Howard County

Howard County health briefs

Blood donations

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.



Spiritual reflections: Bon Secours Spiritual Center offers spiritual enrichment programs at 1525 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville. Information: Registration: 410-442-1320.


Health education programs

Howard County General Hospital offers the following community education programs during June. Unless otherwise noted all programs are held at the HCGH Wellness Center at the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. To register, visit Information: 410-740-7601.

•Healthy weight and a healthy you. Part 1: Plan meals that promote well-being, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, June 4. Part 2, kitchen wisdom: Participate in a cooking demonstration from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6. Register for one or both.

•Essentials in babysitting. Learn to manage children, create a safe environment and apply basic emergency techniques from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 9. $50 includes lunch.

•Caring for the elderly. Learn safety, medication management, mobility nutrition and medical care from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 12.

•Breast reduction. A discussion of the latest advances and medical benefits. Learn when it can help, how it is performed and what results you can expect, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 13.

•Smoke-free lungs. Education and support to quit from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 14. Offered monthly. Attend one or all sessions.

•Couples massage. Learn to reduce stress. Upper body massage, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 15, and lower body massage, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 22. $50 per couple. $90 per couple for both sessions.


•Make time work for you. Learn easy ways to proactively prioritize and make time to do the things you value, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 18.

•Acid reflux: taking control. Learn the causes and how you can manage this chronic medical condition, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 19.

•Prescription drugs. Learn more about the ones you take from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 19.

•Kids self-defense. Children ages 8 to 12 learn basic safety awareness and age-appropriate self-defense techniques from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 23. $27.

•Dry eye and ocular surface disease. Dr. Mahsa Salehi from the Wilmer Eye Institute will discuss the causes of dry eyes and the care and treatment of the conditions from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 25.

•What is pre-diabetes? Learn how to prevent or delay diabetes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 27. $15.



•The county Health Department's North Laurel Health Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel, 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 only: 410-313-0630. Also, the Columbia Health Center, 7180 Columbia Gateway, Columbia, will conduct HIV testing at 8 a.m. Mondays for the first 20 people. Information: 410-313-7500. Testing is free, anonymous and confidential.

Support groups

Support/Intervention programs Offered free at Laurel Regional Hospital, 7300 Van Dusen Road, Laurel:

•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. Information: 301-497-7914 or 410-792-7636.

Support groups at the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G050, Columbia. Information 419-740-7005:

•Caregivers for people suffering from cancer or other illnesses meet from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the Medical Pavilion, Howard County General Hospital, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G010, Columbia.

•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.


•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.

•Teens Together support group, networking group for teens who have a friend or family member with cancer, meets 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.

Family support groups The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Howard County offers several support groups each month for family and friends of adults with a mental illness and groups for parents of school-aged children with mental health issues. Also offered are support groups for young adults (18-30) living with a mental illness and a weekly group for adults of any age living with a mental illness. Call 410-772-9300 or visit for specific times and locations.