Health briefs: Immunization week, prescription drug take-back

County observes immunization week

The Mesa County Health Department will observe National Infant Immunization Week through Saturday by encouraging parents to have their children immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started the National Infant Immunization Week initiative to raise awareness about the importance of childhood immunizations.

According to the CDC, vaccines are among the most cost-effective and successful public health tools for preventing disease and death not only among children, but in entire communities.

Every day, about 12,000 babies are born in the United States and all should be immunized against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2, according to the CDC.

For information about immunizations, call the Mesa County Health Department at 248-6900 or go to, or go to the CDC’s website at

Agencies accepting prescription drugs

Local law enforcement agencies will observe National Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday by encouraging people to drop off their unused over-the-counter and prescription medications.

People can drop off unused medications at the Palisade Town Hall, 175 E. Third St.; the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, 215 Rice St.; the Grand Junction Police Department, 625 Ute Ave.; and the Fruita Community Recreation Center, 324 N. Coulson St.

Items that cannot be accepted at National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are needles and other sharps, mercury thermometers, oxygen containers, chemotherapy or radioactive substances, pressurized canisters or illicit drugs.

Therapists offer seminar on back pain

Physical therapists at St. Mary’s Rehabilitation Services will offer a free seminar about back pain from 2–3:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Mary’s Life Center, 1100 Patterson Road, Entrance 40, in the second-floor Grand Mesa Room.

Therapists will discuss the basics of spin anatomy and the common causes of and treatment options for back pain. The event is open to the public and no reservations are needed.

Learn about barefoot running

REI will host a free seminar about barefoot running at 6 p.m. May 4 at its store, 644 North Ave.

The event, which is open to the public, will address the basics of barefoot running and tips barefoot runners should know, including:

Start out on a smooth, hard surface.

Start with short runs.

Give yourself time to rest and recover.

Practice “toe running,” or a gentle forefoot landing instead of a standard heel strike.

Stand tall.

For information about the seminar and about barefoot running, go to

Class on teen driving open to parents

The Mesa County Health Department, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Grand Junction Police Department and Home Loan Insurance are teaming to help Colorado’s teens become safe drivers.

They will sponsor free one-hour classes about teaching teens how to drive from 5:30–6:30 p.m. May 10, July 12 and Aug. 9.

The class is designed to help parents become effective driving instructors and to understand the Colorado Graduated Driver’s License Law.

A focus is to teach parents how to help their teens avoid being distracted drivers. Distractions may be visual, such as taking their eyes off the road; manual, taking their hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking their mind off what they’re doing.

Particular dangers for modern teen drivers include texting, using a cell phone, eating and drinking, grooming, reading, watching a video, using an mp3 player or talking to passengers while driving.

Space in the classes is limited and advance registration is required. To register send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call 683-6624.

RMHP becomes Broncos insurer

Rocky Mountain Health Plans will become the health insurance provider for the Denver Broncos organization Sunday, offering health coverage to Denver Broncos staff.

Denver Broncos players will continue to receive their coverage through the players’ union.

“It’s a great partnership: They’re a Colorado team and we’re a Colorado company,” said Kayla Arnesen, director of marketing and corporate communications for Rocky Mountain Health Plans.

Over the summer, Rocky Mountain Health Plans will join the Broncos Country Caravan at several stops around the state. Participants will be able to test their physical fitness, sign a wellness pledge, learn about making healthy choices and win prizes from the Denver Broncos and Rocky Mountain Health Plans.

The dates and locations of those stops still are being determined, Arnesen said.


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