Health Notes

Health Notes

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

Donate Blood. There is an urgent need for donors with all blood types. Inova Blood Donor Services is open weekdays, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at its main location at 3289 Woodburn Road in Annandale. To inquire about appointments at a convenient donor center or blood drive, call 1-866-BLOOD SAVES (1-866-256-6372) or visit

Other Inova blood donation sites are Inova Alexandria Hospital, 4320 Seminary Road, Alexandria, 703-504-3500; Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, 2501 Parker's Lane, Alexandria, 703-664-7229; CentreMed, Centreville, 703-322-1970.

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

Lung Cancer Group. On Wednesday, May 19, 5:30-7 p.m., Alex Spira, MD, provides an overview and update on lung cancer and its treatments to lung cancer patients and family members and friends. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Room 1E. 703-698-2841,

Colorectal Cancer Group. On Thursday, May 20, 6:30-8 p.m., meet with others affected by colorectal cancer to address issues and concerns. Facilitated by an oncology nurse and a social worker. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Room 1E. 703-698-2841,

Seminars for Survivors: Understanding and Managing Anxiety and Depression. Thursday, May 20, 7:15-9 p.m., at the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Suite 203, Room B. Speaker Colleen Blanchfield, MD, specializing in neurology and psychiatry, returns for her sixth annual presentation, addressed the two most experienced emotional reactions of cancer survivors. To register, call 703-698-2841 or visit

Relaxation and Imagery Techniques. Wednesday, May 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 10:30-12 p.m., at the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Room 1E. Learn techniques proven effective in managing symptoms and stress, promoting insight and enhancing quality of life. Register by May 24. To register, call 703-698-2841 or visit

Lymphedema Group Meeting. On Wednesday, May 26, 7-8:30 p.m., meet with others who have hereditary or secondary lymphedema resulting from surgery, radiation or trauma to the lymphatic system. A certified lymphedema therapist and an oncology counselor will facilitate discussion about physical and emotional concerns. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Suite 203, Room B. 703-698-2841,

Good Grief Dinner for Teens. Teenagers 13-18 who have lost a family member to cancer are invited to have dinner and share thoughts and feelings about the loss to help the grief process. Wednesday, May 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Suite 203, Room B. To register, call Jenny Eckert at 703-208-5623.

After the First Year. Thursday, May 27, at the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield, Suite 203, Room B. Drop in on this monthly group for people have lost a loved one to cancer more than one year ago. 703-698-2841,

BMT/Stem Cell Support Group. On Thursday, May 27, 12:30-1:30 p.m., at Fairfax-Northern VA Hem-Onc, 8503 Arlington Blvd., #320, Fairfax, this monthly group meeting is open to past, current and upcoming bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant patients and caregivers. Facilitated by an oncology counselor. To register, call 703-698-2841 or visit

Volunteer Opportunities: Odyssey Healthcare, a hospice provider, is seeking volunteers in the Northern Virginia community to visit and/or assist terminally ill patients and their families during their end-of-life journey. Compassionate individuals with a desire to help one or two hours a week, share with a patient or their family, assist with office support, or help with bereavement care can become an Odyssey volunteer. Training will be provided. Call Karen Baroody at 703-821-9200, or e-mail

Individual Nutrition Counseling. Schedule an appointment with Julie Thorsen, registered dietitian for the Cancer Patient Nutrition Support Program at Inova Cancer Center, and learn how to optimize nutrition related to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield. To register, call 703-698-2841 or visit

Parkinson's Disease Support Group. 2-3 p.m., on the second Tuesday of each month, at Calvary United Methodist Church, 2315 South Grant St., Arlington. Free. Patients and family members welcome. For more information, contact Leon Paparella 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. Call ahead. For schedules and more information, call Leon at 202-966-4450.

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

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.

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.

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 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

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 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 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,, with questions. The support group schedule is also posted online at For more information about these and other upcoming meetings, call 703-641-5451 or e-mail

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 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.

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.

The American Red Cross is offering Infant and Child CPR at Dunn Loring United Methodist Church, 2501 Gallows Road, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The fee is $40. To enroll, call 703-964-0004 or visit

Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent Today. A chance to make a difference in a child’s life. Call Fairfax County’s Foster Care and Adoption Program at 703-324-7639.

Amputee Support Group of Northern Virginia. A support group for amputees, their families and friends. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m., at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Physician's Conference Center, Room 1D, first floor, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church. There is no cost to participants, and parking is provided free in the garage for cars displaying handicapped placards or license plates. Contact Irvin Axelrod at 703-222-7120 or e-mail for more information.

Depression and Manic Depression Support Group. The Sterling/Reston Chapter of DRADA, meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month, 7-9 p.m. For location, contact Traci at 703-433-1448 or Jan at 703-669-5177. DRADA stands for Depressive and Related Affective Disorders Association, a nonprofit, self-help group sponsored by Johns Hopkins, which has been in existence for over 20 years.

Shoplifters Anonymous. Group offers a new 12-step meeting program for those who wish to stop compulsive shoplifting. The group meets every Thursday, 7-8 p.m., at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 7426 Idylwood Ave. Call Sue at 703-759-0396 or Carol at 703-764-0347 to confirm the meeting date.