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Midcoast health news, April 21, 2011

Health classes

ROCKPORT — “The Beat Goes On,” a series of classes, will take place 1:30-3 p.m. Thursdays, April 28 through May 26, and Sept. 29 through Oct. 27, at the Picker Family

Resource Center.

The classes will cover a variety of topics, including self-management skills for living well with heart failure, managing the stress of heart failure, understanding the world of medications for this condition, eating well and getting the “lowdown” on salt, andexercising with heart failure.

Participants are encouraged to invite a family member or friend to join them. There is a $5 fee for the series, and scholarships are available. For more information or to register for the event, call 596-8950.

New family medicine practice

ROCKPORT — Rockport Family Medicine will open May 2 at 731 Commercial St. The new practice will be staffed by Dr. Aoife Redmond-Durow and Family Nurse Practitioner Susan Butterworth. It is a member of the Pen Bay Healthcare family of services. Call 701-3900 for more information.

Anticoagulation clinic

BELFAST — A new Anticoagulation Clinic at Waldo County General Hospital is helping patients who are taking blood thinners and previously spent a lot of time having monthly or weekly lab tests done.

Those needing to take such medications know the importance of keeping blood work under a tight rein. But some found it difficult to comply with the requirement of going to the hospital, registering, having blood drawn then waiting days for results from the doctor — necessary steps to help avoid getting a blood clot.

Hospital officials said that one patient who experienced a blood clot after going off her anticoagulation therapy for a time was pleased to learn from her health provider about the new clinic, which would allow her to make an appointment for a visit to get her blood test — and results — in less than 10 minutes. If her blood thickness wasn’t what it should be, her medication could be changed instantly.

The new clinic has served such patients well, officials said.

Grant proposals sought

Healthy Waldo County announced the first minigrant cycle for 2011. Up to $4,000 is available to organizations, businesses, municipalities and community groups in Waldo County.

The grant proposals must further one or more of the goals of Healthy Waldo County, which are to:

• Increase physical activity.

• Increase good nutrition.

• Reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption.

The proposal also must be a policy or environmental change that is sustainable. Healthy Waldo County wants to fund projects and programs, initiated and implemented at the worksite or community level, which will improve the health of residents in the service area.

Multiple grant proposals by the same entity may be submitted but an entity may receive only one grant per cycle. This does not eliminate organizations that received money in past years if that organization has a different project to submit that fits the criteria. The deadline for proposals is May 20. Awards will be announced May 31. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2012. For more information about the process or an application packet, contact Vyvyenne Ritchie, project administrator at 930- 6761 or email vritchie@wchi.com.

Expired medication collection event

ROCKLAND — The Rockland Police Department, Rockland District Nursing Association and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public another opportunity to prevent medication abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring medications for disposal 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, to City Council Chambers at 270 Pleasant St. Needles, inhalers and thermometers will not be collected.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions will be asked.

Partners assisting in the Take Back event in Rockland are Knox County Community Health Coalition, PenBay Healthcare, Penquis, Midcoast District — ME CDC.

Last September, Americans turned in 242,000 pounds — 121 tons — of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners, including Rockland Police Department. The Sept 25, 2010, drug take back effort in Maine collected 7850 pounds of expired, unwanted and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications. Maine had 96 participating agencies, 121 collection sites and ranked No. 1 in the United States per capita for the amount collected medications.

For a list of sites participating in the Take Back Event, visit the DEA website  at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

Red Cross blood drives

The American Red Cross, Northern New England Blood Services Region will hold blood drives in cities and towns throughout Maine. All eligible and new blood donors are encouraged to give blood. Donors are needed every day to make sure there is an adequate blood supply for patients in need.

All presenting donors will receive a coupon for a free Whopper small value meal from Burger King during the month of May.

Locations include:

• May 25: Belfast United Methodist Church, 1-6 p.m.

The American Red Cross Donor Center, located 900 B Hammond St. in Bangor, is open for donations 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday;  8 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. the first and third Saturday of each month.

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