Montgomery County's Mercy Clinic was presented with an Acts of Caring Award in the category of Health Services from the National Association of Counties (NACo) on Thursday, April 11 in a ceremony on Capitol Hill.

The Acts of Caring Awards program is part of NACo's Serve America campaign, a national initiative to address public confidence in government and to raise awareness and understanding about what county government does and how it serves its communities. Counties nationwide nominate candidates.

Mercy Clinic opened in October 2000 as a collaboration between Our Lady of Mercy Church in Potomac, the county's Department of Health and Human Services and other community organizations. The clinic provides health care services to low-income, uninsured adults. In the first year of operation, the clinic provided 2,931 primary care visits to 1,140 adults through the efforts of volunteer physicians, nurses, social workers, interpreters and administrative staff. Financial support comes from individuals, churches, civic groups, businesses, foundations and the county.

Space is provided by the county at the Germantown Health Center located in the Upcounty Regional Services Center. The county also supplies medical malpractice insurance. Local hospitals donate laboratory testing, supplies and emergency medicines. Radiology services are donated by four radiology practices. Specialty medical services are provided through a low-cost physician referral service operated by a local nonprofit organization. Free or low-cost prescription medications are made available through a community nonprofit, a local pharmacy and a pharmaceutical company. One hundred and fifty volunteers donate more than 7,800 hours per year.


A free medical fair for veterans will be held at the Jewish Community Center, 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville, on Wednesday, April 24 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Activities include Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center registration (bring an original DD214 discharge/separation paper), medical screening and discussion of VA health care and other VA services available. The event is sponsored by Jewish War Veterans of the United States. Call Al Lerner at 301-933-4597 or Bernard Resnick at 301-231-7363.

The American Cancer Society Mid-Atlantic Division is seeking new members for its Montgomery County Board of Directors. Board members plan fundraisers, teach others how to prevent and detect cancer and work with other programs to fight cancer. Call Caron Gwynn at 202-483-2600, ext. 141 by April 30 to receive an application.

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Montgomery County will hold its Heroes Dinner on May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 1750 Rockville Pike. Keynote speaker will be Dr. E. Fuller Torrey. Awards will be presented to Senator Paul Wellstone and County Council member Blair Ewing. Cost is $30 per person with dinner included. Call 301-949-5852 to reserve a space.

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation’s Therapeutic Recreation Team is hiring for summer camps and programs for children and teens with disabilities. Positions available include companion managers, mainstream companions and counselors. Applicants must be at least 17 years of age. Call 240-777-6960.

The 2002 Relay for Life will be held in 14 communities across the Washington metro area. The annual event raises funds for the American Cancer Society’s programs of research, patient services, advocacy and public education.

Beginning on April 20 at the Ludwig Soccer Field on the campus of the University of Maryland, teams of people will gather at schools and parks and take turns walking, jogging or running laps for up to 24 hours.

Locally, the event takes place June 7-8 at Richard Montgomery High School.

For more information about participating, sponsoring a friend or volunteering, call 1-800-ACS-2345.

The Potomac Valley Nursing and Wellness Center, 1235 Potomac Valley Road in Rockville, has achieved CARF (The Rehabilitation Accredidation Commission) accreditation. The facility received the maximum accreditation of three years for its behavioral health and addiction treatment programs. Call 301-762-0700.

Seminars, support groups and classes through Adventist Health Care take place at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 9901 Medical Center Drive in Rockville, unless noted otherwise. To register and for a complete listing of available classes, call 1-800-542-5096.

* Alcoholics Anonymous/Al-Anon These groups meet every Sunday at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 202-966-9115.

* Narcotics Anonymous. This group meets every Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

* Healthy Hearts. Cardiac support program is designed to provide inspiration, motivation and education to patients and caregivers following a heart attack or stroke. Group meets on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Call 301-253-1502.

* Heart-to-Heart, a support group for people with heart disease and their spouses, meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Cardiovascular Fitness Center (9715 Medical Center Drive, No. 130, Rockville).

* Lupus Support Group will meet on Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Free.

* Babysitting Class. A class for babysitters and mother’s helpers 11 years of age or older covering basic care of infants and children. Class begins on Sunday, April 21 at 10 a.m. Advance registration required. Cost is $30.

* Health Care Provider CPR. A course begins on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m. Cost is $50. Advance registration required.

* Exploring Vegetarianism. Learn how a vegetarian diet can improve immunity, heart health, blood pressure and more on Monday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Advance registration required. Cost is $25.

The Jewish Social Service Agency offers support groups for families dealing with a variety of health issues. Parents and adult family members coping with children with disabilities or serious medical illness meet on Tuesdays, from 7:30-8:45 p.m. Meetings are held at the Jewish Social Service Agency, 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville. Call Martha Mervis at 301-990-6880, Ext. 316.

In addition, the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), ARC of Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Aging and Disabilities Services are co-sponsoring free monthly seminars for family members caring for children or adults with disabilities. "Special Education Services and Resources" is the topic on Wednesday, March 20, from 7-9 p.m. at Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville. Call Lisa Marino at 240-777-1138.

Support Group for Newly Bereaved Spouses meets weekly for spouses bereaved in the past year. Meets on Tuesdays, 9:30-11 a.m. Call Mary Hull Levyne, 301-816-2680.

Next Step Support and Activities Group is for individuals 50-65 who have been widowed for more than a year. Meets on Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. Call Mary Hull Levyne at 301-816-2680. Group meetings are held at 6123 Montrose Road in Rockville.

Support meetings and seminars take place at Suburban Hospital, 8600 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda. Call 301-896-3939 to register for all group meetings and for a complete listing.

* Gynecological Cancer Group meets the first and third Mondays of the month from 4-5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 4. Group is designed for patients and survivors of cancer.

* Breast Cancer Group meets the second Monday of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. in Conference Rooms 6 and 7. Group is designed for patients, survivors and family members. Guest speakers alternate with informal discussion.

* Caregivers Group meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Auxiliary House in Bethesda. Practical and emotional support for anyone serving as a caregiver.

* Multiple Sclerosis Caregivers Group meets the first Thursday of the month from 6:30-9 p.m. in Conference Room 4.

* Eating Disorders Group meets the second Wednesday of the month from 7-8 p.m. in Conference Room 4.

Head Injury/Trauma Group meets the first and third Thursdays of the month from 7-8 p.m. in Conference Rooms 1, 2 and 3. For individuals recovering from head injuries, and their families.

* Prostate Cancer Group meets the third Monday of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. in Conference Rooms 6 and 7. Support for patients, family and friends. Guest speakers and informal discussion on alternate days.

Volunteer opportunities exist in the county addressing a wide range of health issues.

* The Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is seeking healthy female volunteers to participate in an outpatient study. Participants must be 20-70 and must not smoke. Compensation is available. Call 301-496-9077.

* An NIH study needs women with breast cancer for a study. Study-related care will be provided free. Call 1-800-411-1222. TTY users call 1-866-411-1010, e-mail, or visit

* NIH is seeking men 21 or older as well as post-menopausal women for a study on heart disease. Volunteers who smoke or have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes are needed. Call 1-800-411-1222. TTY users call 1-866-411-1010, e-mail, or visit

* The National Institute of Mental Health seeks persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder for a study on the effectiveness of Mirapex. Participants should be 18-60, currently depressed and taking lithium or valporate. The study includes medical and psychiatric evaluations and treatment optimization at no cost. Call 301-496-5645.

* Montgomery County is seeking residents interested in helping sexual assault victims and their families. Volunteers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and companion services at hospitals and police stations. Call 240-777-1355.

* Hospice Caring Inc. is seeking volunteers to offer nonmedical support to families facing terminal illness. The job involves providing companionship and respite care, assistance with household errands and tasks, and transportation. Call 240-777-2600.

* Montgomery County Hot Line The Mental Health Association is recruiting volunteers for the Montgomery County Hot Line, a 24-hour telephone support, suicide prevention and crisis intervention service. Volunteers are asked for a minimum of four hours a week for at least one year after training. Call 301-424-0656, Ext. 117, to request an application.

* American Cancer Society The Road to Recovery Program is looking to recruit and train drivers from Montgomery County. Donate a few weekday hours to transport patients to chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. Must have own vehicle.

* Volunteer licensed estheticians and cosmetologists are also needed to teach women cancer patients beauty techniques to restore patients' appearances and self-image.

Call 301-933-9350.

* Healthy male volunteers 40-59 are needed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) for cognitive and psychological studies. Compensation will be provided. NIAA is also looking for parents and their healthy adolescents 12-17 for a study involving an interview and brain scan. No medication is involved. Participants will receive compensation. Call 301-594-9950.