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Free health fair to be held March 17

The Howard County Muslim Foundation will sponsor a free Community Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 17 at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia.

More than 30 physicians, dentists and other health care professionals will provide information and clinical tests, including blood tests; mammograms; cancer screening; blood pressure monitoring; and screening for stroke, vision and glaucoma. Dental screening will also be available. Door prizes are planned.

The event is co-sponsored by Howard County General Hospital, the Howard County Health Department, Horizon Foundation and Columbia Foundation. The Lions Club is providing hearing and vision screening.

Information: Irfan Malik, 410-750-2739.

Latino Health Fair set for March 10

Howard County General Hospital will present its third Latino Health Fair from noon to 4 p.m. March 10 at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center in Columbia.

A variety of screenings (including blood pressure, hearing, colorectal cancer, glucose and cholesterol, dental and a clinical breast exam), HIV testing, health education materials in Spanish, refreshments, give-aways and other activities are planned.

The fair is co-sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, the Howard County Health Department, Priority Partners and Alianza de la Comunidad.

Information: 410-740-7601.

Classes, services

Salmonella risk -- The Howard County Health Department has announced that Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter with a product code beginning with the numbers 2111 has been recalled because of the risk of contamination from salmonella bacteria and subsequent illness. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after ingestion. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment, the Health Department said. Those with impaired immune systems, infants and the elderly may suffer a more severe illness. Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms associated with ingestion of salmonella should contact a doctor immediately. Consumers should discard peanut butter with the 2111 product code but keep the lid, which can be sent to ConAgra Foods, P.O. Box 3768, Omaha, NE. 68103 for a refund. www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/salm onellosis_2007/outbreak_notice.htm.

Weight training -- Howard County General Hospital is offering weight training for senior citizens from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Roger Carter Neighborhood Center in Ellicott City. The next 10-week session is to begin April 9. The class includes warm-up, low-impact aerobics, circuit training to improve strength and cardiovascular health, and stretching. The cost is $7.50. 410-740-7601, or www. hcgh.org.

Aquatic fitness -- Aquatic fitness classes are offered by Central Maryland Rehabilitation Center at the Howard Community College pool. Sessions are held Monday and Friday afternoons. The cost is $6 a class. 410-312-9000.

Losing weight -- Individual 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.

Hearing loss -- Registration is required for a new SPRING support group for older adults who think they may have a hearing loss and for family members dealing with someone who has a hearing loss. The first session of the six-week program, provided by the University of Maryland Department of Hearing and Speech, will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Bain Center. The topic will be "Hearing Loss: Understanding the Problem." Topics to be discussed in subsequent sessions include "Hearing Aids and Assistive Devices," "Managing Your Environment," "Communication Needs," "Coping Strategies" and "Introduction to Speech-reading." The first session is free. The cost for the program, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Citizen Services' Office on Aging, is $30. 410-313-7466.

Caregivers support -- Winter Growth Inc.'s Caregiver Support Group meets from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at Winter Growth, 5466 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Admission is free. Caregivers can join at any time. 410-964-9616.

Qi gong -- Wilde Lake Community Association is sponsoring a 10-week session of qi gong classes, taught by Karl Ardo of Moving in Stillness LLC, at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays, through March 10, at Slayton House in Wilde Lake Village Center. The movements of the discipline, which is believed 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 $17 to drop in. 410- 730-3987.

Herbal healing -- Faculty and graduates of Tai Sophia Institute's master's degree program in herbal medicine will teach a course on using herbs and plants to assist healing. "Foundations of Herbal Medicine," a 70-hour course that includes a four-day retreat June 9-13 to Equinox Botanical Herbal Farm in Rutland, Ohio, will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, March 31 through July 29. Topics will include: models for wellness; the medicinal use of herbs, recognition of local natural medicines; cultivation and preparation of herbs; and herbs in cooking. 410-888-9048, Ext. 6611.

Health 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 from state and federal assistance programs. Medicare and Medicaid patients are accepted. 410-884-7831.

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