Briefs: Local Health January 06, 2009

Child oral health screenings offered

• Hilltop Community Resources and Marillac Clinic will have two training sessions and oral health screenings aimed at dental care for children.
The first is from 9 a.m. to noon today at the Mesa County Health Department.
The second is from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at St. Mary’s Family Medicine Residency.
The program is part of the “Cavity Free at Three” state initiative to prevent oral disease in children.

‘Freshstart’ tobacco class begins

• The Mesa County Tobacco Education Council and St. Mary’s Life Center are offering a four-week “Freshstart” tobacco cessation class.
Participants receive a free three-month membership to Crossroads Fitness, free yoga classes at Academy of Yoga and 10 free workouts at St. Mary’s Life Center.
The tobacco cessation class helps people understand why they use tobacco and how it affects them and others, how to master the first few days off tobacco, how to deal with obstacles to quitting and how to stay tobacco-free forever.
The classes are from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Jan. 8–29.
Cost is $25, which is payable on the first night of class.
For information or to register, call 254-4108.
Another tobacco cessation program is being offered through the Colorado QuitLine, a free telephone coaching service.
The Colorado QuitLine provides those participating with $300 in nicotine patches to help quit using tobacco.
The QuitLine is at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit for Web-based cessation tools.
The coaches at the QuitLine are available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Info sessions set for Hospice volunteers

• Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado is sponsoring two volunteer information sessions for anyone interested in learning more about volunteering with the organization.
The first session is from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Hospice Care Center, 3090B N. 12th St. The second session is from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 15 at the same location.
Those interested in volunteering can attend either session.
For information, call 257-2378 or visit
Agencies stress importance of folic acid

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Folic Acid Task Force and the National Council on Folic Acid are encouraging women of childbearing age to take a daily multivitamin and to eat foods rich in folate before becoming pregnant to prevent birth defects in their newborns.
Research shows that if adequate amounts of folic acid — 400 micrograms daily — are consumed before pregnancy, up to 50 to 70 percent of neural tube defects such as spina bifida can be prevented, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.
A multivitamin and fortified grains are good sources of folic acid. Fortified grains include enriched cereals, pasta, rice, bread, dried beans and peas.
Peanut butter and orange juice also are good sources of folic acid.
April Montgomery, chairwoman of the Colorado Folic Acid Task Force, said Hispanic babies are nearly two times more likely than others in the United States to be born with a neural tube defect.
“Compared to other ethnic or racial groups, Latinas in the United States and in Colorado are least likely to consume the recommended amount of folic acid daily. We need to educate all women, especially Latinas, that folic acid can help prevent birth defects,” Montgomery said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of neural tube defects has decreased by 26 percent since fortification of folic acid in grain products began in 1998.
For information about folic acid, visit the National Council on Folic Acid’s Web site,, or call 303-692-2700.


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