building Blocks," Learn to Live offers publications for parents and child care providers that can be ordered from the Learn to Live Line, 410-222-7979, or on the website at learntolivehealthy.org.
The Department of Health offers the following mental health services for children and adults:
•Adolescent and family services, 410-222-6785
•Addictions treatment, 410-222-6725
•Prevention and education services to prevent violent behavior and alcohol and drug abuse in young people, 410-222-6724
•Mental health and substance abuse treatment is available to veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. Information: 410-222-0117
For additional information about mental health services, visit aahealth.org or call the county's crisis response line, 410-768-5522.