Health Briefs, Dec. 24, 2013

Senior programs move offices

St. Mary’s Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs moved Tuesday from 2232 N. Seventh St. to their new office at 2530 N. Eighth St., Suite 102.

Grandparents provide services to more than 1,300 youth and young adults each year through St. Mary’s Foster Grandparent Program, which provides volunteer opportunities to persons 55 and older. Volunteers use life experiences to tutor and mentor special-needs or at-risk youth in a classroom setting.

St. Mary’s Senior Companion Program also provides volunteer opportunities to persons 55 and older. Volunteers help more than 300 home-bound seniors to maintain their highest level of independent living. 

For information about the Foster Grandparent Program, call the new telephone number, (970) 298-9091.

For information about the Senior Companion Program, call the new telephone number, (970) 298–9092.

Health fair booths can be applied for


The Grand Valley Health Fair Planning Committee is now accepting booth applications for the 2014 Fair to be held in March in downtown Grand Junction.

Participants should offer an educational opportunity or screening that aligns with the priority areas for health improvement.

The fair takes place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 21 and 22 at Two Rivers Convention Center, 159 Main St.

The fair’s mission is to collaborate with community partners to provide access to free or low-cost screenings, promote health-focused awareness and detection and empower people to take charge of their health.

For more information, call 244-7774 or 248-6971.

Vibrational medicine workshop Jan. 18


A workshop geared to help students discover energetic secrets for manifesting greater health, relationships, money and careers takes place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 18.

The event will be presented by Linda Nelson and Karmel Astarae, who together boast a variety of credentials that include a Reiki master teacher designation and clairvoyance.

The workshop takes place at Yoga West Collective, 1025 Main St. Call 964-4052 or 216-3526 to register.

West Springs Hospital recognized


The Colorado Hospital Association recently recognized West Springs Hospital, the only psychiatric hospital on the Western Slope, for its effective work in reducing preventable readmission rates for patients.

For the past year West Springs Hospital was a member of the American Hospital Association’s Hospital Engagement Network.

The nationwide initiative focuses on improved patient care in 10 areas of choice. West Springs concentrated on reducing avoidable readmission rates by 20 percent over a two-year period. 

“This is critically important as the hospital is at full capacity more days than not,” hospital officials said in a news release.

Readmission of patients is a costly nationwide issue. A 2009 study from the New England Journal of Medicine showed that nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.

The study estimated that only 10 percent of these readmissions were planned.

The annual cost to Medicare alone of unplanned readmissions exceeds $17 billion, the study said.

Prior to joining the network, West Springs Hospital enjoyed a readmission rate well below the national average at just above 10 percent. Since joining the network, the hospital’s readmission rate dropped to 7 percent.

“In tackling this issue, West Springs Hospital focused on three main criteria: evaluating the circumstances leading to readmission, re-evaluating the treatment needs of the individual during hospitalization and improving comprehensive discharge plans,” hospital Vice President Kim Boe said. “In less than a year our approach has reduced the readmission rate for individuals by 30 percent.”

Hilltop to host seniors open house


Hilltop’s Senior Life Options programs host a Holiday Open House and Tour on Saturday.

The open house takes place at The Commons of Hilltop, 625
 27½ Road, with guided tours to the nearby Fountains and Cottages communities. 

Representatives from Hilltop Home Care will be available to answer questions about services for seniors who want to remain in their own homes.

Senior Daybreak staff also will be on hand to discuss dementia and Alzheimer’s issues and available care options.

Attendees will receive a free gift and be entered in a drawing for a deluxe gift basket.

This event is open to the public, and media are invited to attend.

Children’s mental health classes set


A five-week course will provide a balance of education, support and advocacy training to parents and caregivers of children with mental health issues, National Alliance on Mental Illness of the Western Slope announced.

The one-day-a-week class, called Colorado Visions, will give caregivers an opportunity to share experiences and learn valuable lessons from one another.

Topics include organization of data and record keeping, coping and self-care, empathy and sharing, communication with each other and children, problem management and advocacy.

The class takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays starting Jan. 16. There is no charge for the class; however, registration is required by calling 462-3989 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Yoga and SoulCollage on New Year’s Day


Academy of Yoga is offering a Yoga and SoulCollage for the New Year workshop called “Out With the Old and In With the New” starting at 9 a.m. Jan. 1. Register by Dec. 30 by calling 270-2635 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Mesa County wins $72,000 grant


The Office of Early Childhood at the Colorado Department of Human Services announced Mesa County, in partnership with Hilltop Community Resources, will receive $72,739 in grant funding from a new program to prevent child maltreatment and abuse. The grant is part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy 2.0 child welfare plan.

The Colorado Community Response program is awarding grants to provide additional resources to families who are not involved in the child welfare system but are still at potential risk for incidents of child abuse or maltreatment. 

Starting in January, in addition to Mesa County, 13 counties and their partners will receive a total of $728,000 in funding to pilot the Colorado Community Response program, including three on the Western Slope:

■ Mesa County, in partnership with Hilltop Community Resources;

■ Eagle County, in partnership with Eagle County School District; 

■ Montrose County, in partnership with Hilltop Community Resources.


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