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Health Notes

Send announcements to The Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to

herndon@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. Call Jean Card at 703-917-6437, with questions. This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.

Stay Connected is a series of five, free, at-home teleconferences for people living with MS and their families. The next session, Pain and MS, will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 8, from 7-8 p.m. Heidi Maloni, RN, MSN, CNRN, CRNP, MSCN, will be discussing new findings in Pain and MS. Maloni has 18 years of experience in MS research at the National Institutes of Health. Upcoming teleconference topics include Cognitive Issues in MS and Anticipating Future Needs: Take Control with Planning. Teleconferences will then be held on each of the following three Tuesdays. All are scheduled from 7-8 p.m. The teleconferences can be accessed from home. Instructions for accessing the conference will be given after registration. To register, call 202-296-9891 or e-mail KDougherty@MSandYOU.org. Space is limited.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) sponsors groups for injured victims and for relatives and friends of those who have been killed in drunk driving crashes. The next Injured Victim Support Group meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. New participants are always welcome. Free. Call 703-978-3025.

The Northern Virginia Ethical Society is proud to host Dr. Steven Goldberg Sunday, Feb. 13, to speak on the Ethical Considerations of Stem Cell Research. Goldberg is a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. Embryonic stem cells hold great promise for use in regenerative medicine and as tools to help researchers better understand various physiological and pathological processes. Their use, however, remains highly controversial because of widely disparate views on the moral status of embryos. In this talk, Goldberg will provide an overview of the issues underlying this controversy. 11 a.m. Free. 225 Nutley St., N.W., Vienna. Visit www.noves.org or call 703-437-3161.

On Feb. 26, The Arc of Northern Virginia in cooperation with the Special Education Parent Resource Centers from Arlington Public Schools, Alexandria City Public Schools and Fairfax, County Public Schools and the Department of Human Services for Arlington County will present a regional workshop about tools that families of individuals with disabilities need to plan for a secure future for their loved ones. Attendees will learn about creating the best lives for children using future life plans, guardianship alternatives, circles of support, trusts/financial plans, and self-determination. The workshop will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Department of Human Services Building, Arlington County, 3033 Wilson Blvd., seventh floor, Arlington. Call Anne Lipnick at 703-706-4552 or e-mail ALipnick@acps.k12.va.us. In case of inclement weather, call 703-706-4552 or 703-751-3084.

Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery offers an opportunity to learn about the Obagi Nu Derm System, 1825 Samuel Morse Drive, Reston. 703-893-6168. Feb. 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Obagi Nu-Derm System corrects uneven pigmentation, lines and wrinkles, and restores skin firmness. The new Obagi-C Rx System prevents skin sun damage and restores radiance to lackluster skin. This is a free seminar open to the public.

Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts will host a week-long residential retreat Feb. 21-27 for people seeking physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing as they live with cancer. The retreat is modeled after the Commonwealth Cancer Help Program, featured in Bill Moyer’s PBS series — Healing and the Mind. In a rural setting less than an hour northwest of Washington, D.C., the retreat provides opportunities to reduce fear and stress associated with cancer, examine personal beliefs and behaviors that do not contribute to well-being, and explore healthier ways of living. The retreat schedule includes yoga, meditation, imagery, support group sessions, art, poetry, massage, vegetarian meals and discussions on making choices among complementary and conventional cancer therapies.

For a retreat application call Darien Reece at 202-483-8600 or visit www.SmithFarm.com. Scholarships are available.

Bereavement Support Groups. Three groups, sponsored by Haven of Northern Virginia, meet at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne. The General Bereavement Group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. The Suicide Survivors Group meets the first Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. The Widow/Widower Support Group meets the first and third Thursday of every month, 2-3:30 p.m. and the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. Call 703-941-7000.

Lupus Support Group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month, at 6:30 p.m., at Reston Hospital Medical Plaza, Suite 117, 1800 Town Center Drive, Reston. Call 703-689-9240.

Diabetes Support Group. Meets the fourth Wednesday of the month, at 7:30 p.m., on the Reston Hospital Center campus in the Pavilion, 1850 Town Center Drive, Suite 307. Call 703-689-9100.

Spiritual Support Group. Designed for oncology patients or those dealing with major illnesses. The non-denominational support group meets in the Radiation Therapy Department in the Pavilion on the Reston Hospital Center campus, 1850 Town Center Parkway on the first Tuesday of the month, at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Call 703-689-9325.

New Mothers Support Group. Meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month, at 10-11:30 a.m., in the Community Room at the Reston YMCA, 12196 Sunset Hills Road, Reston. Call 703-689-9240.

Mothers of Toddlers Support Group. Meets the fourth Thursday of each month in the Community Room at the Reston YMCA, 12196 Sunset Hills Road. Call 703-689-9240.

Sterling/Reston DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association) Support Group meets first and third Tuesdays of each month, 7-9 p.m., in Reston. Call Ginny at 703-966-2510.

The Reston NAMI Support Group. Group meets twice a month, from 7-9 p.m., at the Reston Regional Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston. This is a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) support group for family and friends of people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders. Call Rhonda at 703-716-0674, or Barb at 703-715-2485.

Amputee Support Group of Northern Virginia. A support group for amputees, their families and friends. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, from 7:30-9 p.m., at the TeleStar Court building. Call Irvin Axelrod at 703-222-7120 or e-mail asgnva@earthlink.net.

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 Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 7426 Idylwood Road. Call Sue at 703-759-0396 or Carol at 703-764-0347.

The Reston Hospital Center. The hospital at 1850 Town Center Parkway, Reston, is offering the following classes.

* Childbirth Preparation. Topics include family-centered maternity care, birthing options, relaxation and breathing techniques, breast-feeding and baby-care basics. Weekend classes are also available. Call 703-941-7183.

* Diabetes Class Series. Learn how to successfully manage diabetes from certified diabetes experts. Topics include nutrition and meal planning, monitoring, dealing with complications and exercise. Call 703-689-9100.

* Healthy Community 2010. A health screening program designed to improve the health of the community. Call 1-877-689-3627.

* Sibling Classes for children 3-4 and 4-6 years old. Children will hold and diaper an infant doll, watch a video on becoming a sibling and visit the nursery and birthing suites. Cost is $15 for one child and $25 for two. Call 1-877-689-3627.

* Joint Replacement Orientation Program. Free class to educate families about total joint replacement surgery. Learn about planning, what to expect at the hospital and what to do after surgery. Class meets the first Thursday of the month, from 9-10:30 a.m., and the third Tuesday of the month, from 4:30-6 p.m. Suite 307 of Pavilion at Reston Hospital Center.

* Pediatric Pre-Surgery Orientation Program. For children to learn what they can expect from surgery. Tour the pre-op and recovery rooms and experience a ride on a stretcher or wheelchair. Free, but registration required. Meets 5:30 p.m., on the third Monday of the month at Reston Hospital Center.

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. Held on the first Thursday of the month, at 10 a.m. Call 703-938-5550.

Mitral Valve Prolapse/Sysautonomia Support Group. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, at noon. Call 703-689-9240.

Ombudsman Program. Volunteers are needed for the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Volunteers are assigned to a specific nursing home or assisted living facility and make weekly visits. Using the skills of listening, observing and mediating, the ombudsman works with the residents, their families and the staff of the facility to ensure that residents' rights are being protected. Applicants must successfully complete a training session and must be available to volunteer four hours per week, primarily during business hours. Call 703-324-5435 for an application. Visit www.co.fairfax.va.us/service/aaa/html/ombud_main.htm.

Foster Care. Homes are needed in the area for foster children. Call Children’s Services of Virginia at 703-331-0075 or visit www.childrensservicesofva.com.

Haven of Northern Virginia. A support group for suicide survivors. The group is open to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. There is no charge and space is limited. Call 703-941-7000 or visit www.havenofnova.org.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A support group for family and friends sponsored by the OCD Foundation, a regional organization, meets on the first Monday of each month at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcum Lane, Arlington, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Call 703-978-6425.

Suicide Survivors. CrisisLink, a suicide prevention organization and hot line located at 5275 Lee Highway, Suite 301, Arlington, sponsors a healing and educational Suicide Survivors’ Support Group, meeting the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, 7:30-9 p.m. Call 703-516-6771.

Inova VNA Home Health. Volunteers are needed to act as friendly visitors providing companionship to lonely, homebound patients. Volunteers are asked to spend one or two hours per week talking with a patient, running errands and doing odd jobs. Visiting can be done during the day, in the evening or on the weekends as the volunteer’s schedule allows. Training will be provided and placements are made based on geographic location. Office volunteers are also needed in the VNA's Springfield office. Contact Marion Hart or Adele Jenney at 703-916-2885.

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 www.y-menca.org.

Virginia Health Information (VHI). The nonprofit independent organization's Web site, www.vhi.org, reports on inpatient cardiac care provided at all licensed hospitals in Virginia. The information compares their performance and mortality outcomes. VHI’s study is based on more than 100,000 cardiac patient discharges submitted by Virginia hospitals for the year 2000.

Alzheimer’s Family Day Center. Center has a support group for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their spouses. The couples participate in a potluck dinner along with discussion/support group. The dinner has educational as well as social benefits through speaking to and learning from others who are “going through the same thing.” The dinners are held at the Family Day Center, 2036 Westmoreland St., Falls Church, 6-8 p.m., on the third Tuesday of the month. Call Joan at 703-204-4664 to register.

AARP Widowed Persons Service. Service sponsors free weekly support groups to anyone widowed less than two years. Monthly educational meetings, travel and other activities are also offered. Call 301-949-7398.

The National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers free self-help groups in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. for people living with MS. Contact the chapter at 202-296-9891.

Asthma Auto Program. 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.

Express Care. A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing services including scheduling doctor's appointments and securing medicines, groceries for the homebound, health screenings and education through the "Care Connection," television program. The organization also works in assisting immigrants to understand the cultural practices and skills necessary to succeed in American society. Donations and volunteers are needed. Call 703-456-0020, e-mail naila@expresscare.org or visit www.expresscare.org.

Birth Mothers Support Group. Group meets each week during the school year in northern Virginia. It is for any woman who has ever placed a child in adoption and would like to meet with others who have done the same. Call Pat Cunningham or Stephanie Hayden at Catholic Charities at 703-425-0100.

First Aid and CPR Classes are offered by the American Red Cross at its North Fairfax location, 1112 Herndon Parkway, Herndon. Classes include instruction in recognizing and caring for breathing and cardiac emergencies, assisting choking victims and caring for life threatening bleeding. Call 703-964-0004 or register online at www.redcrossfairfax.org.

CrisisLink is a confidential, free hot line and crisis response team, helping people deal with anxiety and stress. In the wake of the recent heightened security alerts in the Washington, D.C., area, CrisisLink is providing emotional support and links to community resources. The hot line number is 703-527-4077 or 1-800-784-2433. Visit www.crisislink.org.