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Help is available to end tobacco dependency

| Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010

Quitting smoking and using chewing tobacco are often at the top of the list of New Year's Resolutions.

There is free information and help available in Westmoreland County to make the quitting process easier. Changing any behavior takes information, practice and support.

Call Penn State Extension Tobacco Dependence Treatment coaches at 888-664-2248 for a free information packet or help to quit smoking or using chew. Businesses may also call to arrange on-site wellness programs or displays for employees.

Blood drive set in Winfield

Cabot United Methodist Church will host a Central Blood Bank Blood Drive from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 30 at the church, 707 Winfield Road, Winfield.

You must be 17 years old or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health to donate blood.

To register, call the church office at 724-352-2074. For information, call 724-283-8675.

Destination Wellness offers programs

Upcoming programs at Alle-Kiski Medical Center's Destination Wellness at Pittsburgh Mills, Frazer, include:

Blood Drive: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 27.

Highmark Senior Products Information Seminar: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 27. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a variety of health plans for individuals with Medicare. Their Medicare Solutions expert can help you find the right plan to fit your needs. Call 724-274-5202 for reservations.

Alzheimer's Support Group: 7 p.m. Jan. 27. A monthly support group providing caregivers with valuable information when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Learning about glaucoma can save your sight. There are two main types of glaucoma: primary open angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Both are marked with an increased pressure inside the eye and will gradually damage the optic nerve without any warnings or symptoms.

Vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision, which is why it is gone unnoticed until significant vision is lost. While most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and elderly, glaucoma can affect people of all ages.

For more information about glaucoma, contact the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind at 717-766-2020 or visit www.pablind.org .

Try diabetic recipes with a Latin flair

:The National Institute of Health is offering a free booklet titled "Tasty Recipes for People with Diabetes and Their Families" to the public.

Available in English and Spanish, the booklet includes healthy food ideas with a Latin American flair.

Each recipe comes with nutrition facts table that lists calories, fat content and other dietary information. it also includes tips for eating well and managing your diabetes.

To order a free copy, call the NIH National Diabetes Education Program at 888-693-6337 or download a PDF version at ndep.nih.gov/publications/PublicationDetail.aspx?PubId•131 .

Ask questions about prescriptions

According to a report in NewsUSA, the U.S. health-care system spends more than $177 billion to treat patients suffering effects from the inappropriate use of medications.

Most of these incidents could be avoided if patients better understood their prescriptions.

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy suggests that patients review their medical histories with their doctors and pharmacists, ask questions about their prescriptions and speak to a knowledgeable clinical pharmacist before beginning a medication.

For more tips, visit www.amcp.org .

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