Health Notes


October 06, 2006

Health care disparities in focus

The Howard County Health Department, the Howard County Board of Health, the Maryland Health Disparities Coalition, the Association of Community Services and the Association of Black Charities will sponsor a Town Hall Meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 on disparities in health care.

The focus will be on ensuring health care parity among Maryland residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender or sexual orientation. A documentary film, Speaking for Ourselves, will be shown. The film focuses on the attitudes, beliefs and behavior of minorities regarding medical care.

The Maryland Health Disparities Coalition, formed in 2003, represents the effort of 40 health care organizations and advocates to reduce health care disparities in Maryland.

Information or reservations: Heather Ross, 410-313-6204.

Lupus seminar to be held Oct. 14

"Living With Lupus: Connecting the Pieces," a seminar for people with lupus, their families and friends, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute, 692 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights.

Admission is $45 for members; $55 for nonmembers.

Information: 800-777-0934.

Cervical cancer, HPV set as topics

Dr. Kimberly Moran Turner will present the second in a series of talks about women's health, "HPV (human papilloma virus) and Cervical Cancer," at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, 5560 Sterrett Place, Columbia.

Registration is requested by Thursday. A $5 donation to the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County is requested but not required.

Information or registration: 410-715-1060.

Classes, services

Affordable care -- Chase Brexton Health Services Inc. has opened its third Maryland site at 5500 Knoll North Drive in Oakland Mills village. The center will provide insured, uninsured and under-insured children and adults with primary and preventive care, as well as mental health and case-management services. Eventually, 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.


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 on 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. The next meeting will be held Tuesday.

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. The next meeting will be on Oct. 31.

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 next meeting will be on Oct. 25.

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

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