Weekly health news, Oct. 13

Posted Oct. 11, 2011, at 10:18 p.m.

Win for independent living

BANGOR — Linda Eliot and her son Jake Van Meter will discuss a recent major victory against the state on behalf of the disabled at the next Physical Disabilities Support Group meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at Winterberry Heights, 932 Ohio St.

Since 2008, Eliot and Van Meter have joined other disability advocates to press Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services to move disabled individuals from nursing homes to independent living.

The effort was to enhance the lifestyles and living environment of younger adults. Not able to convince the state, they filed suit in 2009 and a settlement was reached this past summer to create housing opportunities outside of a nursing facility. Van Meter is disabled. His mother is social services director at the Cortland Rehabilitation Center in Ellsworth, where Jake is a resident.

Those with physical disabilities, their families and friends, caregivers, health professionals and the public are invited to attend. Before the meeting there will be a potluck supper at 5 p.m. For more information, call 945-6878 or 942-6720.

New physician’s assistant

BANGOR — Penobscot Community Health Care has announced that Dallas Marquis has joined the medical staff of Penobscot Community Health Center at 1012 Union St., PCHC’s main Bangor campus. Marquis’ practice centers on all aspects of high-quality family medical care, including patient physicals, acute visits and health care maintenance.

Marquis earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Maine in 2008. He is a recent graduate of the University of New England with a master’s degree in physician assistant studies. For information and appointments, call 945-5247.

Alzheimer’s walk

BANGOR — Results of the Bangor Walk to End Alzheimer’s held Oct. 1 at Hollywood Slots Raceway at Bass Park are:

• Grand total raised: $74,943.91 (and rising).

• Number of participants: 651.

• Top individual fundraisers: Diane Winter, $1,600; Jutta Boulier, $1,000; Tricia Tibbetts, $760.

• Top family/friends teams: Maynard Shute Team, $5,193.50; Forget Me Knots, $4,415; Team Joe, $2,150.

• Top business teams: Westgate Manor, $5,642; Maine Veterans’ Home, $4,861.53; Woodland’s of Brewer, $3335.95.

Agency honored

BANGOR — Gentiva Home Healthcare, 175 Exchange St., has been awarded the HomeCare Elite Status for 2011.

The 2011 HomeCare Elite is the compilation on the most successful home care providers in the United States. This market-leading review names the top 25 percent of agencies in quality of care, process measure implementation, and financial performance. The data for this study are based on publicly available information.

“We are extremely excited about this award,” said Tori Gaetani, Bangor branch director. Gentiva Home Healthcare is a Medicare-certified company that offers nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and medical social work. The Bangor office provides two specialty programs to the area, The Safe Strides Balance Program and Neuro Rehabilitation.

Diabetes walk kickoff

BANGOR — “Iron Andy,” a renowned speaker and advocate for diabetes awareness and wellness, will give a lecture at noon Thursday, Oct. 13, in Gracie Theatre at Husson University. The program is free and open to all. Immediately after his presentation, Iron Andy will lead 100 Husson chapter members of the APhA, all donning white coats, for a 1-mile walk around the Husson circle to kick off their “Walk to New Orleans” project.

This 1,763-mile virtual walk is being undertaken as part of National Pharmacy Month and will be part of the chapter’s Operation Heart project. Each chapter member will be responsible for tracking their walking mileage with the goal that as a chapter, they will have walked more than 1,700 miles to New Orleans by March, which is where the APhA will hold its annual conference.

Andy Holder, or “Iron Andy,” was a fit husband and father of two young sons. By all standards he led a healthy life. In 2005, at age 36, he learned he had Type 1 diabetes. He turned his early shock into his greatest feat. Determined to beat diabetes, he taught himself how to swim, trained hard and has now completed seven Iron-Man competitions.

“We are thrilled to have such a renowned diabetes awareness and wellness advocate on our campus to not only speak to our students, but help them kick off the ‘Walk to New Orleans’ project,” said Eric Jarvi, associate dean of the School of Pharmacy. “The 1-mile kickoff demonstrates that our students will not only graduate from our program with outstanding skills in the practice of pharmacy, but will also have a clear understanding of the importance of promoting wellness and healthy living.”

Breast cancer awareness

BANGOR — In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Wireless Zone of Bangor will host a one-day event to raise awareness and funds for the cause, while also giving local Patriots fans an opportunity to show their spirit. For the store’s first “Patriots Day Cell-ebration,” Wireless Zone of Bangor is planning to pull out all the stops.

Mindy O’Leary, owner and operator, announced that the event will occur noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Wireless Zone of Bangor, 570 Stillwater Ave. of Bangor, said the need for such an event hits close to home.

When one of her longtime employees told her that his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, she knew she wanted to do something special to help. Already planning a celebration to showcase the Maine spirit for the Patriots, O’Leary decided to team up with the Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Bangor Wireless Zone will host a celebration where locals can support a cause while having fun.

“We’re going to have some of the New England Patriots cheerleaders on site, along with a live remote from our local station, Q106.5, for entertainment, and the Komen Maine affiliate will be on location with a table set up to bring information and awareness to our community about breast cancer,” O’Leary said. “Anyone who makes any dollar amount donation to the Komen Maine affiliate that day will have the chance to get their picture taken with the cheerleaders by one of our great local photographers, Thomas Morelli.”

Wireless Zone of Bangor will host a contest for the craziest-dressed Patriots fan and will give away a pair of New England Patriots football tickets. Subway will provide tailgating food for everyone in attendance, and O’Leary said there would be several events occurring throughout the day.

“The whole celebration is a way for us to participate in our community in a fun way,” O’Leary said. “We’re celebrating everything football, but also doing this for a great cause. Since breast cancer is something that is affecting someone so close to us right now, we really wanted to try to make a difference, and we think this is going to be a great way to get our community involved in the fight against breast cancer.”

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