Tricounty News

Great American Smokeout Nov. 21

Thursday, Nov. 21, is the 38th annual Great American Smokeout and the perfect time to remind Minnesotans of the benefits of quitting the tobacco habit. Despite the increase in the price of tobacco earlier this year, nearly 16 percent of Minnesotans still smoke. Many of them are considering how they can kick their smoking habit for good. To help them, QUITPLAN Services suggests making a plan and see the benefits.

Make a plan to quit

Step 1 – Choose a plan. Choose a scientifically proven way to quit and make a plan to quit. Free help to develop a customized plan is available at, or (888) 354-PLAN (7526).

Step 2 – Breathe it in. Within 48 hours of quitting, your sense of taste and smell improves.

Step 3 – Connect. Find others going through the same thing to stay motivated and keep quit. One place to try is the QUITPLAN® Services Facebook page.

Step 4 – Count your money. After quitting for a year, a pack-a-day smoker will have saved more than $2,700 and added 56 days to his or her life.

Step 5 – Live. Stay quit, live longer, live healthier.

St. Cloud VA to host The Great American Smokeout and Healthy Living Fair

The St. Cloud VA wants all veterans to stay healthy and invites everyone who uses tobacco to quit. In support of this effort, the St. Cloud VA is hosting a Healthy Living Fair in conjunction with the annual Great American Smokeout from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in the Auditorium (Bldg. 8), on the St. Cloud VA campus. The event is also being held at the Alexandria, Brainerd, and Montevideo Community Based Outpatient Clinics.

The Fair will feature testimonials from ex-smokers and provide the opportunity and resources to quit smoking – for a day, or for life. Information for everyone will be available to help manage stress and maintain a healthy brain and body.

Participants will have the opportunity to enter the Cold Turkey Contest and Healthy Living Contest with a chance to win a grocery gift card – just in time to buy a Thanksgiving turkey.


Surgery Open House Nov. 14

Give your family a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the NEW operating rooms from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at St. Cloud Hospital.

Explore surgical careers, and learn about the latest surgery procedures and technology, including the da Vinci robot. The evening includes hands-on children’s activities and refreshments.

Tours begin in the new Surgery entrance. Park in the South Ramp. Take the South Ramp Elevator to Floor A.

The event is FREE. No RSVP needed. Call (320) 251-2700, ext. 54468 with questions.


Changes made in childhood immunizations

New immunization requirements for child care, early childhood programs and schools begin Sept. 1, 2014.

Tdap is added to secondary school schedule; Hepatitis A and B are expanded to child care.

Changes to immunization requirements for children in Minnesota child care, early childhood programs and schools will better protect children and communities from a number of potentially serious diseases, say state health officials. The new rules adopted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Monday, Oct. 28, will apply to children enrolling in programs beginning Sept. 1, 2014, and bring Minnesota’s immunizations law in line with current national recommendations and practices.

Among the biggest changes, the new rules for children in child care and grades pre-K-12 now call for:

Hepatitis A and B vaccination for children enrolling in child care or early childhood programs.

Replacement of the current seventh-grade tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccination with one that also includes pertussis (Tdap).


Family and friends support group for eating disorders Nov. 7

The St. Cloud Hospital Behavioral Health Clinic will offer a Family and Friends Support Group for Eating Disorders from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday,
Nov. 7, at CentraCare Health Plaza (Woodland’s entrance) in the Leonard, Street & Deinard room. This month’s topic will cover “Supporting your loved one through the holidays.”

Groups are led by a licensed psychologist or registered dietitian and provide support – through education and sharing – to friends and family of individuals with eating disorders. Participants will learn tips for making mealtimes less stressful, how to respond to food and body image struggles and what to say or not to say.

This group is intended for family members and friends of a person with an eating disorder and is NOT appropriate for people who currently struggle with an eating disorder. No charge, but call: Bette Bakke, PhD, LP, at (320) 229-4918.