Health briefs: Affordable Care Act open enrollment sessions to be held this week

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There will be a free Affordable Care Act open community enrollment session about the Connect for Health Colorado website from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Yampa Valley Medical Center. A second session also will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Both events will be held in Conference Room 1 at 1024 Central Park Drive.

Certified health coverage guides will help navigate the website and answer questions. Participants should bring their Social Security numbers for all household members, current insurance policy information and household income estimate for 2014 and a laptop if possible. Computers are limited and must be reserved by calling 970-871-7647.

Northwest Colorado VNA offers flu vaccinations

National Influenza Immunization Week, which was Dec. 8 to 14, reminds us that it’s not too late to receive the influenza vaccine. Influenza rates are beginning to increase in Colorado with one death reported recently. Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association continues to hold weekly drop-in clinics through December. For a complete list of clinics, call the VNA Flu Hotline at 970-871-7624 or visit www.nwcovna.org/flu.php.

100 years of hospital heritage to be celebrated with book

Yampa Valley Medical Center will celebrate 100 years of hospital heritage with the publication of a history book in 2014, according to a news release. Christine McKelvie is researching and writing the book that will highlight 10 decades of medical care at the Steamboat Sanitarium, the Steamboat Hospital, Routt County Memorial Hospital and YVMC.

"Our hospitals have long been the heartbeat of the valley, and we owe much to the dedicated people who have provided a century of care to this community and region," McKelvie said in the release. "This book will tell their stories."

If you have an historic hospital photo or memory you would like to share, send an email to christine.mckelvie@yvmc.org or call 970-870-1119.

Free support group for cancer patients, care providers is Dec. 20

Cancer patients and their care providers are invited to join a free, open forum support group called Whole Person Wellness, to experience the benefits of sharing the journey. The monthly support group will meet at noon Dec. 20 at Integrated Health in the Yampa Valley Medical Park at 3001 Lincoln Ave., Suite A. It is for cancer patients in any stage of diagnosis or treatment. Each participant may bring a support person such as a family member or friend.

For more information, call Sara Ross at Integrated Health at 970-875-2731. Visit our cancer website for more about YVMC Cancer Care.

Support groups to meet this week

• A bereavement support group meets from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday at Rollingstone Respite House. The group is open to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. Call 970-871-7628 prior to attending your first meeting.

• A domestic violence support group for women is from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at Advocates Building Peaceful Communities. Call Diane at 970-879-2034 before attending.

• A Heartbeat Suicide Survivor support group meeting is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Yampa Valley Medical Center’s Integrated Health campus, 3001 S. Lincoln Ave. The group is for survivors to learn skills to help manage grief. Enroll by calling 970-846-8182.

• A depression, anxiety and bipolar support group meets from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Conference Room 2 at Yampa Valley Medical Center, 1024 Central Park Drive. The group provides support, education and tools to help with everyday life. Family and friends are welcome. Call 970-819-6751 for more information.

• A cancer support group to help cancer patients deal with pain, nausea, fatigue and side effects is from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at the Integrative Health Center, 3001 S. Lincoln Ave., Suite A. For more information, call 970-846-4717.

Health insurance marketplace meeting scheduled for Friday

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is hosting a free information session from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at Bud Werner Memorial Library to answer questions about the new health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. A health coverage guide will attend the meetings for individuals, families and small-business owners interested in learning about their options for health insurance under new the legislation. For more information, call 970-871-7638 or email assistroutt@nwcovna.org.

Whooping cough cases surge in Colorado in October

Responding to a recent surge in cases of whooping cough, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is reminding Coloradans to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations. The Tdap vaccine is recommended for:

• Children ages 7 to 10 who are not fully immunized with the childhood DTaP vaccine series

• Adolescents ages 11 and 12

• Adults who never have received a Tdap vaccine

• Women at 27 to 36 weeks of pregnancy

• Parents and caregivers of infants younger than 12 months, including grandparents, babysitters and child care workers

• Health care workers

• Others who plan to have close contact with an infant

The Tdap vaccine can be received at all VNA flu clinics or from a private medical provider. For a list of flu clinics, call 970-871-7624 or go to www.nwcovna.org/flu.php.

Veterans in VA health care programs don't need to take coverage steps

Veterans who are enrolled in Department of Veterans Affairs health care programs — including the veterans health care program, the Civilian Health and Medical program or the spina bifida health care program — do not need to take additional steps to meet the Affordable Care Act coverage standards, according to a news release from the VA.

The new health care law will not change VA health benefits or out-of-pocket costs for those who are enrolled, according to the release. Veterans who are not enrolled in VA health care can apply at www.va.gov/healthbenefits or by calling 1-877-222-8387.

For more information, call Routt County Veterans Affairs Officer Michael Condie at 970-879-5489.

Do you have something you'd like to add to the health briefs? Email happenings@SteamboatToday.com with the pertinent information and put health briefs in the subject line.

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