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Health Calendar

Have any health notes to submit to the paper? New class? New or ongoing support group? Blood drive? Fax a brief write-up to 703-917-0991 or e-mail maweber@connectionnewspapers.com

Parkinson's Disease Caregivers/Carepartners Support Group meets third Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., at Dolley Madison Library, lower level meeting room, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. The Parkinson Foundation (PFNCA) welcomes caregivers and family members. For more information, call Angela Robb, 703-277-9666.

Lymphedema Group Meeting. On Wednesday, Feb. 25, 7-8:30 p.m., meet with others who have hereditary or secondary lymphedema resulting from surgery, radiation or trauma to the lymphatic system. During the first part of this session, Reiki Jin Kei Do master teacher Gilbert Gallego provides an overview of Reiki and its benefits for cancer patients. Registration requested. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Room B. 703-698-2841, www.lifewithcancer.com.

"Activating the Mind-Body Connection." On Thursday, Feb. 26, 10:30 a.m.-noon, explore ways to enliven the mind-body connection; explore feelings, relax tense muscles, increase breathing capacity and find self-expression to allow healthy physical and emotional growth. Facilitated by Sherry Sutherland, M.S.W., M.A., A.D.T.R., a licensed clinical social worker and registered movement therapist. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Room 1E. To register, call 703-698-2841, or visit www.lifewithcancer.com.

Reiki Jin Kei Do. Reiki has been shown to help in reducing pain and promoting recovery from injury and illness. It can also help maintain a state of inner balance and wellness, and it complements traditional and complementary styles of healing. Reiki Jin Kei Do is the practice of Reiki with compassion, meditation and wisdom, and integrating these aspects into one's life. On Feb. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., holistic heath practitioner and Reiki Jin Kei Do master teacher Gilbert Gallego and teaching assistants teach a day-long session in this healing art. Participants learn about the evolution and principles of Reiki, are introduced to mindfulness meditation and Gathering Stars Qi Gong. Learn and experience the attunement process and self-treatment protocol. Registration necessary by Feb. 25. Overview of Reiki and its benefits for cancer patients will be presented Wednesday, Feb. 25, in conjunction with the lymphedema group meeting at 7 p.m. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Room 1E. To register, call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.com.

Neurology Epilepsy Support Group, a support group for adults diagnosed with seizure disorders and caregivers, meets on the first Tuesday of each month, 6 - 7 p.m., at Georgetown University Hospital, Lombardi Cancer Center, Floor 2, Podium A - Conference Room, 3800 Reservoir Road, N.W., Washington, D.C. Come to a meeting on Tuesday, March 2.

"Straight Talk — Mind, Body and Spirit." The Office of Development at Georgetown University Medical Center in hosting this complimentary educational event on Tuesday, March 9. The event featured interactive conversation with three Georgetown doctors specializing in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and epilepsy. Learn more about the symptons, diagnosis and new treatments. 6:30 p.m., wine and appetizers; 7:15 p.m. presentation; 8:15 p.m. dessert and coffee, at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean. R.S.V.P. by March 1 by calling 202-687-1597.

Reston Epilepsy Group. As of March 12, meetings are on the second Friday of each month, 7-8:30 p.m., at Hunter Mill District Office, North County Government Center Meeting Room, 12000 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston. Sponsored by The Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region. Free. For more information, call 703-425-6660.

"Shifting the Power in the Family System." Wednesdays, beginning March 31, 7-8 p.m., at Falls Church High School, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church. Sponsored by The Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region. Free. For more information, call 703-425-6660.

Virginia consumers have a new tool to compare the state's Medicare-certified home health agencies. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched the Home Health Quality Initiative in November 2003. As part of the initiative, consumers can access objective quality of care information through www.medicare.gov and 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Home Health Compare, as the Web tool is known, allows consumers to see how well the patients of an agency fare compared to other agencies, to the state average and to other states. Consumers can compare the care provided by nearly 7,000 Medicare-certified home health agencies in all 50 states. Nursing Home Compare, which provides quality information on Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in Virginia and nationwide, continues to be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Virginia Health Quality Center, the Medicare quality improvement organization for Virginia, is providing ongoing quality improvement assistance to the state's nursing homes and home health agencies.

Medicare beneficiaries in Virginia can now resolve quality of care complaints against health care providers through an optional mediation program that began this fall. The new program, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, brings together a provider or physician and a patient or his/her representative for a face-to-face meeting facilitated by an impartial mediator and is an alternative to the traditional medical record review process. It is being offered at no cost to the provider or beneficiary. The types of cases eligible for mediation include cases that do not exhibit significant clinical quality-of-care concerns and communications and perception issues that beneficiaries generally translate into quality-of-care complaints. All mediated discussions and outcomes are confidential and cannot be used in other legal proceedings. For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE or check with the Virginia Health Quality Center, the Medicare quality improvement organization,www.vhqc.org.

Parkinson's Disease Support Group meets on the third Thursday of the month, at 2 p.m., at the Little River Glen Senior Center, 4001 Barker Court, Fairfax. The Parkinson Foundation (PFNCA) welcomes PD patients and family members. No charge. For more information, call Leon at 202-966-4450.

Parkinson's Disease Support Groups (exercise, patient discussion and care partners) meet weekday mornings at the Cherrydale Baptist Church, 3910 Lorcom Lane, Arlington. The Parkinson Foundation (PFNCA) invites persons with PD and their care partners. Interested participants must call ahead. For schedules and more information, call Leon at 202-966-4450.

The Parkinson's Disease Young Onset Support Group will meet on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Dolley Madison Library lower level meeting room at 1244 Oak Ridge Avenue in McLean. There is no charge. Patients, caregivers and family members are welcome. Call Hilary Blue at 703-821-1393 for more information.

Fibromyalgia/Arthritis Support Group meets the second Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m., at the Sherwood Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria. For more information, call Arthritis Foundation at 202-537-6800, Ext. 3026, or Barbara at 703-913-0890.

The Parkinson's Foundation offers weekly support groups (previously located at the Providence Recreation Center) for patients and caregivers. They meet every Tuesday at 10 and 11 a.m., at the Lewinsville Senior Center, 1609 Great Falls St., McLean. Call 703-891-0821 if interested in joining or for more information.

Teens' Educational Support Program. A new eight-week program, for youths 13-18 who have a family member who is a cancer patient, is forming for Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Through discussion and activities, participants can express themselves and understand the changes that come when someone in the family has cancer. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Suite 203, Room B, Fairfax. Call 703-208-5623 for upcoming schedule.

Good Grief for Teens. For those 13-18, group activities and art therapy will help teenagers share thoughts and feelings about loss and help with the grief process. On Mondays, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Call for upcoming group schedule. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Suite 203, Room B, Fairfax. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org to register.

TLC: Teens Living with Cancer. Monthly social activities for 13- to 18-year-olds who have cancer give them a chance to meet others with cancer, share a little, have fun. Call 703-208-5623 for details. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Fairfax. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

HAVEN of Northern Virginia, 4606 Ravensworth Road, Annandale, offers several ongoing, free bereavement support groups.

A general bereavement support group for anyone grieving the death of a loved one. Meets the first and third Wednesday of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

A widow/widower bereavement support group for anyone grieving the death of a spouse. One group meets the first and third Thursdays of each month, 2-3:30 p.m. An evening group meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays each month, from 7:30-9 p.m.

A suicide survivors bereavement support group for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide meets the first Tuesday of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

An early mother loss bereavement support group for anyone who lost a mother before age 21 meets the third Tuesday each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

Call 703-941-7000 or visit www.havenofnova.org for more information.

Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Support Groups are facilitated by trained group leaders, ongoing, free and open to the community. Support groups allow families to meet other caregivers, to share experiences and caregiving tips while developing coping skills. Caregivers and family members are invited to visit.

In Oakton, the group meets the third Monday of the month from 7:30 p.m. at Sunrise Senior Living (10322 Blake Lane). Call Betty Moore, group leader, at 703-255-2050, before attending for the first time. For a complete listing of Alzheimer’s Association support groups meeting throughout the National Capital Area, call toll-free 1-866-259-0042 or visit www.alz-nca.org. Support groups are subject to change. Contact the support group leader to verify date, time and location.

The Alzheimer's Association of the National Capital Area is starting a new caregiver support group that will meet on the second Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at The Sylvestery, 1728 Kirby Road in McLean. The Sylvestery is Vinson Hall Retirement Community's new assisted living residence for the care of people with memory impairments. Barbara Adams, M.S.W., will be the support group leader .

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Hyperactivity Disorder) of Northern Virginia. A support group meets on the second Tuesday of each month, 7:15 p.m., at Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. Contact Annette Spector, aspector@der-online.com, with questions. The support group schedule is also posted online at www.novachadd.org. For more information about these and other upcoming meetings, call 703-641-5451 or e-mail nova_chadd@hotmail.com.

The Northern Virginia Epilepsy Group meets every Wednesday, 7-8 p.m., at the Falls Church High School Career Center, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail. For additional information, call 703-425-6660.

Life with Cancer Caregivers Meeting. Every Wednesday, 5:30-7 p.m. Meetings for family members to discuss and explore topics of concern including coping strategies, support, information related to cancer and more. Use Blue parking garage. Meetings held at Inova Fairfax Woman's Center, radiation oncology conference room, at 3300 Gallows Road in Falls Church. 703-698-2841 for registration and information.

Social Skills/Therapy Groups. In small, age-appropriate groups, children who have difficulty in social situations learn and practice appropriate behavior, such as initiating and maintaining conversation, listening, sharing, problem-solving, self-control, handling teasing, dealing with emotions, and making friends. $55-$65 per session. (May be insurance-reimbursable.) For registration, call the Jewish Social Service Agency at 703-204-9100.

The Alzheimer's Family Day Center is looking for volunteers. If interested, contact Joan at 703-532-8899 or afdc@alzheimersfdc.org.

Recovery Inc., a nonprofit support group for depression, bipolar disorder and other nervous diseases, meets every Friday at Boulevard Baptist Church, 7000 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Contact Lee, 703-777-1708.