Health

Hospital, chamber team up for blood analysis program

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The 15th Annual Blood Analysis Program co-sponsored by Wood County Hospital and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce will take place on Saturday, April 27, from 7 to 11a.m. This comprehensive blood analysis screening is for multiple health risk indicators including, but not limited to kidney function, electrolytes, liver function and lipid profile and requires a 10-hour fast.  Cost of the testing is $50 for BG Chamber Investors and $60 for Non-Investors. The results of this fasting blood test should be used as a guide to determine your current health status and should not take the place of routine physicals.  Although normal ranges are listed, only you and your physician can establish what is normal for you.  A report providing all test results will be sent to either the participant or his/her physician. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and the Wood County Hospital Foundation Scholarship Funds.  The Wood County Hospital Foundation Scholarship is designated for full-time undergraduate students at BGSU.  The Scholarship is awarded annually to one student. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Scholarship will award $2,000 to one Chamber-affiliated student for their study at BGSU. Appointments are required.  Call the Chamber office at 419-353-7945 to schedule an appointment.  Registration will be taken until April 12t, or until all spots are filled.  Prepayment is required at the time of registration by form of cash or check.

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County dental center to fill gap in local medical services

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Many Wood County families cannot afford dental insurance, or cannot find dental offices willing to accept Medicaid patients. So for many, dental care is put off until the pain is unbearable. But soon, local residents will have a place to turn to for help at the new dental center at the Wood County Community Health Center. The center, with its sliding fee scale, will not turn away anyone due to lack of insurance or funds. “Nobody will have to go without dental services because of an inability to pay,” said Alex Aspacher, community outreach coordinator at the health department. “There’s a large need for those in the Medicaid community.” The dental center will target women, children and the uninsured, but anyone will be accepted. “As soon as you’re ready for your first checkup, till you don’t have a need for us anymore,” said Kami Wildman, outreach and enrollment specialist at the Wood County Health Department. The dental clinic has five exam chairs, a lab, and will offer services such as X-rays, minor surgeries and preventative care. The addition of the dental services makes the community health center a comprehensive “patient-centered medical home,” Wildman said. The center provides a primary care physician, dental, pharmacy and behavioral health all in one building, Aspacher said. The dental facility provides a patient service that has been identified as an important missing piece for decades. “Dental has been a consistent need in the county going back some time,” Wildman said. “It’s easy to put it off until you have pain.” And like many other health issues, poor dental care can lead to or worsen other health problems. More and more correlations are being identified between poor dental health and diabetes and heart issues. “It’s possible if we help people with oral health, that other benefits will follow,” Aspacher said. By reaching children at a younger age, local public health officials hope to help promote healthy dental habits early on. The opening date for the facility is still unknown. The dental center has hired its program coordinator and…


Heart Association speaker serves up food for thought about healthy holiday eating

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News First the good news on the holiday eating front — scientific studies find people are not likely to gain 10 pounds over the holidays. A few people might, though. And some may very well might feel like they did. Those were some of the takeaways from “Finding a Heart-Heathy Balance for the Holidays,” a presentation at he Wood County Library by Jessica Hover, of the American Heart Association. “People do not gain significant weight over the holidays,” Hover said, though they may pick up three or four pounds, and feel bloated. She added their moods worsen and the incidence of heart and other diseases increases. “So it is time to rethink some of our habits.” The holiday rush and stress lead to heightened emotions. “How can we take care of ourselves?” Hover said it’s not just about the heart, but about the brain, which she likened the brain to an engine that must be fueled.  “We have to fuel it with high quality foods that have vitamins and minerals that our neurons need. That protects us from all the stress. The healthy nutrition protects our brains.” Hover added: “Heart disease is the number one killer of men, women and children.”  One person every 80 seconds dies of heart disease, she noted. “But  80 percent of heart disease can be prevented with lifestyle changes, exercise and diet. We need to start addressing health. As Americans were not doing a great job of that.” On the diet front that means more fruits and vegetables, four to five servings of each daily. A serving can be a cup of raw greens, a medium size fruit or vegetable, or a half-cup of cut up raw or cooked. A good measure is that a dinner plate should half full of veggies or a half cup of chopped vegetable or fruit, with the rest protein and starches. Incorporating more whole grains, nuts and legumes, and fish is also recommended. Using healthier preparation— roasting, sautéing, stir-frying, blanching, and steaming — helps as well as using a healthy oil such as olive…


BG City Council votes 6-1 to make parks smoke-free

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green’s city parks will be smoke-free starting in 2019. The decision to do so was one vote shy of unanimous by City Council. Council member Bruce Jeffers was the sole vote opposing the smoke-free ordinance. While Jeffers supports the existing ban against smoking inside park buildings, he believes the expansion of the ban to all park property is going too far. It’s “reasonable” for people to be able to smoke in parking lots at the parks, Jeffers said. “If a person chooses to smoke there, in my view they are not really bothering anybody,” he said. But council member Sandy Rowland said the smoking ban is appropriate for all park property. “There are children outside playing. Those children are inhaling the smoke,” Rowland said. Rowland, who serves as city council’s representative to the parks and recreation board, said the decision to expand the smoking ban was the right one. “I laud the park board for making this decision of what’s best,” she said. “We know we’re doing what’s right.” After all, Rowland said, the parks department supports healthy lifestyles. “The parks promote health. It’s a brave move,” she said. Council member John Zanfardino asked if the vote for the smoking ban by the park board was unanimous. Rowland confirmed it was unanimous. Council member Mark Hollenbaugh asked if smoking in a car on park property would be a finable offense. City Attorney Mike Marsh replied that he did not believe it would be. When it came up for the vote, Jeffers was the only council member to vote against the ordinance. The smoking ban will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2019. Kristin Otley, parks and recreation director, said most park visitors obey with the current ordinance. “Most people have been accommodating,” she said. Otley said the parks department will post signs explaining that smoking will not be allowed anywhere on park property. After the council meeting, Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said his officers will start out by just issuing warnings during a “grace period” while people become…


Class offers chance to dance through Parkinson’s disease

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The dancers in Tammy Starr’s class at The Beat Dance Company studio are getting a step up on their struggles with Parkinson’s Disease and other related neurological diseases. Moving and exercising are widely viewed as beneficial in forestalling the onset of symptoms.  So this is serious business. It’s also fun. Starr teaches the weekly one-hour classes on Sunday. This class, offered through the Wood County Committee on Aging, runs through Dec. 9, and another starts in January. It will meet the second and fourth Sundays of the month at the Beat studio, which provides the space for free. Spouses are welcomed to participate.  Contact the Wood County Committee on Aging for details. Anyone is welcomed to stop by to get an introduction in what the classes offers. Starr is a trained dancer who has performed and taught. She’s also a physical therapist, a profession she took up after years as a dancer and choreographer. “These days I really enjoy working with that older adult population,” she said. She also works through the committee on aging with people with dementia. Starr’s philosophy was expressed by a Salt Lake City troupe she danced with:  “Dance is for everybody.” As a modern dancer, she said: “I look at every movement and see dance. … Being a dancer I have something to offer especially in group setting. I’m used to teaching a group.” When she was studying physical therapy at the University of Toledo she learned about the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, LSVT, which was originally designed as speech therapy, before being applied to movement. When Starr read about this approach, she realized: “This sounds like dance to me.” People with Parkinson’s make small, rigid movements, and have balance issues. “In dance we work on moving big and fluidly. We certainly work on balance.” Describing the class, she said: “It’s an opportunity to move in an environment where they feel supported and safe with people who are dealing with the same things. It’s a positive experience with movement because they’re fighting that all day.” It’s fun, said Pat…


BGSU on track to take over Mercy College by fall

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University’s acquisition of Mercy College is on pace to be completed by fall. Interim Provost John Fischer told Faculty Senate Tuesday that BGSU officials have been meeting with the nursing and health  college’s officials and students. On Monday, he said, Mercy faculty and staff received letters from BGSU assuring them that they will remain employed when BGSU takes over operation of the college. Pending state approval that will occur next fall. Completing the integration of the two institutions is expected to take up to three years. BGSU soon will file its application to transfer Mercy’s operations to the Higher Learning Commission. That application process will involved site visits to both Mercy and BGSU. In June the HLC will vote on whether to approve the transfer, If it approves, the transfer will happen within 30 days. Mercy will then become part of BGSU. But then it will take years to integrate its operations — financial aid, billing, course registration, email, and more — with the university. Fischer said that Mercy students are “very passionate” about being part of that college. Many are post-traditional students. Mercy students expressed concerns about what their diplomas will say when they graduate. BGSU officials said one of the attractions of the deal is Mercy’s success working with non-traditional students, something that’s essential for the university’s future health given the decline in the number of high school graduates. Fischer said that one change will be that senators from Mercy College will be seated in Faculty Senate next fall. How that happens will be driven by the Mercy faculty.  Fischer said that given enrollment is up at Mercy College, the transfer of operations should benefit BGSU financially. The transfer of operations was first announced in September. Mercy College has 1,300 students in Toledo and another 200 in an associate’s degree program in Youngstown.  BGSU is ending its nursing education consortium with the University of Toledo. That arrangement was ended, officials said, so each institution could explore other options that will result in the education of more nurses. The nation,…


BG Chamber supports ADAMHS levy

It is the decision of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to support The Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Replacement Levy in the upcoming November election. We considered the services offered by ADAMHS and how vital they are to our business community.  We also gave consideration to your use of public funds and conceded that use is reliable and respectable. It is our belief that this replacement  levy will allow ADAMHS to continue to help fight real-life problems faced by our entire community and the affects drug addiction and mental health issues have on the employment pool of our business affiliates.   Mary F. Hinkelman, Executive Director Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce