Health notes

Published May 7, 2007

Rides needed for patients, family

The American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery Program, which provides rides for cancer patients to get chemotherapy and radiation treatment, needs volunteers. Schedules are flexible and training, maps and directions are provided to those who want to volunteer their time. Requirements include having a safe driving record, a valid driver's license and a vehicle that is in good working condition. Call (727) 812-7028 or Elena Fernandez toll-free at 1-800-940-1969, ext. 114.

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Volunteers are needed to support the HealthRide program at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey. The HealthRide van program, sponsored by Morton Plant Caring Partners, provides patients and family members with free van transportation services to and from the hospital and Trinity Outpatient Center. Dispatchers are needed to take phone calls and coordinate requests for transportation. Additional drivers and driver's aides are also needed from 7:45 to 11:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Fridays. The hospital is at 6600 Madison St. in New Port Richey. Call (727) 841-4623.

Cancer screening

Free cancer screenings will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the CARES Claude Pepper Senior Center and Senior Health Clinic, 6640 Van Buren St., New Port Richey. No appointment needed. Call (727) 844-3077.

High school athletic physicals Saturday

The Florida Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine Center will host its annual high school physical day Saturday at the office at 5243 Hanff Lane in New Port Richey. Volunteers, including physicians, physician's assistants, nurses, physical therapists, athletic trainers, medical assistants and office staff, will perform athletic physicals. High school and middle school students are invited to attend for $10 with funds benefiting the Florida Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine Center Annual Scholarship Fund. Students should come at the following times: 8 a.m. Gulf High School; 9 a.m. River Ridge High School; 10 a.m. Ridgewood High; 10:30 a.m. Land O'Lakes High; 11 a.m. Mitchell High; and 11:30 a.m. Hudson High. Middle school athletes should come during the time scheduled for the high school they will attend later. Call (727) 848-4249.

Support groups

The Florida Cancer Institute will hold a Man to Man Prostate Center Support Group from 5 to 9 p.m. May 17 at the New Port Richey Center, 8763 River Crossing Blvd., New Port Richey. Co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the sessions have speakers discussing the importance of early detection, signs and symptoms, prognosis, disease stages and various treatment options. Call (727) 842-8411.

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The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill offers a support group meeting for individuals who are suffering from a mental illness from 7 to 9 p.m. May 16. Topics include exchanging coping skills and strategies for leading a meaningful life. Call (727) 842-3372. The alliance offers a support group for family and friends of those with mental illness that includes depression, bi-polar, autism, multiple personalities and other brain disorders that meets four times a month from 3:30 to 5 p.m. today and May 21 at Regency Park Civic Association building, 10249 Regency Park Blvd., Port Richey. An evening group meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. May 14 and 28 at Community Hospital, 5637 Marine Parkway in New Port Richey. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 19, the alliance will have its first Buckets of Fun fundraiser with small business owners from the community showcasing products and raffle drawings. The fundraiser will be at the Regency Park Civic Association Building, 10240 Regency Park Blvd. in Port Richey. Call (727) 992-9653.

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The West Pasco Fibromyalgia Support Group will host National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on Saturday at the Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point Conference Center, 14000 Fivay Road, Bayonet Point, Hudson. The event is to help patients and organizations educate the public, healthcare professionals and government officials about the illness. A support group meets from 2 to 4 p.m. the first Friday of each month in the Bayonet Point conference center. Call (727) 863-4738 or (727) 856-4422.

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The Alzheimer's Family Organization offers several support groups this week. - 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Summerville Senior Living, 5539 Charles St. in New Port Richey. Call Debbie Jones or Toni Hoseclaw at (727) 848-4459. - On Wednesday two groups meet: 10:30 a.m. at Royal Oak Nursing Center, 37300 Royal Oak Lane, Dade City. Free respite care provided. Call Karen Schulte, Bobbi Jo Rivera or Jeanette Monge at (352) 567-3122. Another group meets at 2 p.m. at the Claude Pepper Senior Center, 6640 Van Buren St., New Port Richey. Call Barbara Olenski at (727) 844-3077.

The Alzheimer's Family Organization provides free help with legal problems through half-hour consultation appointments for Pasco County residents 60 or older. Appointments with attorneys begin at 1 p.m. Thursday and May 24 at the CARES Claude Pepper Senior Center, 6640 Van Buren St., New Port Richey. Call (727) 844-3077. Appointments can also be scheduled beginning at 1 p.m. May 15 at the CARES Phil Mishkin Center, 7505 Rottingham Road in Port Richey. Call (727) 862-9291.

Blood drive

A blood drive is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, outside Shoreline Cafeteria, 14000 Fivay Road in Hudson. Call (727) 861-5141.

'Look Good ... Feel Better' program

The Florida Cancer Institute is hosting the "Look Good ... Feel Better" program once a month in the conference room at 8763 River Crossing Blvd. in New Port Richey. The next program, to teach beauty techniques to women cancer patients to help them combat the appearance-related side-effects of treatment, will be from 2 to 4 p.m. today. All women patients in active treatment are invited to this free program. Reservations are required by calling (727) 842-8411.