calendar_2014smApril 5, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

April 7, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

April 7, 6:30 p.m. Move with Games at Elkridge Branch. Exercise while competing with your friends on the Wii or XBox Kinect. Healthy snack provided. Ages 11-17. No registration required.

April 7, 7:00 p.m. Guided Meditation at Miller Branch. Enjoy a guided mindfulness meditation designed to impart a feeling of peacefulness and connection. Please bring a cushion or meditation pillow. Presented by Star Ferguson, M.Ac., L.Ac. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

April 8, 7-9:00 p.m.  Maybe Baby: Health Issues to Consider before Pregnancy. Are you considering starting a family?  If so, there are important choices to consider! Topics discussed during this free class will include information about the changes that will occur to your lifestyle, the importance of parent wellness, health care matters, and emotional, physical, environmental and social considerations. Presented by Dana Baras, M.D. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia, MD.

April 8, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Elkridge Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

April 9, 2:00 p.m. Compiling Your Medical Family History at Miller Branch. Learn the first steps to preserve this potentially life-saving history. Presented by Dottie Aleshire, member of the Howard County Genealogical Society and instructor at Howard Community College and the Family History Center in Ellicott City. Cosponsored by Howard County Genealogical Society. A “History Lives” event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

April 10, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

April 12, 10:00 a.m.- noon. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

 


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A lot of up to date medical information can be found using the Internet. Since one search in Google can yield thousands of results, how do you sort out which information to make use of?

“You should approach finding medical information on the Internet the same way you would approach buying a nonfiction book…do the authors come from reputable institutions? Do they have the proper credentials? Was it published recently?” says McMaster’s Flemming, who conducts seminars and workshops on Internet health issues. [1]

In general, health and medical information websites sponsored by the U.S. government, not-for-profit health or medical organizations, and university medical centers are the most reliable resources. [2]

If you do make use of a commercial site, look to see if it has a HONcode seal (pictured above).

Okay, what exactly is a HONcode? HON stands for “Health on the Net.”

The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose of the foundation is to advance the development and application of new information technologies, notably in the fields of health and medicine. [3]

Where does the “code” part come in? The HONcode is a checklist of eight principles Internet users should apply to any site posting medical information. Prime among them: information must be provided by qualified professionals, and it has to be designed to support, not replace, the relationship between doctor and patient. [1] Compliant sites are identified by the blue-and-red HONcode hyperlink seal displayed in a prominent location.

So, before you spend too much time on any site offering medical information, make sure to follow these guidelines:

Identify the sources: Read the “About Us” section on the website you visit and notice the dates of the information to make sure content is current.

Look at the HONcode: The Health On the Net Foundation requires that medical sites meet a certain level of authoritative and credibility standards. Approved sites display a HONcode seal acknowledging their certification.

Always call your doctor: Medical sites can be helpful and educational, but you’ll always want to refer to your child’s doctor for any medical diagnosis or treatment.

[1] McClelland S. Users beware. Maclean’s [serial online]. June 21, 1999;112(25):58. Available from: MasterFILE Premier, Ipswich, MA.
[2] Miller, J. (2013, Aug 18). Savvy senior: How to find the best medical information online. Capital. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1426394474?accountid=6126
[3] (2000, Feb 03). PR Newswire. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/447850252?accountid=6126

Teresa Rhoades worked at the Central Branch from 2004-2005. During the next two years, she moved out of state and completed a degree in Library & Information Studies. She is currently the Assistant Branch Manager for the East Columbia Branch. She spends much of her spare time being walked by her dog, an extremely energetic German Short-haired pointer.

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While driving down Cedar Lane on the first warm day during our long winter, I saw kids outside playing and biking. It warmed my heart! It was great to see

Dreamstime

Dreamstime

folks getting some fresh air and exercise.

As an exercise physiologist with the HCGH Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, I see the long-term effects of heart disease, diabetes and other conditions that are made worse by excess weight. It’s especially worrisome to see so many kids struggling with their weight, because childhood obesity is a precursor to many health problems that will follow them into adulthood.

Here’s some advice to help get kids started with regular exercise:

Start with what they know.

A good way to start is to have the child perform exercises that they’ve done in gym class and see how many pushups or crunches they can do in a minute, how long they can hold a plank or how many times they can run around the track. Record the results and use this as a baseline to track progress. If your child is not an athlete, pushing sports – especially team sports – may be a turn off.

Set achievable goals.

For teens, find out what they want to get out of an exercise program. Do they want to lose weight? Build muscle? Have more energy? Or, just want to become more fit? Help them to set goals they can meet. Set a timeframe to re-evaluate progress; e.g., every two weeks or once a month, and then set new goals.

For children through “tweens,” build in rewards. Suggest that you’ll walk or bike around the lake or neighborhood and then stop at the playground for free time. Invite their friends to come along.

Once a regular routine has been established for two to three months, mix it up. Inspire them to try new activities – dance class, rock-wall climbing, kayaking. Find out what motivates them and use it – friends, competition or keeping logs to see progress. Keep them motivated.

Start out simple and slow.

Kids are still growing, so you need to be careful to prevent injury and build strength and endurance over time.

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    the impact on joints. Cycling, swimming, biking, martial arts and tennis are good exercises.

  • Use low weights, building with higher repetition and resistance bands to help increase strength.
  • Stability balls are great and inexpensive tools.
  • Set your kids up for success. If they are completely new to exercise, just starting to move is a great beginning. Running is a tough way to start if the child isn’t fit.
  • Start with exercise that is challenging, but not too difficult. A little discomfort is okay; a lot of pain is not.
  • Gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise. For most kids, the ultimate goal should be 60 minutes of exercise a day.
  • Do a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility exercises.
  • Don’t encourage crash diets or extreme exercise. These can be discouraging and impossible to stick with.

As fitness increases, consider new activities.

  • Get Active/Stay Active Howard County has a variety of programs that allow kids to try out new activities without committing to long-term, expensive programs. Visit stayactivehowardcounty.org.Howard County Striders is a great opportunity to run and walk with other kids at a variety of fitness levels. Visit striders.net.
  • Girls on the Run is an after-school running program. Visit gotrcentralmd.org.
  • Visit the Howard County Recreation and Parks site for a full list of affordable and accessible facilities at bit.ly/outdoorshc.
  • Team sports through community leagues or school.

Get educated about exercise.

Teach good form for all exercises to avoid injury and maximize benefit. If you are not familiar with an exercise, get help from a professional. Online tools and apps track activity, calories and goals. Exercise should be a life-long goal, not a temporary hobby.

Support them.

You can’t exercise for them, but you can be a great source of inspiration, motivation and encouragement. Let your child or teenager know you are in this together and that exercise is as important for you as it is for them. By exercising with them, you can set a great example and get your child on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

Make sure your child knows exercise is not about the way they look. They need to feel loved and accepted, not criticized. Exercise should be a way of life, not something that has to be forced. Build the healthy habit!

For more information about encouraging a healthy lifestyle for your children, see this presentation called “Weighing in on Your Child’s Weight.”

Suzie Jeffreys is an exercise physiologist with the Howard County General Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Click here for a presentation called “Weighing in on Your Child’s Weight,” featuring Suzie Jeffreys.

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Linger, even for one chapter in this massive book, and you will soon find yourself caught up in psychiatrist and National Book Award winner, Andrew Solomon’s comprehensive (albeit eloquent) and tender tribute to the myriad parents of “horizontal” offspring — that is, dwarfs, transgenders, schizophrenics, prodigies, those who commit criminal acts, and more.

Solomon’s all-embracing assertion (as a homosexual, and therefore, a horizontal child himself) is that the parents of such children, along with the children themselves, deserve voice and a raison d’etre. Even the ones certain to be defined as bad parents are given voice: Is it hard or easy to love a child that society has deemed imperfect? Does bearing a child with supreme challenges take us to the edge of an awful precipice? Or does it make us, as one mother says, “Deeper for it?”

Sue Klebold, mother of one of the two teens who committed the Columbine massacre, divested her soul to Solomon when the question was asked if it would have been better had her son never been born.

“I believe,” she said, “it would not have been better for me.”

Far From The Tree is the Camino Trail of epic reads. Take the journey anyway — if not for the privilege to walk in the shoes of some of the most diverse parents and children you will ever meet.

Aimee Zuccarini is an Instructor & Research Specialist at the East Columbia Branch. She facilitates several book discussions and writes the book reviews for The Maryland Women’s Journal.

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calendar_2014smMarch 29, 9:00- 11:00 a.m. Home Sweet Home (Children’s Stay Home Alone Course). Is your child almost ready to stay home alone?  What do you need to do to make it a safe environment?  What does your child need to learn before he can be left alone? This free course for parents and children ages 8-12 will teach safe and fun ways for children to stay at home alone. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

April 1, 12:30 p.m. Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior at Howard Community College. Charles Hoge, M.D. and Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) is a national expert on post-traumatic stress disorder, mild traumatic brain injury, other war-related mental health issues and treatment strategies. Now retired from military service, he advocates for reducing the stigma of mental health care while continuing to work with servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Hoge, author of Once a Warrior – Always a Warrior, presents the latest knowledge about combat stress and physiological reactions to war. This is an A+ Partners in Education event cosponsored by Howard Community College’s Office of Student Life, Wellness Center, and Divisions of Health Sciences; Science, Engineering, and Technology; and Social Science and Teacher Education. A “Meet the Author” event. Howard County Book Connection. No registration is required. HOWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Duncan Hall, Kittleman Room (443.518.1420), 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD.

April 1, 3:30 p.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.- noon. Registration is required.  Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

April 3, 7- 9:00 p.m. What is Pre-Diabetes? Has your doctor told you that you have pre-diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes? This program will answer your questions. Our certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian will teach you how to make changes to prevent or delay an actual diabetes diagnosis. $15. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

April 5, 10-11:30 a.m. Together We Thrive. Held the first Saturday of each month this patient support group is for men and women diagnosed with cancer. Participants can share, explore and be encouraged in a safe environment. Registration required. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. (410) 740-5858 for more information. Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information

April 8, 7-9:00 p.m.  Maybe Baby: Health Issues to Consider before Pregnancy. Are you considering starting a family?  If so, there are important choices to consider! Topics discussed during this free class will include information about the changes that will occur to your lifestyle, the importance of parent wellness, health care matters, and emotional, physical, environmental and social considerations. Presented by Dana Baras, M.D. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia, MD.

April 10, 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Adult/Child/Infant CPR and AED. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. This is not a health care provider course. $55. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.

 

 


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IMAG0531The Veggie­-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemens has been (hands ­down) my favorite cookbook of 2013 and is still going strong in 2014. I have made about half a dozen recipes from the book and plan to make many more.

One of my personal favorites has been soondubu jjigae, loosely translated as “Korean Soft Tofu Stew with Kimchi.” Soondubu Jjigae is great for warming up during the last days of winter and also contains heaping amounts of kimchi, or pickled cabbage. If you’ve been turned off by the smell, you may want to reconsider. Health magazine listed kimchi in its top five World’s Healthiest Foods earlier this year citing its high levels of vitamins A, B, and C- as well as its digestive benefits. It’s low in calories and high in fiber too! So, if you’re trying to stay healthy, you may want to give the national food of South Korea another try.

Reserve this item at Howard County Library SystemThe Veggie­-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook isn’t about kimchi however, it’s about sriracha. The Thai chili sauce has been getting a lot of press recently, mostly because of it’s delicious flavor and spicy kick, but there has been some research into its potential health benefits as well. Sriracha contains real chili peppers, well­-known to boost metabolism and serotonin levels, and garlic, a key ingredient in regulating cholesterol and blood pressure. The most familiar brand of sriracha sauce (the one with the rooster on it) is also gluten-­free and vegan. It’s even certified kosher.

So, if you haven’t tried either of these delicious foods, grab a copy of The Veggie­-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook and make yourself a bowl of soondubu jjigae. If that’s not the comfort food you’re craving, try the Sriracha and Green Onion Biscuits with Country Mushroom Gravy. It’s pretty good too!

Aryn is an Instructor & Research Specialist at the Miller Branch and has been with HCLS for over 3 years. She has many hobbies including, but not excluded to: exercising, vegetarian living, and eating cake. Perhaps cake is neither “well” nor “wise” but it’s certainly delicious!

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“I hate broccoli. I hate asparagus. I hate vegetables! Yuck!”veggies

A common enough refrain from kids who just don’t know any better, but there are a lot of adults out there who also haven’t discovered just how delicious vegetables can be. Not just great for your health, but for your taste buds as well. Check out some simple and tasty ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.

Try roasting asparagus in a hot oven until tender and then serving with a little butter and gremolata (minced lemon peel, parsley and garlic.)

Keep your veggies green by dropping them into boiling, lightly salted water and cooking for about four minutes. Rinse with cold water until they are very cool, refrigerate and then, right before serving, heat them up to finish cooking in a sauté pan with a little butter (or olive oil), salt, pepper, your favorite herbs and a few drops of lemon juice. (Lemon juice is a great way to get a nice bright flavor without adding a lot of salt.)

Get kids to eat veggies by cutting them into sticks and serving them raw with dips. They’ll be more likely to accept them as an after-school snack when they’re good and hungry, but there’s no reason not to include them this way at the dinner table.

Check out Healthy Recipes at Johns Hopkins Medicine for healthy and delicious ways to prepare vegetables.

For more information about encouraging a healthy lifestyle for your children, see this presentation called “Weighing in on Your Child’s Weight.”

Get more vegetables into your kitchen and your diet

Fill your grocery cart from the outside in.

Start shopping at the perimeter of the supermarket. Fruits, vegetables, fresh meats and poultry, and dairy items are usually located on the edges of the store, while high-carb, sugary, pre-packaged foods are in the center aisles. Fill your cart with colorful vegetables and you’ll be less tempted to buy snack foods.

Become a gardener.

If you like to garden, consider growing fruit, vegetables and herbs along with your flowers. Ornamental tomatoes and peppers and Asian eggplants not only taste great, they add beautiful color to your garden. If you have limited space, try a container garden with pretty ceramic and terra cotta pots. Get your kids involved to help them understand where their food comes from, and have them pick and prepare the vegetables at mealtime.

Be creative.

You can use vegetables in creative ways, like using pureed veggies instead of cream or flour to thicken soups or sauces. Diced carrots in tomato sauce taste sweet and help to neutralize the acidity, and the added nutrition and fiber will fill them up.

Buy and eat local.

Eating healthy can seem more expensive, but it is possible to buy local produce without paying a premium price for imported produce at the grocery store. Community supported agriculture (CSA) programs are a popular new way to buy local produce. Residents sign up to purchase a weekly “share” in a local farm and then get to share the produce, and many CSAs offer half shares for small families. The following organizations have listing for CSAs in and around Howard County:

Farmers markets are another option. There are five such markets in Howard County, including the one in Howard County General Hospital’s parking lot that operates on Friday afternoons from early May through late October. You’ll be surprised at the excellent produce, fruit, cheeses, breads, honey and other great foods that come from our local farmers, and you can get to know them and ask questions about their farms and their food. Click here for a listing of Howard County farmers markets.


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