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Health briefs

| Monday, Oct. 23, 2006

Blood drives

• These American Red Cross blood drives are scheduled:

-- Noon-6 p.m. Thursday, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 246 S. Main St., Greensburg.

-- 10:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Friday, Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, 121 Second St., Latrobe.

-- 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Mother of Sorrows Church, 4200 Old William Penn Highway, Murrysville.

-- 1-7 p.m.Oct. 30, Rostraver/West Newton CAS Ambulance Service, 1392 Fayette Ave., Belle Vernon.

Information: Westmoreland County, 724-837-3671; or Mon Valley Area, 724-709-6206.

• Central Blood Bank will hold a blood drive 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday in Resurrection Hall at St. Agnes Church, 11400 St. Agnes Lane (off Clay Pike), North Huntingdon Township. Donors must have photo ID, be in good health and have eaten four hours before donating. Information and registration: 412-751-4308 or 724-863-2626.


• A nutrition therapy class addressing the needs of people diagnosed with cancer will be offered 2-3 p.m. Tuesday at the Arnold Palmer Pavilion, Mountain View Medical Park, Unity Township.

Registration: 877-771-1234.

• VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Greater Pittsburgh will hold a volunteer training session 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in Building 3, 3520 Route 130, Irwin. Training prepares volunteers to provide assistance to and communicate effectively with terminally ill patients, their families and caregivers. Free training includes materials and meal. Information and registration: Susan Lisotto, 724-744-5352 or 866-284-2045.

• Excela Health will offer an AARP Driver Safety course 6-9:30 p.m. Oct. 30-31 at Latrobe Hospital. The program is intended to improve driving and awareness skills for older motorists. Drivers age 55 and older who complete the course may be eligible for an auto insurance discount. Fee is $10; class size is limited.

Registration: 877-771-1234.

• A community health fair is planned 7-11 a.m. Nov. 4 at the Donegal Community Center on Route 31, two miles east of Donegal. Excela Health will offer free bone density screenings. Health and safety information, children's activities, free refreshments and door prizes will be featured. In addition, multiphasic blood tests will be available for $30; to register by Friday, call Kalp Chiropractic Health Center at 724-593-7111.

Support groups

• Excela Health offers support groups for people with these concerns:

-- Bariatric surgery: 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Well Being Center for Mind/Body Health, Westmoreland Hospital. Topic of this month's meeting is "Jump Start Your Metabolism for Weight Loss."

-- Hearing loss: 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Frick Hospital.

-- Prostate cancer: 7-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Westmoreland Hospital.

-- ICD (implantable cardiac device): 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Westmoreland Hospital.

Registration: 877-771-1234.

Clinical trials

• Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are recruiting smokers who want to quit for an eight-week smoking cessation study. The study will investigate two behavioral therapies intended to reduce cigarette cravings. Participants must be literate, English-speaking adults age 18 or older who smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day and are not taking medicines to help them quit. They will attend eight weeks of classes at UPMC Montefiore, complete written questionnaires and undergo a neuroimaging session. Those who complete all assessments will receive as much as $190.

Information: Call Mary Sale, 412-586-9638, or e-mail .

• Dr. Richard Guido, a doctor at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, is seeking women ages 18-40 to help determine whether a new product is a safe and effective treatment for high-risk human papillomavirus, or HPV, a virus that may develop into cervical cancer. Participants must have received an abnormal Pap test or a diagnosis of cervical high-risk HPV. As many as 16 office visits are required; qualified participants will receive the study product (a gel), related medical exams and lab tests at no charge. Compensation for time and travel also may be available. The study is part of the nationwide Indigo for Women's Health Initiative.

Qualifications: Lori D'Ambrosio, 412-641-6681. Information:

• Researchers at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, in Pittsburgh, are seeking parents with bipolar disorder and their children to take part in a study of bipolar disorder in families. Commonly known as manic-depressive illness, the disorder is characterized by cycles of depression and mania. Symptoms may include mood swings; changes in activity levels, sleep and appetite; inappropriate social behavior; and difficulty concentrating.

The study involves no medication or treatments. Patients will be interviewed over the course of five years to assess both parents' and children's moods and emotions. Those who need treatment will be referred to the appropriate resources. Participants will be compensated for their time.

Information: 412-246-5794or (toll-free) 888-377-5444.

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