Tricounty News

Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 6-12

National Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 6-12. This week is marked by community education efforts in all 50 states to raise awareness that mental illnesses are treatable medical conditions, and that there is help and hope for children and adults with mental illnesses and their families. To learn more about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety disorders, or to find support groups, family educational classes and other resources, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota at (651) 645-2948 or (888) NAMI-Helps.


MDA offers free flu shots

To those affected by muscle disease

MDA’s online Flu Season Resource Center can help.

Tucson, Ariz., Sept. 12, 2013 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association is offering assistance with the cost of flu vaccines for individuals affected by neuromuscular
disease, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

MDA offers this service annually for adults and children living with muscle disease who, because of compromised respiratory function – including difficulty coughing or clearing fluid from the lungs – are at increased risk of serious and possibly life-threatening complications from the flu.

Families and those individuals served by the Association can visit MDA’s Flu Season Resource Center to receive up-to-date information and tips for flu prevention, what to do should infection occur and how to obtain a vaccine through MDA.

Flu seasons are unpredictable and can begin as early as October, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people get their flu vaccine as soon as it is available in their area. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to be protected from the flu.

“All strains of the flu can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening illness for those living with a neuromuscular disease,” said MDA Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific and Medical
Officer Valerie Cwik, M.D. “We encourage everyone affected to visit an MDA clinic or consult with their physician about receiving the vaccine as a precaution from contracting and spreading the flu this season.”

The influenza vaccine for 2013-2014 will help protect against three viruses – influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) viruses, as well as the common influenza B virus. Individuals affected by muscle disease can receive reimbursement, up to $35, for the cost of vaccines received from licensed health care professionals, including those located at retail pharmacies. MDA clinics may also offer flu shots in certain areas.

For more information about obtaining a flu vaccine, individuals
may call their local MDA office at (800) 572-1717.

About MDA

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. Visit, and follow us at and @MDAnews.


Meditation, yoga classes

Offered at CentraCare Health Plaza

Learn ways to manage the demands and stress you face in life and how to live life with increased contentment by participating in an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings, Oct. 1 to Nov. 19 in the Meditation Chapel at CentraCare Health Plaza. Use the Woodlands entrance. There will be an all-day retreat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.

This clinically proven program is designed for and can be especially helpful to those who experience: anxiety and depression, attention deficits, chronic pain and illness, cardiac disease, the demands of care-giving, grief, life transitions, spiritual emptiness and all who find it difficult to establish balance in their everyday lifestyles.


Public invited to tour Buffalo Hospital’s new cancer center

All and some new services in one healing environment

Virginia Piper Cancer Institute® – Buffalo Hospital invites the public to see its new space, meet the staff and become familiar with the latest in cancer care at an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Timothy Sielaff, MD, president of Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, will speak at 5:30 p.m.

The new Virginia Piper Cancer Institute® – Buffalo Hospital combines clinic and infusion services into a newly renovated space with all of the elements of a nationally accredited cancer program. The new center is 3,350 square feet, and the $240,000 cost was made possible by community gifts.

The infusion rooms, where patients receive chemotherapy, have heated, comfortable chairs. Each room has a recliner for a family member or friend, flat-screen TV and DVD player. And, iPads will be available during treatment visits.


Crossing is safer: One person can make a difference

Things have gotten safer in Watkins when it comes to crossing main street (Central Avenue).W-IMG 0804

After almost 2-1/2 years of talking to people and attending several city council meetings, Mary Loch, a childcare provider on Main Street in Watkins, was successful in getting some very much needed crosswalks put in, in the form of signs and painted walkways in the road.

Taking her brood of kids and stroller with her chihuahuas to the park or post office was always dangerous because you have to step out into the road to see around parked vehicles before you can actually attempt to cross the road.