Lifestyle - Health & Wellness Articles

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Don’t jump the gun on planting garden

By Erin McIntyre

The first day high temperatures reached into the low 50s, I felt the itch. Why not clear that flowerbed of leaves? Dig around and see if the irises are starting to push their vibrant green spear-like leaves through the winter muck. Take off that ratty sweatshirt and put my feet in the dirt? Nobody wants to believe Punxsutawney Phil’s depressing prediction that we’ll endure more wintry weather before we see spring. Personally, I have little faith in a New England resident ...


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Get Yourself Moving: The Swiss Ball Pass Over

By Staff

SWISS BALL PASSOVER  ...


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How women 
can take care 
of their hearts

By Staff

eart disease personified would be a vicious killer of women who hid in the open, unrecognized and ignored before taking another life. The sneaky killer was probably lurking among the 200 or so who attended the first day of a two-day education and awareness program at St. Mary’s Hospital last week. St. Mary’s Cardiac and Vascular Services Department presented the Go Red for Women program where Dr. Maria Anderson, a cardiologist, and Dr. Sara Pereira, a thoracic surgeon, spoke ...


Health Briefs, Feb. 18, 2014

By Staff

Discussing mammograms With recent studies casting doubt on when and if women should have mammograms, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends women speak with their health care providers to make the best decision. “With all the public confusion over mammograms, we want to make it clear that no one knows a woman’s medical needs better than her health care provider,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, the department’s executive director and chief ...


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Veteran’s costly ride in ambulance highlights federal benefits dilemma

By Greg Ruland

People in need of an ambulance don’t normally shop around for the best price. Life or death emergencies don’t work that way, nor should they, Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center officials said Friday. The right time to call an ambulance is usually obvious, but some people try to save money anyway at the risk of their lives. “Is your life really worth $900?” asked VA Medical Center spokesman Paul Sweeney. Some veterans say yes, considering the number ...


Health Briefs, Feb. 4, 2014

By Staff

Rocky Mountain MS Center names CEO The Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center selected Gina Berg as its new chief executive officer. The Rocky Mountain MS Center is the regional leader in providing clinical care, research, education and support to people with multiple sclerosis and their families. As CEO, Berg has oversight of the strategic direction and operation of the center’s programs and services. Berg has more than 14 years of experience as a nonprofit executive. Prior ...


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Blind civil rights group forming to serve Western Slope

By Greg Ruland

In the mind of the beholder, the sight of a blind person navigating the sidewalk with a service dog or white cane may generate thoughts that further disable them but rarely define them. Do blind people really count their steps to get from one place to another? Do blind people really have increased hearing ability and other heightened senses? “If people think you have these weird capabilities, then you’re separate and apart,” said Kevan Worley of Worley Enterprises, a ...


Health Briefs, Jan. 28, 2014

By Staff

Free hearing aids offered A local audiologist is giving the gift of better hearing. Dr. Jennifer Bebee of Western Colorado Hearing Clinic has teamed up with Starkey, a national hearing devices company, in order to help five local people who are financially unable to purchase digital hearing aids on their own.  “Everybody deserves to hear at the best level possible. I don’t believe anyone should be turned away for their hearing needs because of their financial ...


Health Briefs, Jan. 21, 2014

By Staff

Learn how to lose weight with surgery If you are considering weight loss surgery, attend a free education session presented by the staff of St. Mary’s Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Center from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. St. Mary’s offers all surgical options — gastric band, gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and biliopancreatic diversion procedures — performed by a bariatric-trained surgeon. Learn how the different types of surgery work, who qualifies and ...


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Time runs out on dental care

By Greg Ruland

Elaine Harper, a 70-year-old school bus driver, needed a lot of dental work she couldn’t afford. Last March, Harper believed her prayers were answered when she saw a giant billboard along U.S. Highway 6&50 advertising a new dental service that offered one year’s worth of dental work in exchange for a single payment of $900. The deal at Grand Dental, 1035 Grand Ave., was apparently too good to last. Harper made the $900 payment, but before all the dental work she needed ...


Switching to gluten free

By Emily Shockley

My brother was diagnosed with celiac disease about four years ago. His physician told him siblings have a higher chance of sharing the diagnosis than parents or children — about a 50/50 chance. That bit of news prompted my other brother and me to get a blood test to see if we had celiac, too. It came back negative for both of us. So I’m in the clear for celiac. But, like plenty of other people, the protein composite found in many products made with wheat, barley and rye that ...


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Western Slope blood supply flows through St. Mary’s Regional Center

By Greg Ruland

Blood is usually in short supply during the winter because of holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a tough month for blood centers to find people willing to donate, said Jill Breman, donor recruiter at St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center, 750 Wellington Ave. That’s why January has been declared National Blood Donor Awareness Month. “People think of donating when there’s an accident or emergency, but all communities ...


Health Briefs, Jan. 7, 2014

By Staff

Help with veterans benefits offered A representative from the Denver Regional Veterans Benefits Office will visit Grand Junction today and Wednesday. Barbara Martinez can assist veterans and their survivors with a number of issues including: claims for military-related injuries or illnesses, also called service-connected disabilities, veterans home loan information, low-income wartime veterans pension requests, pensions for widows and widowers of wartime veterans; survivors ...


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Eating disorder specialist thinks local numbers off

By Greg Ruland

Nationally, more people die of eating disorders than from suicide, according to a Grand Junction specialist who treats the disorder. While the statistic does not hold true in Mesa County, the illness, which takes several forms, is more widespread here than some people think, said Krista Carpenter of Lotus Counseling, 347 N. Seventh St. Eating disorders are real, complex and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships. They are not ...


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St. Mary’s trauma center closest, most well-equipped

By Greg Ruland

Car wreck victims with complex injuries arrive at St. Mary’s Hospital in the worst shape imaginable, often unaware the highly trained staff rushing to help them work for the highest-level trauma center in the region. The American College of Surgeons once again verified the medical center’s Level II trauma center, confirming St. Mary’s operates the highest level trauma center between Denver and Salt Lake City, hospital officials said. St. Mary’s program has been ...


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Young and defenseless: Online campaign tries to educate uninsured about high cost of accident

By Greg Ruland

Colorado’s first statewide nonprofit health insurance cooperative launched a new awareness campaign last week to educate “young invincibles” about the potential costs of not having health insurance. The name young invincibles comes from a term used in the insurance industry that refers to young adults who choose to go without health insurance because of their perceived invincibility — that is, they don’t feel they need it, according to the Colorado Trust. ...


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Help on cue: Annual pool tournament benefits cancer patients

By Duffy Hayes

Shannon Moralez loved to play pool. When he was battling the cancer that eventually took his life, a pool tournament fundraiser to help cover many of his medical bills was particularly close to his heart, family members say. Moralez lost his battle in September 2009, and each year since then his friends, family and fellow pool enthusiasts have held a memorial tournament in his honor — just as Moralez wished before he died. “It’s just been unreal,” said Theresa ...


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4 Grand Valley residents to get free joint replacements

By Greg Ruland

Four Grand Valley residents in dire need of joint replacements but who lack the insurance to pay for them will receive the life-changing surgeries today and Friday thanks to volunteers. St. Mary’s Hospital, in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates, will provide free hip and knee replacements to the four. The surgeries will be performed under the auspices of Operation Walk USA, an independent medical humanitarian organization that provides free hip or knee ...


Health Briefs, Dec. 2, 2013

By Staff

Hearing loss potluck set for Saturday The Western Colorado Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America will host its third annual free covered dish holiday meal at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The luncheon at Center for Independence, 740 Gunnison Ave., has become a tradition to cultivate fellowship and friendships. It is an opportunity get to know other people with hearing loss in an accepting environment. Family and friends are welcome.  Participants are encouraged to call ...


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Pancreatic cancer survivor works to raise awareness

By Greg Ruland

Numbers can help to get a handle on disease, especially those as mystifying and seemingly unfair as cancer. Pancreatic cancer statistics offer one example. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Across the nation, about 45,200 people will be diagnosed with it and 38,500 people will die from it before the end of the year, according to the National Cancer Institute. In observance of National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, 63-year-old Jim Comerford, a ...


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