Health & Wellness

Centered Wellness healing arts to offer free open house April 28

Are you curious about alternatives to traditional medicine in your quest to become or remain healthy? Many people have read articles or seen episodes of "Dr. Oz" presenting alternative possibilities. If your curiosity has been piqued, Centered Wellness, an affiliation of transformative practitioners in the healing arts, offers an opportunity for a hands-on, personal discovery into wellness.  

On April 28, come and explore them for free at a Sunday afternoon showcase of healing for the mind, body and soul offered by Centered Wellness, on the campus of Unity Spiritual Center. Centered Wellness will provide a way to open your mind to new possibilities with an open house from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Centered Wellness is a separate entity from Unity with its own website at www.centeredwellness.org.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:47 AM, 04.16.2013

Get ready to race at Lakewood Hospital Ambulance Chase

Join friends, family, neighbors and the West Side community at the 12th annual Lakewood Hospital Ambulance Chase on Sunday, May 5, at Lakewood Park. Proceeds from the race will benefit Lakewood Hospital’s Rehabilitation Services and patient care programs.

Presented by longtime supporter Donald Martens & Sons, the Ambulance Chase is for everyone – from the youngest among us to the serious runner to the leisurely walker – and includes a 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile Walk, and Children’s Chase. The registration fee for the 5K Walk/Run and 1 Mile Walk is $20 through April 22 and $25 from April 23 through race day. Teams of 10 or more receive a 10 percent discount ($18/participant) if team member names and fees are submitted together by April 22. Only pre-registered walk and run participants receive a race shirt.

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Volume 5, Issue 8, Posted 10:42 AM, 04.16.2013

Cloth diapers a healthy, environmentally-friendly option

I gazed bleary-eyed at my husband and told him, with just a little edge in my voice, that we had to at least try cloth diapering. I was standing at the changing table after a sleepless night, holding my new daughter's feet. All of us were disturbed by what was going on: red, painful excoriation on her little bottom.

At first, the doctor called it a rash. Later, a "chemical burn," caused  by the diapers we used. She urged us to use cloth diapers. We reluctantly gulped and prepared.

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Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 10:33 AM, 03.19.2013

March is MS awareness month in Ohio

Maybe you’re sitting watching TV or having dinner or waking up in the morning when you feel some tingling in your arms or legs – as if they were asleep. Maybe it’s sharp pain you feel – anywhere you have nerves – or it could be the opposite and there’s no feeling at all, just a numbness that won’t go away. Or maybe your vision is blurred or your speech is slurred or you have never-ending fatigue.

For most people these symptoms will just go away or be resolved with medication or other treatments. However, for over 400,000 men, women and children in our country (2.5 million in the world), what they are experiencing are the first signs of multiple sclerosis – a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). In simplistic terms, it damages the myelin sheath covering nerves causing, in effect, a short circuiting of the nerve and the service that nerve provides the body.

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.05.2013

North Coast Health Ministry recognized as a patient-centered medical home

North Coast Health Ministry has achieved recognition as a National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011, level 3, becoming the first free clinic in Ohio to attain this distinction.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement. 

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.19.2013

Be a 'funny valentine' to promote health

This year the Compeer Program at Far West Center is celebrating Valentine’s Day by holding a Friendship Lunch and Games Day. Our members and volunteers are welcome to attend and have lunch together and participate in a choice of games. No one is expected to bring Valentine’s cards, flowers or candy.

Our Valentine’s Day gift exchange will be special and one which will benefit both mental and physical health. All that is asked is to bring along a sense of humor! We will be sharing conversation that will result in laughter. Laughter is our very special gift to each other and one which we suggest for everyone.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:24 AM, 02.05.2013

Fundraiser for breast cancer vaccine research

A vaccine to prevent breast cancer? Did you know that researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have created a vaccine that works against breast cancer in mice? They have and would like to introduce that vaccine into women. In order to do so, they need to raise additional funds to get FDA approval to test it.

That is why a fundraiser to increase awareness of the work and its potential is being held March 10, 1 p.m., at St. Demetrios Greek Cultural Hall in Rocky River. Lunch by Coyne Catering and a fashion show of Macy’s styles are being hosted by the local chapter of Daughters of Penelope, a philanthropy. Tickets can be purchased by calling 440-835-1913. Half of the $35 ticket price is being donated to the Clinic.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:27 AM, 02.05.2013

Find peace through practical spending

Centered Wellness of Unity Spiritual Center has many affiliates that can make 2013 a healthier year in many areas of your life: yoga, dance, healing sessions with reiki, massage and many other programs.

All of these programs have a commonality: they give you an opportunity to have a better physical outlook and, in turn, improve your mental outlook. Some programs at Centered Wellness approach wellness through emotions and feelings. One of the programs that can really help both the physical and mental is "Less Weight, More Wealth" as it examines the factors of weight issues as well as the factors for wealth issues; and they can be the same!

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:16 AM, 02.05.2013

Unity offers programs to become financially evolved, energized, enlightened

The phrase "health and wellness" covers all parts of our lives! Whether it is healthy eating, increasing energy or planning for a peaceful transition in the future, there is something for everyone.

Evolution has become a popular topic in recent years, with everything from books like Andrew Cohen's "Evolutionary Enlightenment"or consciousness teachings from Barbara Marx Hubbard to personal evolution. On Saturday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m. to noon, Unity Spiritual Center will offer "Local Evolution," a discussion of how people can begin to evolve their behaviors through eating local and all Cleveland has to offer in that realm, buying local in an era of appreciation of what our local business communities truly do have to offer and even investing in local businesses. Our culture is returning to the relationship-building of years past, knowing our neighbors and our local proprietors, and how that truly creates community and personal wellness. This program costs $30 per person.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 11:44 AM, 01.22.2013

Reflecting on the influence of family, friendship

Is all my writing worth it?

I recognize that seeing the same message every two weeks can be boring. I am sure it gets brushed over at times, considering everyone is tired of people asking for help, money, volunteers, etc. So I reflect this week on whether it is worth the time at my computer trying to be clever and make each article funny, informative, truthful and short.  

Something amazing happened recently to confirm that it is all worth it. It was a random phone call from a gentleman stating that he was not calling for the reasons that I originally hoped – helping, donating or volunteering – he simply wanted a few minutes of my time to explain his situation. Immediately I called back, intrigued.

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 9:23 AM, 01.08.2013

Start off the new year with financial advice and spiritual inspiration

Unity Spiritual Center is kicking off the new year with many inspirational programs, presented through Centered Wellness at Unity and EMPOWER Excellence with Jan Litterst.  

Following last year's successful Inspired Success Circle, Jan. 7 will bring the beginning of a four-week program, Taking Your Flying Leap of Faith. Inspired by Tama Kieves' book, "Inspired & Unstoppable," this is a continuing support program for those seeking wild success in their life's work. The cost for the program is $30 prepaid, or $10 per week. 

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Volume 5, Issue 1, Posted 9:14 AM, 01.08.2013

Harness your holiday spirit and pledge to help cancer patients

Today I write as a caregiver and daughter of a cancer patient, as well as the event chair of Westlake Relay for Life. I am writing for everyone who is touched by cancer and will be going through the holidays happy, scared and sometimes sad, praying for hope and time. 

As the holidays approach I think of all the amazing people I have met while working on the Relay and all the people that I will meet next year. I am hoping that the American Cancer Society is able to help more patients and their families in 2013. A significant way for this to happen is to support the Relay and take time out of our busy schedules to give time to help.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:42 AM, 12.11.2012

Westlake linguist's book discusses medicalization of society

In her recently published book, Westlake linguist Janet Byron Anderson, Ph.D., uses terms like "a greenhouse on steroids," "autistic architecture" and "comatose careers" to illustrate a modern tendency of Westerners to speak about aspects of their lives that have nothing to do with sickness as if their lives were sick. Western society, she argues, has become medicalized.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:46 AM, 12.11.2012

Straight from the Heart raffle features $100,000 grand prize!

Would you like to win $100,000? How about a two-year lease on a Volvo convertible or a motorcycle? Or you could win a Mediterranean cruise for two! These are just a few of the incredible prizes offered through the annual Straight from the Heart Raffle to benefit the cardiovascular programs at Fairview, Lakewood and Lutheran Hospitals.

Why not purchase a raffle ticket for your chance to win this grand prize and host of many other generous gifts through the Straight from the Heart campaign. Raffle tickets are $100 each or three tickets for $200.

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 11:05 AM, 12.11.2012

BAY Matters forum stresses importance of early drug intervention

Here's a scenario – you're in your teenage daughter's room gathering clothes for your weekly laundry loads and come across a container of bath salts buried underneath a pile of dirty clothes. You think, “I didn't know she was into taking baths," but with teenagers, who can tell what they're into at any given time.

As you think about it though, it gives you pause, because you don't remember her taking any baths recently and yet the container is half empty. You look again at the bottle of salts and it is labeled Vanilla Sky. How calming, you think. The fact is that these bath salts may not for a soothing, relaxing bath but may be a tell-tale sign that your teen is experimenting with an illicit and dangerous drug.

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Volume 4, Issue 23, Posted 9:37 AM, 11.13.2012

Laughing out loud

It is no secret that being a caregiver is very stressful on those individuals in such a role. There are many suggestions on how to decrease caregiver stress which include respite, exercise and support groups. But the best one I have read a lot about lately is humor.

Laugh therapy is a real thing and it works. Studies show that laughter reduces your blood pressure, increases your immune system, increases your blood flow and can help with pain relief and tension. It can also help you deal with even the saddest and hardest situations, including caregiver stress.

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Volume 4, Issue 22, Posted 7:33 PM, 10.30.2012

'Bay Matters' invites all adults to forum on preventing adolescent substance abuse

Attention all adults: Based on national studies, parents have the greatest influence on their child’s decision as to whether or not they experiment with chemical substances. Studies also indicate that parent drug education has a direct impact on lowering the percentages of teen alcohol and other drug use, especially in the middle school years.

Since there is a direct correlation between parent drug education and lowering the drug rates of teen use, doesn’t it make sense for parents to do all they can to learn about it? Here’s your chance!

Led by a panel of our own community leaders, a community-wide forum on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Bay High School auditorium will provide you the latest information about youth chemical substance experimentation, abuse and addiction, how this issue affects us all, and what each of us can do as concerned citizens to help our kids stay drug free.

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Volume 4, Issue 21, Posted 7:46 PM, 10.30.2012

Child behavior the topic of several October events at Porter Library

Connecting for Kids is a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting parents and families of children with developmental issues such as behavior issues, anxiety, attention/focus issues and difficulty making friends and negotiating bullies. This month, Connecting for Kids speaker series introduces the topic, “Sibling Issues When One Child Gets More Family Attention Due to Unique Needs,” presented by Lisa Ruman from the Child and Family Counseling Center of Westlake on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 7 to 8:30pm.

Often when there is a child who needs the bulk of parental attention, other siblings may create behavior issues of their own in order to feed their need for attention. Alternatively, a parent can feel guilty that their time is not being equally divided between their offspring. Ms. Ruman will address these issues and more. Childcare is available but space is limited so please RSVP for a spot.

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Volume 4, Issue 20, Posted 10:23 AM, 10.02.2012

Postpartum depression support group starting Sept. 25

Being a new mom can be joyous and rewarding. However, the demands of motherhood can also be overwhelming. As a mom, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to take care of your new baby and yourself. Maybe you are feeling moody, depressed, anxious, tearful, hopeless or sad? Nearly one in 12 women experience postpartum depression in the weeks and months after giving birth. Postpartum depression is a real illness and it can be treated!

The "Help for Mom" program at Far West Center in Westlake helps women who are at risk of developing or may currently be experiencing postpartum depression. Every mom in the program will have an initial assessment with the program coordinator to discuss issues that she is currently experiencing. Assessments are conducted in our office or in the mother’s home, when appropriate, in both Cuyahoga and Lorain counties.

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Volume 4, Issue 19, Posted 9:55 AM, 09.18.2012

Westlake Compeer is calling all walkers for a cause

The North Coast Challenge 2-mile walk was held Sept. 1 in Westlake. This event was a great addition to the annual North Coast Challenge 5K run. It was an opportunity for those in our community that are not runners but enjoy walking and the benefits walking provides. Some people power-walked to attempt the fastest times in the timed walk race. Others walked to benefit their bodies, minds and spirits.

I have been seeing more people walking for their health on the sidewalks of Westlake, Bay Village and other local cities. Their exercise attire and their brisk pace show that these walkers are in “the zone” and seriously focused on working out. More often walking is being prescribed by doctors to aid in the recovery of physical and emotional health issues. No matter the reason for walking, regular walking provides scientifically proven benefits to the brain and other body organs. There are many places in the community, like the Westlake Recreation Center, that provide places to walk indoors during harsh weather.

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Volume 4, Issue 18, Posted 10:57 AM, 09.05.2012

Expo features senior health and support services

Caring for a family member, friend or loved one in their senior years can be trying. Where do you start, who do you turn to, where can you look for answers?

The Westside Geriatric Providers is a consortium of agencies providing services to seniors. The group’s mission is to enrich people’s lives by providing one-stop access to the region’s best senior health and support services.

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Volume 4, Issue 18, Posted 10:52 AM, 09.05.2012

Bay-based foundation launches cancer support website

Friends from the Start Foundation is a non-profit organization created to provide a support system to West Shore residents and their loved ones diagnosed with cancer by connecting them to in-home services, day-to-day assistance, educational resources and cancer-related information via web-based links. The foundation is pleased to announce our new website, created by Professor Zeller and his students at Lorain County Community College.

It is a consolidated website and will continually evolve to better serve as a one-stop shop for those undergoing this arduous journey.

Even during treatment, bills must be paid, homes and lives maintained, meals prepared, chores completed, children cared for and appointments kept. Simply put, life goes on!

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 10:04 AM, 08.21.2012

UH opens fertility center at Crocker Park

University Hospitals extended its fertility services to Cleveland’s west side families in a comfortable and conveniently located facility adjacent to Crocker Park. UH Fertility Center West opened Aug. 15 and features a full range of advanced fertility services as well as the complementary services of maternal fetal medicine specialists, OB imaging and genetic counseling.

The UH Fertility Center West is an extension of the UH Fertility Center at UH Ahuja Medical Center. “We are very pleased to open this facility for our patients on the west side,” says Bryan R. Hecht, MD, a fertility specialist at UH Fertility Center West. “Fertility treatment often involves a large number of relatively frequent but low-tech visits. For that reason, we believe that developing satellite practices closer to home for our patients helps eliminate at least one of the barriers to care that many fertility patients face.”

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 10:04 AM, 08.21.2012

It takes a village

In the Aug. 7 issue of the Observer, reader Shirlee Mangan wrote an letter titled “The Silent Epidemic of Drug Abuse.” She wrote: “As a mother and grandmother, I guess I wanted to believe that the rumors I have been hearing about the use of drugs among young people are untrue, and just that – rumors.” 

Don’t we all want to believe those are “rumors”? Unfortunately, as she surmised, and as many of us already know, young people – ranging from middle school children to young adults – are experimenting and abusing alcohol and other drugs in our community. Just like every suburb today – it’s everywhere.

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Volume 4, Issue 17, Posted 10:01 AM, 08.21.2012

Tai Chi group welcomes the morning at Huntington Beach park

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. from May through October, Tai Chi enthusiasts meet at the Huntington Metropark in Bay Village. Facing beautiful Lake Erie, 15 to 25 local residents are led by volunteer Tai Chi instructor and Bay Village resident Pat Heinke.

For over 15 years Pat has been offering her expertise in this ancient art of gentle, flowing movements to all who want to look into or to practice Tai Chi exercises and form. Pat was surrounded by many admirers during a recent session as she welcomed the celebration of her 80th year of life in good health, "thanks to Tai Chi," she said.

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:44 AM, 08.07.2012

Water aerobics combine fitness and fun

Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to observe a water aerobics class in session. Instructor Joan Kemper of Bay Village was surrounded by a group of fun ladies who come together to improve their physical condition through water aerobics while socializing and sharing laughs. 

The idea of water aerobics is not a new idea yet it is quickly becoming a popular way to get physically fit. The pool water offers a more gentle and relaxing way to perform exercises while still challenging the muscles. 

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:27 AM, 08.07.2012

Alzheimer's Association annual fundraising walk set for Sept. 22

The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a united movement to reclaim the future for millions. This fall, walks will be held across the country to raise awareness for the 5.4 million people with Alzheimer’s nationwide. The walks are the Association’s signature community involvement events that raise funds to fight Alzheimer’s and provide free programs to assist the 56,000 Northeast Ohioans with the disease.

The second annual West Side Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 10:14 AM, 07.24.2012

Relay for Life honors cancer victims, survivors

All the begging and pleading is over and it was all well worth it. Westlake's Relay for Life on July 13 was a great success and many were there to share in the moment. Now that the tents are down, the games packed up and the money totaled, we reached our goal. With the help of our teams, volunteers and many visitors we were able to raise $15,692.97 that evening. When added to our earlier fundraising efforts during the year, we hit the American Red Cross goal of $30,000.

This year's teams had great ideas to raise money with a raffle, silent auction, photo booth, popcorn machine, concession stand and many fun games. The track was lit by overhead rented lights and the Westlake Police were in full force to make sure the safety of our participants was always most important.

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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 10:36 AM, 07.24.2012

Join Compeer for an August of fitness, fun and furry friends

In the past several years, August has been a very active month for our Compeer program and this August follows that same course! On our action-packed August schedule we have opportunities for fitness and holistic wellness, summer activities and a kennel club dog show. 

“Holistic Wellness” is becoming a popular concept but Compeer has been offering the NAMI “Hearts and Minds” Holistic Wellness Program since February 2011. Hearts and Minds groups are offered on the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month at Far West Center.

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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 10:16 AM, 07.24.2012

Help for moms with postpartum depression available at Far West Center

The birth of a new baby can be joyous and rewarding. However, the demands of motherhood can also be overwhelming. It can be difficult for moms to find the time and energy to take care of her new baby and herself.

Maybe you are feeling moody, depressed, anxious, tearful, hopeless or sad? Nearly one in 12 women experience postpartum depression in the weeks and months after giving birth. Postpartum depression is a serious form of depression new mothers often experience from three to 12 months after delivery. Postpartum depression can develop after the birth of any child, not just the first. Even though postpartum depression is very common, only a small fraction of women who experience it ever get the help they need!

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Volume 4, Issue 15, Posted 10:12 AM, 07.24.2012

A Night to Remember brings professionals together to discuss dementia

The Gardens at Westlake assisted living facility held a special event for the community on June 27 dedicated to memory loss and dementia. The two-part program began with an introduction of the facility's new Residence Club, a program that supports residents with mild memory loss or confusion.

Local health care professionals on hand to provide information included: Alzheimer’s Association, Lakewood Hospital Senior Care Assessment Center, Cleveland Clinic at Home, St. John Medical Center's NICHE Program, Dr. Emil Sabbagh and Via Quest Home and Health Hospice.

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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 12:58 PM, 07.10.2012

Avoiding dehydration important for all, especially seniors

Summer can be a fun and exciting time of the year filled with barbeques, pool parties and constant outdoor fun. It can be very rewarding to the body and mind as the sun provides important nutrients like Vitamin D and improves psychological well-being. Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous time of the year, especially for older adults. 

For senior citizens, keeping cool – and hydrated – is more than just a matter of comfort; it can be a matter of life and death. Dehydration, or the loss of water and salts from the body, is one of the most common forms of heat disease. Other forms of heat disease include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 12:48 PM, 07.10.2012

North Coast Health Ministry seeking volunteer patient navigators

North Coast Health Ministry (NCHM), a free clinic serving the low-income uninsured on Greater Cleveland’s West Side, is seeking volunteers for its patient navigator program.  NCHM provides care to the low-income uninsured in western Greater Cleveland, including residents of Bay Village and Westlake. 

Volunteers will be trained to work directly with current and potential NCHM patients to engage patients as partners in their health care and facilitate the appropriate use of services.

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Volume 4, Issue 14, Posted 12:51 PM, 07.10.2012

Summer volunteers needed for Compeer support team

The Compeer Program at Far West Center is located in Westlake on the St. John Medical Center Health Campus. This Compeer Program serves adults throughout Cuyahoga County who are in recovery from mental illness. In addition to being a longstanding Westlake and county-wide organization, our program is part of Compeer Inc., an international organization with headquarters in New York state. Every branch of Compeer Inc. recruits outstanding volunteers to encourage and support individuals as they are coming out of depression and isolation. 

We believe there are outstanding people among the Westlake | Bay Village Observer readers that would enhance our program’s team of supportive volunteers. If you are an adult that has four hours per month to spend giving back and socializing with others then you are someone we would like to recruit!

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Volume 4, Issue 13, Posted 10:19 AM, 06.26.2012

Open house for new cancer center set for July 7

The opening of the new University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at St. John Medical Center will be celebrated with a community open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 7.

The cancer center open house will feature tours, free PSA and skin cancer screenings (screenings will be from noon-2 p.m. only), a Teddy Bear Clinic, free refreshments and an opportunity to meet the center’s physicians and staff. The cancer center is located on the St. John Medical Center campus at 29325 Health Campus Dr. (near Crocker Road), which is also the site of the hospital’s Family Medicine Center.

The open house will coincide with the 19th Festival of the Arts taking place on the SJMC campus July 6-8. Free shuttle buses will take visitors from nearby parking lots to the cancer center open house and Festival of the Arts locations.

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Volume 4, Issue 13, Posted 10:00 AM, 06.26.2012

Annual 'Meal that Heals' event to benefit North Coast Health Ministry

The Meal that Heals, a dining benefit for North Coast Health Ministry, the West Side’s free clinic for the low-income uninsured, will be held on Monday, July 9, at Players on Madison in Lakewood from 5 to 9 p.m. NCHM provides care to the low-income uninsured in western Greater Cleveland, including residents of Bay Village and Westlake.

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Volume 4, Issue 13, Posted 9:55 AM, 06.26.2012

Compeer asks you to become a 'stigma ender' for mental health

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and has been since 1949. In my last Westlake | Bay Village Observer article I gave six good reasons to gain awareness regarding your own personal mental health. I hope readers found that advice to be beneficial. In this second May article I am asking you to lend a hand to others that are working on gaining their own mental health awareness.

People that receive a diagnosis of mental illness do not cause it to occur. We continue to see a lot of public stigma surrounding mental health issues and mental illness even though it is well documented that mental illness, in its many forms, is most often related to an imbalance of brain chemistry.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 11:44 AM, 05.15.2012

Six good reasons for mental health awareness this May

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. The organization Mental Health America states on their website that May became know as Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949 “to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all.” Compeer at Far West Center in Westlake would like to give you six good reasons why you should gain awareness of your own mental health:

1. GOOD HEALTH: Your brain is an organ and brain health is vital for all other parts of the body. It is important that your brain receive correct amounts of nutrients, hydration, circulation, exercise and rest. Your brain is the “command center” and processes all incoming sensory stimuli and all the outgoing reaction and decisions. Neurotransmitters – natural brain chemicals – operate brain function and need to maintain a healthy balance.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:16 AM, 05.01.2012

Two community programs scheduled to help prevent child substance abuse

As a parent, I want to always keep my son safe – from bee stings, strangers and everything in between! For me, drug and alcohol abuse is the “in between.” As a substance abuse professional residing in Bay Village, I am acutely aware of how drug addiction and alcoholism can impact an individual’s life. 

Every day I see the struggles of people faced with addiction. Most of them started using marijuana and alcohol when they were teenagers and none of them intended to become addicted.

What starts out as fun and experimental often turns deadly serious. Most of the clients I work with grew up in “normal” towns, just like ours. They had good neighbors and excellent school systems but still fell prey to this disease because addiction knows no boundaries. I know I can’t shelter my son from all of life’s adversities or ensure he always makes good choices, but I can arm myself with as much information as possible, to provide him guidance.

I want to invite you as members of my community to combat addiction through knowledge and improve the health of our children within our community.  Here are two ways to make a difference:

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:13 AM, 04.17.2012

Kids with disabilities can blossom at area camps

Camp Happiness is a seven-week program which provides summer day camp experiences to children and young adults ages 5-21 with cognitive and other developmental disabilities. Camp is from June 18-August 3, 2011. We offer three sites in the Greater Cleveland area.

Each camp site provides and enhances social, spiritual, recreational and educational opportunities. In addition to the educational development, participants have the opportunity to make new friends, swim, go on community field trips, play fun games and create exciting arts and crafts!

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:03 AM, 04.17.2012