Howard County health briefs

Heart health

The Lutheran Village at Miller's Grant will sponsor three heart healthy sessions for seniors. The first, Healthy Eating, will be held at 1:30 p.m. March 6 at Turf Valley Resort, 2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City. Nutritionist Erin Palinski-Wade, author of "The Belly Fat Diet for Dummies," will discuss how certain fats can help fight heart disease.

In the second session, personal trainer Lynn Glaeser will demonstrate ways to get your heart in shape at 1:30 p.m. March 15; and Sodexo executive chef Chris Spear will prepare and serve heart healthy recipes at 1:30 p.m. March 21 in the third session. Both of those programs will be held at First Lutheran Church, 9531 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. Registration is required: 443-48706186 or visit

Wellness classes

Howard County General Hospital will offer the following wellness classes in March. 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, or call 410-740-7601.

•A discussion of foot, ankle and heel problems by Dr. Ricardo Coo, an orthopedic surgeon and ankle specialist, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 7.

•Kids self-defense. Ages 8 to 12 will learn basic principles of safety awareness and self-defense techniques from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 16. Cost $27.

•Varicose vein screening. Presented by Dr. Richard Feinberg, a vascular surgeon, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 18 in the Little Patuxent Specialty Care Center/Vein Center. Registration: 410-550-8346.

•Prenatal exercise. Prepare your body for the birth process, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 21 through May 9. $88.

•Gastrointestinal conditions. Learn common issues and treatment from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 25 presented by Dr. Preston Kim, a gastroenterologist.

•ABCs of Adult blindness: age related macular degeneration, drooping eyelids cataracts and more from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 27. Presented by Dr. Vanessa Lima, an ophthalmologist.

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,

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.

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


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, 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

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 individuals with Dementia the program will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 7, 14 and 21 in the Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Pre-screening required. Contact Yolanda Locklear 410-561-9099 ext. 208.

Alzheimer's support group for caregivers will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. March, 7, 14, 21; 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.

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