Health Notes is a weekly feature that highlights health and wellness news in the area. Hospitals and other health related agencies may e-mail items to [email protected].
Expectant parent classes and tours
Bridgeport Hospital offers classes and tours for new and expectant parents, including Birthplace Tours, Thursdays, Feb. 16 and 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 6-7 p.m.; Infant CPR Anytime, Thursdays, Feb. 16 and 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 7:15-8:15 p.m. To register, call 888-357-2396.
Class on the essentials of labor and birth Saturday, Feb. 18 and March 18, 9:30-4:30, Saturday, March 4, 9-4, Park Avenue Medical Center, 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull. To register, call 888-357-2396 or visit bridgeporthospital.org/events.
First aid and safety classes
Bridgeport Hospital’s Emergency Care Institute offers the following American Heart Association self-care classes at the hospital, 267 Grant St. Registration required. Call 203-384-4497.
Administration of medicine, Thursday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 21, 6:30-9:30, $50 full program, $25 injectables only; Adult, child and infant CPR and defibrillator training Wednesday, March 1, 6-9, $75; Pediatric first aid & safety and adult, child and infant CPR/defibrillator training two-year certification, Saturday, Feb. 18, March 18, 8:30-5:30, $100 full class or $70 first aid portion only.
Divorced and separated Catholics are invited to join Hearts Renewed, a support group for divorced or separated men and women. Meetings are held in Fairfield on the first and third Fridays of each month at 7:30. Next: Feb. 18. For more information and directions call Bette, 203-338-0503 or Peggy, 203-834-1287.
Hawaiian Art of Forgiveness
The Community Health Resource Center at Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street, Derby, will host a free educational presentation on the Hawaiian Art of Forgiveness on Monday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. To register or for more information, call Kerry or Deborah at 203-732-7399.
Class covers the benefits of breastfeeding, establishing and maintaining milk supply, latch-on and positioning techniques, how to know if baby is getting enough breast milk, troubleshooting, debunking myths and fitting breastfeeding into a busy lifestyle Saturday, Feb. 25, 9-4; Saturday, March 11 and 25, 10-12:30, hospital’s outpatient campus, 5520 Park Avenue, Trumbull. To register, call 888-357-2396, bridgeporthospital.org/events.
Blood pressure screenings
Bridgeport Hospital offers free blood pressure screenings at Shelton Senior Center, 81 Wheeler St., Monday, Feb. 27, March 27, noon-2; Stratford Baldwin Center, 1000 West Broad St., Monday, March 13, 9:30-11; Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace, Monday, March 6 and 20, 9:30-11:30.
Bridgeport Hospital’s Norma Pfriem Cancer Institute, in partnership with the Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, provides weekly genetic counseling services by appointment, every Friday beginning at Norma Pfriem Breast Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Genetic counseling will be offered again at the hospital’s outpatient campus at 5520 Park Avenue, Trumbull, when a new medical office building opens at the site in spring 2016, 203-200-4362.
Wellness for Life
Wellness for Life is a 12-week, evidence-based lifestyle change program that helps prevent and treat many chronic diseases. It’s designed for individuals ready to make changes in their nutrition, physical activity and stress management. With the support of a multi-disciplinary staff, Wellness for Life members take ownership of making long-term lifestyle changes in their lives. Afternoon session runs Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m., starting Feb. 21. For more information, visit griffinhealth.org or call Program Co-Director Eunice Lisk, MS, at 203-732-7107.
Free support groups
Park Avenue Medical Center’s, Integrative Medicine, 5520 Park Avenue, Suite 1-600, Trumbull, is offering the following free support groups to serve the community.
Men’s Support Group — Open to all men either currently in treatment or post-treatment. Discussing issues relevant to men who have been diagnosed with cancer. Meets monthly, first Wednesday of each month. Group forming, plans to hold first meeting on Wednesday, March 1, noon-1:30 p.m. Registration required. Facilitated by: Marni Amsellem, Ph.D., licensed psychologist specializing in clinical health psychology. For questions or to RSVP, email Dr. Marni Amsellem at [email protected] or call Lisa at 203-337-8660.
Education Program — Strive to Thrive … From Diagnosis to Survivorship, Wednesday, March 8, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Registration required. Nutrition 101: Setting the Foundation
Objectives: To learn role of Macro and Micronutrients in the body. To learn and understand why the quantity and quality of the food we consume matter. To receive evidence-based strategies to help support decreasing risk of recurrence. Questions/Reflections. Facilitated by: Dr. Shyron Alston, Naturopathic Physician, Clinical Nutritionist. RSVP to 203-337-8660 or [email protected].
Senior driving course
AARP’s Smart Driver course will be offered Saturday, March 4, 9-1, first-floor Administration Conference Room at Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St. $15 AARP members and $20 non-members. To register, call 888-357-2396 or visit bridgeporthospital.org/events. Also offered Saturday, March 4, 8:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street. While the course is geared toward drivers age 50 and older, the course is open to everyone. $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers. RSVP: Esther at 203-732-1523.
Tuesday, March 7, 6-7, Ahlbin Rehabilitation Center, 4 Corporate Drive, Shelton; 203-925-4201.
Heart disease and prevention in women
A free lecture on Heart Disease and Prevention in Women will be presented by Anja Wagner, MD on March 15, at 1 p.m., at The Baldwin Center in Stratford. Information: [email protected]; stvincents.org/events.
Substance abuse support
The Community Addiction and Recovery Education & Support (C.A.R.E.S.) Group provides a free, weekly drop-in support group for parents and other concerned family members whose loved ones are using or abusing mind-altering substances. Their mission is to provide education, support, access to resources, and hope for individuals and families struggling with substance abuse or addiction. C.A.R.E.S. meets every Tuesday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1734 Huntington Tpke., Trumbull, 7-9 p.m. (New location at St. George Orthodox Church, 5490 Main St., Trumbull). For additional locations and information, call 1-855-406-0246 or visit thecaresgroup.org.
Walk for Life
The Watermark at 3030 Park offers Walk for Life exercise program every Monday at 10 a.m. at the retirement community’s fitness center, located at 3030 Park Avenue on the Bridgeport-Fairfield town line; 3030park.watermarkcommunities.com/
Health insurance enrollment help
In an effort to help community members who are among the estimated 14,000 individuals across Connecticut who no longer qualify for Medicaid HUSKY A, Griffin Hospital in Derby is offering free, one-on-one help from a certified Access Health CT assister.
The Rev. Esther Jones, of Griffin Hospital’s Community Outreach and Valley Parish Nursing Program, is available by appointment to offer guidance for selecting health care coverage, verify that all paperwork is completed properly, check for financial aid opportunities, and help complete enrollment. Appointments required: 203-732-1523 or email [email protected].
Sunset Shores Adult Day Health Centers, 720 Barnum Avenue Cutoff, Stratford hosts a caregiver support group the second Monday of the month, 5-6 p.m. Groups help to provide emotional, educational and social support for caregivers. RSVP to Mary Pruzinsky, 203-380-1228.
Support group for caregivers of adult oncology patients group meets Wednesdays, 2-3 p.m., at Park Avenue Medical Center, 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull. Drop-ins welcome. To register: [email protected], 203-337-8660.
Support group for caregivers and families led by Harbor care Director, David Fife, third Thursday of the month at 5:30, Middlebrook Farms of Trumbull, 2750 Reservoir Avenue, Trumbull; 203-268-2400; [email protected].
Group for family members and others responsible for the day-to-day care of elderly relatives meets second Friday of month, noon-1, Operations Conference Room, Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant Street; 888-357-2396.
First and third Thursday of each month, 4 p.m., Jewish Senior Services, Grasmere by the Sea Adult Day Program, 1 Post Road, Fairfield; 203-365-6470, [email protected] Also, second Tuesday of the month, 4 p.m., Jewish Senior Services, The Jewish Home, 175 Jefferson Street, Fairfield; 203-365-6479; [email protected].
Young adult cancer support
Free support group for individuals 18-35 living with cancer meets every first and third Tuesday each month at 10 a.m., Park Avenue Medical Center, Integrative Medicine 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull. RSVP to [email protected] or call 203-816-0183.
Cancer support for women
Support group for Young(er) Women with Cancer (all types) is a free group open to any female under the age of 55 with any diagnosis of cancer, either newly diagnosed, in treatment, or out of treatment. Group meets second Tuesday of each month 1:30-3, Norma Pfriem Breast Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield, and fourth Thursday of each month, 5-6:30 p.m., at Park Avenue Medical Center Integrative Medicine and Support Services 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull. RSVP to [email protected] or call 203-816-0183.
St. Mary’s Bereavement Support Group 10-week New Day Program begins Thursday, Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m., St. Mary’s Church Hall, 70 Gulf Street, Milford.
Griffin Hospital is starting new support groups in September for anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one. These groups provide grief education and support to ease the pain of loss as well as encourage healing and growth. Groups meet in a 16-week cycle at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby. There will be groups meeting on Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m., starting Sept. 14, and Mondays, 4-5:30 p.m. starting Sept. 19. Advance registration is required. To learn more or to register, contact Heather Billingham at 203-732-1132 or [email protected].
A 12-session program over nine months will begin at St Jude’s Parish in Monroe on Sept 14. Group meets Wednesdays, 2:30-4 p.m., in the Social Hall. Sessions will be held twice a month September-November and then once a month the rest of the year concluding in May. Registration is required; 203-261-6404.
Galello-Luchansky Funeral Home, 2220 Main Street, Stratford is sponsoring a free bereavement support group as part of a new initiative sponsored by a group of Stratford agencies that want to reach out to the community. Bi-monthly meetings Tuesdays, at 4:30 p.m. Free and open to anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, Patti Galello, 203-378-1819; Diane Puterski, 203-385-4055.
Ongoing bereavement support group every Friday, 10-11 a.m., VITAS Office, 99 Hawley Lane, suite 1204, Stratford. To register call 203-455-3300 or email [email protected].
10-week program meets at St. Stephen’s Church, 6948 Main Street, Trumbull, Thursdays, 4:30-6. Registration required: 203-268-6217.
The Caring Network, a free ongoing support group for adults who have lost a loved one through death, meets the first and third Wednesday of every month, 6-8 p.m., Bridges campus, 941 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford. Registration not required. Information: Cody-White Funeral Home, 203-874-0268, Cynthia Dodd, M. Div, 203-878-6365, ext 344.
Breast cancer support
Women living with metastatic breast cancer can get help managing their psychosocial needs by attending a free support group at The Norma Pfriem Breast Center. New support groups begin in September.
Living with Metastatic Disease meets twice each month Thursdays, 12:30-2 p.m.
Living with Cancer (for women with any cancer) meets second Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. in Fairfield and for Young Women with Cancer, the fourth Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. in Trumbull.
4th Thursday support group for Young”er” women to PAMC, 5-6:30; 203-255-5300; bridgeporthospital.org/cancer/breast.
Support group for individuals with Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Connect with others, share common issues, get support and camaraderie from others in similar circumstances. For more information contact Dr. Mary Jo Vasquez, [email protected], 203-816-0183.
Wellness for Life
Griffin Hospital is helping individuals make the change for a healthier life this fall with its Wellness for Life program, a 12-week, evidence-based lifestyle change program that helps prevent and treat many chronic diseases. Programs starts Tuesday, Sept. 20. Meets Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m., Hewitt Ambulatory Pavilion (located in the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital) at 350 Seymour Ave., Derby; griffinhealth.org; 203-732-7107.
Parkinson’s fitness class
The Watermark at 3030 Park will continue its Parkinson’s Fitness Class, a bi-weekly class designed to help people living with Parkinson’s engage their muscles and increase mobility. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:45 at the senior living community, located at 3030 Park Avenue on the Bridgeport-Fairfield town line. Due to a limited number of spaces, reservations and a small participation fee are required for the fitness class. To RSVP, contact Cindy McGuire at 203-373-6108.
Nutrition for cancer survivors
Class provides information and resources for healthy eating during and after treatment in addition with dietary tips and modifications to help improve overall wellness and health, the second Wednesday of every month, 5-6 p.m., St. Vincent’s Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent to the hospital, 203-576-6158.
Overeaters self-help group
Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-Step self-help group for compulsive overeaters. The group meets every Sunday, 8:45-9:45 a.m., at St. Vincent’s Hospital, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, in the Seton Room on Level C. There are no dues, fees or weigh-ins. The only requirement is a desire to stop eating compulsively. For more information, visit swctoa.org or call Bill M., 203-455-7766.
Family support group
For adult patients, family members and friends who are coping with a diagnosis of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or Hodgkin’s disease, first Tuesday of every month, 4-5:30, St. V’s Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, Level 3 Medical Oncology Conference Room, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, 203-576-6158; [email protected]
Hospice volunteer training
The Connecticut Hospice, Inc. is sponsoring its fall volunteer training this October. The course will inform and prepare prospective volunteers in all aspects of Hospice Care for patients in lower Fairfield County, 203-315-7510, 800-8-HOSPICE ext. 510, [email protected]
Lunch & learn cancer support
A free Lunch & Learn Cancer Support Group offered by St. Vincent’s third Thursday of the month noon-1, Oncology Conference Room, Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, adjacent to the St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, 203-576-6158, [email protected]
Al-Anon is a resource for family members and friends affected by alcoholism.
Al-Anon meets Sundays, 6:30 and Wednesdays, 7:30, St. Ann’s, old convent behind church, Brewster Street, Black Rock; Sundays, 7, St. Charles Church, (Spanish meeting), 391 Ogden Street, Bridgeport; Fridays, 8, Bridgeport Mental Health Center, 1635 Central Avenue, first floor (park and enter from parking deck off Mead Street); Monday at 7:30 a.m., and Thursday at 11:30 a.m., at Grace Episcopal Church, 5958 Main Street, Trumbull; Thursday at 8 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1734 Huntington Tpke., Trumbull. Alateen helps teens age 12-20 and also meets Thursday at 8 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church. There are no dues or fees to participate.
For information about groups in Connecticut, call 1-888-825-2666. For more information about Al-Anon, visit ct-al-anon.org. A free publication is available at Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org.
Do you have a problem with alcohol, drug addiction or any life controlling issue? Are you affected by a loved one’s addiction? Higher Ground Ministry is non-denominational and offers help that is permanent through Biblical truths. Through Higher Ground Ministry you will receive support, encouragement and spiritual guidance that will change your life forever. To find a meeting near you, call 203-888-9974 or visit highergroundministry.org.
Free yoga for cancer patients
Restorative yoga, chair yoga with breathing and meditation for patients in active treatment or post-surgery, Tuesdays, 10 a.m., The Watermark, 303 Park Ave., Bridgeport; Thursdays, 10 a.m., Yoga Room, Level 3 of St. Vincent’s Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, adjacent to the Medical Center. Gentle Yoga, for patients in treatment or recently finished, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Yoga for Everybody, 27 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. Formal Yoga, for cancer survivors of five years or less, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m., The Watermark, 3030 Park Ave., Bridgeport, 203-576-6158.
Free HIV/HCV tests
The Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program and the Stratford Health Department will offer rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing with results in 20 minutes every first and third Tuesday of the month from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Stratford Health Dept., 468 Birdseye St., Stratford.
To schedule an appointment call 203-385-4058.
Cancer support group
Ongoing monthly group is focused on giving support to patients and families who have been diagnosed with lung, colon, head and neck, esophageal, GI cancers and other solid tumors. Meetings are the third Wednesday of the month, 9-10 a.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, third floor conference room, St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158.
Healthy traveler service
Bridgeport Hospital’s Healthy Traveler Service provides pre-travel consultations, travel vaccines, medications and comprehensive travel information to help prepare for a healthy and safe international trip. For information or to make an appointment, call 203-384-3613.
Ring for Your Rhythm
Bridgeport Hospital’s “Ring for Your Rhythm” line provides recorded, step-by-step instructions for taking a pulse reading, to help detect atrial fibrillation (a-fib) and possibly prevent a stroke. Call toll free, 24/7, at 855-247-8573.
Led by licensed acupuncturist Gregor Wei, Mondays, 10-2, Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Call 203-255-5300 to register. Advance registration requested. Private appointments available.
Massage is offered for oncology patients undergoing definitive active treatment and for survivors who have completed treatment. Call 203-576-6158 for an appointments. Program takes place on third floor of Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport.
Health and wellness classes
St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport offers a variety of health and wellness classes. Most sessions run for 10 weeks with the exception of Pilates, which is six weeks; and Y Diabetes Prevention Program and Weight Watchers program, 16- and 17-week sessions respectively. 10-week sessions: $90. Information/registration: 203-576-6267; [email protected]
Free exercise video program
A new online video program called A-B-E (Activity Bursts Everywhere) for Fitness, designed specifically to help adults meet those recommendations for daily physical activity, is available at abeforfitness.com.
Beginner and intermediate level, runs weekly, Fridays, 9:15 a.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300; bridgeporthospital.org. Yoga, restorative yoga and teen yoga classes also available. Call for full class schedule.
Weekly, Mondays, 5:30 p.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300.
St. Vincent’s Wellness Booth has relocated to the main lobby of the Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport. Health screenings and services offered to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30-3:30. No appointment required for any of the screenings.
Free blood pressure screenings are performed every Tuesday. On Wednesdays, Cholesterol/HDL ratio/glucose screening, $18; a lipid panel requiring a four-hour fast, $25; blood sugar screening alone requiring a two-hour fast, $1.
For more information call St. Vincent’s toll-free Care Line at 877-255-SVHS (7847).
Heart-disease risk quiz
Bridgeport Hospital offers “Take 10 for Your Ticker,” a free online heart-disease risk quiz. Quiz is available at bridgeporthospital.org, by clicking on the link in the “Take 10 for Your Ticker” box.
For those without access to the Internet, a free printed copy of the quiz, with an explanation of results, is available by calling 1-888-357-2396.
Help for new movers
Bridgeport Hospital’s free Newcomer Concierge Service helps new residents of Bridgeport and surrounding towns locate physicians to meet personal and family health needs. Service also provides information on health-related events and activities. To reach the Newcomer Concierge Service, call 203-330-7462, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, 9-3.
Atria Stratford Assisted Living, 6911 Main St., offers a support group for family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, or related dementia, living at home or in an extended care facility. Group meets first Wednesday of the month, 6-7; 203-380-0006.
Grasmere By The Sea: One Post Road, Fairfield, offers open discussion about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, first Thursday of month, 4 p.m.; 203-365-6470.
Jewish Family Service, 2370 Park Ave., Bridgeport, offers support group for family members or friends helping with the care of adults over 60, meets first Wednesday of month, 6-7:30 p.m. RSVP: 366-5438, Ext. 219.
Sunset Shores Adult Day Health Center, 720 Barnum Avenue Cut Off, Stratford, offers a support group for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Meetings are the second Wednesday of the month, 4-5; 380-1228.
St. Vincent’s SWIM family support group meets first Tuesday of each month, 4-5:30 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required; 203-576-6158; [email protected]
Prostate cancer survivors
St. Vincent’s SWIM Prostate Cancer Survivors Educational Lecture Series and Support Group meets at Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158 or e-mail [email protected] for dates and times of lectures. No reservations required.
Breast cancer wellness
St. Vincent’s Breast Cancer Survivor Wellness program, intended for women who have recently undergone breast cancer surgery and those further along in their recovery, 4:30-5:30, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required. For dates, call 203-576-6158.
Breast cancer stories
Bizymoms.com has helped many women with whatever information it is they may be seeking about breast cancer. A panel of cancer experts, women, wives, and mothers are waiting to share their expertise and stories while learning about yours. Visit bizymoms.com/cares/breastcancer.
St. Vincent’s partners with Saxon-Kent Lingerie of Orange to provide special products for women battling cancer. Boutique hours: Monday-Friday, 10-4. Fitting hours for wigs, prosthesis, mastectomy bras, lymphedema sleeves etc: Tuesdays, 2-4; Wednesdays, 10-noon; or by appointment; 203-576-6158; [email protected] Boutique hours: 10-4.
Breast cancer support
Woman-to-Woman, an American Cancer Society sponsored support group for women who have had breast cancer or who have been newly diagnosed, meets monthly, 2-4 p.m., Cambridge Manor, 2428 Easton Tpke., Fairfield; 800-889-3340.
Cancer resource library
St. Vincent’s SWIM Cancer Resource Library is open Monday-Friday, 9-5, Maureen Ringel Cancer Resource Library, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, St. V’s. Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. A representative is available to assist visitors with navigation of web-based searches, cancer clinical trial searches and direct patient referrals to a variety of free resources Monday-Friday, 9-1.
Trumbull MS support group meets third Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8, Trumbull Library, 33 Quality St. Ed, 445-0118; 1-800- FIGHT MS; ctfightsMS.org.
The American Society For Scleroderma Research has formed a support group for all afflicted by this disease. The group meets every second Thursday, 6:30-7:30, St. Vincent Medical Center, Main Street, Bridgeport; Aimee Turiano or Joy LoSchiavo, 203-273-2034.