Anne Arundel County health brief

February 07, 2014

Heart health

February is American Heart month. The Anne Arundel Department of Health offers kits and fact sheets about heart disease, its risk factors and prevention on the website learntolivehealthy.org.

Flu shots

The Department of Health is offering free vaccinations. Nasal-spray vaccine is for healthy people age 2 to 49. It is not for pregnant women. The clinics also have the high-dose flu shots for people 65 years of age and older. Pneumococcal vaccine is also available. The following locations will provide vaccinations:

•Glen Burnie Health Center, from 8:30 .m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, 416 A Street, Glen Burnie. 410-222-6633.

•Parole Health Center, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, 1950 Drew Street, Annapolis. 410-222-7247.

Tobacco-free kids

The Department of Health's Learn to Live program encourages county residents to make healthy lifestyle choices and reduce their risk of cancer and other illnesses. For information visit the websites, learntolivehealthy.org and smokingstinks.org.

Blood drive

Baltimore Washington Medical Center will host an American Red Cross blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at the center in the Dr. Constantine Padussis conference center, 3rd floor, 301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie. Information: American Red Cross at 1-866-236-3276 or the medical center 410-787-4367.

Heart month special events

Anne Arundel Medical Center will sponsor heart healthy special events at the following sites:

•Health fair, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12; from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Feb. 19 and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at Westfield Annapolis, 2002 Arundel Mall, Annapolis. Cardiac nurses will provide blood pressure screenings, answer questions and provide information about heart disease.

•Smart woman talk, "Learn to fight heart disease." The lecture will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at the AAMC Doordan Institute, Belcher Pavilion, 7th floor, 2000 Medical Parkway, Annapolis. Register at aamcevents.org.

•docsTALK: saving a million hearts. Drs. John Martin and Briana Walton will discuss the common myths and facts about heart disease and stroke from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26, Westfield Annapolis, Crate & Barrel Court, 2002 Annapolis Mall, Annapolis.

Cold-weather tips

The Department of Health offers information on how to safely enjoy cold weather: Visit the website aahealth.org. Click on "cold weather tips" under "Hot topics." This includes dressings for cold weather, suggestions for items to have at home in case of a snowstorm and a list of symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Also, how to maintain space heaters and fireplaces.

Stomach virus

Gastroenteritis is an illness of the stomach and intestines, often caused by a virus. Some gastroenteritis infections tend to occur during the cooler months of the year (October to April.) Learn about the virus including symptoms, treatment and prevention on the Department of Health's website: aahealth.org. Click on "Gastroenteritis" under "Hot Topics."

Breast cancer awareness

The Department of Health's Learn to Live program is offering a free women's health kit that includes information on cancer screenings, nutrition and other women's health topics. The health department also offers free mammograms and breast exams to eligible women. Call 410-222-7979 or visit learntolivehealthy.org.

Walk for better health

Walking is the most popular form of physical activity. A web page sponsored by the Department of Health, aahealth.org/walk, features information about walking programs, trails and tracks.

Support groups

Widow/Widowers support group for adults grieving the death of a spouse or life partner. The group meets from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 12 through March 5 and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of, Feb. 19, March 19, April 16, May 21 and June 18, in the Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.

Child loss support group providing social and emotional support to parents grieving the death of a child regardless of age or circumstance from 10 a.m. to noon, March 1, Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.

Perinatal loss for individuals or couples coping with an unexpected diagnosis during pregnancy or infant loss meets from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.

Phoenix Rising: a support group for teens, ages 13 to 18, a place to connect with others who are also grieving the death of a loved one meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. Information: 410-987-2129.

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