Health Notes

Health Notes

To have an item listed free in The Potomac Almanac, send mail to 10220 River Road, Suite 303, Potomac, MD 20854, e-mail to, or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos encouraged. Unless otherwise noted, all events are in Potomac. If you have any questions, call Matthew Razak at 703-917-6457.

JSSA Family Support Group. Parents and family members of children with disabilities share strategies for living for today and planning for the future. Group meets on Tuesday evenings April 18, May 16, 7:30-8:45 p.m. 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2633 to register. Free

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training will soon be forming teams for their 2006 fall season. Events include the Marine Corps Marathon (Washington, DC), Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon (Virginia Beach, Va.), Nike Women's Marathon, A Race to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (San Francisco), Sea Gull Century Ride (Salisbury, Md.), and Accenture Chicago Triathlon (Chicago). Please contact our office at 703-960-1100 or visit our web site for more information. The Fall 2006 Information Meeting will be at Bethesda Library, 7400 Arlington Road on Tuesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m.

DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association), Potomac Chapter, will meet at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, April 21, at the parish hall of St. Raphael’s Church at 1513 Dunster Road (Falls Road and Dunster Road) in Rockville. The meeting is for the families and friends of people who have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar illness. Free. For additional information, call 301-299-4255 or 301-570-9065.

Pain Connection has the opportunity to arrange a Yoga class especially designed for people with chronic pain. Susan Bowen, director of Thrive Yoga, will provide a trained teacher for this therapeutic class. The class will be for 15 weeks at $300 per person ($20 per class) and each class is 75 minutes long. A minimum of 10 people must commit with full payment on enrollment for the class to run. The classes will be held at Thrive Yoga, 1321-B Rockville Pike, Rockville. Props, mats, music and waterfalls will be provided. Visit, e-mail or call 301-309-2444.

The Kidney Cars Donation Program is accepting car donations to the National Kidney Foundation. Call 202-244-7900 or 1-800-488-CARS, or visit

The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) offers support groups for families dealing with a variety of health issues. Meetings are held at the Jewish Social Service Agency, 6125 Montrose Road in Rockville. Call Martha Mervis at 301-990-6880, Ext. 316.

* Caring for Others. JSSA, ARC of Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Aging and Disabilities Services co-sponsor free monthly seminars for family members caring for children or adults with disabilities.

* Support Group for Bereaved Parents is an ongoing group for parents grieving the death of a young or adult child. It convenes on the second Monday of the month, from 7:30-9 p.m. Call Suzanne Adelman at 301-816-2683.

* Family Support Group. Parents and adult family members of children with disabilities or serious medical illnesses meet to share joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, coping mechanisms and strategies for living today and planning for the future. The group will meet on the third Tuesday of every month from 7:30-8:45 p.m. Free. Call Martha Mervis at 301-990-6880, Ext. 316.

* You and Your Aging Parents. Adult children with aging parents discuss issues including communicating about sensitive issues, family responsibilities and the need for time to themselves. Meets monthly at 7:30-9 p.m. Cost is $15 a session. Call Beth Huss at 301-816-2634.

CareFirst, Maryland’s largest health care provider, announced that it will be passing along the 2 percent HMO tax to its policy holders. The HMO tax is a result of a special session called by Gov. Ehrlich to address the crisis in medical malpractice. The Democratic-lead House and Senate passed the new tax through a series of bills. Gov. Ehrlich vetoed the tax but his veto was overridden by leading Democrats, who hold majorities in both the state House and Senate.

AARP Widowed Persons Service offers support groups for those widowed less than two years. Meetings are held Monday-Friday. All widowed persons are invited to attend education meetings; travel and other AARP-sponsored activities available. Call 301-949-7398.

JSSA You and Your Aging Parents. Support group for adult children with aging parent issues. Group meets monthly in the evening, dates/times TBA. 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2633 to register.

JSSA Support Group for Bereaved Parents. Ongoing group for parents grieving the death of a young or young adult child. Group meets monthly in Rockville, dates/times TBA. 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2683. Free

Seniors and their caregivers can get diet and nutrition questions answered by a registered dietitian by calling the County's free Senior Nutrition Hotline at 240-777-1100. The new service is available Wednesday mornings from 9-11 a.m. Information is available on topics such as how to lower sodium intake, how to find reliable nutrition information on the Internet and how to choose the healthiest cooking oil. Bilingual assistance is also available.

Alzheimer’s Association caregiver support groups are facilitated by trained group leaders. The meetings are ongoing, free and open to the community. Families meet with other caregivers to share experiences and caregiving tips while developing coping skills. Call 1-866-259-0042 for meeting schedules and locations.

Potomac seniors gather at Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, during the week for activities between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The program includes entertainment, health screenings and education, chair exercises, crafts, speakers, counseling, theme parties, monthly mini-trips and intergenerational activities.

* Mondays:

10:15-11:15 a.m., Tai Chi Chaun with C.L. Young. Enhance muscle tone, improve balance and flexibility, free.

* Tuesdays:

10-10:30 a.m., coffee and camaraderie;

10:30-11 a.m., chair exercises, follow along with a video;

10:30-11 a.m., blood pressure screening, the second Tuesday of every month, sponsored by Suburban Hospital;

11 a.m.-noon, activities, check the calendar;

11-11:30 a.m., Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program, the second Tuesday of the month;

Noon-12:30 p.m., lunch, bring your own and socialize with other seniors;

12:30-2 p.m., various programs, check the calendar.

* Wednesdays:

10-11:15 a.m., Tai Chi Chaun with C. L. Young, free.

* Fridays:

10:15-11:15 a.m., Tai Chi Chaun with C.L. Young, free.

Seniors may also use the community center’s weight and exercise room for free between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays by registering for a senior pass. Door-to-door transportation is available on Tuesdays through Paratransit.

For more information about senior programs, or to obtain a copy of the newsletter of calendar events, visit or call 301-983-4471.

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 of events.

* 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.

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. Call 202-966-9115.

* Narcotics Anonymous. This group meets every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Call 1-800-543-4670.

* Sickle Cell Anemia Support Group. For individuals with sickle cell anemia, their families and friends. Call 301-972-2442.

* 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.

* Hepatitis Support Group. A group for people suffering from chronic hepatitis. For information, call 301-216-1367.

* Heart-to-Heart, a support group for people with heart disease and their spouses, meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m., at the Adventist Cardiac Rehab Center, 9715 Medical Center Drive, Room 130, Rockville.

* Amputee Support Group, "Ability with Mobility," meets the last Thursday of every month from 6-8 p.m. Call 240-864-6200.

Support Group for Newly Widowed Spouses. This group is designed for men and women who have lost a spouse in the past year. Prospective members are encouraged to wait to join the group until two or three months have passed since the death of the loved one. Members are welcome to attend the group for approximately one year. Prospective members need to register and meet with Sharon Peska, 301-816-2658. Groups meet at the Jewish Social Service Agency twice a month. The JSSA is located at 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville.

"Because I Love You" (B.I.L.Y.) is dedicated to supporting parents of adolescent and adult children with challenging, destructive or difficult behaviors. The group meets every Thursday, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at the Bethesda United Methodist Church, Room 209, 8300 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. There is a $1 donation. Call Harriet at 301-530-3597.

The National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society needs volunteers for its Friendly Visitors Program. Visitors dedicate a minimum of one hour per month to visiting a nursing home resident with multiple sclerosis. Contact Alayne Bell at 202-296-9891 or via e-mail at Visit the Chapter's Web site at

Maryland Families for Stem Cell Research, a nonprofit education and advocacy group for stem cell research, invites citizens to share their stories of hope for a cure or treatment to debilitating diseases and injuries. By visiting, you can tell your story, send a photo and voice your support of public funding for stem cell research. Web site visitors can also donate on-line to support the education and advocacy programs of the organization. The site also serves as a source of information about stem cell advocacy efforts in Maryland for patients, families, researchers, doctors, scientists and public officials.

Bethesda Help, a 35-year-old, ecumenical, nonsectarian organization, seeks volunteers for one day’s service per month. Officers of the day work from home handling cases provided through an answering service, and drivers take qualified (elderly or disabled) persons to doctor’s appointments and deliver groceries to clients' homes. Training and backup are provided. Call 301-294-4888.

Volunteer Opportunities at the National Institutes of Health:

Donate Blood. The NIH Blood Bank is in urgent need of donors with Type O blood. Donations are given at the Clinical Center, Building 10, on the NIH main campus in Bethesda. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call 301-469-1048 for an appointment to donate.

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

* Sexual Assault Victims. Montgomery County seeks 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. seeks volunteers to offer non-medical 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 recruiting and training drivers from Montgomery County. Donate a few weekday hours to transport patients to chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. Must have own vehicle.

* Licensed estheticians and cosmetologists are needed to teach female cancer patients beauty techniques to restore patients' appearances and self-image. Call 301-933-9350.