Health briefs: Northwest Colorado VNA offers free mammograms, pap tests

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The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is offering free mammograms and pap tests for women 40 to 64 who are uninsured or underinsured, have not had a pap test or mammogram in the past 12 months and meet income requirements. Call the VNA at 970-879-1632 or 970-824-8233 to determine eligibility.

VNA’s vital records services announce holiday closures

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s vital records services, where individuals can obtain birth and death certificates, will be closed Jan. 1 in Steamboat Springs and Jan. 1, 2 and 3 in Craig. If a birth certificate is required immediately, customers will need to go the office within the county that is open. For more information in Steamboat Springs, call 970-879-1632, and in Craig, call 970-824-8233.

Quitting tobacco help offered through VNA

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association would like to remind readers that secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke (tobacco residue in carpet, clothes, cars, etc.) can cause serious health problems in children, nonsmoking adults and pets, including cancer, heart disease and asthma. There are multiple support options to help smokers protect themselves and their loved ones from potentially fatal illnesses:

-The Colorado QuitLine offers free personalized cessation phone support for smokers. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

-The SmokefreeTXT program provides free personalized text message support. Text the word “quit” to 47848.

-The VNA offers counseling with a tobacco cessation specialist in Steamboat Springs or Craig. There is no cost for the service. To speak with a counselor, call 970-871-7634.

LiveWell program to help families with healthy eating

LiveWell Northwest Colorado is helping families be healthy by working to improve eating habits and to be more physically active through the “Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0” program. The program sets the goal each day of eating five or more fruits and vegetables, watching two or fewer hours of TV, getting an hour or more of physical activity and drinking zero sugary drinks. For more information about the program, visit www.nwcovna.org/livewell.php or call LiveWell Northwest Colorado Community Coordinator Barb Parnell at 970-819-4110.

YVMC celebrates 100 years with publication of history 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.

VNA offers low-cost immunizations for adults

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is offering $21.50 immunizations for adults who are uninsured/underinsured including measles, mumps, rubella, HPV, chicken pox, pneumonia, meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and hepatitis A and B.

The VNA also is offering a vaccine for shingles. Adults ages 60 and older who are uninsured/underinsured are qualified to receive the vaccine for a $21.50 fee. Medicare enrollees with Part D are not eligible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other leading medical groups recommend being vaccinated against meningitis for youths ages 11 to 18 as well as those ages 19 to 21 who attend college. College students younger than 22 who received a vaccine before age 16 should receive a booster.

To schedule an appointment, call 970-879-1632.

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 health care program will not change

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.

To submit a health brief, email happenings@SteamboatToday.com.

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