Savvy Caregiver Program coming to Waterville

Posted Jan. 05, 2012, at 1:47 p.m.

WATERVILLE, Maine — Spectrum Generations Family Caregiver Program will hold two sessions of the six-week Savvy Caregiver Program for family caregivers of people with cognitive losses at its Muskie Community Center, 38 Gold St. The first session will be held 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Jan. 23-March 5. The second session will be 1-3 p.m. Mondays, March 19-April 23. There is no cost to attend. The program is sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Elder Services with funding from the U.S. Administration on Aging. Participants will obtain the attitude, skills and knowledge necessary to keep a person with dementia content and involved in their life at home. Each session includes training, activities and discussion. For information or to register, call 800-282-0764 ext. 127.

UNE professor participates in national prostate cancer panel

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Nananda Col, professor of medicine at the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and a national expert in women’s health and clinical decision-making, recently served on a Consensus Development Panel making recommendations for the care of prostate cancer. The National Institutes of Health hosted the conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss the role of active surveillance in managing localized prostate cancer in low-risk patients. An upcoming edition of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s ASCO Post will feature the contributions made by Col in an article, “NIH Panel Endorses Active Surveillance in Low-Risk Prostate Cancer,” by Caroline McNeal.

Panel urges lower cutoff for child lead poisoning

ATLANTA — For the first time in 20 years, a federal panel is urging the government to lower the threshold for lead poisoning in children.

If adopted, hundreds of thousands more children could be diagnosed with lead poisoning. Too much lead is harmful to developing brains and can mean a lower IQ.

Recent research persuaded panel members that children could be harmed from lead levels in their blood that are lower than the current standard, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

While the number of cases has been falling, health officials think as many as 250,000 children have the problem, many of those undiagnosed. The proposed change could take it to 450,000 cases.

Wednesday’s vote by the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention would lower the definition of lead poisoning for young children. The CDC has accepted all of the panel’s recommendations in the past.

The lead poisoning threshold was last changed in 1991.

The recent recommendation might be difficult to implement. In many places, it’s up to city and county health departments to provide many of the services for lead poisoned kids, and those departments have lost more than 34,000 jobs in the last three years because of budget cuts. Meanwhile, Congress just slashed the CDC’s lead program from more than $30 million to $2 million.

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