Health Briefs, Feb. 16, 2010

Fair provides info on medical careers

Palisade High School is sponsoring a free community health fair for those interested in a career in the medical field. The event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the school’s gymnasium, 3679 G Road in Palisade. There will more than 20 booths with representatives to answer questions.

Balance class available to older adults

Home Care of the Grand Valley and the Mesa County Health Department have trained coaches to teach classes to help elderly residents reduce the risks of falling. The classes are titled “Matter of Balance.”

Classes will be conducted in eight, two-hour sessions that use group discussion, problem-solving strategies, videos and gentle physical exercise. Older adults can learn positive coping methods to reduce the fear of falling to remain active and independent.

Classes are twice a week from Feb. 23 through March 18. Classes are limited to 10 participants and materials and snacks will be provided. To register, call 248-6904.

Living with Diabetes classes offered

St. Mary’s Life Center is offering a Living with Diabetes class for people with Type 2 diabetes. The classes are based on the American Association of Diabetes Educators 7 Self-Care Behaviors.

The curriculum is intended to help people with diabetes become empowered using technology options such as continuous blood glucose monitoring and self-care behavior techniques.

Classes are taught by certified diabetes educators. The four-week series is offered from 2–4 p.m. beginning the first Tuesday of every month on the second floor of St. Mary’s Life Center. A referral is required from a physician for insurance purposes.

To register, call St. Mary’s central scheduling at 298-6900. Fax the referral to 298-7905. For further questions, call Janette Lobdell at 298-2582 or Annegret Howe at 298-1998.

This week is National Condom Week

In recognition of National Condom Week, Feb. 14–21, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is urging sexually active individuals to talk to their partner about the importance of using condoms to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Nearly 19 million new cases of STDs are diagnosed each year; half of those diagnosed are 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Condoms are the only form of contraception that also helps reduce the risk of STDs.

Planned Parenthood campus chapters are sponsoring activities to help foster discussion about condom use among sexual partners. During National Condom Week, 24 Colorado Planned Parenthood health centers will offer complimentary condom packets with each client visit while supplies last.

Dental center sponsors school events

Lybrook Dental Center in Fruita is sponsoring dental health awareness events at Shelledy Elementary, Wingate Elementary and Rim Rock Elementary schools throughout the month. The events will educate second-graders on the importance of good oral health.

Every year, the dental center participates in the National Children’s Dental Health Month. The annual observance of children’s dental health began in 1941 as a single day event in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, it has grown into a nationwide, monthlong program in February that reaches millions of people in communities across the United States.

Local observances often include presentations, coloring contests, posters and advice on proper dental hygiene from area dentists. For information about Lybrook Dental Center visitation day to promote 2010 National Children’s Dental Month, call Gail Corbett at 858-9511.

Children’s health in state graded down

The 2009 Colorado Health Report Card, recently released by the Colorado Health Foundation, documents that Colorado continues to fall behind in important areas affecting children’s health. Key indicators track the health status of Coloradans in five different life stages, and this year’s report shows that the biggest declines occurred in children’s health.

The overall grade for Healthy Children dropped from a C- in 2008 to a D+ in 2009. Among the indicators for this life stage, the most dramatic drop was in childhood obesity where the state fell from third in the nation to 23rd.

In addition, Colorado remains in the bottom half of all states in four out of the six indicators for this life stage.

B4 Babies and the Uncompahgre Parental Program are both part of Hilltop Community Resources, a Colorado Health Foundation grantee, which focuses on healthy pregnancies. The programs reach out to women in Mesa County and Montrose County who may not otherwise receive medical care early enough during a pregnancy, which can result in low birth weight. In 2009, B4 Babies served 1,128 women in Mesa County and the Uncompahgre Parental Program served more than 200 women.

The Colorado Health Report Card is in its third year of reporting on the health of Coloradans based on 38 key indicators. The 2009 Report Card breaks down the population into five life stages: Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Children, Healthy Adolescents, Healthy Adults and Healthy Aging.

The Colorado Health Foundation first issued the report card in its current format in 2007. To read the Report Card and expanded information on each health indicator, visit http://www.coloradohealth reportcard.org.


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