Health

Ohio scores $2 million in federal $ to address opioid epidemic

From Office of U.S. REP. MARCY KAPTUR Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) today (Aug. 31, 2016) announced that Ohio will receive nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under three health-related programs to address the statewide epidemic of opioid misuse and overdoses. The awards announced today were made by two agencies within HHS, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which focus on opioid misuse and overdoses.  Ohio was selected for three separate programs and will receive a total of $1,998,455 out of $53 million allocated nationwide to 44 States, four tribes and the District of Columbia to “improve access to treatment for opioid use disorders, reduce opioid related deaths, and strengthen drug abuse prevention efforts. In addition, funding will also support improved data collection and analysis around opioid misuse and overdose as well as better tracking of fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses.”   “This is welcome news, of course. Any additional resources are a help,” said Congresswoman Kaptur. “But this is an epidemic, and it’s getting worse, based on what I have been told by medical professionals and law enforcement officials in northern Ohio.  Everyone acknowledges this isn’t enough – everyone except the Republicans in Congress, that is.” In Ohio, deaths and overdoses from heroin and opioids have reached epidemic proportions.  According to data released last week by the Ohio Department of Health, opioid overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio in 2015, more than one-third of them from fentanyl, a super-potent opiate often mixed with heroin. When the data includes heroin and opioids, Cuyahoga County has seen 1,386 people die from overdoses between 2010 to 2015. Deaths in 2016 are expected to exceed 500 in number, nearly double the total from 2015, according to William Denihan, the chief executive officer of the Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board. In Lucas County, 113 people died of heroin or other opioid overdoses in 2015, with roughly 3,000 reported non-fatal overdoses, according to law enforcement sources.   Ohio will…


Author offers a cyber-age guide to female adolescence

By FRANCES BRENT Total Package Girl urges girls to “Discover The Ultimate You for Life!” Author,  Grown-up-but-Girl-Scout-Forever- Kristi K. Hoffman is a long time Girl Scout volunteer serving and consulting at many levels. She has created a book/guide/manual/workbook that combines the old time values of developing body, brain and spirit while living in a world of hash-tags and snapchats and an evolving world of social media. Her goal is to help adolescent  girls acquire the self-understanding and skills to emerge from adolescence as self-confident, positive leaders. As a young woman, Hoffman, University of Toledo graduate and former WTOL staffer,  took herself off to Boston University to earn a Master’s Degree, learn how to be self-sufficient in an unfamiliar environment and to find her purpose. She emerged as a young professional determined to make a difference in the world. The mother of two teenage boys and a  fit former yoga instructor, Hoffman is an enthusiastic entrepreneur heading her own enterpriseTotalPackageGlobal.com that also works,  consults and trains in the corporate world. Her book, “Total Package Girl,” is aimed at helping girls deal with the now of growing up in a Social Media world and looking at the long term picture of who they want to be and how they want to be. Worksheets and activities help individuals working alone or in a group setting develop a Total Package: Body, Brain and Life Plan. Kristi uses the book in workshops and conferences sometimes as a pre planned program, such as the one upcoming at Notre Dame that will examine topics such as cyber courtesy and leadership skills. Sometimes it is a tool in crisis intervention after a suicide. The book, written in spritely language leaved by today’s techno gab, provides  guidelines on how to deal with a mean girl environment, and,  even better, on developing and using a support system and reaching out and supporting others. Total Package’s  “Be a Force in the World” ideas will be showcased at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle on Oct. 16. Aimed at girls 11-17, with mentors and others welcomed, the workshop …


Overcoming Ohio’s opioid epidemic

(As submitted by State Rep. Theresa Gavarone) Over the years, the Ohio House of Representatives has come to know the increased rates of opioid abuse as one of the most persistent and troubling issues affecting our state. In order to curtail drug addiction and its influence over Ohio families, we as state and community leaders must continue to take important steps toward preventing more of our loved ones from paying the price of this costly epidemic. According to a report released by the Ohio Department of Health last week, Ohio experienced a 20.5 percent increase in drug overdose deaths from 2014 to 2015. In 2015 alone 3,050 people died of unintentional overdoses, the highest number on record for our state. The prescription opioid, Fentanyl, is more often associated with these fatal overdoses than any other prescription opioid or illegal drug such as heroin. Provided that this growing problem is stemming from the use of prescription drugs, it is imperative that the Ohio House continues efforts to assist those who suffer from opioid dependence. Fortunately, numerous pieces of legislation have been proposed by the Ohio Legislature in order to counteract the drug epidemic, with several that have already gone into effect as Ohio law. One such example is House Bill 4, which increases access to the drug naloxone, a key component in the fight against opioids. Naloxone is an overdose antidote that, if administered quick enough, can reverse the effects of a drug overdose, often saving the individual’s life. House Bill 4 permits physicians to administer the lifesaving drug without a prescription to individuals who have overdosed, and also allows pharmacists to furnish naloxone to opioid dependent patients, or their loved one. House Bill 4 is similar to another piece of legislation that had already gone into effect that allows Ohio’s first responders to carry and administer naloxone to overdose victims. Due to the success that this bill achieved through saving lives, the Ohio House passed House Bill 4, which has given pharmacies in our area, such as CVS and Kroger, the ability to stock this…


National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 5-11

Christen Giblin, National Alliance on Mental lllness of Wood County   What public health problem is responsible for 41,149 deaths in the United States each year (U.S. Centers for Disease Control)? The answer is suicide. September 5-11, 2016 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Established by the American Association of Suicidology, National Suicide Prevention Week was established to promote understanding of suicide and support those affected by it. The week surrounds World Suicide Prevention Day September 10. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, 86% of those who complete suicide suffer from a mental illness, especially depression. Suicides increased 24% in the country between 1999 and 2014 (CDC: this statistic is adjusted for age.) Wood County is not immune to the problem; it sees an average of twelve suicides per year. The nation and local communities have responded to this public health issue with public information and education campaigns.  In Wood County, a Suicide Prevention Coalition formed nearly ten years ago to address the problem aggressively. Partnering with local agencies, it has placed prevention specialists in district schools, participated in televised community forums, and designed print campaigns. It also honors those who have lost loved ones to suicide with an annual Survivors of Suicide Evening of Remembrance.


Farmer asks county to not declare Lake Erie ‘impaired’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Mark Drewes tried to convince the Wood County Commissioners Tuesday to not fall for claims by city folk that farmers don’t care about the region’s water. He asked that the commissioners not jump on board with other regional officials asking that Lake Erie be designated as “impaired.” The self-professed “simple farmer” sat down in front of the county commissioners and handed out his charts showing phosphorus runoff rates, county livestock populations and maps of extensive soil sampling on his farm. The water issue became a very public matter in 2014 when the algae rendered Toledo water undrinkable for a few days. But according to Drewes, who farms near Hoytville in the southwest corner of Wood County, the water issue had already been a hot topic for the agricultural community. “We’ve been talking about it for years,” he said. “This problem is the No. 1 problem we face as farmers in Wood County.” But declaring the lake “impaired” will only make matters worse, the farmer said. “That is a very drastic measure,” said Drewes, who farms corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. He also works closely with large livestock operations, and serves on the Ohio Corn Growers Board. Drewes said he was troubled to see Toledo Councilman Mike Ferner ask the commissioners to help declare the lake as impaired, while implying that farmers don’t care about the water. “That’s absolutely incorrect,” he said. Drewes’ family has farmed the land for generations – and plans to continue for many more. So the water quality is important to them as well. “It’s something we think about every day,” he said. Both commissioners Joel Kuhlman and Craig LaHote asked Drewes how the “impaired” designation would hurt farmers – especially if they are already doing all they can to reduce algal blooms. If the lake is declared impaired, scientific studies will be conducted to determine where the phosphorus is originating. “We want to know where it’s coming from, so it can be addressed,” Kuhlman said. LaHote said that agriculture could benefit if studies…


Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite … reports of bed bugs on the rise

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Warning: Reading this story may create an irresistible urge to itch. The Wood County Health District is seeing an increase in the number of complaints on bed bugs. Feeling itchy yet? “Bed bugs were almost eradicated at one point, but they’ve been making a comeback,” said Tom Rutter, registered sanitarian with the health district. “It seems like bed bugs are becoming more and more prevalent each year.” Some weeks the health district gets several complaints of the pesky bugs. “They’re pretty frequent,” Rutter said. Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, are flat, and range from tan to dark brown. Their eggs may not be visible to the naked eye, but the adults are. “Adult bed bugs are very visible,” Rutter said. For the most part, bed bugs are nocturnal creatures. “They hide during the daytime. They come out at night to feed.” The meal – you or your family members. “They need a blood meal to reproduce,” Rutter said. That’s where you come in. A female bed bug can lay up to 12 eggs a day. Consequently, it doesn’t take very long for a few bed bugs to turn into an infestation. If you see the little blood suckers during the day, then you can figure it’s a severe problem, Rutter said. “I’ve seen some pretty bad infestations,” he said, in local apartments, houses and hotels. “It’s definitely something you want to react to right away and not let go.” The bugs bite all over the body, but are not known to carry diseases. One of the biggest problems is psychological – once people have bed bugs, it’s difficult to shake that itchy feeling as they lay in bed, Rutter said. In addition to spotting the bugs themselves, other telltale signs are blood spots on bedding or their fecal droppings. Now, are you itchy? Bed bugs get into homes by hitching rides on items like clothes, luggage or furniture. “They are hitchhikers. They were brought in from somewhere,” Rutter said. The following tips…


National Immunization Awareness Month a reminder to stay current on vaccines

(As submitted by Wood County Health District) To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives the Wood County Health District is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. “National Immunization Awareness Month provides a valuable opportunity to highlight the important role immunizations play in protecting people of all ages from serious diseases,” said Jennifer Campos, health educator. “Vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases that once routinely harmed or killed many infants, children, and adults.” Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. In the United States, vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines. “Vaccine preventable diseases are quite literally only a plane ride away,” said Campos. Many vaccine preventable diseases are still common in many parts of the world. For example, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers who are infected while in other countries. When measles gets into communities of unvaccinated people in the U.S. (such as people who refuse vaccines for religious, philosophical or personal reasons), outbreaks are more likely to occur. Immunization gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. Preteens and teens need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine, Quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine. HPV is recommended at age 11 or 12 years for both boys and girls. Tdap  and meningococcal vaccines are administered for 7th grade and the meningococcal is administered for 12th grade. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months or older—not just preteens and teens, but for their parents too. Vaccines are…


Inmate opiate addicts given lifeline before leaving jail

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Doug Cubberley remembers the day a man came to the court probation office begging to go to jail. “We had one young man come to our office who said, ‘If I don’t go to jail, I’m going to die.’” The man was addicted to opiates and knew it was only a matter of time till he overdosed, Cubberley said Thursday. Probation workers in Wood County began noticing in 2014 that something was killing their clients. “They were dying at alarming rates,” said Cubberley, chief probation officer and court administrator at Bowling Green Municipal Court. So the conversation started about opiates and their growing grasp on people of all ages and backgrounds. “We all wanted to think it was only in Cleveland or Toledo,” he said. But it was clearly here, too. So leaders in the police, court and drug treatment professions started looking for a solution. Community meetings on the opiate epidemic were held in Bowling Green, Perrysburg and North Baltimore. Last week, another meeting was held for court, probation, police, EMS and drug treatment professionals. This time it was to introduce “a necessary evil” in response to the opiate epidemic – Project Direct Link. Statistics show the highest rate of accidental overdose occurs when an addict leaves jail or a treatment program, Cubberley said. “Once they are in jail, they lose tolerance to opiates.” And that often leads to deadly results. So Project Direct Link is intended to offer opiate addicts a different course. The program gives inmates an injection of Vivitrol, a drug that helps prevent cravings and doesn’t allow them to feel the positive effects of opiates. “People cannot get high,” said Julie Weinandy, of Renewed Mind, which has been working with a Vivitrol program in Lucas County. The injection lasts 28 days, which gives the person a “safety net” until they are linked up with treatment programs. “It’s an awesome tool for the clients,” Weinandy said. Inmates are the perfect clients, since Vivitrol can only be used when a person’s body is clean…


Health goals set for county – now comes tricky part

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Health experts from across the county have set four top goals for improving local residents’ health. They want us to shed some weight, get help for mental health issues, stop bullying and get access to health care. Now, comes the tricky part. To accomplish those goals, a list of steps has been set up for area agencies. On Friday, the Wood County Health Partners were shown how they can keep track of their progress. Connor Rittwage, an epidemiologist with Wood County Health District, explained the electronic “dashboard” program that will allow each health agency to record which goals they had accomplished. The charting will hold agencies accountable for their efforts. “You can pull up the dashboard and see how everybody is doing,” Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey said. “I think this is the key to moving this forward.” The progress can be monitored by the agencies involved – and by the public. “Now the public is going to be able to see it,” Batey said. In the past, community health goals have been set, detailed reports written, then the reports often languished on agency bookshelves. “We want to make sure this plan doesn’t just sit on a shelf,” Batey said. The frequent updates to the plan will also allow the health partners to examine strategies that are successful and those that are not. “You don’t want to keep doing things that aren’t working,” Batey said. The health partnering agencies will continue meeting quarterly, since face-to-face conversations will also help the plan succeed, Batey said. “We want healthy, happy residents,” he said. Following is a list of the goals set in the Wood County Community Health Improvement Plan: Decrease adult, youth, and child obesity with the following steps: – Promote breastfeeding in new mothers – Implement OHA Healthy Hospitals Initiative – Expand wellness programming such as the “Walk With A Doc” program – Expand efforts of the Wood County Obesity Task Force – Increase nutrition/physical education materials being offered to patients by primary care providers – Create…


Health district offers heart disease and stroke screening

Wood County residents ages 27 to 64 are eligible for free health screenings for heart disease and stroke risk. The screenings include cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and BMI. Appointments are required. Currently two screenings are scheduled for next week. Future events will be scheduled in Weston and Stony Ridge. The current event schedule is: Bowling Green – Tuesday, Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. to noon at the First United Methodist Church (1526 E. Wooster St.) Bradner – Thursday, Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Bradner American Legion (209 W. Crocker St.) North Baltimore – Thursday, Sept. 1 from 8 a.m. to noon at the North Baltimore Library (230 N. Main St.) To schedule an appointment, call 419-352-8402 ext. 3258. Fasting for 8-10 hours before an appointment is recommended for more accurate results. Registered Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers are also wanted to help with these events. If you are or want to become an MRC volunteer, contact William Bryant-Bey at 419-528-8402 ext. 3267 or wbryant-bey@co.wood.oh.us to learn more. The events are funded by a grant from the National Association of City and County Health Officers to support Medical Reserve Corps activities. Three events have already had to be rescheduled due to no or low numbers of appointments. Why screen for heart disease and stroke risk factors? Heart disease and stroke accounted for 26% of all Wood County adult deaths in 2013. Some heart disease and stroke risk factors can be changed, treated or controlled. These include blood pressure, diabetes, blood cholesterol, smoking and obesity. The 2015 Wood County Health Assessment found that more than 1 in 4 people (26 percent) of Wood County adults had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, 30 percent had high blood cholesterol, 22 percent were obese, and 11 percent were smokers, four known risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. In Wood County, all types of volunteers are accepted including medical and non-medical individuals. During times…


Hospital offers Eating for Good Health class

(Submitted by Wood County Hospital) Wood County Hospital offers the Eating for Good Health class to county employees and community members. This six week class is led by a registered dietitian and teaches the tools necessary to develop a healthy, workday eating plan. The class focuses on planning, purchasing and preparing quick nutritious meal and snacks. Attendees will also learn tips on seasonal eating. These easy changes can lead to a healthier heart, weight and digestive system. Third quarter classes will be held Tuesday mornings, Aug. 16 -Sept. 20 from 7:30-8 a.m. at the County Office Building. Preregistration is required and can be done by calling Jane Graffin, Nutrition Services, at 419-354-8866. The deadline to register is Aug. 12. A minimum of eight participants is necessary to conduct the class and there is a limit of 20 spots. The cost is $48 for the six series class and county employees are eligible for reimbursement through the Nutrition for Life Program upon the completion of the series. For questions or more information call 419-354-8866 or visit www.woodcountyhospital.org


Optimal Aging panel gets personal about facing challenges

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Optimal Aging Community Fair was all about getting older while remaining healthy in body and mind. Monday’s fair was the first major public event for Bowling Green State University’s newly launched Optimal Aging Institute. For luncheon speakers the event, the Wood County Committee on Aging put together of panel of local residents who have faced the kind of challenges people encounter as they age. Denise Niese, executive director of the committee, said it was not hard to single out those selected. Nancy Wright, Tim Tegge and Dr. Richard Barker are all well known in the community and have bounced back from challenges that would set others back on their heels. A video of Nora Liu, a retired university women’s basketball coach, was also shown.  Though in assisted living herself, she continues to lead exercise classes. Wright, of Grand Rapids, helped her husband run a funeral home and is a very active community volunteer. Her moment of truth came on Feb. 11, 1993, when she wasn’t feeling well and had her husband bring her to the emergency room at Wood County Hospital. There the emergency room doctor missed the signs of a heart attack because no one expects a 50-year-old woman to have a heart attack. The error was caught. She received the proper treatment. Wright not only lived to tell about it, but to preach about her experience, especially to women who may mistakenly think they are not at risk of a heart attack. Wright said that she learned that after menopause women’s risk of heart attack is the same as men’s. She also has a family history of heart disease. It killed her father, and all four of her brothers have heart problems. Tegge, who was born in 1964, was, in his words, “the rookie” on the panel.  He’s been dealing since he was a child with a condition many experience late in life. He had a form of early onset macular degeneration, “which means I have a lot of blind spots.” Maybe one of the biggest,…


August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Submitted by Wood County Health District This month, breastfeeding advocates will combine efforts in the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding in the United States. August 1 – 7 has been designated as World Breastfeeding Week. The 2016 theme is about how breastfeeding is a major factor in getting us to think about how to value our well-being from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share. WIC Promotes, Protects and Supports Breastfeeding  One of the major goals for the WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants. As a result, WIC health professionals encourage WIC mothers to breastfeed their infants. Below are a few reasons why we believe that breastmilk is the optimal food for your baby. Breastmilk is good food for your baby. Breastmilk has a significantly positive impact on immune function, digestion, and brain development to mention just a few benefits. The World Health Organization calls mother’s early milk or colostrum “baby’s first immunization” because of the many immune factors it contains. These factors or antibodies provide protection from infection and illness. They are particularly important during baby’s first weeks outside of its mother’s protective womb when vulnerability to infection and diseases is high. Breastfeeding Protects: mom, baby and Earth  This year’s Breastfeeding Awareness Month theme in Ohio is Breastfeeding Protects:  mom, baby and Earth. We know breastfeeding protects baby’s health, but what about Mom? According to research, mothers who breastfeed are less likely to experience breast/ovarian cancers, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease to list a few. Also, nursing moms are less likely to experience postpartum depression due to powerful and “feel good” hormones released during lactation. Additionally, breastfeeding is the most natural and ecological way to feed a baby. Feeding a baby at the breast requires just two things – mom and baby’s bodies. It’s totally plastic free and no products are needed! This automatically reduces waste from production to feeding, not to mention the huge monetary savings that are realized. When you consider the pollution and waste materials generated…


BGSU learning community will be gathering health & fitness data on the go

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Freshmen in Bowling Green State University’s brand new Health, Wellness and You Learning Community will be starting out on the right foot — and hand. They will be wearing FitBit® wristband activity trackers as “researchers on their own lives,” according to founding director Dr. Mary-Jon Ludy, public and allied health. “This is a great opportunity for students to get engaged in research using a technology and topic they can understand.” While the students are learning about diet, fitness, work-life-school balance and related wellness topics in their cohort classes, they will also be gathering data that will be used in Ludy’s long-term Freshman Health Study and by senior nutrition majors for their research course projects. What is learned could guide programming to make the BGSU campus healthier for current and future students. Planned as an academic learning community this year, the goal is for Health, Wellness and You to become a residential community in the 2017-18 school year, Ludy said. Aimed primarily at freshmen in academic majors that do not include an introductory class, the learning community kicks off with freshman 1910 classes taught by faculty members in a variety of disciplines. Each class is capped at 20 students. Following their weekly 1910 class sessions, all participants will meet together for a wellness-related seminar. The learning community’s 1910 curriculum builds on courses that have been offered in the past, with some new ones this year, said Kim Brooks, associate director for undergraduate education. “One of the goals is to build a relationship between students and faculty members that will help them become acclimated and make a successful transition to university life,” she said. There is strong evidence that participation in an academic learning community contributes to student retention, Ludy said. Also, undergraduate engagement in research activities promotes future research involvement — all of which strengthen engagement and hands-on learning. Robyn Miller, human movement, sport and leisure studies, two years ago piloted a fitness-related course that proved popular. She and Karyn Smith, health educator with the Wellness Connection, are offering…


Hospital hosting Baby & Toddler Fair

From WOOD COUNTY HOSPITAL Area mothers and expectant mothers are invited to take part in a free Baby & Toddler Fair  Tuesday, Aug. 2, 6 to 8 p.m. in the hospital meeting rooms. The event is being hosted in conjunction with World Breastfeeding week to celebrate mothers and children and to bring attention and awareness to the benefits of breastfeeding. Mothers are encouraged to bring their babies or toddlers to the event. There will be diaper decorating contests, giveaways, safety education, baby wearing, car seat checks and more. There will be an assortment of booth set up with information about many baby related topics. The give always will include breastfeeding supplies, baby care items, Earth Momma Angel Baby supplies, a pack n play, breast pumps, a baby quilt and more. The hospital hosts monthly support group meetings for expectant or nursing mom’s and their infants. The meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month in the meeting rooms at the hospital. No registration necessary. Join Wood Cty Mother’s Circle on Facebook for more information and to be a part of the group. For more information on dates and times of the breastfeeding support group, visit http://www.WoodCountyHospital.org and select “classes and programs” or call 419-354-8900.