Health Notes


April 06, 2007

Health care discussion April 18

The Association of Community Services will sponsor a discussion on health care in Howard County from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 18 at the Meeting House in Oakland Mills, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia.

Presenters will include Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, Howard County's new health officer; David Shippee, chief executive officer of Chase Brexton Health Services; and David M. Portesi, director of health policy and planning for the Howard County Health Department.

Several health coalitions have been invited to exhibit.

Admission is free. Those who attend can take a lunch or order one for $7 by April 16 ( The fee is payable at the door.

Information: 410-796-7824.

Martinez named health advocate

Priority Partners, one of seven managed-care organizations authorized by the state to provide health care services to Medicaid and Maryland Children's Health Insurance Program recipients, has announced the appointment of Indra Martinez as community health advocate for Howard County.

She will provide health information services to low- and moderate-income residents and community groups in the county. Free presentations on pregnancy, diabetes, caring for a sick child, smoking-cessation, immunizations, nutrition and obesity and being your own health advocate are available; presentations are also offered in Spanish.

Community organizations, government agencies and faith-based communities are invited to inquire about obtaining these services.

Information: 410-424-4747.

Priority Partners is owned by Johns Hopkins and Maryland Community Health Systems, a group of federally qualified Maryland health centers that includes Chase Brexton Health Services in Columbia.

Health survey taken by phone

On behalf of the Health Department, Howard County residents have been receiving telephone calls asking health-related questions. The calls are part of a continuing telephone health survey conducted each year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Called "The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems," the program has been tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984.

The survey provides state-specific information about problems such as asthma, diabetes, access to health care, alcohol use, hypertension, obesity, cancer screening, nutrition and physical activity, tobacco use and other issues.

Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, county health officer, has said he encourages participation in the survey.

Information: www.hc or

Tai Sophia Institute plans open house

Tai Sophia Institute will hold an open house for its graduate programs in acupuncture, herbal medicine and applied healing arts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Visitors will have an opportunity to meet faculty members, students and graduates and learn about the institute's programs in alternative medicine. Tours and panel discussions are planned.

Tai Sophia is at 7750 Montpelier Road, North Laurel.

Information: 410-888-9048, or e-mail Directions:

Resource Fair to be held April 18

The Family Support and Resource Center of the Howard County schools and the Howard County chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) will present a Resource Fair for families of children with social, emotional, behavioral and mental health concerns from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 18 at Faulkner Ridge Center, 10598 Marble Faun Court, Columbia.

Presenters are to include the Abilities Network, the Family Support and Resource Center, Howard County Mental Health Authority, Maryland Coalition of Families for Children's Mental Health, the Mobile Crisis Team, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Parents Place of Maryland.

Admission is free.

Information or registration: 410-313-7161.

Medicare workshop slated Wednesday

The Howard County Department of Citizen Services' Office on Aging will present "What You Can Expect from Medicare: The Basics," a workshop on how Medicare works, its benefits and gaps, and the need for supplemental health insurance. Information on Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage will also be available.

The program, sponsored by the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program of the Howard County Office on Aging, will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia.

A workshop, "Why Medicare Isn't Enough," focused on the gaps in Medicare coverage, is planned for 7 p.m. April 18 at the Bain Center.

Information or registration: 410-313-7391.

Classes, services

Support, activities -- The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 5900 Cedar Lane, Columbia, is offering activities and support groups for cancer patients, survivors, friends and family members.

A drop-in knitting-and-crocheting group meets from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Participants can take supplies or borrow supplies from the center. Beginners are welcome.

A drop-in cards and games support group for cancer patients and survivors meets at 10:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month through May.

A swimsuit show and sale for breast cancer patients and survivors is planned from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

A support group for caregivers, family and friends of cancer patients will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, starting April 18. Refreshments will be available. Registration is requested.

Prosthesis specialists will be at the center from noon to 7 p.m. April 24, and a "Lunch and Learn" event for those interested in new prostheses and mastectomy products is planned for April 27. Admission is free, but reservations are required. 410-740-5858.

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