Health notes

April 30, 2008

Seminar focuses on juvenile arthritis

Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) and the Arthritis Foundation of Maryland will partner for a Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Seminar from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the AAMC Sajak Pavilion, 2001 Medical Parkway. The seminar is free and open to the public.

According to the foundation, juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States -- 50,000 of them stricken with rheumatoid arthritis.

"There are approximately 5,600 children with pediatric arthritis in Maryland alone," said Grace Ban, executive director of the Arthritis Foundation's Southern Maryland branch. "Additionally, many more children are at risk for developing this frustrating and painful condition."

At the AAMC seminar, parents will hear from rheumatologist and a pediatric physical therapist about the causes, treatment options and warning signs of juvenile arthritis. Parents can ask questions of health care providers who regularly see patients with the condition.

Research suggests rheumatoid arthritis in juveniles stems from an autoimmune disorder, occurring when the body's white blood cells are unable to differentiate between healthy tissue and invading bacteria. In children suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, white blood cells attack the healthy cartilage of the body's joints.

In typical cases, signs and symptoms -- joint pain and red, swollen joints -- usually begin between the ages of 6 months and 16 years. Often, the number of joints affected early on will dictate the severity of the disease and any chances a patient can anticipate a remission.

"Awareness and information is the key for both parents and physicians in helping to get children properly diagnosed to avoid unnecessary and long-term pain," Ban said. "That is why these seminars are so important. With the proper information, parents are empowered."

Information: www.aahs.org or 443-481-4000.

BWMC doctor is physician of year

The Maryland chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has named Dr. Joel Klein, assistant director of emergency medicine at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, as its Physician of the Year.

Klein, of Silver Spring, has worked at BWMC since 2004. He helps oversee one of the busiest emergency departments in the state, with more than 90,000 patients a year receiving care there.

Klein received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale University and a master's degree in bioethics at The University of Washington in Seattle. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and completed an internship and residency in emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins. The Maryland chapter of ACEP chose Klein for going above and beyond his job requirements in clinical work, emergency medicine advocacy and public health, said Claire Jefferson, executive director.

Grocer sponsors health program

The Giant Food store at 6626 Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie will join the Anne Arundel County Department of Health's Learn To Live program to sponsor Good Food For Good Health this weekend.

The program helps consumers select nutritious low-fat, high-fiber foods at the supermarket. Shoppers can visit nutrition booths staffed by health educators and take home bags containing free healthy recipes, brochures and a magnet. The event hours at Giant are 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Learn To Live encourages county residents to reduce their risk of developing cancer and other serious illnesses by making healthy lifestyle choices, including eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking and getting regular cancer screenings. Information: 410-222-7979 or www.aahealth.org.

Pharmacist speaks on supplements

Brian Sanderoff, pharmacist and radio personality, will discuss the benefits of natural supplements at a program to be presented at 7:30 p.m. next Wednesday at Baywoods of Annapolis Continuing Care Retirement Community, 7101 Bay Front Drive.

Topics he will cover include a simple explanation of basic biochemistry -- why the body responds the way it does to the stimuli we give it. He will also dissect the common chronic diseases that plague Americans today, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and depression, and how the use of vitamins and herbal products may be an answer for many chronic diseases. He will answer questions from the audience.

Sanderoff earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1984 from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. In 1993 he began hosting and producing Your Prescription for Health, a talk radio program.

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call 443-837-1208.

Medical Center runs blood drive

The Anne Arundel Medical Center Blood Mobile will join the city of Annapolis for its 2008 City Hall Blood Drive today, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Blood Mobile that will be parked in front of Annapolis City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester Street.

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