Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.

A support group for persons suffering with Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases as well as other mental illnesses, and their caregivers meets the second Monday of each month, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Galilee United Methodist Church, 45425 Winding Road, Sterling. The meetings are open to the community. Call 703-430-2203 or visit

A high-ranking delegation of administrators from Beijing Hospital, including China-Japan Friend Ship Hospital and 301 Hospital, of The PeopleÕs Republic of China, visited Inova Loudoun HospitalÕs Lansdowne Campus July 18.

The purpose of the forum was to facilitate an exchange of information related to Inova Loudoun HospitalÕs recognized high-quality, health-care delivery results and how those results are related to economics, technology, population considerations/behaviors and established clinical practices.

Asthma Auto Program. Program offered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Maryland-Greater Washington, D.C., Chapter, is accepting donations of unwanted vehicles to raise money to fund educational programs, asthma care training, scholarships, research, and patient assistance for area residents. Call 800-727-9333.

Birth Mother's Support Group. Meets weekly in northern Virginia for any woman who has ever placed a child in adoption and would like to meet with others who have done the same. For more information call Pat Cunningham or Stephanie Hayden at Catholic Charities at 703-425-0100.

Foster Parents. To participate in the foster parent program, call Children's Services of Virginia at 703-331-0075 or visit for more information.

Teresa Tupaj from Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing will be at the Senior Center at the Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, the third Tuesday of the month, from 10:30-11:30 a.m., to clean and make minor repairs to hearing aides; and to perform hearing screenings. Call 703-430-2397.

The support group for tinnitus and hearing problems meets the first Friday of the month at the Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, at 2 p.m. The group is for people with hearing loss, tinnitus or Meniere's disease. Call 703-430-2397.

The staff of Lenscrafters at Dulles Town Center is available at the Senior Center at the Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, the second Wednesday of the month, from 1-2 p.m., to clean and assist with minor repairs of eyeglasses. Call 703-430-2397.

The Loudoun Healthcare Inc.'s mobile health van is at the Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, the second and fourth Tuesday each month, from 9:30 a.m.-noon, to take blood pressure and provide glucose testing along with other medical needs. Call 703-430-2397.

Man-to-Man Prostate Support Group meets the second Tuesday each month at the Senior Center at Cascades Marketplace, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, from 6:30-8 p.m. Call 703-430-2397.

American Lung Association of Virginia. Organization offers an e-mail service to residents in areas affected by smog-unhealthy levels of ozone pollution, which includes the Northern Virginia-Metropolitan D.C. area. Subscribers will receive smog alerts the day before ozone pollution levels are predicted to be unhealthy. For more information on ozone pollution and to sign up for the Smog Alert, visit

American Red Cross Classes. Classes include adult, child and infant CPR, first aid, baby-sitter training and more. Advance registration required and there is a fee. Call 703-777-7171. Visit

Reach to Recovery Program. The American Cancer Society offers free services to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo recent surgery. A trained volunteer who has survived breast cancer is available to talk with patients confidentially, provide helpful information and offer emotional support. A Reach "kit" is given to each patient, which includes a leisure bra, a soft prosthesis for mastectomy patients, exercise items and literature. Call 703-938-5550.

The Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization. Group provides free services including educational programs and lectures, brown-bag seminars, quarterly newsletters, and a 24-hour HOPEline. The HOPEline (703-461-9616 or 1-800-970-4411) is staffed by trained breast-cancer survivors who provide information and emotional support to callers. Call 703-461-9595 or visit for more information.

The Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region is sponsoring the following support groups for adults diagnosed with seizure disorders and caregivers.

Free of charge. Call 703-425-6660.

* Reston Epilepsy Group meets the second and fourth Friday of each month, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Herndon High School, Entrance 5, Room 123, 700 Bennett St., Herndon.

* Northern Virginia Epilepsy Group meets every Wednesday, from 7-8 p.m., at Falls Church High School, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church.

Safe Sitter Classes. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Services and Reston Hospital Center for girls and boys ages 11-13 who are interested in babysitting. Call Broadlands Regional Medical Center at 703-858-3465 to register.

Senior Newsletter. The Loudoun Cooperative Extension is offering a newsletter for seniors, "As You Age." The research-based newsletter was created by professors at Virginia Tech in the fields of human development and nutrition, foods and exercise. For a free copy, contact Kalinda Santos or Beverly Samuel at 703-777-0373.

The Loudoun County Eastern Loudoun Mental Health Center has moved to 21641 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 105, in Sterling. The Eastern Loudoun Mental Health Center, operated by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, provides

mental health and substance abuse outpatient services to youth, families and individuals. Center hours are Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Fridays, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The new phone number is 571-258-3026. For emergency services, call 703-777-0320.

The Ridgetop office includes meeting space for group therapy and private offices for individual therapy appointments. The other County Mental Health Center remains in Leesburg at 102 Heritage Way, N.E.

A new FAMIS (Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan) online application is available, allowing parents and

other caregivers to apply for health insurance coverage for uninsured children through any computer with an Internet connection. The process has been simplified by removing barriers to enrollment, simplifying forms, making application sites more widely available and promoting the program aggressively statewide. FAMIS provides health insurance to uninsured children and includes comprehensive medical benefits, including doctor's visits, hospital care; drugs, dental care and eye care. Families may apply for FAMIS, Virginia's state and federally funded health insurance program for moderate to low-income children, by calling toll-free 1-866-87FAMIS (1-866-873-2647), filling out an e-application at the FAMIS Web site or by visiting a local Department of Social Services office. For more information visit

Loudoun Healthcare Inc.'s behavioral medicine program has changed its name to Loudoun Adult Medical Psychiatric Services (LAMPS) and has added 10 beds and two physicians. The 20-year-old program provides specialized evaluation and treatment for adults experiencing symptoms of psychiatric, emotional and/or neurological disorders. Visit

Loudoun Community Free Clinic. Clinic needs volunteers for Wednesday and Thursday nights from 5:30-9 p.m. Needed are administrative, Spanish interpreters, physicians, nurses, lab tech and pharmacist volunteers. The nonprofit clinic provides acute, non-emergency quality health-care services to uninsured Loudoun County residents. Call Lyle Werner at 703-779-5412. E-mail or visit

Domestic Violence Group for Women. A 10-week group for women previously or currently emotionally, verbally or physically abused is being offered by LAWS (Loudoun Abused Women's Shelter). Issues addressed will be the impact abuse has on children, why some people are abusive, evaluating healthy relationships and legal concerns. A children's group runs concurrently with the women's group. Call for more information at 703-777-6552.

In May 2005, the Social Security Administration will begin mailing applications to older adults and people with disabilities who may qualify for extra help paying for the new Medicare drug benefit.

The extra help will pay some or all of the monthly drug plan premiums and deductibles, and most of the coinsurance for prescription drugs covered by the new Medicare drug benefit. It is expected to provide an average of $2,100 per year in assistance.

Call the Medicare Hot line, 703-737-8036, at the Loudoun County Agency on Aging to request an application, to get help in filling out the application and for income requirements.

People with Medicare can apply for the subsidy by mail or in person at a local Social Security office, beginning in May. The application will also be available online at in July.

The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit begins Jan. 1, 2006. The average premium is expected to be about $37 per month for people who do not have the low-income subsidy.

Tours of Birthing Inn. The Loudoun Hospital center is offering tours of the Birthing Inn on weekends and evenings. There is no charge for the tour, however registration is required. Registration may be done online at or call 703-858-6360.