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Health Notes:Free health screenings and more

Health Notes is a weekly feature that highlights health and wellness news in the area. Hospitals and other health related agencies may e-mail items to scappetta@hersamacorn.com.

Reiki workshop

Griffin Hospital is offering area residents an opportunity to learn Reiki, a body, mind, and spirit approach to medicine and healing, at a special Reiki Level 2 Workshop Thursday, Aug. 9, noon- 5 p.m. at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby.

The workshop is open to all individuals interested in becoming Level 2 Reiki practitioners (completion of a Level 1 Reiki workshop is a prerequisite). Cost is $25.

Advance registration is required by Aug. 2. To register, call 203-732-7555.

Free health screenings

Free health screenings and programs on how to stay healthy and safe highlight the 7th annual Community Health Fair set for Saturday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church, 96 Central St., Ansonia.

Attendees may receive free health screenings for stroke assessments (including cholesterol), blood pressure and diabetic screenings. In addition, the fair will feature the Child Identification Program (CHIP), health and wellness displays and interactive health education booths.

The event is sponsored by Griffin Hospital’s Valley Parish Nurse Program, Valley NAACP and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Neighborhood Small Grants.

Stroke support

St. Vincent’s Stroke Survivors and Caregivers Support Group meets the third Wednesday of the month 5:30-7 p.m., Seton Room on Level C at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport; 203-576-5361.

Genetic counseling

The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital is partnering with Yale Cancer Center to provide genetic counseling services in the Greater Bridgeport community. Certified genetic counselor Rachel Barnett sees patients at the Cancer Institute’s Park Avenue campus in Trumbull, where a number of other cancer-related services are also provided. Appointments are available on Wednesdays, Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10. For information or to make an appointment, call 203-764-8400.

Tai Chi/Qigong class

Introduction to Tai Chi/Qigong class offered at the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, from July 23 through Aug. 20.

Cost for the five classes is $60 (or less depending on participant turnout).

Participants should wear comfortable clothing. There is no strenuous exercise, only gentle movement done within each person’s comfortable range of motion.

Registration is required: 203-734-1492.

Blood pressure screenings

Screenings offered by Bridgeport Hospital. Call 1-888-357-2396.

Also offered by the South End Community Center in collaboration with the Stratford Health Department, first and third Wednesdays of the month, 10-noon, South End Community Center; 203-385-4058; 203-377-0689.

The Mario and Irma D’Addario Hypertension Program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center provides free blood pressure screenings and information to the public every Tuesday, 11:30-3:30, in the main lobby of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport; 1-877-255-SVHS (7847).

First aid/safety class

Bridgeport Hospital’s Emergency Care Institute offers the following self-care classes in the duPont Board Room at Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St. To register, call 203-384-4497.

Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, Thursday, July 26, 6-10 p.m., $90 ($65 for those with an unexpired American Heart Association certification card).

Nutrition for cancer survivors

St. Vincent’s is presenting “Nutrition for Cancer Survivors” the second Wednesday of every month from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in its Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent to the hospital. Upcoming: Aug. 8. To register or for more information call 203-576-6158.

Breastfeeding support

Bridgeport Hospital has launched a new free breastfeeding support group for new and expectant mothers, the first and third Wednesday of the month, 10-noon, 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull. To register, call toll free 1-888-357-2396.

Casino trip

St. Vincent’s Healthy Hearts Club has announced a trip to Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Wednesday, Aug. 22. The trip is open to the general public. The bus will leave promptly at 9 a.m. on Aug. 22.

Cost, at $55 per person, includes roundtrip motor coach transportation, lunch buffet, matinee show “Legends in Concert,” $10 Keno and driver’s gratuities.

Payment may be made by check to “Healthy Hearts” c/o Andy Gatto, 505 Hart St., Bridgeport, CT 06606. For reservations call Andy Gatto at 203-372-5097.

Nominations sought

The Valley Women’s Health Initiative is seeking nominations for “outstanding women” who have made positive contributions to the community. Award winners will be recognized Oct. 4, at the 12th annual “Women Making a Difference in the Valley” luncheon and fundraiser at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.

Individuals, business leaders, and organizations are invited to submit nominations. Nominees should exemplify the multi-dimensional role women play in today’s society as demonstrated by the contributions they have made to positively affect their community. Nominees must live or work in one of the Valley towns: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, and Naugatuck.

Nominations should be submitted by Aug. 15. Nomination forms may be downloaded at the Griffin Hospital webiste at griffinhealth.org. To request a nomination form, call Marianne or Connie at 203-732-1300 or email mvallillo@griffinhealth.org. Nominations should be mailed to the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby, CT 06418, Att: M. Vallillo. Selected honorees and their nominators will be invited to attend the October luncheon as guests of the Valley Women’s Health Initiative. Luncheon reservations will go on sale to the general public in August.

Family support group

A free Family Support Group for adult patients, family members and friends who are coping with a diagnose of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin’s Disease is being offered at St. Vincent’s on the first Tuesday of every month from 4-5:30 p.m., in the Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, Level 3 Medical Oncology Conference Room, adjacent to the Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Next meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 7. Information: 203-576-6158; tmclaugh@stvincent.org.

Breast cancer survivor support

St. Vincent’s Breast Cancer Survivor support group meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month 5:30-7 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Next: Aug. 7. No reservations required. Information: 203-576-6158; tmclaugh@st.vincentss.org.

Look Good … Feel Better

Free American Cancer Society program that helps women with cancer improve their appearance and self-image through hands-on beauty techniques offered Thursday, Aug. 9, 1-3 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Reservations required: 203-576-6158.

Also offered by The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, Derby the third Thursday of the month, 5-7 p.m. Register in advance by calling Laura Howell, 203-732-1280 or email lhowell@griffinhealth.org.

Diabetes education

St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the Merck Co., are co-sponsoring The Journey for Control, a monthly diabetes education workshop, the fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m., in St. Vincent’s Level 4 Seton Conference Room (next to the cafeteria).

To register, call 203-576-6168.

Bereavement support

Eight-week group facilitated by Ximena Varas, certified lay minister and chaplain meets Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m at First United Methodist Church, 188 Rocky Rest Road. Registration required: ximenavaras@umcshelton.org or 203-278-1568.

Weight loss support

Interested in losing weight? Concerned about your weight? First Congregational Church, 44 South Cliff St., Ansonia hosts a night of mutual support Mondays, weigh in from 5:45-6:50 p.m.; meeting 7-8 p.m. First meeting is free. Call Tom, 203-308-3355 and leave a message.

Cancer support group

Ongoing monthly group is focused on giving support to patients and families who have been diagnosed with lung, colon, head and neck, esophageal, GI cancers and other solid tumors. One-hour dialogue and discussion on medical issues and stress related issues regarding the medical, physical, and emotional effects concerning the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Meetings are the third Wednesday of the month, 9-10 a.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, third floor conference room, St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158.

Nursing moms support

Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby hosts a monthly Nursing Moms Support Group, facilitated by a board-certified lactation consultant the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7-9 p.m. Contact JMatranga@griffinhealth.org for more information.

Massage therapy

Massage is offered for oncology patients undergoing definitive active treatment and for survivors who have completed treatment. Call 203-576-6158 for an appointments. Program takes place on third floor of Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport.

Ring for Your Rhythm

Bridgeport Hospital’s “Ring for Your Rhythm” line provides recorded, step-by-step instructions for taking a pulse reading, to help detect atrial fibrillation (a-fib) and possibly prevent a stroke. Call toll free, 24/7, at 1-855-247-8573. A-fib, the most common type of heart rhythm disorder, causes blood to pool in the heart’s chambers, which can lead to blood clots that may travel to the brain and trigger a stroke.

Yoga for cancer patients

Restorative yoga, chair yoga with breathing and meditation for patients in active treatment or post-surgery, Tuesdays, 10 a.m., The Watermark, 303 Park Ave., Bridgeport; Thursdays, 10 a.m., Yoga Room on Level 3 of St. Vincent’s Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, adjacent to the Medical Center. Gentle Yoga, for patients in treatment or recently finished, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Yoga for Everybody, 27 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. Formal Yoga, for cancer survivors of five years or less, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m., The Watermark, 3030 Park Ave., Bridgeport. To register call 203-576-6158.

Fitness classes

Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers offers weekly fitness classes in Bridgeport and Stratford:

Boot Camp, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:45-6:45 a.m., 226 Mill Hill Ave., Bridgeport; Saturdays, 10-11 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.

Women’s Strength Training, Tuesdays, 11-noon; Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.

Zumba, Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.

All classes are conducted by certified fitness trainers. Cost is $8 per class or $75 for 10 classes. Tickets are available at all Ahlbin Centers locations, or before or after classes. For information or to register, call 203-336-7301 (Bridgeport) or 203-380-4672 (Stratford).

In addition to Bridgeport and Stratford, Ahlbin Centers has outpatient facilities at 4 Corporate Drive, Shelton; 2600 Post Road, Southport; and 2750 Reservoir Ave., Trumbull.

Diabetes education

St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the Merck Co., are co-sponsoring The Journey for Control, a monthly Diabetes Education Workshop, held the fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m. in St. Vincent’s Level 4 Seton Conference Room. To register, call 203-576-6168.

Gamblers Anonymous

Meets Saturdays, 7 p.m., 100 Bank St., Seymour. For more information, call Steve, 203-362-5234.

Addiction support

Are you dealing with an addiction in your life or the life of a family member? Higher Ground Ministry is non-denominational offering help that is permanent through biblical truths. Weekly meetings are held where one receives support, encouragement and spiritual guidance. Meetings are Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m., New Life Christian Fellowship, 28 Hedgehog Road, Trumbull; Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m., Trinity Church, 300 North Benson Road, Fairfield. Also, Sundays 6-7:30 p.m., Stepney Baptist Chruch, 423 Main St., Monroe; Mondays, 7:30-9 p.m., Huntington Chapel, 177 Ripton Road, Huntington; Thursdays, 6:30-8 p.m., Christ the King Church at American Legion Hall, 21 Cedar St., Naugatuck; Fridays, 7-8:30 p.m., First Baptist Church,178 Leavenworth Road, Shelton. Information: 203-888-9974; highergroundministry.org.

Overeaters group

Compulsive overeaters group meets Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Rimmon Pond Counseling, LLC, 100 Bank St., Seymour. Group will address underlying attitudes and beliefs which affect eating behaviors. For more information or to register, call 203-888-0462.

Acupuncture

Led by licensed acupuncturist Gregor Wei, Mondays, 10-2, Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Call 203-255-5300 to register. Advance registration requested. Private appointments available.

Genetic counseling

The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital offers cancer genetic counseling services to individuals and families as part of the Center’s comprehensive model of patient-centered care.

Cancer genetic counseling is the process of collecting a patient’s detailed personal and family history, assessing their personal risk, and discussing their genetic testing options. Genetic tests are tests on blood and other tissue used to identify genetic disorders.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 203-732-1260.

Diabetes support

Diabetes Education & Support Group meets September -June, second Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m., Griffin Hospital, Derby. Open to diabetics and their families; 203-732-1137.

Weight-loss surgery support

Griffin Bariatrics, a new program of Griffin Hospital, will host weight loss surgery support group meetings the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Griffin Imaging & Diagnostics Center at Ivy Brook, 2 Ivy Brook Road, Shelton. Advance registration requested; griffinhealth.org; 888-657-9252.

To help bariatric patients bridge the gap between the time of surgery and reaching their healthy weight, Griffin Bariatrics has assembled a Clothes Closet with men’s and women’s clothing in barely worn or new condition, which has been donated by bariatric patients and hospital staff and family members. The Clothes Closet is open the second Wednesday of each month, 4:30-6:30 p.m., prior to monthly “On Track” support group meetings; 203-732-7108; kfisher@griffinhealth.org.

Fibromyalgia support

Fibromyalgia Support Group meets the last Tuesday of the month, 2 p.m., Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby. Information: Daun Barrett, 203-732-7584.

Health and wellness classes

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport offers a variety of health and wellness classes. Most sessions run for 10 weeks with the exception of pilates, which is six weeks; and Y Diabetes Prevention Program and Weight Watchers program, 16 and 17-week sessions respectively. 10-week sessions: $90. Information/registration: 203-576-6267; scollins@stvincents.org.

Free exercise video program

A new online video program called A-B-E (Activity Bursts Everywhere) for Fitness, designed specifically to help adults meet those recommendations for daily physical activity, is available at abeforfitness.com.

The program offers a library of more than 50 videos of guided physical activity routines, each of which may be done in 3 to 5 minutes. It offers a variety of options based on users’ time, interests, needs, and fitness levels.

Kripalu yoga

Beginner and intermediate level, runs weekly, Fridays, 9:15 a.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300; bridgeporthospital.org. Yoga, restorative yoga and teen yoga classes also available. Call for full class schedule.

Pilates

Weekly, Mondays, 5:30 p.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300.

OCD support

Yale Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) Support Group meets first and third Thursday of the month, 3-4 p.m., CHMC, 34 Park St., 3rd floor conference room, New Haven. Information: psychiatry.yale.edu/ocd/patients; Suzanne Wasylink, 203-974-7523.

Wellness booth

St. Vincent’s Wellness Booth has relocated to the main lobby of the Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. The Wellness Booth, a project of the Mario and Irma D’Addario Hypertension Fund, formerly was located at Westfield Shoppingtown, Trumbull. The booth offers a variety of health screenings and services to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30-3:30. No appointment required for any of the screenings.

Free blood pressure screenings are performed every Tuesday. On Wednesdays, Cholesterol/HDL ratio/glucose screening, $18; a lipid panel requiring a four-hour fast, $25; blood sugar screening alone requiring a two-hour fast, $1.

For more information call St. Vincent’s toll-free Care Line at 1-877-255-SVHS (7847).

Help for new movers

Bridgeport Hospital’s free Newcomer Concierge Service helps new residents of Bridgeport and surrounding towns locate physicians to meet personal and family health needs. Service also provides information on health-related events and activities. To reach the Newcomer Concierge Service, call 203-330-7462, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, 9-3.

Heart-disease risk quiz

Bridgeport Hospital offers “Take 10 for Your Ticker,” a free online heart-disease risk quiz. Quiz is available at bridgeporthospital.org, by clicking on the link in the “Take 10 for Your Ticker” box.

For those without access to the Internet, a free printed copy of the quiz, with an explanation of results, is available by calling 1-888-357-2396.

Breast cancer support

Woman to Woman of the Valley group meets second and fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m., Griffin Hospital Cancer Center, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby.

Information: Midge Johnson, breast care coordinator at Griffin Hospital, 203-732-7566 or e-mail mjohnson@griffinhealth.org; or Joyce Grohe, co-facilitator, 203-888-3993.

MS support

Derby MS support group meets third Wednesday of the month, 4:30-5:30, Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby; Lisa, 203-231-4716; ctfightsMS.org.

The Shelton MS support group meets second Monday of the month, 2-3:30, Plumb Library, 65 Wooster St., Shelton; 1-800-344-4867; ctfightsMS.org.

Bereavement support

Hosted by Griffin Hospital, second and fourth Wednesday of each month, 2:30-3:30. Facilitated by a chaplain and a social worker, the group is designed to provide ongoing support; 203-732-1100.

Overeaters anonymous

Free 12-step program for compulsive eaters, meets Mondays, Fridays, noon-1, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Church St., Shelton; 203-454-6607.

Caregiver support

Atria Stratford Assisted Living, 6911 Main St., offers a support group for family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, or related dementia, living at home or in an extended care facility. Group meets first Wednesday of the month, 6-7; 203-380-0006.

Grasmere Eldercare Center: 240 Colony St., Fairfield, offers open discussion about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, last Friday of month, 1-2. RSVP Courtney: 203-259-6699 or cluttrell@jhe.org.

Jewish Family Service, 2370 Park Ave., Bridgeport, offers support group for family members or friends helping with the care of adults over 60, meets first Wednesday of month, 6-7:30 p.m. RSVP: 203-366-5438, Ext. 219.

Sunset Shores Adult Day Health Center, 720 Barnum Avenue Cut Off, Stratford, offers a support group for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Meetings are the second Wednesday of the month, 4-5; 203-380-1228.

St. Vincent’s SWIM family support group meets first Tuesday of each month, 4-5:30 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required; 203-576-6158; tmclaugh@st.vincents.org.

Prostate cancer survivors

St. Vincent’s SWIM Prostate Cancer Survivors Educational Lecture Series and Support Group meets at Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158 or e-mail tmlaugh@stvincents.org for dates and times of lectures. No reservations required.

Breast cancer wellness

St. Vincent’s Breast Cancer Survivor Wellness program, intended for women who have recently undergone breast cancer surgery and those further along in their recovery, 4:30-5:30, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required. For dates, call 203-576-6158.

Breast cancer stories

Bizymoms.com has helped many women with whatever information it is they may be seeking about breast cancer. A panel of cancer experts, women, wives, and mothers are waiting to share their expertise and stories while learning about yours. Visit bizymoms.com/cares/breastcancer.

Cancer boutique

St. Vincent’s partners with Saxon-Kent Lingerie of Orange to provide special products for women battling cancer. Boutique hours: Monday-Friday, 10-4. Fitting hours for wigs, prosthesis, mastectomy bras, lymphedema sleeves etc: Tuesdays, 2-4; Wednesdays, 10-noon; or by appointment; 203-576-6158; tmclaugh@stvincents.org.

Breast cancer support

Woman-to-Woman, an American Cancer Society sponsored support group for women who have had breast cancer or who have been newly diagnosed, meets monthly, 2-4 p.m., Cambridge Manor, 2428 Easton Tpke., Fairfield; 1-800-889-3340.

The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital offers a breast cancer survivor group “Circle of Friends” which meets the second Thursday of every month, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Center for Cancer Care, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby. New topics and guest speakers monthly; 203-732-1300; tkochiss@griffinhealth.org.

Cancer resource library

St. Vincent’s SWIM Cancer Resource Library is open Monday-Friday, 9-5, Maureen Ringel Cancer Resource Library, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, St. V’s. Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. A representative is available to assist visitors with navigation of web-based searches, cancer clinical trial searches and direct patient referrals to a variety of free resources Monday-Friday, 9-1.

Free hearing tests

Offered in the office or at home, by Affordable Hearing Solutions, LLC, Orange Medical Center, 380 Boston Post Road #107, Orange, Monday-Friday, 9-5; free. Call 799-7775, for an appointment. Tests also offered at Waterbury office, 2457 East Main St.; call 203-574-5377.

Scleroderma support

The American Society For Scleroderma Research has formed a support group for all afflicted by this disease. Group meets every second Thursday, 6:30-7:30 p.m., St. Vincent Medical Center, Main Street, Bridgeport; Aimee Turiano or Joy LoSchiavo, 203-273-2034.

Donate vehicles

RedcrossMotors converts donated vehicles into dollars to help support the local chapter. Most motorized vehicles including boats, trailers, trucks, motorcycles and motor homes are accepted, running or not. Information: 1-877-RCDONOR (732-6667).

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