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To your health

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 3, 2001

This week

CRYSTAL EYE CENTER: Free vision, cataract and glaucoma screening on Thursday by appointment only at 1124 N Suncoast Blvd. (U.S. 19), Crystal River. There will be a free consultation with Dr. Thomas Dawson regarding test results. For an appointment, call 795-0212.

HERBAL QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION: Free session with Barbara Parker, certified in Chinese and Western herbology and member of the Herb Research Foundation at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Book Nook, 545 N Citrus Ave., Crystal River.

Looking ahead

CHICKEN POX: At the beginning of the upcoming school year (2001-2002), any child entering, attending or transferring to any preschool or kindergarten in Florida, who has never had chicken pox, must be vaccinated against chicken pox, which is called the Varicella vaccine. Your child may receive the shot from your private physician, or free-of-charge from the Citrus County Health Department. If you have any questions or want to make an appointment at the health department, call: Inverness, 726-1731; Lecanto, 527-0068; Crystal River, 795-6233.

ARTHRITIS/FIBROMYALGIA SUPPORT GROUP: The West Citrus Arthritis/Fibromyalgia Support Group meets at 1 p.m., monthly, the first Friday, at Seven Rivers Hospital in the Community Room (2A). For information call, Clark R. Johnson, 795-5128.

GRIEF SUPPORT: GriefShare is a special seminar and support group for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them. The group meets weekly at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the Hernando Church of the Nazarene, 2101 N Florida Ave. It is a place to be around people who understand what you are feeling. At GriefShare you'll learn valuable information about recovering from your grief and renewing your hope for the future.

Substance abuse

HELP LINK: Drug and alcohol abuse rips families apart like a tornado touched down inside the walls of their home-except there is no quiet time in which to survey the damage. There is only continuing damage between short periods of remorse and fervent promises. Help Link is a free hotline offering crisis counseling, information and referral for callers seeking mental health and substance abuse services. Help Link, funded by Florida Department of Children & Families, serves Marion, Lake, Hernando, Citrus and Sumter counties. It is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the We Care Crisis Center, Central Florida's crisis experts. Help Link's toll-free number is 1-888-443-9683.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: There are several AA meetings in Citrus County. For information or locations near your home, call the Nature Coast AA Intergroup Hotline at 621-0599.

AL-ANON AND ALATEEN: The following groups meet regularly in Citrus County. For information, call (800) 816-8788.

Men's Al-Anon (M.A.N.) AFG: 7 p.m. Mondays, St. Benedict Catholic Church, 455 S Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River.

Crystal River AFG: 8 p.m. Tuesdays, St. Benedict Catholic Church, 455 S Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River.

Last Resort AFG: 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, First United Methodist Church, 3896 S Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness.

Lecanto AFG: 8 p.m. Thursdays, 1390 S Lecanto Highway, Lecanto.

Getting Better Alateen: 8 p.m. Thursdays, 10201 S Lecanto Highway, Lecanto.

Awareness Lunch Bunch AFG: 12:30 p.m., Fridays, St. Margaret Episcopal Church, 114 N Osceola Ave., Inverness.


CITRUS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: CMH offers the following free support groups and informational seminars to patients, families, caregivers and anyone who is interested. Meetings are in the CMH auditorium on Grace Street, Inverness, unless otherwise noted. Parking is available in the Q lot across from the auditorium. Registration is requested for educational presentations. Call 344-6900 or the number listed.

Caring for Your Aging Feet: 12:15 p.m. Friday, local podiatrist Kenneth Pritchyk, DPM, will speak on how our feet change with age and disease and what we protect our feet and keep them healthy.

Improving the Chemotherapy Experience: from 4 to 6 p.m. June 19 in the Gulf Room of the CMH Administration Building, sponsored by the Citrus Cancer Support Group in lieu of their monthly meeting, and co-sponsored by Citrus Hematology and Oncology. Light refreshments. Speakers will address how to prepare for chemotherapy, developing an effective chemotherapy plan, managing side effects, understanding and coping with the inpact of therapy, resources for patients and caregivers with a question and answer session.

Living With Arthritis: at 1 p.m. June 22 John Carter, MD, rheumatologist from Tampa General Hospital will discuss diseases on the arthritis family and address the latest research and available treatments.

Is That Lump A Hernia?: noon June 25, Marc Fernandez, MD, surgeon, will discuss various kinds of hernias, their causes and treatment. An abdominal hernia occurs in an area where the muscles are weak, allowing the internal organs to bulge through the abdominal wall.

Prostate Cancer: 2 p.m. June 28, Michael Desautel, MD, urologist, will discuss prostate cancer, how it is diagnosed and treatment options.

Breast Cancer Support Group: 10 a.m. monthly, the second Tuesday, at the Robert Boissoneault Cancer Center, Allen Ridge Medical Mall, 522 N Lecanto Highway, Lecanto. Call 527-0106.

Breast-feeding classes: A two-hour program will be from 7 to 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month in the Cypress Room of the hospital's administration building, 509 W Grace St. Classes will be taught by Cindy Floyd, labor and delivery nurse at CMH. Call 344-6576.

Childbirth classes: A four-week course meets from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday. These are ongoing courses. Registration is required, call 344-6576.

Cholesterol education: CMH will offer free cholesterol education classes for people who are interested in learning how to manage or lower their cholesterol. Classes will be from 1 to 3 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Cypress Room of the CMH administration building.

Citrus Cancer Support Group: will meet in the Gulf Room of the CMH Administration Building for a seminar on "Improving the Chemotherapy Experience." See CMH under education listing for time and information.

Diabetes education: CMH offers diabetes education classes for people who have recently learned that they have diabetes and those who might need a refresher course. Classes are conducted throughout the year. Call registered nurse Carol McHugh, a certified diabetes educator, at 344-6404.

Fibromyalgia Support Group: 1 p.m., monthly, second Saturday and fourth Friday, in the Cypress Room. Contact June Rogers, 746-6122.

Make A Wish Foundation: 7 p.m., monthly, second Thursday, in the Gulf Room. Contact Dr. Frank Vascimini, 621-5437.

Multiple Myeloma Support Group: 1 p.m., monthly, third Thursday, in the Cypress Room. Contact Dorothy Russell, 344-9369.

Ostomy Support Group: 2 p.m., monthly, third Sunday, in the Cypress Room. Contact Bob, 746-6693 or Sandra, 726-9341.

Prostate Cancer Support Group: 11:30 a.m., monthly, first Wednesday, at the Robert Boissoneault Cancer Center, Allen Ridge Medical Mall, 522 N Lecanto Highway. Call 527-0106.

Cardiac and respiratory support groups will not meet until further notice.

Blood pressure

CITRUS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: From 10 to 11 a.m. the first Friday of every month in the CMH Auditorium in Grace Street in Inverness. No appointments needed; tests are given on a first-come basis.

AMERICAN RED CROSS: From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at Winn-Dixie in Highlands Square Plaza, Inverness.

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF INVERNESS: From 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Sundays, 260 Washington Ave. (at State Road 44).

Mental health

NAMI MEETING: The Citrus County Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill will meet at 7 p.m. June 12, this month only, in the Fellowship Hall of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 439 E Norvell Bryant Highway, Hernando. The group is primarily for those who have a neurological brain disorder. For information, call Joan Murphy at 637-3603; Les McEvoy at 527-2602 (evenings) or Leith Masters at 527-1701 (evenings).

THE ENCOURAGERS COUNSELING CENTER: Free professional level group counseling is provided by Calvary Baptist Church, 257 NE Ninth St., Crystal River: at 7 p.m., Mondays, free group counseling for depression and anxiety problems; at 8 p.m., Mondays, support groups for mood disorders and sexual abuse; at 1 p.m., Wednesdays, bi-polar support group meets; groups for divorce recovery, anger management, drug dependency and co-dependency are on a demand basis. Call 795-5306.

OVERCOMERS MEETING: The Overcomers will meet weekly at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Riverside Christian Fellowship on State Road 200, 5 miles north of Hernando. The meetings will be led by masters-level Christian counselors. Overcomers meetings are for people who are ready to use the power of God to deal with life controlling issues such as marriage problems, addictions, past hurts, eating disorders, rage, depression and so forth. For information, call Ed Messer, facilitator, 726-7533, or Charles Brennan, pastor, Riverside Christian Fellowship, 726-4193.

DEPRESSION/MANIC DEPRESSION: The National Depressive and Manic Depressives Inverness Support and Education Group will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church, 1900 State Road 44 W, Inverness. The public is invited to attend. The group's medical adviser, Dr. Parmanand Gurnani, will answer questions on mood disorders and related issues at the June 28 meeting. The summer schedule consists of weekly meetings of support and self-help by and for those attending. There is a variety of literature, videos and books available on the subject of mood disorders. For information, call 341-5688.


VOLUNTEER TRAINING: Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas such as running errands for patients, taking patients on an outing or simply being a friendly listener. Other opportunities include assisting in bereavement support for those in grief after losing a loved one or working at the Hospice Thrift and Gift Shoppe in Inverness. Volunteers to help with fundraising throughout the year are also needed. For information, call Cookie Vargas at 527-2020.

HOSPICE FELLOWSHIP DINNERS: Hospice of Citrus County offers a weekly fellowship dinner for bereaved individuals at 5 p.m. Thursdays at Crystal Paradise Restaurant, Crystal River. This meeting is in addition to the weekly early bird dinner at 4 p.m. Fridays at Cinnamon Sticks restaurant in Inverness. Hospice has bereavement meetings for hospice or non-hospice families for social fellowship as well as support group meetings for the newly bereaved. For information on bereavement activities for children or adults, call Hospice of Citrus County at 527-2020.

CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP: Hospice of Citrus County has weekly support group meetings at 10 a.m. Thursdays for caregivers of the terminally or chronically ill. The group meets at the hospice office on W Audubon Park Path in Lecanto. For information, call Wendy Hapner, director of social services, at 527-2020.


HEALTHY START: Healthy Start is a comprehensive program of maternal and child health services intended to improve pregnancy outcomes and to ensure children attain an optimal level of health. The program offers information about proper nutrition during pregnancy, childbirth and breast-feeding education, child development and smoking cessation information. To see if you qualify for free Healthy Start services for you and your baby, call (800) 451-2229, or ask your doctor for the Healthy Start questionnaire.

CITRUS-MARION MENTAL HEALTH: Citrus-Marion Mental Health offers a free, 10-session parenting class incorporating anger management, stress reduction, substance abuse, parents as role models, discipline vs. punishment, reasons for opposing corporal punishment, behaviors of an abuser, guidelines for fair fighting, communication and conflict resolution, and teaching responsibility to children. Classes are at 6 p.m. Tuesdays or 10 a.m. Wednesdays. To register, call Mike Calloway at 628-5020.

Alzheimer's disease

ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT: The Alzheimer's Family Organization offers the following support groups. For information on the groups or respite care, call 795-9500, toll-free (888) 496-8004 or the number indicated. The group's Web address is and the e-mail address is

Inverness: Every fourth Monday, 2 p.m., Avante at Inverness, 304 S Citrus Ave. Call 726-3141.

Inverness: Every second Tuesday, 4 p.m., Highland Terrace, 700 Medical Court. Call 860-2525.

Homosassa: Every first Monday, 2 p.m., Sugarmill Manor, 8985 S Suncoast Blvd. Call 382-2531.

Lecanto: Every second Monday, 7 p.m. and every fourth Thursday, 2 p.m., Nature Coast Lodge, 279 N Lecanto Highway. Call 527-9720.

Lecanto: Every third Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., at Lifecare, 3325 W Jerwayne Lane. Call 746-9660.

Lecanto: Every second Tuesday, 2 p.m., Brentwood Retirement Community, 2333 N Brentwood Circle, Lecanto. Call 527-9720.

Dunnellon: Every fourth Wednesday, 2:30 p.m., at First United Methodist Church, 11818 Ohio St. Call 746-9660.

RESPITE CARE: There are openings available to enroll people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease or other dementia-related illnesses in the Care Connection, a four-hour program run by trained volunteers at Our Lady of Grace Parish Center in Beverly Hills. The respite group meets from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and the fee is $8. To enroll, call Catholic Charities at (800) 242-9012. Religious affiliation is not required.

HEPATITIS C SUPPORT GROUP: Will meet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 25, the fourth Monday monthly, except holidays, at the Health Department in Lecanto, 3700 W Sovereign Path. Facilitators: Barbara Clifton and Dee Williams. Call 527-0068, ext. 240.

DIABETES MANAGEMENT: The Citrus County Health Department offers ongoing classes in managing your diabetes. "What is Diabetes?" will be discussed from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Lecanto office. Fasting blood sugar testing is offered daily at all three offices, from 8 to 9 a.m. There is a $10 fee, and no appointment is necessary. For information, call Kay Krieger at 527-0068 or Carol Burke at 726-5222.


OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS: Support group for people with eating problems meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10:30 a.m. Saturdays at First Baptist Church of Inverness. For information, call Judith at 344-4419 or Betty at 860-2759.

OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS: The Overeaters Anonymous Circle of Love group will meet at 1 p.m. Thursdays at Our Lady of Grace parish center, 6 Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills. Based on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. No fees, diets or weigh-ins. For information, call Francisca at 746-7749.

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