Health Briefs, March 11, 2014

Olive oil makes healthy food better

Everyone wants to eat healthy, but not everyone knows how to make healthy foods taste great. That’s why the Colorado Chiropractic & Muscle Care Healthy Living Series is offering at 6 p.m. today a free community presentation, “Fresh EVOO: You Can Really Taste The Difference” at Movement Therapies, 2232 N. Seventh St., Suite 8.

The event is part of an ongoing series of talks, media presentations and demonstrations meant to engage the community in activities that promote better health and wellness.

This month, Eleni Sica of Crossroads Wine and Spirits will be demonstrating how to make healthy foods taste better by using extra virgin olive oil as well as other healthy foods and seasonings. In addition to watching the demonstration, attendees will be able to ask questions and sample food.

Honor your doctor, give blood


Doctors’ Day is a national holiday at the end of March honoring the contribution physicians make to a community. To celebrate, the Mesa County Medical Society Alliance is hosting a blood drive on Friday at St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center to benefit all those who rely on the great medical services in the Grand Valley.

Blood has a short shelf life — five days for platelets and 42 days for red blood cells — so donations are always needed.

It takes about 1,000 donations every month to meet the demand for local hospitals.

Residents are encouraged to give blood on Friday in honor of their favorite doctor or family and friends who depend on the medical professionals in the community.

Schedule an appointment by calling 298-2555 or drop in between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at 750 Wellington Ave., Entrance 22, to donate.

The Mesa County Medical Society Alliance’s mission is to nurture medical families and support the health and well-being of Mesa County. For information, visit

Hilltop to host insurance event


Under the Affordable Care Act, the deadline to enroll in a health plan in order to avoid paying a penalty for not having coverage is March 31. Once that date passes, individuals will not be able to purchase an individual health insurance plan unless they experience a qualifying life event. 

To assist community members in obtaining coverage by this deadline, Hilltop Community Resources’ Health Access, local insurance brokers and Connect for Health Colorado have partnered to host an Open Enrollment Event on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 
3:30 p.m. at Mesa County Libraries’ central branch, 443 N. Sixth St.

Appointments are not necessary. This event will give members of the public a chance to compare coverage options side by side, learn if they can get a discount based on their income, and then enroll — all in one day.

Learn living with diabetes at St. Mary’s


St. Mary’s Living with Diabetes education series teaches people of all ages with diabetes to use self-care techniques and current technology to manage their condition.

The four-week series for people with type 2 diabetes and their families is based on the American Association of Diabetes Educators 7 Self-Care Behaviors.

Living with Diabetes meets from 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays, March 18 and 25 and April 1 and 8, in St. Mary’s Life Center, 2686 Patterson Road.

Call 298-2582 for information and to schedule an initial appointment with a diabetes educator prior to the class.

A physician referral is required.

County health fair slated March 21-22


Mesa County health officials are urging residents to attend the Grand Valley Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 21 and 22 at Two Rivers Convention Center.

The fair will provide opportunity for 17 free health screenings and hands-on activities for all, including children, plus tips and information on health resources, nutrition, fitness, activity resources, children’s health and safety and ways to de-stress, among other topics.

Valley health agencies, health care providers, educators and others are joining the health fair this year. All booth spaces are filled, a fair spokeswoman said.

Those who took advantage of the low-cost blood screenings in the weeks before the fair will be able pick up their results at the fair and visit with a health professional.

Grand Valley Transit will provide free rides to Two Rivers Convention Center. Residents should tell the driver they are going to the health fair and want to get off at the convention center. 

Rocky Mountain Health Plans, St. Mary’s Hospital, the Mesa County Health Department, area Lions Clubs and other community organizations are stepping up to support the fair.

For information, call 244-8400.

Experts teach weight maintenance


The Project U Weight Management Program is a series of six classes presented by a registered dietitian, a behavioral health therapist and a physical therapist.

The classes are designed to help students learn more about quick healthy meals, making healthy eating a lifestyle, tips for keeping off the weight and more. Classes are from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Mondays at Community Professional Plaza, 2004 N. 12th St. Cost is $99 for six weeks or $20 a class.

VA program reduces opioid abuse


The Department of Veterans Affairs has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce the use of opioids among America’s veterans using VA health care, VA spokesman Paul Sweeney said in a news release. 

The Opioid Safety Initiative is a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from chronic pain.

Launched in October 2013 in Minneapolis, the initiative is already demonstrating success in lowering dependency on this class of drugs, Sweeney said. 

At eight sites of care in Minnesota, these practices decreased high-dose opioid use by more than 50 percent. The program incorporates the team approach of alleviating a veteran’s pain using non-prescription methods. 

There is an emphasis on patient education, close patient monitoring with frequent feedback and complementary and alternative medicine practices like acupuncture, Sweeney said.

The Grand Junction VA employs medical staff — pain medicine specialty teams and consult services, facility pain committees, pharmacy staff and primary care providers — to accomplish the goals and objectives of the program.

Fore information, veterans should contact their primary care health team.


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