Health Notes

HEALTH NOTES

December 22, 2006

Flu vaccinations are available

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 intranasal flu vaccine is available only for children ages 5 to 11.

Information: 410-313-6503, or www.hchealth.org.

Medical Reserve Corps needs volunteers

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 major natural or man-made 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. They will be prepared to help family, friends and neighbors.

Information: 240-426-2528, or www.hcmrc.com.

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 plans to provide insured, uninsured and under-insured 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 www.chasebrexton.org.

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.

Support

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. 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. 410-964-9616.

Send health-related notices to fay.lande@baltsun.com or fax to 410-715-2816.

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