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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Griffin Hospital is offering area residents an opportunity to learn Reiki, a body, mind, and spirit approach to medicine and healing, at a special Reiki Level 2 Workshop Thursday, Aug. 9, noon-5 p.m. at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby.
The workshop is open to all individuals interested in becoming Level 2 Reiki practitioners (completion of a Level 1 Reiki workshop is a prerequisite). Cost is $125.
Advance registration is required by Aug. 2. To register, call 203-732-7555.
Free health screenings
Free health screenings and programs on how to stay healthy and safe highlight the 7th annual Community Health Fair set for Saturday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church, 96 Central St., Ansonia.
Attendees may receive free health screenings for stroke assessments (including cholesterol), blood pressure and diabetic screenings. In addition, the fair will feature the Child Identification Program (CHIP), health and wellness displays and interactive health education booths.
The event is sponsored by Griffin Hospital’s Valley Parish Nurse Program, Valley NAACP and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Neighborhood Small Grants.
Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers will host a free Stroke Support Group meeting for recovering stroke patients and their caregivers Tuesday, Aug. 7, 6-7 p.m., at its Shelton outreach site, 4 Corporate Drive.
For information or to register, call 203-925-4201.
St. Vincent’s Stroke Survivors and Caregivers Support Group meets the third Wednesday of the month 5:30-7 p.m., Seton Room on Level C at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport; 203-576-5361.
Family support group
A free Family Support Group for adult patients, family members and friends who are coping with a diagnose of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin’s Disease is being offered at St. Vincent’s on the first Tuesday of every month from 4-5:30 p.m., in the Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, Level 3 Medical Oncology Conference Room, adjacent to the Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Next meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 7. Information: 203-576-6158; email@example.com.
Breast cancer survivor support
St. Vincent’s Breast Cancer Survivor support group meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month 5:30-7 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Next: Aug. 7. No reservations required. Information: 203-576-6158; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital is partnering with Yale Cancer Center to provide genetic counseling services in the Greater Bridgeport community. Certified genetic counselor Rachel Barnett sees patients at the Cancer Institute’s Park Avenue campus in Trumbull, where a number of other cancer-related services are also provided. Appointments are available on Wednesdays, Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10.
To make an appointment, call 203-764-8400.
Nutrition for cancer survivors
St. Vincent’s is presenting “Nutrition for Cancer Survivors” the second Wednesday of every month from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in its Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent to the hospital. Upcoming: Aug. 8 and Sept. 12. To register or for more information call 203-576-6158.
Senior driving course
AARP’s Senior Driver Safety Program will be offered Saturday, Aug. 11, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., in the first-floor Administration Conference Room at Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St.
Fee is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members, which covers handouts and instructional materials. To register, call 1-888-357-2396.
Tai Chi/Qigong class
Introduction to Tai Chi/Qigong class offered at the Derby Neck Library, 307 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, from July 23 through Aug. 20.
Cost for the five classes is $60 (or less depending on participant turnout).
Participants should wear comfortable clothing. There is no strenuous exercise, only gentle movement done within each person’s comfortable range of motion.
Registration is required: 203-734-1492.
Blood pressure screenings
Screenings offered by Bridgeport Hospital at Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace, Mondays, Aug. 6 and 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m.; Stratford Baldwin Center, 1000 West Broad St., Monday, Aug. 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m.; Shelton Senior Center, 81 Wheeler St., Monday, Aug. 27, noon-2 p.m. Call 1-888-357-2396.
Also offered by the South End Community Center in collaboration with the Stratford Health Department, first and third Wednesdays of the month, 10-noon, South End Community Center; 203-385-4058; 203-377-0689.
The Mario and Irma D’Addario Hypertension Program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center provides free blood pressure screenings and information to the public every Tuesday, 11:30-3:30, in the main lobby of St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport; 1-877-255-SVHS (7847).
First aid/safety class
Bridgeport Hospital’s Emergency Care Institute offers the following self-care classes in the duPont Board Room at Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St. To register, call 203-384-4497.
Adult, child and infant CPR two-year certification, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 6-9 p.m., $65; Pediatric first aid & safety and adult, child and infant CPR/defibrillator training two-year certification, Saturdays, Aug. 11 and 25, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., $100 full class or $70 first aid portion only; Administration of medicine class, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 6:30-9:30 p.m., $50 full program (three-year certification) or $25 for injectable medications only; Basic life support for healthcare providers, Saturday, Aug. 4; Monday, Aug. 6; Wednesday, Aug. 15; Saturday, Aug. 18; Thursday, Aug. 23; and Tuesday, Aug. 28, 6-10 p.m., $90 ($65 for those with an unexpired American Heart Association certification card).
Bridgeport Hospital has launched a new free breastfeeding support group for new and expectant mothers, the first and third Wednesday of the month, 10-noon, 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull. Next: Aug. 15. To register, call toll free 1-888-357-2396.
St. Vincent’s Healthy Hearts Club has announced a trip to Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Wednesday, Aug. 22. The trip is open to the general public. The bus will leave promptly at 9 a.m. on Aug. 22.
Cost, at $55 per person, includes roundtrip motor coach transportation, lunch buffet, matinee show “Legends in Concert,” $10 Keno and driver’s gratuities.
Payment may be made by check to “Healthy Hearts” c/o Andy Gatto, 505 Hart St., Bridgeport, CT 06606. For reservations call Andy Gatto at 203-372-5097.
The Valley Women’s Health Initiative is seeking nominations for “outstanding women” who have made positive contributions to the community. Award winners will be recognized Oct. 4, at the 12th annual “Women Making a Difference in the Valley” luncheon and fundraiser at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.
Individuals, business leaders, and organizations are invited to submit nominations. Nominees should exemplify the multi-dimensional role women play in today’s society as demonstrated by the contributions they have made to positively affect their community. Nominees must live or work in one of the Valley towns: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, and Naugatuck.
Nominations should be submitted by Aug. 15. Nomination forms may be downloaded at the Griffin Hospital webiste at griffinhealth.org. To request a nomination form, call Marianne or Connie at 203-732-1300 or email email@example.com. Nominations should be mailed to the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby, CT 06418, Att: M. Vallillo. Selected honorees and their nominators will be invited to attend the October luncheon as guests of the Valley Women’s Health Initiative. Luncheon reservations will go on sale to the general public in August.
Look Good …. Feel Better
Free American Cancer Society program that helps women with cancer improve their appearance and self-image through hands-on beauty techniques offered Thursday, Aug. 9, 1-3 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Reservations required: 203-576-6158.
Also offered by Bridgeport Hospital Friday, Aug. 17, 1-3 p.m., first-floor Operations Conference Room at Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St. To register, call 1-888-357-2396.
Also offered by The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, Derby the third Thursday of the month, 5-7 p.m. Register in advance by calling Laura Howell, 203-732-1280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the Merck Co., are co-sponsoring The Journey for Control, a monthly diabetes education workshop, the fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m., in St. Vincent’s Level 4 Seton Conference Room (next to the cafeteria).
To register, call 203-576-6168.
Eight-week group facilitated by Ximena Varas, certified lay minister and chaplain meets Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m at First United Methodist Church, 188 Rocky Rest Road. Registration required: email@example.com or 203-278-1568.
Weight loss support
Interested in losing weight? Concerned about your weight? First Congregational Church, 44 South Cliff St., Ansonia hosts a night of mutual support Mondays, weigh in from 5:45-6:50 p.m.; meeting 7-8 p.m. First meeting is free. Call Tom, 203-308-3355 and leave a message.
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. One-hour dialogue and discussion on medical issues and stress related issues regarding the medical, physical, and emotional effects concerning the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. 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.
Nursing moms support
Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby hosts a monthly Nursing Moms Support Group, facilitated by a board-certified lactation consultant the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7-9 p.m. Contact JMatranga@griffinhealth.org for more information.
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.
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 1-855-247-8573. A-fib, the most common type of heart rhythm disorder, causes blood to pool in the heart’s chambers, which can lead to blood clots that may travel to the brain and trigger a stroke.
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 on 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. To register call 203-576-6158.
Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers offers weekly fitness classes in Bridgeport and Stratford:
Boot Camp, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:45-6:45 a.m., 226 Mill Hill Ave., Bridgeport; Saturdays, 10-11 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.
Women’s Strength Training, Tuesdays, 11-noon; Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.
Zumba, Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.
All classes are conducted by certified fitness trainers. Cost is $8 per class or $75 for 10 classes. Tickets are available at all Ahlbin Centers locations, or before or after classes. For information or to register, call 203-336-7301 (Bridgeport) or 203-380-4672 (Stratford).
In addition to Bridgeport and Stratford, Ahlbin Centers has outpatient facilities at 4 Corporate Drive, Shelton; 2600 Post Road, Southport; and 2750 Reservoir Ave., Trumbull.
St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the Merck Co., are co-sponsoring The Journey for Control, a monthly Diabetes Education Workshop, held the fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m. in St. Vincent’s Level 4 Seton Conference Room. To register, call 203-576-6168.
Meets Saturdays, 7 p.m., 100 Bank St., Seymour. For more information, call Steve, 203-362-5234.
Are you dealing with an addiction in your life or the life of a family member? Higher Ground Ministry is non-denominational offering help that is permanent through biblical truths. Weekly meetings are held where one receives support, encouragement and spiritual guidance. Meetings are Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m., New Life Christian Fellowship, 28 Hedgehog Road, Trumbull; Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m., Trinity Church, 300 North Benson Road, Fairfield. Also, Sundays 6-7:30 p.m., Stepney Baptist Chruch, 423 Main St., Monroe; Mondays, 7:30-9 p.m., Huntington Chapel, 177 Ripton Road, Huntington; Thursdays, 6:30-8 p.m., Christ the King Church at American Legion Hall, 21 Cedar St., Naugatuck; Fridays, 7-8:30 p.m., First Baptist Church,178 Leavenworth Road, Shelton. Information: 203-888-9974; highergroundministry.org.
Compulsive overeaters group meets Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Rimmon Pond Counseling, LLC, 100 Bank St., Seymour. Group will address underlying attitudes and beliefs which affect eating behaviors. For more information or to register, call 203-888-0462.
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.
The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital offers cancer genetic counseling services to individuals and families as part of the Center’s comprehensive model of patient-centered care.
Cancer genetic counseling is the process of collecting a patient’s detailed personal and family history, assessing their personal risk, and discussing their genetic testing options. Genetic tests are tests on blood and other tissue used to identify genetic disorders.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 203-732-1260.
Diabetes Education & Support Group meets September -June, second Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m., Griffin Hospital, Derby. Open to diabetics and their families; 203-732-1137.
Weight-loss surgery support
Griffin Bariatrics, a new program of Griffin Hospital, will host weight loss surgery support group meetings the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Griffin Imaging & Diagnostics Center at Ivy Brook, 2 Ivy Brook Road, Shelton. Advance registration requested; griffinhealth.org; 888-657-9252.
To help bariatric patients bridge the gap between the time of surgery and reaching their healthy weight, Griffin Bariatrics has assembled a Clothes Closet with men’s and women’s clothing in barely worn or new condition, which has been donated by bariatric patients and hospital staff and family members. The Clothes Closet is open the second Wednesday of each month, 4:30-6:30 p.m., prior to monthly “On Track” support group meetings; 203-732-7108; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fibromyalgia Support Group meets the last Tuesday of the month, 2 p.m., Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby. Information: Daun Barrett, 203-732-7584.
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@example.com.
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.
The program offers a library of more than 50 videos of guided physical activity routines, each of which may be done in 3 to 5 minutes. It offers a variety of options based on users’ time, interests, needs, and fitness levels.
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.
Yale Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) Support Group meets first and third Thursday of the month, 3-4 p.m., CHMC, 34 Park St., 3rd floor conference room, New Haven. Information: psychiatry.yale.edu/ocd/patients; Suzanne Wasylink, 203-974-7523.
St. Vincent’s Wellness Booth has relocated to the main lobby of the Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. The Wellness Booth, a project of the Mario and Irma D’Addario Hypertension Fund, formerly was located at Westfield Shoppingtown, Trumbull. The booth offers a variety of health screenings and services 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 1-877-255-SVHS (7847).
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.
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.
Breast cancer support
Woman to Woman of the Valley group meets second and fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m., Griffin Hospital Cancer Center, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby.
Information: Midge Johnson, breast care coordinator at Griffin Hospital, 203-732-7566 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or Joyce Grohe, co-facilitator, 203-888-3993.
Derby MS support group meets third Wednesday of the month, 4:30-5:30, Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby; Lisa, 203-231-4716; ctfightsMS.org.
The Shelton MS support group meets second Monday of the month, 2-3:30, Plumb Library, 65 Wooster St., Shelton; 1-800-344-4867; ctfightsMS.org.
Hosted by Griffin Hospital, second and fourth Wednesday of each month, 2:30-3:30. Facilitated by a chaplain and a social worker, the group is designed to provide ongoing support; 203-732-1100.
Free 12-step program for compulsive eaters, meets Mondays, Fridays, noon-1, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Church St., Shelton; 203-454-6607.
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 Eldercare Center: 240 Colony St., Fairfield, offers open discussion about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, last Friday of month, 1-2. RSVP Courtney: 203-259-6699 or email@example.com.
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: 203-366-5438, 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; 203-380-1228.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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@example.com 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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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; 1-800-889-3340.
The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital offers a breast cancer survivor group “Circle of Friends” which meets the second Thursday of every month, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Center for Cancer Care, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby. New topics and guest speakers monthly; 203-732-1300; email@example.com.
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.
Free hearing tests
Offered in the office or at home, by Affordable Hearing Solutions, LLC, Orange Medical Center, 380 Boston Post Road #107, Orange, Monday-Friday, 9-5; free. Call 799-7775, for an appointment. Tests also offered at Waterbury office, 2457 East Main St.; call 203-574-5377.
The American Society For Scleroderma Research has formed a support group for all afflicted by this disease. Group meets every second Thursday, 6:30-7:30 p.m., St. Vincent Medical Center, Main Street, Bridgeport; Aimee Turiano or Joy LoSchiavo, 203-273-2034.
RedcrossMotors converts donated vehicles into dollars to help support the local chapter. Most motorized vehicles including boats, trailers, trucks, motorcycles and motor homes are accepted, running or not. Information: 1-877-RCDONOR (732-6667).