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Health events and support groups

Health notes


Morton Plant Mease and Red Hot Mamas are helping women take control of their health with a "Conversation Couch" event 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater.

Hors d'oeuvres and mocktails will be served at the event, which will feature Karen Giblin, founder and president of Red Hot Mamas, the nation's largest menopause education program, and Dr. Stephanie Van Zandt, who will talk about tips for women's health during all stages of life from childbirth to menopause.

The "Conversation Couch" program features a uniquely designed couch and was created in response to consumer research that indicates nearly 85 percent of baby boomer women are not effectively communicating with their doctors about sensitive health issues. The goal is to help women take charge of their health and talk to their doctors about all of the physical changes their bodies go through during their lifetime, including childbirth and menopause.

To register, call (727) 253-4079 or visit

• • •

A diabetes information panel and health fair is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. today in the Grand Room of the Aging Well Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater.

The panel discussion includes doctors specializing in endocrinology, podiatry, ophthalmology, nutrition and pulmonology.

The health fair offers screenings for vision, hearing, blood pressure and glucose, as well as sample diabetic foods for people and pets.

For information and to register, call (727) 953-9240 or visit

• • •

Memory screenings and educational materials are available as part of National Memory Screening Day, an initiative of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Harmony Home Health, 13787 S Belcher Road, Suite 220, Largo.

Individuals can take advantage of free confidential memory screenings, averaging 5 to 10 minutes, which consist of questions and tasks to assess memory. Screening is a safe, cost-efficient intervention that can reassure the healthy individual, promotes successful aging and, when indicated, directs individuals to appropriate clinical resources. It does not diagnose any illness but can indicate whether someone should pursue a followup medical exam. It is estimated that missed diagnoses of dementia may be as high as 90 percent.

Harmony Home Health will also provide educational materials on memory concerns and dementia. Support group facilitators will be on hand to answer questions and discuss concerns.

Call (727) 723-7532.

• • •

Florida Blood Services has teamed up with seven food banks — Metropolitan Ministries, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, All Faiths Food Bank, Tampa Bay Harvest, Lighthouse Ministries, Food Bank of Manatee and Harvest Food & Outreach Center — to brighten lives of patients in need and those who are hungry this holiday season.

Blood donors in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota and Indian River counties who donate at any FBS bloodmobile or Donor Center Sunday through Nov. 19 can forgo their regular donor gift and FBS will make a $5 donation on their behalf to their local food bank.

In addition, donors and the public are invited to drop off any nonperishable food items through Nov. 22 at any FBS "fixed site" donor center in those counties for distribution to local food banks.

"We know how generous our blood donors are with sharing their Gift of Life and wanted to provide them the opportunity to help more people with other survival needs this holiday season," said Julie Watkinson, FBS director of marketing and communication.

Healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can be blood donors. Identification is required prior to donation. To find donation locations call toll-free 1‑800‑682-5663 or visit

Seminars, classes and support groups

CELIAC SUPPORT GROUP: Celiac disease affects one out of every 133 people. There is no cure, but symptoms can be controlled by going on a completely gluten-free diet. The group meets 10 a.m. to noon the third Saturday of every month at Mease Countryside Hospital (meeting rooms 1, 2 and 3), 3231 McMullen-Booth Road, Safety Harbor. Call (727) 734-0561 or email bkelly1@

NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUP: Meetings are 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays, except holidays, at Crystal Beach Community Hall, 517 Crystal Beach Ave.; 8 p.m. Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church, Educational Building, second floor "Parlor," 421 Main St., Dunedin; 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Paul's United Methodist Church Annex, Open Arms Resource Center, 1897 Highland Ave., Largo; and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1555 Windmill Pointe Road, Palm Harbor. Call toll-free 1-888-947-8885 or visit

TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY (TOPS): Weight-loss group meetings are 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays at First Baptist Church of Ozona-Palm Harbor, 610 Pennsylvania Ave., Ozona. The group meets in the building in the back. Call (727) 786-1484 or (727) 785-9564.

TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY (TOPS): Meets from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays at Heritage United Methodist Church, room 11, 2680 Landmark Drive, Clearwater. The first meeting is free. Call (727) 726-2681.

RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL: Abraham Low Self-Help System, a weekly support group for people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and symptoms caused by fear and anger, meets at the following times and locations: 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Lakeview Community Church, 475 East Lake Road N, East Lake, (727) 942-4095; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Grace Lutheran Church, 1812 Highland Ave., Clearwater, (727) 942-9008; and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave., Clearwater. Call (727) 586-2585, or leave a message at (727) 525-1749. Group meetings are free, but offerings are appreciated.

ALZHEIMER'S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP: Meets weekly at 9:30 a.m. Mondays, Palm Harbor Community Activity Center, 1500 16th St. (727) 787-1837.

FOOD ADDICTS IN RECOVERY ANONYMOUS: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, (727) 501-2125, and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays, (727) 786-3113. Both at Clearwater Community Church, Room 103, 2897 Belcher Road, Dunedin. Visit

Health news should be mailed to Nova Beall at 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756, faxed to (727) 445-4119 or emailed to

Health events and support groups 11/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 6:36pm]
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