Health notes for north Pinellas County

No more excuses, ladies.

The 14th annual National Women's Health Week kicks off May 12 and is celebrated until May 18. Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, the event brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations and other groups in an effort to empower and encourage women to make their health a priority.

Morton Plant Mease recognizes National Women's Health Week with its own Month of the Woman, inviting women of all ages to Girls Night Out, a fun and educational health awareness event 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park, 420 Main St., Dunedin.

"These women's health events are good opportunities for women to learn more about the many stages a woman goes through, what to expect at various points and also have the chance to ask expert physicians questions in a casual environment," said Marcia Albanese, Morton Plant Mease director of women's services. "Many women tend to put everyone else's needs first, so this is a chance to put a spotlight on their own health care needs for a change."

The event includes free screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body mass index; physicians and health experts from Morton Plant Mease will be available for Ask-a-Doc opportunities; a Zumba fitness demonstration will be presented; free chair massages will be available; attendees can try their hand at teacup and tumbler decorating; and a photo booth will be set up to create souvenir bookmarks with friends. Refreshments will be provided.

To register for Girls Night Out, call (727) 253-4110 or visit baycareevents.org.

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Women With Purpose is a group of like-minded ladies from different paths and stages of life who want to give back to the community. Founded in 2012, the group's mission is to help other nonprofits to raise nonmedical funds for cancer patients and to provide assistance to individuals facing catastrophic situations.

The organization's latest endeavor, 4 Play!, ties in handily with National Women's Health Week. It takes place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Nielsen Co., 501 Brooker Creek Blvd., Oldsmar and features guest speakers, lunch, a fashion show, door prizes and raffles.

The event, tailored for women, touts "health, beauty, soul and sizzle" with Teresa Tapp, author of Fit & Fabulous and creator of the T-Tap Workout; Lynn Wise, independent Miche representative; Alishia Willardson, Peak Power coach and author of Live the Life You Love ... You Deserve It; and Sheryl Fry, director of the mammogram voucher program of Pinellas County.

Tickets are $25. All proceeds from the event benefit the mammogram voucher program that provides screening, diagnostic and treatment services free of charge or on a sliding scale for women living in Pinellas County who do not qualify for county assistance. Annually, the program assists more than 800 women who are uninsured or under-insured with low income. Eligibility is determined by the program manager.

For information, call (727) 726-8911.

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The Suncoast Miles for Melanoma 5K run/walk begins at 8 a.m. today, at Walsingham Park, 12615 102nd Ave. N, Largo and includes sunscreen and onsite skin cancer screenings. Proceeds will benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation. Cost is $25. Call (407) 583-7628.

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The Suncoast Sandpipers Volkssport Club will host a noncompetitive 5/10K walk at 9 a.m. today at Sand Key Park, 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater. Participation cost is $3 and includes volkssport credit. Call (727) 542-9742. ava.org/clubs/2013Convention/2013Convention

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The practice of Doga (yoga with your dog) combines stretch, massage and meditation in a one-hour bonding exercise tailor-made for humans and their canines. Class meets at 2 p.m. today at SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo. Cost is $15. Call (727) 586-3591. spcatampabay.org

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Experience a simulation of the sensations dementia sufferers feel when faced with simple daily tasks while taking a virtual dementia tour at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Aging Well Center, 1501 N Belcher Road, Clearwater. Free, but preregistration is requested. Call (727) 724-3070.

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Tai chi introductory classes will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA, 1370 Main St,, Dunedin. During a free one-hour class, participants will try the first few moves of tai chi consisting of slow, graceful movements that strengthen both mind and body. Call (727) 734-0929.

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Laughter Yoga, a combination of laughter exercises with yogic breathing, is offered at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road. The practice is designed to destress and energize. Cost is $5 for residents, $7 for nonresidents. Call (727) 733-7296.

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The Suncoast Hospice Stroll, a 3-mile family-friendly recreational walk, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Palm Pavilion Grill & Bar, 10 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater. Participants are encouraged to collect pledges; prizes will be awarded for pledge levels of $25, $50, $100 and more. Proceeds benefit those served by Suncoast Hospice's family of programs. Donations accepted. Call (727) 586-4432. thehospicefoundation.org/BeachStroll

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Community Yoga takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday at Safety Harbor City Park, 940 Seventh St. S. This weekly class is designed for all skill levels and links breathing with fun and accessible yoga poses. Donations are accepted. Call (727) 724-1545. yogachikitsa.net

Mail health news to Tampa Bay Times, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756; fax to (727) 441-4119; or email nbeall@tampabay.com.

Health notes for north Pinellas County 04/27/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 25, 2013 7:28pm]

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