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Votes

Health & Fitness

Send announcements to the Mount Vernon Gazette, by e-mail to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com, by fax to 703-917-0991 or by mail to 1604 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

Inova HealthSource is pleased to offer influenza vaccinations to children ages 6 months and older at these locations. Adults of all ages may also receive their flu vaccinations at these sites. Pre-registration is requested call 703-204-3325:

* Inova Alexandria Hospital- Every Friday between Oct. 6 and Dec. 29 from noon-3 p.m. at HEC Auditorium, 4320 Seminary Road. 703-504-3008.

* Inova HealthPlex- Every Wednesday between Oct. 4 and Dec. 27 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at 6355 Walker Lane. 803-797-6801.

* Inova Mount Vernon Hospital- Every Tuesday between Oct. 3 and Dec. 26 from 9 a.m.-noon at Hospital Lobby, 2501 Parker's Lane. 703-664-7000.

Generations Dance & Fitness Studio is holding an open house from Nov. 28 with a Tango performance by Maria Pradilla and party at 7:45 p.m. to Dec. 23. Generations Dance & Fitness Studios is located in Old Town Alexandria at 816 North Saint Asaph St. and has been instructing beginning to advanced dancers for over five years. Maria Pradilla, owner of Generations and the Generations Dance Survival DVD Series, is a world-ranked Argentine Tango dancer. For additional event or registration information contact the studio office at 703-535-3595. Visit http://GenerationsDanceStudio.com.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation recently awarded $20,000 to Alexandria’s Battered Women’s Shelter to support its ongoing efforts to help women affected by domestic violence. Alexandria’s Battered Women’s Shelter is one of 150 shelters throughout the country receiving a $20,000 grant this year.

The Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women provided support for this grant.

Lowe's and its customers, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, are helping families in Northern Virginia this holiday season through the home improvement retailer’s “Homes for the Holidays” donation program, which kicked off Nov. 13 nationwide. Already in its third year, Homes for the Holidays provides customers the chance to donate to Northern

Virginia’sHabitat for Humanity affiliate by adding a donation onto their checkout total at their nearest Lowe's store. The program ends Dec. 11. During the holiday season, representatives from Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia will be at the Lowe's of Alexandria to promote Homes for the Holidays and recruit volunteers for future Habitat builds. For more information about Lowe’s Habitat for Humanity programs, visit lowes.com/habitat.

The Alexandria Department of Human Services invites the public to help make the 2006 holiday season brighter for disadvantaged families, foster children, and seniors by participating in the City's Holiday Sharing Programs. Individuals and groups take part in the program by purchasing gifts or certificates for a designated Alexandria family, foster child

or senior citizen. Gifts may be delivered directly to recipients or brought to the City's Human Services Center for distribution by staff. The Department of Human Services is also seeking volunteers to help sort and deliver gifts at the Human Services Center on Dec. 13, 14 and 15 from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Individuals, families and groups can request more information or enroll in the program by contacting Suzanne Kratzok at 703-519-3318, ext. 206, or bye-mail to suzanne.kratzok@alexandriava.gov. Persons interested in donating toys alone should call Community Partners for Children at 703-683-1012.

The Sexual Assault Response and Awareness (SARA) Program will be offering two support groups beginning in January 2007. The Significant Others Support Group is a six-week, co-ed group for partners of sexual assault/sexual abuse survivors. Group topics will include the recovery process, communication, and intimacy. This support group will meet on Thursday evenings from 6:30–8 p.m.

The Creative Expression Support Group is for adult survivors of sexual assault or sexual abuse that will incorporate non-verbal forms of expression, such as poetry, art, and journaling. This six-week group is for those who have previously participated in another support group. The support group will meet on Wednesdays from 6:30–8 p.m. Both support groups are sponsored by the SARA Program, and will be held in Alexandria. For more information on becoming involved, contact Jen McLish at 703-838-5030.

The Employer of the Year Award seeks to honor employers who exemplify qualities of fairness, equality, sensitivity and support for women employees in the workplace. Since 1986 the Alexandria Business and Professional Women have chosen 11 recipients for this award. The Physicians & Midwife Collaborative Practice won the 2006 Employer of the Year Award. The company provides a very necessary service to women and provides to its female employees, opportunities for job training and upward mobility. The company helps employees develop new talents and skills supports flexible work schedules to accommodate child care needs provides a flexible spending plan for dependent care costs provides medical and dental insurance offers a partially-matched 401-k retirement plan paid parking annual merit evaluations based on equal pay for equal job responsibility and skill.

The award was accepted on behalf of the practice by Dr. Mary E. Cutting, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. Dr Cutting has been in private practice in Alexandria since 1984. She graduated from Fort Hunt High School (now West Potomac High School) in Mount Vernon, and went on to Holy Cross College and University of Virginia School of Medicine. After completing her OB/GYN residency at Georgetown University Hospital, she entered private practice, and married her high school sweetheart, Bill. They have one son, born in 1990. Dr. Cutting is board certified and has a special interest in menopause and perimenopause. The company’s Alexandria office is at 4660 Kenmore Ave., Suite 902, Alexandria. 703-370-4300.

Inova HealthSource is now offering online classes for new parents and persons interested in losing weight. "Baby's First Foods" is an online course for working parents with no time to attend an on-site class. Tips are given for when to introduce solid foods and what types of foods to offer. The other class is "Weight Loss 101" and includes basic tips and strategies for healthy eating in our busy lives. Classes are available at anytime at the participant's convenience. The site is www.inovahealthsource.com, but pre-registration is required for a username and password. Class fee is $15. Register online at www.inova.org or by calling 703-204-3366.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and Virginiaâs Community Health Centers are working hard to treat and prevent diabetes throughout the Commonwealth. Diabetes is a disease that disproportionately affects minorities and was the sixth leading cause of death in Virginia in the year 2003. Virginia's Community Health Centers are recommending that patients learn more about the disease and the risks associated with it. During November, if you think you might have diabetes or if you think someone you know may have diabetes, be sure to schedule an appointment to visit a provider at a Community Health Center to get tested and take an active role in your healthcare decisions.

The Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross was honored recently for its outstanding blood collection program. The Greater Chesapeake & Potomac (GC & P) Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross, which serves the blood needs of communities stretching from southern Pennsylvania to Northern Virginia, recognized the Alexandria Chapter as its "Chapter of the Year" at a special ceremony last moecutive Director James E. Cleveland accepted a plaque on behalf of his team. GC & P Chief Executive Officer Gary Ouellette visited the Alexandria Chapter this week to personally deliver the plaque, where it will hang for visitors to see. The Alexandria Chapter collected just under 4,300 units of blood at over 150 blood drives throughout the city last year, making them the most outstanding Red Cross Chapter within the GC & P Region.