Health Notes is a weekly feature that highlights health and wellness news in the area. Hospitals and other health related agencies may e-mail items to [email protected].
Expectant parent classes and tours
Bridgeport Hospital offers classes and tours for new and expectant parents, including Birthplace Tours, Thursdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, 6-7 p.m.; Infant CPR Anytime, Thursdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, 7:15-8:15 p.m. To register, call 888-357-2396.
Senior driving course
AARP’s Smart Driver course Saturday, Jan. 9, Feb. 6, 9-1, first-floor Administration Conference Room at Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant Street, 888-357-2396.
Bridgeport Hospital’s Norma Pfriem Cancer Institute, in partnership with the Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, provides weekly genetic counseling services by appointment, every Friday beginning at Norma Pfriem Breast Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Genetic counseling will be offered again at the hospital’s outpatient campus at 5520 Park Avenue, Trumbull, when a new medical office building opens at the site in spring 2016, 203-200-4362.
Blood pressure screenings
Bridgeport Hospital offers free blood pressure screenings at Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace, Mondays, Jan. 18, Feb. 1 and 15, 9:30-11:30; Stratford Baldwin Center, 1000 West Broad St., Monday, Jan. 11, Feb. 8, 9:30-11:30; Shelton Senior Center, 81 Wheeler St., Monday, Jan. 25, Feb. 22, noon-2, 888-357-2396.
Ongoing bereavement support group every Friday, 10-11 a.m., VITAS Office, 99 Hawley Lane, suite 1204, Stratford. To register call 203-455-3300 or email [email protected].
Griffin Hospital support groups meet in an eight-week cycle at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby, Sundays, 2:30-4, started Sept. 20; Tuesdays, 2:30-4, started Sept. 22; and Wednesdays, 6:30-8, started Sept. 23; 203-732-1132 or [email protected].
St. Mary Bereavement Support Group New Day 10-week program Thursdays, began Sept. 24, 1-3, St. Mary’s Church Hall, 70 Gulf Street, Milford, 203-283-1934, 203-874-2376, 845-239-2007; $10 fee required for the New Day Journal.
St Jude Parish of Monroe has a free nine-month Bereavement Support Group, which began Sept. 9. The group will meet twice a month on Wednesday, 2:30-4, in November and then once a month from December through May; 203-261-6404.
10-week program meets at St. Stephen’s Church, 6948 Main Street, Trumbull, Thursdays, started Oct. 1, 4:30-6. Registration required: 203-268-6217.
The Caring Network, a free ongoing support group for adults who have lost a loved one through death, meets the first and third Wednesday of every month, 6-8 p.m., Bridges campus, 941 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford. Registration not required. Information: Cody-White Funeral Home, 203-874-0268, Cynthia Dodd, M. Div, 203-878-6365, ext 344.
Free informational seminars are held regularly at 112 Quarry Road, Trumbull, for people interested in learning more about weight-loss surgery. Candidates for weight-loss (bariatric) surgery are generally 60 or more pounds overweight or have type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, gastric reflux, hypertension or cardiovascular disease; 203-789-6237.
Substance abuse support group
The Community Addiction & Recovery Education & Support (C.A.R.E.S.) Group provides a free, weekly drop-in support group for parents and other concerned family members whose loved ones are using or abusing mind-altering substances. The C.A.R.E.S. Group’s mission is to provide education, support, access to resources, and hope for individuals and families struggling with substance abuse or addiction. C.A.R.E.S. meets every Tuesday, 7-9 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1734 Huntington Tpke., Trumbull, 1-855-405-0246, thecaresgroup.org.
Parkinson’s fitness class
The Watermark at 3030 Park will continue its Parkinson’s Fitness Class, a bi-weekly class designed to help people living with Parkinson’s engage their muscles and increase mobility. Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:45 at the senior living community, located at 3030 Park Avenue on the Bridgeport-Fairfield town line.
Due to a limited number of spaces, reservations and a small participation fee are required for the fitness class. To RSVP, contact Cindy McGuire at 203-373-6108.
First aid and safety classes
Bridgeport Hospital’s Emergency Care Institute offers the following American Heart Association self-care classes at the hospital, 267 Grant St. Registration required. Call 203-384-4497.
Administration of medicine, Tuesday, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m., $50 full program, $25 injectables only; Adult, child and Infant CPR/defibrillator two-year certification, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 6-9 p.m., $65; Pediatric first aid & safety and adult, child and infant CPR/defibrillator training two-year certification, Saturday, Jan. 16, Feb. 20, 8:30-5:30, $100 full class or $70 first aid portion only; Basic life support for healthcare providers two-year certification Wednesday, Jan. 20, Feb. 17, 6-10 p.m., $90 ($65 for those with an unexpired American Heart Association certification card).
Griffin Hospital is helping members of the community prepare to quit smoking with a free smoking cessation program, “That’s It – Learn to Quit” Wednesdays, Jan. 13, 20, and 27, 5:30-7 p.m., Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby, 203-732-1476.
George’s Hill is a social engagement group for people diagnosed with early dementia and their caregivers meets second Thursday of the month, 11:30-1, light lunch noon-12:30, Unity Hill United Church of Christ, 364 White Plains Road, Trumbull. Anyone with a wheelchair, or problems with mobility, may enter through the kitchen door in back as there are no steps to negotiate; 203-374-8822, unityhillucc.org.
Support group for caregivers and families led by Harbor care Director, David Fife, third Thursday of the month at 5:30, Middlebrook Farms of Trumbull, 2750 Reservoir Avenue, Trumbull; 203-268-2400; [email protected].
Group for family members and others responsible for the day-to-day care of elderly relatives meets second Friday of month, noon-1, Operations Conference Room, Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant Street; 888-357-2396.
Sunset Shores Adult Day Health Centers hosts a Caregiver’s Support Group the second Monday of the month, 5-6 p.m., 720 Barnum Avenue Cutoff, Stratford. The group helps to provide emotional, educational and social supports for caregivers. It can also assist in developing methods and skills to solve problems associated with caregiving responsibilities. Open to the public. RSVP to Mary Pruzinsky, 203-380-1228.
First and third Thursday of each month, 4 p.m., Jewish Senior Services, Grasmere by the Sea Adult Day Program, 1 Post Road, Fairfield; 203-365-6470, [email protected] Also, second Tuesday of the month, 4 p.m., Jewish Senior Services, The Jewish Home, 175 Jefferson Street, Fairfield; 203-365-6479; [email protected].
Pros and cons of sugar substitutes
The Diabetes Education & Support Group at Griffin Hospital will host two free talks about sugar substitutes Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the hospital, 130 Division St., Derby. No registration required, 203-732-1137.
Wellness for Life
Wellness for Life is a 12-week, evidence-based lifestyle change program that helps prevent and treat many chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, through better lifestyle choices in nutrition, activity and emotional health. Program starts Tuesday, Jan. 12, 6-8:30 p.m., Hewitt Ambulatory Pavilion, located in the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Avenue, Derby, griffinhealth.org, 203-732-7107.
Live Well Workshop series
Learn new techniques to take control of chronic health issues during a six-week Live Well Workshop series Jan. 13, 20, 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17, at Middlebrook Farms, Trumbull. Live Well is for adults and caregivers with ongoing health issues such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, pain, depression, and anxiety. To register call 203-268-2400, ext. 322.
Eating disorders support
Mindful eating, self-compassion and meditation will be taught as tools for healing at a support group in Fairfield Saturdays, at 9:30 a.m. beginning Jan. 16. Led by local eating disorder psychotherapist, Wendy McCaffery, LCSW, the group is being offered to men and women who struggle with binge eating, overeating, bulimia and poor body image. It runs four consecutive Saturday mornings 9:30-12:30 on Jan 16, 23, 30 and Feb 6. Cost is $295; scholarships are being offered, connecttoyourself.com.
Free CPR training
Griffin Hospital Valley Parish Nurses are encouraging individuals to be a hero for their friends and family in 2016 by offering free CPR Training throughout the year. Family & Friends CPR is a non-certifying course that teaches the basics of adult and child CPR and relief of a foreign body (choking). Infant skills will be offered at the end of the program to those who wish to learn these additional skills. The course is offered Saturday, Jan. 16, 10-noon, Griffin Hospital, Derby, and then on the third Saturday of every month from 10-noon for the rest of the year. Registrations are required as space is limited. Call Cathi, 203-732-1337.
Bridgeport Hospital’s free ostomy support group meets Sunday, Jan. 17, Feb. 21, 2, Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut, 12 Cambridge Drive, Trumbull. Open to anyone who has had or will have an ostomy operation, such as a colostomy, urostomy or ileostomy. Spouses welcome. Sharon Tilley, RN, 203-384-3209.
Traumatic brain injury group
Meets the third Tuesday of the month, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, 6-7:30, at the Disability Resource Center, 80 Ferry Boulevard, Stratford; 203-380-1004.
Free breastfeeding support group for new and expectant mothers meets Wednesdays, Jan. 20, Feb. 3 and 17, 10-noon, hospital’s outpatient campus, 5520 Park Avenue, Trumbull. To register, call 888-357-2396.
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 6-7 p.m., Ahlbin Rehabilitation Center, 4 Corporate Drive, Shelton, 203-925-4201.
Reiki and soft touch massage
Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street, Derby, invites the community to learn how to perform the healing benefits of Soft Touch Massage and Reiki with two workshops at the hospital this February. Soft Touch workshop Saturday, Feb. 20, 1-4 p.m. Reiki workshop Saturday, Feb. 27, 9-3. Both therapies are offered to patients and their caregivers at Griffin Hospital as a way to reduce their anxiety, pain and stress. Cost is $30 for the public and free to current Griffin Hospital volunteers and staff. Registration deadline is Feb. 6. To enroll, contact Laura Murphy, Planetree Services supervisor at 203-732-7466.
Look Good…Feel Better
Sponsored by the American Cancer Society and Bridgeport Hospital, this free program helps women with cancer learn beauty techniques to overcome the appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment Monday, Feb. 15, noon-2, Operations Conference room at the hospital, 267 Grant St. To register, call 888-357-2396.
Overworked? Stressed out? Need a change? Escape the noise of daily existence by treating yourself to a yoga session at “A New Earth Yoga.” All levels welcome. Daily classes are by donation at 9:30, 12:30 and 6:30. To reserve a space, call 203-268-9516 or email [email protected]; anewearthyoga.com.
“New ‘Mindful Flow” yoga class series offered Fridays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. at 2505 Main St., Suite 224, Stationhouse Square, Stratford, naturesourcecare.com/yoga; 203-895-5534, [email protected]
Nutrition for cancer survivors
Class provides information and resources for healthy eating during and after treatment in addition with dietary tips and modifications to help improve overall wellness and health, the second Wednesday of every month, 5-6 p.m., St. Vincent’s Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent to the hospital, 203-576-6158.
Overeaters self-help group
Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-Step self-help group for compulsive overeaters. The group meets every Sunday, 8:45-9:45 a.m., at St. Vincent’s Hospital, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, in the Seton Room on Level C. There are no dues, fees or weigh-ins. The only requirement is a desire to stop eating compulsively. For more information, visit swctoa.org or call Bill M., 203-455-7766.
Family support group
For adult patients, family members and friends who are coping with a diagnosis of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or Hodgkin’s disease, first Tuesday of every month, 4-5:30, St. V’s Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, Level 3 Medical Oncology Conference Room, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, 203-576-6158; [email protected]
Hospice volunteer training
The Connecticut Hospice, Inc. is sponsoring its fall volunteer training this October. The course will inform and prepare prospective volunteers in all aspects of Hospice Care for patients in lower Fairfield County, 203-315-7510, 800-8-HOSPICE ext. 510, [email protected]
Lunch & learn cancer support
A free Lunch & Learn Cancer Support Group offered by St. Vincent’s third Thursday of the month noon-1, Oncology Conference Room, Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, adjacent to the St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, 203-576-6158, [email protected]
Al-Anon is a resource for family members and friends affected by alcoholism.
Al-Anon meets Sundays, 6:30 and Wednesdays, 7:30, St. Ann’s, old convent behind church, Brewster Street, Black Rock; Sundays, 7, St. Charles Church, (Spanish meeting), 391 Ogden Street, Bridgeport; Fridays, 8, Bridgeport Mental Health Center, 1635 Central Avenue, first floor (park and enter from parking deck off Mead Street); Monday at 7:30 a.m., and Thursday at 11:30 a.m., at Grace Episcopal Church, 5958 Main Street, Trumbull; Thursday at 8 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1734 Huntington Tpke., Trumbull. Alateen helps teens age 12-20 and also meets Thursday at 8 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church. There are no dues or fees to participate.
For information about groups in Connecticut, call 1-888-825-2666. For more information about Al-Anon, visit ct-al-anon.org. A free publication is available at Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org.
Do you have a problem with alcohol, drug addiction or any life controlling issue? Are you affected by a loved one’s addiction? Higher Ground Ministry is non-denominational and offers help that is permanent through Biblical truths. Through Higher Ground Ministry you will receive support, encouragement and spiritual guidance that will change your life forever. To find a meeting near you, call 203-888-9974 or visit highergroundministry.org.
Fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30, St. Vincent’s Level 4 Seton Conference Room, 203-576-6168.
Free yoga for cancer patients
Restorative yoga, chair yoga with breathing and meditation for patients in active treatment or post-surgery, Tuesdays, 10 a.m., The Watermark, 303 Park Ave., Bridgeport; Thursdays, 10 a.m., Yoga Room, Level 3 of St. Vincent’s Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, adjacent to the Medical Center. Gentle Yoga, for patients in treatment or recently finished, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Yoga for Everybody, 27 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. Formal Yoga, for cancer survivors of five years or less, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m., The Watermark, 3030 Park Ave., Bridgeport, 203-576-6158.
Free HIV/HCV tests
The Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program and the Stratford Health Department will offer rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing with results in 20 minutes every first and third Tuesday of the month from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Stratford Health Dept., 468 Birdseye St., Stratford.
To schedule an appointment call 203-385-4058.
Cancer support group
Ongoing monthly group is focused on giving support to patients and families who have been diagnosed with lung, colon, head and neck, esophageal, GI cancers and other solid tumors. Meetings are the third Wednesday of the month, 9-10 a.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, third floor conference room, St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158.
Healthy traveler service
Bridgeport Hospital’s Healthy Traveler Service provides pre-travel consultations, travel vaccines, medications and comprehensive travel information to help prepare for a healthy and safe international trip. For information or to make an appointment, call 203-384-3613.
Ring for Your Rhythm
Bridgeport Hospital’s “Ring for Your Rhythm” line provides recorded, step-by-step instructions for taking a pulse reading, to help detect atrial fibrillation (a-fib) and possibly prevent a stroke. Call toll free, 24/7, at 855-247-8573.
Led by licensed acupuncturist Gregor Wei, Mondays, 10-2, Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Call 203-255-5300 to register. Advance registration requested. Private appointments available.
Massage is offered for oncology patients undergoing definitive active treatment and for survivors who have completed treatment. Call 203-576-6158 for an appointments. Program takes place on third floor of Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport.
Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers offers weekly fitness classes in Bridgeport and Stratford:
Boot Camp, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:45-6:45 a.m., 226 Mill Hill Ave., Bridgeport; Saturdays, 10-11 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.
Women’s Strength Training, Tuesdays, 11-noon; Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.
Zumba, Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.
$8 per class or $75 for 10 classes. Tickets are available at all Ahlbin Centers locations, or before or after classes. For information or to register, call 203-336-7301 (Bridgeport) or 203-380-4672 (Stratford).
In addition to Bridgeport and Stratford, Ahlbin Centers has outpatient facilities at 4 Corporate Drive, Shelton; 2600 Post Road, Southport; and 2750 Reservoir Ave., Trumbull.
Health and wellness classes
St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport offers a variety of health and wellness classes. Most sessions run for 10 weeks with the exception of Pilates, which is six weeks; and Y Diabetes Prevention Program and Weight Watchers program, 16- and 17-week sessions respectively. 10-week sessions: $90. Information/registration: 203-576-6267; [email protected]
Free exercise video program
A new online video program called A-B-E (Activity Bursts Everywhere) for Fitness, designed specifically to help adults meet those recommendations for daily physical activity, is available at abeforfitness.com.
Beginner and intermediate level, runs weekly, Fridays, 9:15 a.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300; bridgeporthospital.org. Yoga, restorative yoga and teen yoga classes also available. Call for full class schedule.
Weekly, Mondays, 5:30 p.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300.
St. Vincent’s Wellness Booth has relocated to the main lobby of the Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport. Health screenings and services offered to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30-3:30. No appointment required for any of the screenings.
Free blood pressure screenings are performed every Tuesday. On Wednesdays, Cholesterol/HDL ratio/glucose screening, $18; a lipid panel requiring a four-hour fast, $25; blood sugar screening alone requiring a two-hour fast, $1.
For more information call St. Vincent’s toll-free Care Line at 877-255-SVHS (7847).
Heart-disease risk quiz
Bridgeport Hospital offers “Take 10 for Your Ticker,” a free online heart-disease risk quiz. Quiz is available at bridgeporthospital.org, by clicking on the link in the “Take 10 for Your Ticker” box.
For those without access to the Internet, a free printed copy of the quiz, with an explanation of results, is available by calling 1-888-357-2396.
Help for new movers
Bridgeport Hospital’s free Newcomer Concierge Service helps new residents of Bridgeport and surrounding towns locate physicians to meet personal and family health needs. Service also provides information on health-related events and activities. To reach the Newcomer Concierge Service, call 203-330-7462, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, 9-3.
Atria Stratford Assisted Living, 6911 Main St., offers a support group for family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, or related dementia, living at home or in an extended care facility. Group meets first Wednesday of the month, 6-7; 203-380-0006.
Grasmere By The Sea: One Post Road, Fairfield, offers open discussion about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, first Thursday of month, 4 p.m.; 203-365-6470.
Jewish Family Service, 2370 Park Ave., Bridgeport, offers support group for family members or friends helping with the care of adults over 60, meets first Wednesday of month, 6-7:30 p.m. RSVP: 366-5438, Ext. 219.
Sunset Shores Adult Day Health Center, 720 Barnum Avenue Cut Off, Stratford, offers a support group for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Meetings are the second Wednesday of the month, 4-5; 380-1228.
St. Vincent’s SWIM family support group meets first Tuesday of each month, 4-5:30 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required; 203-576-6158; [email protected]
Prostate cancer survivors
St. Vincent’s SWIM Prostate Cancer Survivors Educational Lecture Series and Support Group meets at Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158 or e-mail [email protected] for dates and times of lectures. No reservations required.
Breast cancer wellness
St. Vincent’s Breast Cancer Survivor Wellness program, intended for women who have recently undergone breast cancer surgery and those further along in their recovery, 4:30-5:30, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required. For dates, call 203-576-6158.
Breast cancer stories
Bizymoms.com has helped many women with whatever information it is they may be seeking about breast cancer. A panel of cancer experts, women, wives, and mothers are waiting to share their expertise and stories while learning about yours. Visit bizymoms.com/cares/breastcancer.
St. Vincent’s partners with Saxon-Kent Lingerie of Orange to provide special products for women battling cancer. Boutique hours: Monday-Friday, 10-4. Fitting hours for wigs, prosthesis, mastectomy bras, lymphedema sleeves etc: Tuesdays, 2-4; Wednesdays, 10-noon; or by appointment; 203-576-6158; [email protected] Boutique hours: 10-4.
Breast cancer support
Woman-to-Woman, an American Cancer Society sponsored support group for women who have had breast cancer or who have been newly diagnosed, meets monthly, 2-4 p.m., Cambridge Manor, 2428 Easton Tpke., Fairfield; 800-889-3340.
Cancer resource library
St. Vincent’s SWIM Cancer Resource Library is open Monday-Friday, 9-5, Maureen Ringel Cancer Resource Library, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, St. V’s. Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. A representative is available to assist visitors with navigation of web-based searches, cancer clinical trial searches and direct patient referrals to a variety of free resources Monday-Friday, 9-1.
Trumbull MS support group meets third Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8, Trumbull Library, 33 Quality St. Ed, 445-0118; 1-800- FIGHT MS; ctfightsMS.org.
The American Society For Scleroderma Research has formed a support group for all afflicted by this disease. The group meets every second Thursday, 6:30-7:30, St. Vincent Medical Center, Main Street, Bridgeport; Aimee Turiano or Joy LoSchiavo, 203-273-2034.