Health Briefs, Dec. 15, 2009

Mental health group sponsors classes

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Colorado and its Western Slope office are sponsoring a free, 12-week course for families with adults living with mental illness.

Classes start Jan. 26. For information or to register, call 462-3989.

All class materials will be provided, and participants will remain confidential.

H1N1 vaccinations widely available

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is recommending wider use of the H1N1 vaccine for Colorado residents.

Until recently, people in high-priority populations routinely received the vaccine. Needs of those groups have largely been met, and additional doses of the vaccine should be more readily available to all populations.

The state Health Department arranged delivery of more than a million H1N1 doses to local health departments and about 1,500 medical providers.

Car club donates stuffed animals to ER

For 10 years, members of a local car club have donated new stuffed animals to Community Hospital for emergency room physicians to distribute to children during the holidays.

The exchange was celebrated Saturday with a parade of 25 unique cars driven by members of the Just 4 Fun Car Club.

The stuffed animals make a visit to the emergency room less intimidating and help spread cheer, Community Hospital said in a news release.

Latimer House receives $5,000 grant

Verizon Wireless Communications gave a $5,000 grant to Latimer House to help continue its domestic violence prevention and outreach services to clients in Mesa, Delta, Montrose and Ouray counties.

The funds will be used to create bilingual outreach materials and to provide support groups, advocacy, prevention efforts and education to both English and Spanish speakers, Latimer House officials said in a news release.

Veterans Affairs report card released

For a second consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a report card on its quality of care.

The reports from 2008 and 2009 will be made available at

According to a release from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the 2009 report showed improvements in the number of veterans receiving smoking cessation counseling and the number of veterans receiving pneumonia immunizations.

The 2009 report showed more improvement is necessary to address the needs of female and minority veterans, said a release concerning the report.

Women advocates and a minority veteran program coordinator have been assigned at every medical center to address the issue, the release said.


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