Health briefs: Medicare Part D open enrollment meetings scheduled in Routt County

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— Open enrollment for Medicare Part D is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Medicare beneficiaries are able to change plans during this time. Seniors should review their prescription drug plan and make sure it works with the prescriptions they are taking, said Betsy Packer, Routt County Council on Aging’s counselor and coordinator for the Colorado State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

The following open enrollment meetings will be held in Routt County:

Oct. 21: 1 to 2 p.m. at South Routt Community Center, 227 Dodge Ave., Oak Creek

Oct. 28: 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs

Nov. 6: 4 to 7 p.m. at Hayden Public Library, 220 E. Jefferson St., Hayden

Nov. 14: 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Bud Werner Memorial Library

Seniors are asked to bring their prescription bottles. For more information or to register, call 970-819-6937.

VNA offers free mammograms and pap tests

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.

Volunteer victim advocates needed for on-call services

Advocates Building Peaceful Communities is seeking volunteer victim advocates to provide on-call services for the 24-hour crisis line. Training will be provided in the fall according to participant schedules. Advocates is a nonprofit agency providing free and confidential services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in Routt County. Those who are interested are asked to call Laura or Diane at 970-879-2034 for more information. 

VNA offers $21.50 immunizations for uninsured, underinsured adults

The VNA is offering $21.50 immunizations for adults who are uninsured or underinsured. Vaccinations include 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 low income and uninsured may qualify to receive the vaccine for a $21.50 fee through the Merck Patient Vaccine Assistance Program. Apply for the program by scheduling an appointment by calling 970-879-1632.

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.

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 servings of 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 Community Coordinator Barb Parnell at 970-819-4110.

VNA offers birth control, STD screenings

The VNA’s Community Health Center is offering low-cost birth control, STD screenings (for men and women), pap smears, breast exams and general women’s health care based on income. All income levels are welcome. Make an appointment in Steamboat by calling 970-879-1632 or in Craig by calling 970-824-8233.

Suicide Prevention Advocates program in need of volunteers

Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide is in need of volunteers to become part of its Suicide Prevention Advocates program at Yampa Valley Medical Center. The program is designed to help those who have attempted suicide or are having thoughts of suicide and have been hospitalized. Those who are interested are asked to call Ronna Autrey at 970-846-8182.

Resources available to help smokers quit

The VNA would like to remind smokers that secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke (tobacco residue in carpet, clothes, cars, etc.) can cause serious health problems — including cancer, heart disease and asthma — in children, nonsmoking adults and pets. 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.

Free flu shots available for Routt County veterans

Free flu shots for Routt County veterans are from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave. To qualify, veterans should bring proof of military service or an American Legion or VFW membership card. Those serving in the Reserves or National Guard also are eligible if their units were deployed to a war zone during military conflict.

Veterans also can learn more about and sign up for Veterans Affairs health care during the flu clinic. The VA health care program meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, so veterans who are enrolled meet health care law coverage standards.

No appointment is necessary. For more information, call Routt County veterans service officer Mike Condie at 970-879-5489.

Cancer support group meets monthly

A cancer support group for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors meets the first Sunday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the community room at Natural Grocers, 335 Lincoln Ave. Group members will discuss fears related to cancer as well as talk with other patients and longterm survivors about how to deal with the experience. For more information about the free group, call Ken Farmer at 970-846-4717.

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

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