Health Briefs, Sept. 17, 2013

Brooks recognized for vein treatment

The American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine recently awarded Dr. Robert S. Brooks with diplomate status, signifying advanced training and experience in the care and treatment of veins. Less than 1 percent of all vein care professionals in the U.S. and Canada have earned certification from the board.

Diplomates must complete required training and experience qualifications, meet continuing medical education requisites and pass a stringent certification examination over a 10-year period to qualify.

Brooks is a senior partner with Grand Junction Vascular, 1050 Wellington Ave., and has practiced in the Grand Valley since 1986.

Insurance broker will train professionals


A Grand Junction health insurance broker was recently chosen to teach certification classes for Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s online health insurance marketplace.

Jim Sjerven of Mountain West Insurance and Financial Services, 480 West Park Drive, Suite 100, is one of 22 brokers in the state and the only Western Slope broker to be selected to train health insurance professionals on how to advise clients inside and outside the exchange.

Only certified brokers will be legally allowed to compare and contrast insurance for their clients that are listed on the exchange.

Every state is required to have an online health insurance marketplace up and running by Oct. 1. The exchange in Colorado is called Connect for Health Colorado. More than 250 different plans will be available on the exchange for qualified health insurance consumers to buy.

HopeWest takes 2nd workplace award


HopeWest was recently awarded the 2013 Diversity Champion Award presented by the Society for Human Resource Management, Colorado State Council, according to Alyssa Hampson, HopeWest spokeswoman.

Mary Wigington, senior director of human resources at HopeWest, accepted the award, which was presented based on HopeWest’s proven commitment to diversity, its diversity programs and initiatives and overall strategy.

This is the second statewide award HopeWest has won in the last two months. The company also took second place in the large company category for Best Companies to Work For in Colorado.

“We are honored to have received both statewide awards,” HopeWest President and CEO Christy Whitney said. “These awards are a true reflection of our team’s dedicated efforts to make HopeWest a diverse organization and a great company to work for.”

Health Department giving flu shots


Flu season is around the corner and it’s not one health experts say should be taken lightly, Mesa County Health Department spokeswoman Veronica Daehn Harvey said in a news release.

More than 12,000 people were hospitalized across the U.S. because of influenza last season, which stretched between Oct. 1 and April 30, Harvey said.

It takes two weeks after the vaccination for the body to develop an immune response. That’s why Mesa County recommends people get vaccinated now so they will be protected when flu season begins, she said.

A flu and DTaP/Tdap Clinic takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Sept. 30 at the Community Services Building, 510 29 1/2 Road. Pay $25 at time of service for the flu vaccine or $40 for a high-dose vaccine and receive a diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine for free. Insurance can be billed. Walk-ins only.

Flu vaccine is also available at the Health Department on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 248-6900 for information.

Ovarian cancer patients can get help


A resource guide for those who wish to learn about ovarian cancer is now available from the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance at or by calling 303-506-7014. The guide is a “key stepping point for ovarian cancer patients and survivors,” according to Mary Phillips, a stage IIIC ovarian cancer survivor and president of the alliance board of directors.

The first-of-its-kind guide includes information on managing surgery and chemotherapy, genetic considerations, finding support, financial assistance, managing costs, insurance and legal issues and more.

Walmart, Sam’s raise funds for hospital


Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members at nine Western Slope stores raised $74,571 for Children’s Hospital Colorado, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, announced Monique Bronner, spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.

The Grand Junction Walmart raised more than $15,000 and its Sam’s Club counterpart another $27,000, Bronner said in a news release.

Store associates accepted donations from customers and members in-store between May 1 and June 21.

“The money will be used to quickly improve care offered to every child who walks through the doors of the hospital,” Bronner said.

Spinal fluid could show signs of MS


WASHINGTON — New research suggests it might be possible to spot early signs of multiple sclerosis in patients’ spinal fluid, findings that offer a new clue about how this mysterious disease forms.

The study released today was small and must be verified by additional research. But if it pans out, the finding suggests scientists should take a closer look at a different part of the brain than is usually linked to MS.

“It really tells us that MS may be affecting more parts of the brain much earlier than we anticipated,” said Timothy Coetzee, chief research officer at the National MS Society. Coetzee wasn’t involved with the new study.

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that causes varying symptoms — numbness and tingling in one person, impaired walking and vision loss in another — that often wax and wane. There are treatments but no cure. Doctors don’t know what causes MS, just that it occurs when the protective insulation, called myelin, that coats nerve fibers is gradually destroyed, leaving behind tough scar tissue.


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