Health Briefs

August 02, 2009

Breast cancer survivors sought for support program

The Center for Breast Care at Howard County General Hospital is offering a support program for women with breast cancer, matching volunteer breast cancer survivors with newly diagnosed women for insight and support through the patient's treatment and recovery. Called "Survivors Offering Support," the program was introduced at Howard County General in 2006.

The hospital is recruiting breast cancer survivors to serve as SOS mentors. Volunteers are required to complete an application and attend a training session that includes information on therapeutic listening and communications, breast cancer diagnosis and treatments, patient advocacy and support resources for those diagnosed with the disease.

Each year, mentors must also attend two of four training sessions on the latest developments in breast cancer research and treatment. Mentors must obtain a release from two doctors indicating that they are emotionally ready to act as a mentor.

The program is funded in part by Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

More information: Tina Beerman, 410-884-8450, or Joan Montanari, 410-884-4574, or e-mail

Spiritual care volunteer training offered

Training to provide multidenominational spiritual care for patients and their families will be offered at Howard County General Hospital, 5755 Cedar Lane, Columbia.

The 16-week training program will be held Tuesday evenings beginning Sept. 15. Registration deadline is Aug. 17. Volunteers are expected to work a minimum of two hours a week, attend monthly support and training meetings and provide services for one year. For more information, call Chaplain Jack Dunlavey at 410-740-7898.


Senior yoga : Classes will be held 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursdays at Slayton House in the Village of Wilde Lake. Sign up for a full session or just drop in. Classes are slower-paced, emphasizing yogic breathing and stress reduction. Limited space; preregistration recommended. This program is sponsored by Wilde Lake Community Association. Call 410-730-3987 or e-mail

Health clinics : Howard County General Hospital will host a healthy pregnancy, healthy kids clinic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 15 at The Mall in Columbia in the Lord and Taylor Court. The event features asthma, scoliosis, bone density and blood pressure screenings as well as height, weight, growth and development for children and BMI (body mass index) for adults.

Other services and programs include enhancing children's nutrition, an opportunity to ask a pediatrician or obstetrician questions, health and safety tips for kids, physical fitness information for the whole family and health insurance information for the uninsured.

* Noon: Kangaroo Kids precision jump rope team will give a demonstration.

* 2 p.m.: Dr. Rachel Plotnick will give a presentation about prevention and treatment of head lice.

Childbirth classes : A six-week program from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Aug. 19 will be offered by Laurel Regional Hospital Maternity Center. In addition, two optional classes on breast-feeding and newborn care will be offered 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the third and fourth Thursday of each session. Classes will be held at the hospital, 7300 Van Dusen Road, Laurel. For cost and registration, call 301-497-7983.

PACE program : Laurel Regional Hospital and the metropolitan Washington chapter of the Arthritis Foundation will offer an exercise program, "People with Arthritis Can Exercise" (PACE), 10 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays, Aug. 20 to Oct. 8 at the hospital, 7300 Van Dusen Road, Laurel. The program includes activities to improve endurance, joint mobility and body mechanics. Participants must be able to walk independently, with a device, or to transfer to a straight chair from their wheelchair. The fee is $25 per person, $15 for auxiliary members or $3 per class. For additional information, call 301-497-7914.

Save & Savor local flavor : Howard County independent restaurants are partnering with Maryland farms to feature local products on chef's menus. The Howard County Department of Tourism and Promotion's Summer Restaurant Weeks, July 27 through Aug. 9, will feature local produce, products, cut flowers, herbs, meats, eggs and game often paired with Maryland wine or local beers at Howard County restaurants. See a list of participating restaurants at Or contact Sue Emerson, director of business and community development for Howard County tourism, at 410-313-1903.

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