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Votes

Health Notes, June 11-17

To have an item listed free in 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean VA 22102, e-mail to almanac@connectionnewspapers.com, 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.

Lifelines for Kids, Tuesdays, through June 17, 7-8:30 p.m. Children, Youth & Family Services, 401 Hungerford Drive, Rockville. Encourages children in foster care to build on their strengths and identify "lifelines" to help them grow and succeed. 10-week group for children in grades 4-6. Creative activities, games, art and discussion. Free. Register by calling 301-476-8525.

Parents of Children with Asperger’s, Autism, PDD-NOS. Share coping strategies and community resources, develop networks, and gain support. Two groups will be offered. No charge. Group meets on Mondays, June 16, July 7 and Aug. 11, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and Tuesdays, June 3, July 1 and Aug. 5; 7-8:15 p.m. at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville (both groups). Register monthly: 301-610-8361.

Teen Therapy Group. In this interactive therapy group, adolescent boys (ages 14-17) will use didactic and process-oriented strategies to develop and enhance skills for making and keeping friends, increasing self-esteem, improving social interactions, and managing negative feelings. Group meets on Mondays, June 23-Aug. 25; 4:30-5:30 p.m. at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2633 to register.

Family Support Group. In this ongoing monthly group, parents and family members of children with disabilities share their joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, coping mechanisms and strategies for living for today and planning for the future. No charge. Group meets on Tuesdays, June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19; 7:30-8:45 p.m. at JSSA, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Pre-registration required: 301-610-8371.

In recognition of Home Safety Month, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Aging and Disability Services is offering county residents free reminder cards with information on how to prevent falls in their homes. The "12 Ways to Prevent Falls" provides tips on how to decrease hazards in the home. In addition, this easy-to-post card provides ideas on how to lessen other risks for falling. To request a free "12 Ways to Prevent Falls," call the Department of Health and Human Services, Aging and Disability Services at 240-777-3000; TTY 240-777-4575.

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac (GC & P) Region asks all eligible whole blood donors to "Be the One We Count On" by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a donation appointment right away. Blood supply levels are at a critical low. The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the American Red Cross is offering all blood program participants an exclusive "Be the One We Count On" T-shirt, as well as a chance to win $100 worth of free gas in a weekly drawing. Information about Regional Blood Donor Centers or community blood drive locations and times can be found at www.my-redcross.org.

Montgomery County residents who do not have prescription drug coverage are encouraged to use the Montgomery Rx prescription drug discount cards when filling prescriptions. The Montgomery Rx program, launched in December 2004, provides free prescription discount cards to County residents, through a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties. The cards are easy to use and offer average savings of 20 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs. Residents can find the free cards at all County libraries, County health and human services locations and at participating pharmacies throughout Montgomery County. Visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov and click on the Montgomery Rx link or call 240-777-1245.

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross reports dangerously low inventory of types O and B blood, causing the organization to issue an urgent plea to blood donors throughout the Region to schedule an immediate appointment to give the gift of life. The Red Cross is reporting an inventory level for each of these blood types which is dramatically below the desired safe level of five to seven days worth of blood. Donors are urged to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE immediately to schedule a donation appointment. Addresses and driving directions for these Donor Centers, as well as a complete list of community blood drives can be found at www.my-redcross.org or by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

Seniors and their caregivers can get diet and nutrition questions answered by a registered dietitian by calling Montgomery 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.

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.

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 www.pain-connection.org, e-mail gwenn@pain-connection.org 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 www.kidneywdc.org.

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.

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.

Hospice Caring offers ongoing peer-support groups, facilitated by trained volunteers, specifically designed for those 50 years of age or younger who are grieving the death of their spouse or significant other. Groups meet weekly from 7–8:30 p.m. in Rockville. Contact Toby Rabbin, Director of Adult Bereavement, at 301-990-0854.

Montgomery County’s Area Agency on Aging, part of the Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with the University of Maryland’s Legacy Leadership Institute to offer a training program for individuals in the community interested in learning to be health coaches. Health coaches can have a positive impact on their community by teaching others how to stay healthy. Visit http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=3748.

SeniorTech Centers teaching seniors 50-plus the use of the computer. Classes include: basic introduction, word processing, graphics, desktop publicizing, internet, e-mail, and much more. Each six week session includes free open lab time enabling students to have hands on, one-on-one assistance with course materials. Classes are 1 1/2 - 2 hours a week and a six-week course is $75.

JCA SeniorTech Centers are located in Maryland at Asbury Methodist Village, Gaithersburg and the Bethesda Vital Living Center on Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda. Contact Teresa Simmons at 240-395-0916 or email tsimmons@jcagw.org.

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.

"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 ABell@MSandYOU.org. Visit the Chapter's Web site at www.MSandYOU.org.

Stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, as well as victims of degenerative neurological conditions, can now use new TWIST to speech therapy. Technology with Innovative Speech Therapy (TWIST) is among the first speech-language therapy programs to integrate computers and technology into an intensive rehabilitation program. TWIST features eighteen hours of intensive individualized speech therapy that specifically defines a patient's communication and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. It then matches those strengths and weaknesses with advanced computer software. TWIST gives people the opportunity to tackle their challenges head-on through technology. Visit www.innovativespeech.com or call 301-602-2899 for more.

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.

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 www.marylandcures.org, 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.