Howard County health digest

Classes at hospital

Howard County General Hospital will sponsor the following classes at the HCGH Wellness Center, Suite 100, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia unless otherwise listed. Advanced registration for all programs at Information: 410-740-7601.

•CPR classes. Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Classes are held from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8 and Monday, Oct. 27. This is not a health care provider course. Cost $55.

•Depression. Includes lecture, video, self-assessment and an individual, confidential evaluation with a mental health practitioner. Held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9.

•Pre-diabetes. A certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian will teach how to make changes to prevent and delay diabetes, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9. Cost $15.

•Kids' self-defense. Children 8 to 12 years of age learn basic safety awareness and age-appropriate self-defense techniques from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11.

•Bariatric surgery. Join the discussion about weight-loss surgery from members of the Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14 and Nov. 4. Information: 410-550-5669 or

•Maybe baby. A certified financial planner will discuss financial issues involved in starting a family, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 16.

•Living with diabetes. Learn how to manage diabetes from an endocrinologist, podiatrist, psychologist, diabetes nurse educator and dietitian from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and 21 in the Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital.

•Choosing a pediatrician to promote your newborn's health, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 21.

•Home alone. Children 8 to 12 years of age and their parents learn ways for children to stay at home alone safely, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 25.

•Parent wellness. Learn to make decisions before and during pregnancy, and the changes that will occur to your lifestyle, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29.

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 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 6:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center in the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive in Columbia. Information and registration: 888-535-4555.

Dance classes

Presented by Vantage House, a retirement community, classes are held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays in the Vantage House auditorium, 5400 Vantage Point Road in Columbia. Dance has shown to improve balance, gait and mood in those with Parkinson's disease. Registration and information: Megan Wallnofer at 410-992-1691.

Spiritual reflections

The Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours offers spiritual enrichment programs at 1525 Marriottsville Road in Marriottsville. Information and registration: 410-442-1320.

VA outpatient clinic

The Department of Veterans Affairs operates 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 outpatient medical care, preventive health and education services, medical screenings, TeleHealth services and referrals to specialized programs and inpatient services available throughout the VA Medical Health Care System. Information: 410-305-5300.

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.

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. A new program, 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 county Health Department's North Laurel Community Health Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, offers HIV/AIDS testing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. by appointment. Call 410-313-0630. Also, the Columbia Health Center, 7180 Columbia Gateway, conducts HIV testing at 8 a.m. Mondays by appointment. Call 410-313-7500. Testing is free, anonymous and confidential.

•Walk for health at The Mall in Columbia. Blood pressure screenings the second Tuesday of the month. Information: 410-730-3300.

•Howard County General Hospital offers a diabetes screening and BMI from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 21 and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at the HCGH Wellness Center, Suite 100, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, unless otherwise listed. The screening includes a glucose blood test (an eight-hour fast before the test is recommended). Advanced registration is required at Information: 410-740-7601.

Support groups

Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center Offered free at 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G050 in Columbia. Information (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.

•Stage IV or metastatic diseases support group for patients and their caregivers will be offered from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the 4th Thursday of every month. Registration: 410-964-9100 ext. 5.

•Patient and caregivers support group for men and women diagnosed with cancer meets from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Registration: 410-740-5858.

•Caregivers support group meets at 3:30 p.m. the 1st Tuesday of every month. Registration: 410-740-5858.

Prostate cancer education and support for men to learn about diagnosis and treatment options, management, side effects and quality-of-life issues. The group offers a confidential setting among peers to discuss and share experiences and problems related to prostate cancer. There are occasional guest speakers. The program is held at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center in the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive in Columbia. Information and registration call Gary, the facilitator, at 202-253-1025.

Vision-impaired support group sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia. Information: Sharon Maneki at 410-715-9596.

Laurel Regional Hospital Offered free at 7300 Van Dusen Road in 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 every month

Parkinson's disease An education and support group meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of every month, 8180 Lark Brown Road in 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. on the third Friday of every month. A group for men and women meets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Meetings are at the Columbia Health Center, 7180 Columbia Gateway Drive. Information: 410-313-6267.

Essential tremor is often confused with Parkinson's disease. The group will meet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the third Monday of every month at the Howard County Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. The support group is sponsored by HopeNET, an all volunteer, nonprofit organization. Information: 301-776-8073 or

Living with cancer The group meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the third Monday of every month at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 17055 Scaggsville Road, North Laurel. Information: 410-792-0470, ext. 214.

Bereavement support A support group for adults will meet from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Room 105, 8300 Old Columbia Road, Fulton. Information: 410-792-0470.

Alzheimer's support group for those with the early-stage disease and their caregivers will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at Bethany Counseling, 2875 Bethany Lane, Ellicott City. Information and pre-screening required: Yolanda Wright, 410-561-9099 ext. 208.

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