Qi gong classes to start in February

The Wilde Lake Community Association will sponsor a 10-week session of qi gong classes, taught by Karl Ardo of Moving in Stillness LLC, at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays, Feb. 3 through March 10, at Slayton House in Wilde Lake Village Center. A free class will be offered Jan. 27.


The movements of the discipline, which is claimed to help maintain health, increase vitality and speed recovery from illness, are appropriate for all age groups and for the physically challenged.

The cost is $150; $17 to drop in. Senior citizens pay $130. Columbia Association lien payers can request a 10 percent discount.


Information: 410-730-3987.

Tai Sophia sets series of classes

Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Road, North Laurel, will offer free introductory classes, open to the community, during the week of Jan. 22.

Classes will include Pilates, tai chi, Feldenkrais: Awareness through Movement, qi gong, chakra energy balance, and yoga and meditation.

Information or registration: 410-888-9048, Ext. 6611, or

The institute offers master's degrees in acupuncture, herbal medicine and applied healing arts.

Classes, services

Flu vaccinations -- The Howard County Health Department says there is time to be vaccinated against the flu. The flu season runs from October through mid-March and has not peaked. Doses of vaccine are available for all those who have not been immunized. To schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine, call:


Columbia Health Center, 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia (410-313-7500);

Ellicott City Health Center, 8492 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City (410-313-2333);

Southeastern Health Center, 9525 Durness Lane, North Laurel (410-880-5888). The cost is $20 for a flu shot. Medicare Part B is accepted. FluMist nasal flu vaccine is available only for children ages 5 to 11. There is no cost. 410-313-6503 or

Affordable care -- Chase Brexton Health Services Inc. has opened its third Maryland site at 5500 Knoll North Drive in Oakland Mills village. The center plans to provide insured, uninsured and underinsured children and adults with primary and preventive care, and mental health and case-management services. It will be the first Chase Brexton location to offer consultations in integrative medicine, combining conventional and complementary therapies. Dental care, substance-abuse services and an on-site pharmacy are also planned. Fees are on a sliding scale, and help is available with state and federal assistance programs. Medicare and Medicaid patients are served. 410-884-7831, or

Aquatic fitness -- Aquatic fitness classes are offered by the Central Maryland Rehabilitation Center at the Howard Community College pool. Sessions are held Monday and Friday afternoons. The cost is $5 a class. 410-312-9000.

Losing weight -- Individualized weight-loss counseling with a registered dietitian is offered by Howard County General Hospital between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the hospital. Appointments, which cost $25 for a half-hour visit, must be scheduled in advance. 410-740- 7601.



Volunteers sought -- Health professionals are needed to serve as volunteers in the Howard County Medical Reserve Corps. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and others are being recruited. Mental health professionals, therapists and social workers are also needed. The volunteers are to support local emergency-response teams in the event of a disasters, such as spills of chemical or hazardous materials, flu or other epidemics, hurricanes and floods or acts of terrorism. Some volunteers can offer support by phone. Those who volunteer may receive training and earn continuing education credits. 240-426-2528, or

Terminally ill -- Howard County General Hospital has started a Compassionate Companion Program to help terminally ill patients and their families. Volunteers, who receive extensive training, stay with the patient when members of the family are not present. Volunteers must commit to a specified on-call time and come in to be at a work station each week. Barbra Swann, 410-884-4580.

Caregiver support -- Winter Growth, a private nonprofit organization that offers assisted living, medical adult day care and a wellness program for senior citizens, offers a free caregiver support group for anyone in the community from 10:30 a.m. to noon the fourth Tuesday of each month. Registration is not required. Winter Growth is at 5460 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. 410-964-9616.

NAMI -- NAMI Howard County is offering three free support groups.

A group for family and friends of adults with mental illness meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the day room at Harmony Hall Retirement Community, 6336 Cedar Lane, Columbia.


A peer-based CARE group for people living with mental illness who work, go to school or regularly interact with the community meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia.

A support group for parents and caregivers of children and teenagers with serious emotional or behavioral problems meets from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month at Faulkner Ridge Center, 10598 Marble Fawn Court, Columbia.

The groups are free and are open to non-NAMI members. 410-772- 9300. Or 410-772-9300.

Breast cancer -- The Center for Breast Care at Howard County General Hospital is to offer a new support program for women with breast cancer, called Survivors Offering Support. SOS matches volunteer breast cancer survivors with newly diagnosed women for support throughout each patient's treatment. The center is recruiting breast cancer survivors to serve as mentors. Volunteers must provide a release from two doctors attesting to their emotional readiness to mentor, and they must attend an SOS training session that includes information on therapeutic listening and communications, diagnosis and treatments, patient advocacy and resources. Mentors must also attend two of four yearly training sessions on breast cancer research and treatment. Tina Beerman, 410-884-4650, or Denise O'Neill, 410-884-4574.

Quit smoking -- American Lung Association of Maryland is offering a "Quit Kit," a free packet of material to help people stop smoking. The packet includes a booklet of tips for quitting successfully, a summary of nicotine-replacement therapies, strategies for weight control and a list of local smoking-cessation programs. To order the packet or find a smoking-cessation group: 800-LUNG-USA (800-586-4872), or Freedom From Smoking Online, a free smoking-cessation program, is available at

Send health-related notices to or fax to 410-715-2816.