Health

BG woman puts needles to work knitting knockers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Peg Cranny has knitted since a child, making afghans, sweaters, caps. But now her focus has shifted to making knockers – that’s right, knitted knockers. Cranny, of Bowling Green, works with the national Knitted Knockers program that provides prostheses for women who have had mastectomies. She has been donating the knockers to the Maurer Family Cancer Care Center at Wood County Hospital, where they are given to cancer survivors at no cost. Cranny has not had cancer, but she has friends who have had mastectomies. “I feel sympathy for the women who have had breast cancer. It must be devastating to lose a breast,” she said. “If I can help in any small way to make them feel better about themselves, then I’m happy.” One out of eight women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime. There are 50,000 mastectomies done a year in the U.S., and 90 percent of those women will wear breast prostheses at least for a while. Many of the women find the traditional breast prostheses to be hot, heavy and expensive, Cranny said. That’s where her knitting skills come in. “They have thousands of women who do this across the U.S.,” she said of the national program. Cranny learned to knit as a Brownie, “and I’ve knitted ever since,” she said. “I like to knit and I like to knit fast projects,” Cranny said. She makes knocker sizes from A to DDDD. “I can whip that out in an hour or two,” she said of the smaller A sizes. The national Knitted Knockers program has strict standards on the…

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Prices hiked to keep fitness class budget healthy

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Board wants local residents to be healthy – but the board also has to worry about the health of the park and recreation budget. So last week, the board voted to raise prices of fitness classes at the community center in the fall. The board agreed to stop short of larger fee increases considered earlier in the year. The classes are provided through MindBody, and brought in $30,618 last year. However, the classes cost $44,447 to offer. “Our mission is to get people healthy and fit, so we do operate a little differently from a private club or fitness studio – some subsidy of classes is not a bad thing, but we need to keep it balanced,” Kristin Otley, park and recreation director, said in her report to the board. Following is the list of current and proposed rates approved by the board: Drop-in rate will remain unchanged at $8. Monthly rate will increase from $40 to $44. Quarterly rate will go from $105 to $117. Annual rate will increase from $360 to $396. This will be the first time the rates have changed since the community center switched to the MindBody program in the summer of 2015. The park and recreation department will also start a couple promotions to encourage those with MindBody fitness passes to get a community center pass, and to urge those with center passes to try out MindBody classes. Those signing up for a community center pass would receive a coupon for a free month of MindBody. Those purchasing an annual…


Too many gyms in BG may be unhealthy for business

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As Bowling Green area residents try to work off their butts or guts, the city is seeing a glut of gyms in the community. Gym members trying to burn off calories on cardio equipment and build muscles on weight machines may benefit from the exercise options – but the number of gyms could be unhealthy for the businesses. There are many similarities at the gyms – lots of equipment for those who prefer solitary exercise, or classes in spinning, zumba or pilates for those who thrive on group motivation. There are some differences at each location. The community center has a track, basketball and volleyball courts. St. Julian’s Fitness has free classes with memberships and is the official Silver Sneaker location in the city. Anytime Fitness is open round the clock and allows use of any other Anytime Fitness in the world. BGSU Recreation Center has a couple indoor pools. And Crossfit offers its own brand of specialized workouts. Soon, people looking for just the perfect fit to perfect their bodies, will have another choice. Planet Fitness has announced plans to open a gym on South Main Street, near the Staples store. Generally, Kristin Otley, director of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, is in favor of new business growth to the city – especially since that means new tax revenue – even if it is another gym. “I think competition is a great thing. It keeps us all on our game,” she said. However, this latest entry has some gym officials breaking out into a sweat. “That is concerning. This…


Gavarone backs Medicaid-related veto overrides in House

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News State Rep. Theresa Charters Gavarone voted with the rest of the Ohio House Republicans to overturn 11 budget vetoes issued last week by Republican Gov. John Kasich. While the House did not act on overriding a veto that would have frozen Medicaid expansion in the state, it did override a number of other Medicaid related vetoes. The veto overrides now must go to the State Senate where they will need a three-fifths vote to pass. Gavarone said she was felt particularly strongly about restoring money to counties that they were losing when the federal government said a tax for Medicaid providers could not be levied. That cost Wood County $900,000. “This will partially restore some of that funding,” she said. The funding would stretch over the next six years. State Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) told Clint Corpe on “The Morning Show” Thursday that overriding that veto was his top priority as well. The House also delayed plan to move behavioral treatment under Medicaid into managed care for six months. This was especially important to insure a continuity of treatment for those fighting opioid addiction, Gavarone said. She also said it was important that the House restore the provision calling for Medicaid reimbursement rates to be set at 75-percent of the Medicaid allowable rates neonatal and newborn services. They are now 45 percent. She said the move is revenue neutral. In his veto message, Kasich said, the increase would force the state Medicaid program to lower rates for other services “to avoid an increase in Medicaid expenditures.” That could threaten access to those services…


BGSU Optimal Aging Institute looks variety of issues affecting elders

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University faculty and students are working to improve the lives of people across the lifespan, through teaching, research and engagement. To help expand our understanding of the needs of the older generation, the University’s Optimal Aging Institute is supporting research projects related to the health and well-being of older adults. The institute is funding four internal BGSU grants this year that look at a range of timely issues, from LGBTQ individuals in senior living facilities to people who had planned to retire but who for financial reasons cannot. “We’re seeing dramatic cultural and societal changes,” said Paula Davis, director of the institute. New needs are being revealed, along with the appropriate ways of addressing them. This is nowhere more apparent in nursing homes and other senior-living facilities, she said. One of the OAI grants is focused on helping these facilities better serve LGBTQ individuals, a population not previously acknowledged. Moving into such a facility is a dramatic change for all people, and LGBTQ individuals may face additional challenges and stress. “For many LGBTQ seniors who have lived openly, moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility may mean going back into the closet,” said Dr. Laura Landry-Meyer, an associate professor of family and consumer sciences. She and Dr. Elizabeth Holman, an assistant professor of human development and family studies, are examining how best to provide diversity training for employees of senior living centers so that they can understand and be sensitive to non-heterosexual residents. Holman and Landry-Meyer are partnering with Brookdale Bowling Green to pilot an educational program and…


BGSU employee suggests amendment to allow sick time sharing

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A phone call from a Bowling Green woman resulted in one sentence inserted in the state budget bill that could make a difference for many Ohio residents. On Wednesday, State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, stood up in chambers and read off an amendment, which he dubbed the “Faith Olson amendment.” The change is one paragraph in a more than 4,000-page budget bill. “Still in this big state, one person can make a difference,” Gardner said from the floor. Olson, a Bowling Green State University employee since 1978, reached out to Gardner about employees at state universities not being eligible for a paid leave donation program. Previously, state university employees could save up their unused sick time, and put it in a “bank,” where other employees could use the time in case of critical or chronic illnesses. Gardner met with Olson, fiscal officer for the BGSU College of Education and Human Development, at Frisch’s on North Main Street to discuss her concerns over breakfast. Olson explained that under an interpretation from Attorney General Mike DeWine, the unused sick time could no longer be donated to fellow state university employees in need. DeWine’s unofficial opinion stated that unless the program was in a union contract, or involved faculty, that the paid leave could not be given to others with chronic illnesses. That troubled Olson. “There were people still in need,” she said. So she reached out to Gardner, who she felt has been supportive of higher education issues. “I think it’s a valid request,” Olson said. So did Gardner, who decided to put…


Local artists promote awareness through book “Migraine365”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel doesn’t take her migraines lying down. Migraine disease may immobilize her at times, but she’s resolved to be a voice for others who suffer. It means being active on social media as Lady Migraine at ladymigraine.com. It means writing for migraine.com, and appearing in videos being the face for the many tormented by the silent demon. It means teaming with her husband John Roberts-Zibbel to write a graphic journal, “Migraine 365,” that looks at daily life for someone with migraine disease and their loved ones. In their case that includes two daughters Isobel, 8, and Alexandra 12. The book was self-published and can be purchased at blurb.com. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have them,” she said of the severe headaches and array of symptoms that accompany them. She was diagnosed when she was a child and remembers always having at least one per week, but the headaches didn’t become chronic, fifteen or more per month, until she was 30. “It was always a big problem,” Roberts-Zibbel said. “It took me a lot longer to get through college.” She persisted, but so did the migraine disease. Her first pregnancy was debilitating, and her second even worse. “Sometimes the pain gets so bad you want to shoot yourself in the head.” The disease forced her out of jobs. Now as a partner in Zibbel Media, she is a key player on the BG Independent News team, handling advertising, posting obituaries, and occasionally contributing articles. John Roberts-Zibbel got the idea for “Migraine 365” in 2014 while the family was on vacation in Cape May,…