Health Fair planned July 15 at pavilion

HEALTH NOTES

June 24, 2007

As part of "Celebrate Merriweather," a daylong family festival marking Columbia's 40th birthday, Howard County General Hospital will hold a Community Health Fair from noon to 5 p.m. July 15 at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

About 70 exhibitors will provide screenings and health and safety information. Local nonprofit organizations will provide information on services available in the community.

The fair, which is being held on the final day of Columbia's birthday celebration, will be in Merriweather Post Pavilion's VIP parking area; signs will guide motorists to the VIP parking lot. Admission is free. Strolling entertainers, arts and crafts and spotlight performances by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Young Columbians are planned.

The hospital is working with General Growth Properties Inc. on the fair.

Information: 410-740-7810.

Free screening for diabetes Tuesday

Howard County General Hospital's community health education program will offer free diabetes screening from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, at the hospital's Wellness Center, Suite L-9, 11055 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia.

"Healing Laughter," a program of laughter exercises designed to lower blood pressure, promote emotional healing and strengthen the immune system, will be offered from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free.

A women's self-defense class, for those ages 16 and older, will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Students will practice effective and easy-to-learn techniques designed for adult situations. The cost is $45.

Information or registration: 410-740-7601, or www.hcgh.org.

Calendar

Best drugs -- Howard County Library and Howard County Office on Aging have announced a partnership with the Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs Web service. The library's Health Information Center, at the central library, offers access to understandable and accurate information about health and wellness. Its online resources can be found at www.hclibrary.org or at www. hclibrary.org/services/healthinformation. php. Best Buy Drugs is a free resource for library customers. The site provides information to help patients talk with their doctors about the benefits and risks of recommended prescription medicines. It includes expert medical review of scientific evidence on prescription drugs and information on their costs. The site is a public education project of Consumers Union, the independent nonprofit organization that publishes Consumer Reports.

Wellness award -- Howard County Chamber of Commerce and the Horizon Foundation are accepting applications for a second Workplace Wellness Award program, honoring Howard County employers for policies that help employees improve physical health, reduce stress, address emotional and family concerns and protect health and safety on the job. The foundation will award two $2,500 prizes to businesses with top-rated health and wellness programs in two divisions: those with 26 or more employees and those with 25 or fewer. Applications, due Aug. 30, are available online at www.howard chamber.com.

Free sunscreen -- In partnership with the Howard County Economic Development Authority's agricultural marketing program, the Howard County Health Department is offering free sunscreen and sun-safety information at farmers' markets. Health Department staff members will be at the Glenwood library from 9 a.m. to noon June 30. Information on breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer will also be available, as will information on the Health Department's free cancer screening programs. 410-313-4255.

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