Health & Wellness

Compeer is named peer support program of the year

On March 8, Michael Baskin, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, announced that the Compeer Program has won its “Peer Support Program of the Year” award. The awards ceremony will take place Wednesday, April 13, 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown. 

The special guest speaker at the event will be Tracy Plouck, the newly-appointed Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health. Anyone interested in attending can receive details at the NAMI Greater Cleveland website:

The Far West Center and Compeer staff, members and volunteers are very honored to receive this award from NAMI Greater Cleveland. A peer support program is one in which the philosophy and goals are to get adults in recovery from mental illness involved in planning and participating in program activities. 

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.22.2011

March is MS Awareness Month In Ohio

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling and unpredictable disease of the central nervous system with no known cause or cure.

In 1968, my friend Dick told me of the problems his wife was having with pain and even some numbness in her legs. He said she had been seen by several doctors and had been treated for various illnesses. Everything he told me was all too familiar.

My wife had been through a similar process for almost three years before being seen by the right doctor who correctly diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis. Dick knew my wife had MS but was not aware of its symptoms. After I told him what they were, we both knew his wife may also have MS. He and his wife then made an appointment with my wife’s doctor – a neurologist – who did diagnose her with the disease.

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 9:56 AM, 03.08.2011

Compeer's garden club planning 2011 season

The Compeer Program has a Garden Club named the “Club West Garden Club.” This spring, our club will begin its second growing season. The Club West Garden Club sprang from an idea regarding ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle. The idea grew into a vegetable garden with generous and caring support from Bay Village and Westlake organizations and businesses.

Last year, Compeer was given the opportunity to have an information table at the Crocker Park location of the North Union Farmers Market. Jody, Compeer's Peer Support Specialist, suggested that our program have its own garden. Program members then began to introduce themselves and our garden club goal to various organizations and businesses. Among these were Hansen’s Greenhouse, Cahoon Nursery, the Westlake Garden Club and the Bay Village Green Team. We received much support, and in no time the Club West Garden Club went from an idea to grape tomatoes, green peppers and eggplant!

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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 9:59 AM, 02.22.2011

Dwyer Center group offers support to Alzheimer's caregivers

On the fourth Friday of every month, a group of caregivers and family members meets at the Dwyer Senior Center for support and information on Alzheimer's Disease and other memory loss disorders. Living with and caring for a person who experiences memory loss can be quite challenging. A spouse or close relative is often the primary caregiver. As the disease progresses, the need for care intensifies.

One major problem is caregiver burnout. The caregiver must often function as nurse, housekeeper, accountant, etc., and still provide a stable environment. When caring for a loved one, it is sometimes difficult to remain objective. Feelings can be overwhelming at times, as witnessing the progression of Alzheimer's Disease can be heartbreaking. Many times the person with memory loss can't be left alone. Finding someone to fill in for respite purposes can be difficult.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 8:17 PM, 01.18.2011

Unity offers diverse activities for community

From a variety of yoga classes to book clubs, to workshops, to drumming circles, to weekend retreats, to cultural events at the new Unity Hall, Unity Spiritual Center offers a vast array of intriguing programs. Although hundreds drive by the large granite circular Unity sign near the corner of Clague and Detroit roads daily, people are often surprised to find the campus hidden from view at the top of the hill.

Classes, events and activities occur nearly every night at Unity. Unity is a movement, not a religion, and welcomes people of widely diverse backgrounds. With the opening of the expansive Unity Hall facility last year, Unity is now well on its way to becoming a regional spiritual center. For more information, visit and
Here are some of the activities on tap for February and March:

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 4:35 PM, 02.02.2011

Compeer member celebrates his successes

This winter as the snow falls and the temperature drops, our focus is on keeping warm. We defrost our vehicles and de-ice our sidewalks. Unfortunately, for some, wintertime increases isolation and depression. During every season, adults in recovery from mental illness are more prone to isolation due to the harmful stigma that exists.

The Compeer Program provides encouragement to socialize, welcoming support, and opportunities to engage in interesting activities. These services help adults to recover.

Terry, one of our members, has regularly participated in Compeer. Along his path to recovery he has developed motivation and made friendships. Terry has also set and accomplished personal goals. This month, Terry agreed to allow me to share some of his successes.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 2:58 PM, 02.04.2011

Evening of programs for recovering adults and their families Feb. 1

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 6:00 p.m., Compeer will present the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) “Hearts and Minds” group at Far West Center. Hearts and Minds is a program to educate and promote positive “mind and body” health practices. Group topics will include nutrition, exercise and stress reduction.

The same evening, from 7-8:30 p.m., Far West Center will also host the monthly NAMI “Family Support Group,” which provides assistance to the family members of persons in recovery, including parents, spouses, siblings, and adult-age children.

Scheduling both programs on the same evening provides an opportunity in which adults in recovery can attend Hearts and Minds, while family members join the Family Support Group. Both groups are free. Individuals are welcome to attend even if family will not be attending.

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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 3:43 PM, 01.21.2011

Compeer party guests honored by mayor's visit

The Compeer Program at Far West Center held our 21st Annual Winter Party on Thursday, Dec. 9, at Bay Lodge. Compeer was honored that Mayor Dennis Clough of Westlake and his wife made it a priority to add our Winter Party to their busy schedule.  

Mayor Clough said he had many events on his schedule but wanted to make sure he came to thank the Compeer volunteers and members. Upon arriving, Mayor Clough and his wife went to each table and personally thanked volunteers and members. He also made a warm public thank you to all guests. We truly appreciate Mayor Clough’s ongoing support of Compeer.

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 3:39 PM, 01.07.2011

Moving Forward at The Gathering Place West

The recommendation to “exercise 30 minutes or more each day” can seem quite daunting to someone just finishing cancer treatment. Side effects of cancer and cancer treatment can leave individuals feeling physically tired and emotionally drained. The Gathering Place West in Westlake offers a 12-week program called Moving Forward. This program consists of twice weekly resistance exercise training and once a week psychosocial support.

For over five years, The Gathering Place has offered the Moving Forward program to our participants, and many of them continue to meet on a regular basis offering support to their fellow participants while working on achieving that recommended goal of 30 minutes of exercise each day! In addition to Moving Forward, The Gathering Place offers a variety of movement programs including Tai Chi, Yoga, Qigong, Zumba and Healthy Steps.

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 5:42 PM, 01.07.2011

Zumba away those holiday pounds!

Zumba – not your mother’s or daughter's style – is helping many local ladies keep those holiday pounds off. During the holiday season, keeping your exercise routine consistent is more important than ever.

Working out will help combat additional calories, preventing additional inches from creeping into your mid-section and will boost your energy while helping reduce stress.  

Instructor Sheri Lugo has designed this Latin-music exercise/dance class for the working adult. Sheri invites you to "dump the workout and join the party." 

Make exercise a priority at Bay Village’s Dwyer Center, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Call 835-6565 for information - the first class is free!

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Volume 2, Issue 25, Posted 2:10 PM, 12.08.2010

Facing the holidays with cancer, serious illness

The holidays can be a difficult time for those facing serious illness. Once welcomed gatherings and special events may seem overwhelming, loved ones might not know how to help and children might not understand why this holiday is different than those of years past.

“Every year, The Gathering Place talks to many local residents facing cancer about how to cope with their illness, eliminate stress and set expectations during the holidays,” says Kristina Austin, director of community outreach at The Gathering Place, a local cancer support center. “We recognize the season can bring new emotions and pressures, and we invite those facing cancer and their loved ones to stop into either of our facilities and talk with one of our clinical program staff about how to manage holiday stresses or drop in for a free yoga or Tai Chi class to relax.”


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Volume 2, Issue 25, Posted 1:43 PM, 12.10.2010

Compeer member celebrates a year of success

The Compeer Program at Far West Center holds a “Monthly Game Night” where members and volunteers get together to play board games, card games, Bingo, or group games like Charades. It is free and usually scheduled in the last week of the month so those managing fixed incomes can participate. The Compeer Game Night on Nov. 23 was extra special. On that date, the game night was also a shared celebration for Shari, a member who achieved a successful year of mental health.

In 2009 Shari experienced a difficult year of increasing symptoms and depression. In 2009 she spent more than 250 days hospitalized. It was difficult for her to see through her depression and see her skills and future goals. Fortunately for Shari, in October 2009 she started to feel better and regain her optimism. Shari followed her mental health treatment goals which included the Partial Hospitalization Program, Case Management, Counseling and Family Group. Shari reconnected with the Compeer Program and attended our events.

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Volume 2, Issue 24, Posted 4:00 PM, 11.24.2010

Compeer seeks 'community friends,' donations for holiday party

A primary goal of the Compeer Program at Far West Center is to provide friendship to adults in recovery from mental illness. Compeer has a “Match” program in which adult volunteers from our communities are trained and matched, one to one, same gender, to  Compeer members. The volunteers provide friendship and communication to adults trying to stop isolating and to reconnect to their communities. 

Compeer would like to extend a warm welcome to our two new volunteers, Krystal and Carol! We also want to give a big “thank you” to our present and ongoing volunteers. Their friendship and time are truly a gift. Our Compeer Program is in need of many more men and women to become volunteers. We would love to have some Westlake and Bay Village residents inquire about Compeer volunteering. If you can find four hours a month to be a friend, please call 440-835-6212, ext. 242.

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Volume 2, Issue 23, Posted 12:39 PM, 11.12.2010

Make your own 'vision board' at Unity Spiritual Center

Countless authors and experts have shown how powerful it can be to actually write down your goals. A “vision board” is sort of a visual representation of these goals. The more clearly you can imagine what you want, the more likely you are to pursue it!  The Vision Board workshop at Unity Hall is an event that will allow you to create a poster full of images and words that symbolize what you want in life, in any area.

Whether your goals, dreams or desires are about work, finances, relationships or expressing your creativity, creating a vision board to serve as a constant reminder to take small steps toward them daily will put you on the fast track to making them real.  

Join in the fun and creativity on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Unity Hall, a new venue at Unity Spiritual Center, 23855 Detroit Road in Westlake.


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Volume 2, Issue 22, Posted 6:54 PM, 10.31.2010

Compeer treated to concert, works to bring Clubhouse to Westshore

On the evening of Sept. 14, Compeer was honored with a performance by the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra, under the direction of Carlton Woods, had a “Flute Trio” come to Far West Center to perform for Compeer members and volunteers. The music was both breathtaking and relaxing. This special concert was the perfect way for Compeer to start off its fall calendar of events!

The “Flute Trio” consisted of violinist Nancy Patterson, cellist Kent Collier and flutist Linda White. Together they played beautiful arrangements by various classical composers. These talented musicians also provided history on each instrument and “hands on” opportunities. 


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Volume 2, Issue 22, Posted 2:31 PM, 10.15.2010

Compeer Program at Far West Center offers health, friendship and fun

Mind, body and spirit are inseparable. A change in one causes a change in the other two. We all strive to balance an optimistic state of mind, good physical health and continued motivation. Research studies consistently show that supportive relationships and our friendships help us to keep this balance. The Compeer Program and its valuable volunteers are helping men and women in recovery from mental illness to re-balance their lives.

What if, in a little of your free time, you could help others and have fun doing it? Compeer volunteering can offer you that opportunity. Compeer volunteers provide emotional support on a one-to-one basis by making phone calls and arranging visits with adults that are trying to regain optimism and motivation. In addition to that, members and volunteers have many opportunities to enjoy the activities offered in the Compeer Quarterly Calendar of Events.

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Volume 2, Issue 19, Posted 11:35 AM, 09.17.2010

The benefits of self-esteem and methods to achieve it

True self-esteem has little to do with the way you look, what you own or the impression you make on others. It springs from the center of your being and from the impression you make on yourself. Self-esteem is your perception of worth. This self-image is a combination of your values, skills, interests and personality, as well as upbringing.

Negative self-esteem makes us demotivated and helpless, while positive self-esteem uplifts you and has a direct impact on how optimistic you feel and how confidently you can face life’s hurdles. Confident human beings build self-esteem by remembering how valuable they are and applying self-esteem in real-life situations. They generate confidence and support others for a noble cause. The less-confident people hesitate to ask for anything since they feel they are not worth it.

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Volume 2, Issue 19, Posted 11:56 AM, 09.17.2010

Compeer Program celebrates friendship, connects with resources, fights stigma

On Friday, August 27, 2010, The Compeer Program held its Annual Summer Picnic at Clague Park in Westlake. On that beautiful summer day many of our Members, Volunteers, and Staff enjoyed a celebration of friendship. Members and Volunteers worked together in the planning, setting up, grilling, cooking and game schedule for the picnic. Our picnic included hot dogs, hamburgers, salsa made from home grown vegetables, refreshing sherbet punch, and many homemade desserts! There was so much to enjoy. Along with good food there were horseshoe games, a large volleyball game, and lively conversation in the sun!

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Volume 2, Issue 18, Posted 6:11 PM, 09.02.2010

Your mouth is part of your body, too!

Awareness of health has certainly come a long way in the last few decades. Unfortunately, many people still do not understand the importance of good oral health. Patients often tell me that they can't worry about their teeth when they have so many other health problems. This is kind of like trying to bail out a sinking boat without plugging up the leaks!

The mouth is the gatekeeper of our bodies. Our entire well-being begins with not only what we put into our mouths for food, but also how well we take care of it. Because gums and bone attachment to teeth can become infected, inflamed, and plaque-ridden, oral health has been linked to many other systemic issues. It has been shown that periodontal (gum) disease can make it difficult for diabetics to control their sugar, make you seven times more likely to have low birth-weight or pre-term babies, increase the chance of heart disease and stroke, and cause or worsen infections in the lungs.

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Volume 2, Issue 18, Posted 10:41 AM, 09.02.2010

Alzheimer's expert coming to Westlake Performing Arts Center

Dr. Peter V. Rabins, co-author of "The 36-Hour Day," will speak at the Westlake Performing Arts Center at Westlake High School on Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m. 

Dr. Rabins is the Richman Family Professor for Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is Co-Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neuropsychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"The 36-Hour Day" is an essential resource for those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia.

The first 100 attendees to arrive for the event will receive a copy of the book and an additional resource kit provided by the Kiwanis Club.

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Volume 2, Issue 17, Posted 3:26 PM, 08.13.2010

Moms find encouragement and support with MOPS

Julie Kelsheimer understands the isolation a young mom feels: at home all day, feeding infants, chasing toddlers, and not having adult conversation. When the Westlake mom was starting her family, she “got involved in a group for young moms, just to keep my sanity,” she says.

That group buoyed her through many long, trying days as her husband worked long hours. “Older women with grown children became mentors to me. I always said that when I was older, I would repay what those women did for me.” 

When she moved to Westlake, with kids entering their teens, she made it a priority to find ways to encourage young moms. That’s when she found Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS, whose Cleveland chapter meets at Providence Church in Avon.

Every other Monday, Kelsheimer and 70 ladies filter into Providence amid smells of quiche, homemade bread, and coffee.

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Volume 2, Issue 17, Posted 4:37 PM, 08.12.2010

The Compeer Program and the healing power of friendship

The Compeer Program at Far West Center is now in the twenty-first year of "Making Friends. Changing Lives," the motto of Compeer Inc. At the Far West Center Compeer Office we have made numerous friendship matches that have decreased the depression and isolation that often comes with managing mental illness. 

In this era of new technology and medical research, mental illness is still too often misunderstood by the general public.  Severe mental illness is a physical illness. Mental illness is an imbalance of some of the countless number of chemicals that make up brain function. Mental illness is treated with medication in order to restore brain chemicals to a healthy functioning balance. Persons in recovery from mental illness also benefit from education regarding brain function and coping with symptoms.

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Volume 2, Issue 17, Posted 6:25 PM, 08.20.2010

World-renowned doctor team opens clinical headquarters in Westlake

Dzugan Method Restorative Medicine has launched their new clinical base of operations in the Spa West Plaza, 29111 Center Ridge Road in Westlake. Founders George Rozakis, MD - Medical Director, and Sergey Dzugan, MD, PhD - Science Director, are regularly invited to speak about Hormone Restoration Therapy concepts and techniques from Cyprus to Thailand.

Dr. Dzugan runs the Dzugan Institute which designs the body chemistry optimization programs for patients around the world. Dr. Rozakis sees patients personally in the Westlake office as well as lecturing.

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Volume 2, Issue 16, Posted 1:52 PM, 08.03.2010

Cooking classes spur healthy diet for those touched by cancer

A healthy, nutritious diet is important for everyone, but even more so for those facing cancer. To this end, The Gathering Place is offering a variety of nutrition-focused cooking classes, all of which are free to those touched by cancer.

Following the New American Plate guidelines, The Gathering Place will offer several ingredient-focused cooking classes where participants will try their hands at healthy recipes and leave with meal ideas they can easily complete at home, including:

Gorgeous Greens, Thursday, August 12, 7-8:30 p.m.
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and romaine lettuce are excellent sources of carotenoids, fibers, folate and flavonoids that have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer. Example recipes include a low-calorie, protein-rich turkey, spinach and apple wrap that’s tasty, too.

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Volume 2, Issue 16, Posted 3:46 PM, 08.02.2010

Bay community helps family battle Dravet Syndrome

Each baby born is a blessing—a tiny new life filled with hope and promise. So sweet and helpless, a parent attends day and night to his/her infant’s every need. Parents become accustomed to sleep being seasoned; parents, however, never become accustomed to being woken from a deep sleep by a child’s life threatening seizure.

In the blink of an eye, a parent must be fully alert and capable of making life or death medical decisions. For a parent of a child with Dravet Syndrome, these decisions must be made not just one but hundreds or thousands of times during their child’s life.

Always on guard, a parent must vigilantly monitor illness, internal and external temperature fluctuations in the air, bath tubs, lakes and swimming pools, as these simple things can bring on status seizures. Exercise, the excitement of a holiday celebration or birthday party, stress, changes in the weather, computer screens, televisions, video games, and certain lighting in schools, libraries, medical and office buildings can trigger seizures.


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Volume 2, Issue 13, Posted 12:23 PM, 06.26.2010

Dementia care comes to The Harbor Court in Rocky River

The Harbor Court, offering senior adults independent and assisted living options for over two decades, is proud to announce the opening of Annie’s Place--a secure, memory care floor for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Locally owned and managed by the Zapis Family since 1987, The Harbor Court extends its continuum of care with Annie’s Place. With the addition of memory care, current residents can age in place, while community members with loved ones suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have another service to choose from under The Harbor Court umbrella of senior services. Annie’s Place offers the most up-to-date memory care in a home-like environment, including personalized assistance and specialized activities, cared for by a veteran staff trained by the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Volume 2, Issue 12, Posted 5:14 PM, 06.03.2010

Meditation, tuning forks and the good life!

It was a cool gray morning and the sound of thunder rumbled in the distance. The smell of ozone just before spring rain filled my senses made me beam. Instead of pulling weeds in my garden I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon in the company of local healers and friends.

I walked through the perennial garden’s meandering path and into the lovely new reception hall at the Westlake church known as Unity Spiritual Center. The center’s new addition was filled with music and laughter. I’d let my gardening duties slip in order to make it to the event called “Let your Spirit Soar.”

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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 11:32 AM, 05.13.2010

Preventing soccer injuries theme of free lecture

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that half of the four million children injured during sports events or practices suffer repeat injuries. These figures are likely underestimated because other professionals like chiropractors and physical therapists, who also treat young injured players, are not included. There is mounting attention nationally on the growing problem of injuries incurred in our youth because of overuse problems.
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Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 4:46 PM, 05.11.2010

Unity Spiritual Center’s ‘Let Your Spirit Soar’ Open House

Unity Spiritual Center hosted an open house on May 1 to showcase its new 6,000-square-foot multi-purpose event and wedding facilities. Activities included guided meditations; labyrinth walking; Tibetan singing bowls; drumming circles; discussions on spiritual topics; demonstrations in Reiki, yoga, and cranial sacral healing practices. The center welcomes people of all faiths, races  and levels of social structure whose common quest  is spiritual unity with God.
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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 11:55 AM, 05.03.2010

Dispose of unwanted prescription medications May 8

Drug Awareness and Prevention Inc., of Cleveland, in partnership with local and state law enforcement agencies, Parent2Parent, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Home Instead Senior Care has organized Operation: Medicine Cabinet. Their goal is to help residents in northeast Ohio safely dispose of any outdated or unwanted prescription medications. 

The event will be held Saturday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Clague Cabin in Westlake and the Bay Village Police Department.

This completely confidential program will allow adult family members to visit any listed location, where law enforcement officers will collect and hold all medications. After the medications are collected, they will be weighed by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department before they are destroyed.

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 3:47 PM, 04.06.2010

March is MS Awareness Month

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) attacks the nerves and interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body. It’s an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, with symptoms ranging from pain, numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

Most people are diagnosed with it between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women than men having it. As best we know, it affects over 400,000 in this country and 2.1 million people in the world.

Over the many years I’ve been a volunteer with the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National MS Society – helping to get the word out on this terrible disease and advocating for funds for research from state and federal officials – I’ve often been asked what led to my involvement with it.

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Volume 2, Issue 5, Posted 10:10 AM, 03.04.2010

Local personal trainer goes against the grain

Beware, citizens of Westlake! There’s a mad scientist lurking amongst you, one whose goal of reanimating human tissue is not entirely dissimilar to that of Victor Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s fictional 19th-century gothic character.

But fear not, good people. Extinguish those torches and drop your pitchforks. For while posterity regards Dr. Frankenstein as a cautionary tale of well-intended science run amok, Tom Roso today is respected locally as an exemplary tale in creative, goal-oriented exercise physiology with tangible results to boot!

Certified as a personalized trainer and nutrition specialist by the IFPA (International Fitness Professionals Association) and proprietor of The Restructuring Zone, Bay Village resident Tom Roso, 60, boasts a clientele as diverse as his various exercise regimens.

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Volume 2, Issue 4, Posted 5:52 PM, 02.05.2010

Westlake challenges residents to 'weigh down'

The city of Westlake, the Cleveland Clinic, St. John West Shore Hospital and Crocker Park have joined forces to sponsor the first citywide weight loss challenge, “Westlake Weighs Down.” Designed around the popular TV show “The Biggest Loser,” the 13 week program will track the participant's percentage of weight loss against others in the competition. 

The program will run from Feb. 1 – May 2, 2010. The competition will have several divisions consisting of males, females, corporations and local celebrities. Throughout the competition, a variety of events will take place including a health fair, presentations by doctors and dietitians and weekly exercise classes. Healthy recipes and other interesting tidbits will be shared with the participants throughout the duration of the program.

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Volume 1, Issue 8, Posted 9:39 AM, 12.04.2009

Emotional well-being

Transformation takes place when we are empowered, and put collaborative effort in accepting self, learning from our mistakes and communicating positive affirmation in our thoughts. Constantly enriching one’s emotional quotient along with intellectual and ethical quotient. Emotional well-being is making a commitment to self and God. As Mother Teresa said, “It’s not what you do, but how much love that you put into it that matters.” Love is the secret of lasting heritage. What gives true joy to emotional well-being is unconditional love. In this, human beings know only how to give and expect nothing in return. Emotional well-being is enhanced by giving service to others.
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Volume 1, Issue 8, Posted 12:54 PM, 11.23.2009

Local parents share knowledge, experience with adolescent substance abuse

[Editor’s note: In order to protect the privacy of their son, the names of the “NOT MY CHILD” presenters have been kept confidential.]

Last month on Thursday, October 22nd at Bay Middle School and Wednesday, October 28th at St. Raphael School, a Bay couple presented the program “NOT MY CHILD” to share with parents practical and helpful information they believe every parent should know about adolescent alcohol and other drug experimentation, abuse and addiction. 

The couple, parents of three children, speak from experience “because we lived it.” They created the program to share the knowledge and understanding they gained after helping their son through the recovery process.  

The presentation included PowerPoint slides with video clips, music, a voice-over and audience participation segments, as well as a panel of experts.
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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 12:15 PM, 11.15.2009


No one believes it could happen to their child! Unfortunately, over half of our young, innocent children are experimenting with alcohol and other drugs beginning in middle school.
  •  Parents, what do you really know about adolescent drug use? Do you know the signs to look for or what to do if you suspect that your child is using? Or how to respond or where to turn for help?
  • To find out more, please attend an informative and interactive alcohol and other drug abuse program – presented by parents who know because they lived it!
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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 6:52 PM, 10.20.2009



It’s a normal reaction parents have when the subject of alcohol or drug abuse is brought up. Unfortunately, studies indicate that over 50% of our youth experiment with chemical substances. 

  • Are you aware that alcohol kills 6½ times more teenagers than all other illicit drugs combined?
  • Did you know that local studies indicate that 12% of our 8th grade students have admitted to trying marijuana and that percent increases, significantly, as they enter high school? 
  • Do you know where adolescents get most of the medications to get high?

To find out more, please attend an informative and interactive alcohol and other drug abuse program that will be presented by parents who know… because they lived it. 

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Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 9:54 PM, 09.30.2009


Alcohol usage and drug experimentation, abuse or addiction is not at the top of a parent’s list of what they dream for their children. A natural response to any of these would be NOT MY CHILD! Unfortunately, experimentation, abuse and/or addiction occur among our children.

  • Do you know that marijuana is “the drug of choice” of the majority of teens who seek treatment for drug abuse or dependence?
  • Are you aware that national studies indicate that 2 in 5 teens report abusing cough medicine to get high? 
  • Are you aware that teenagers, whose parents talk on a regular basis about the dangers of drug use, are 42% less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don’t?
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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 1:53 PM, 09.22.2009

Not My Child!

No one believes it can happen to their child!  But it CAN and, unfortunately, experimentation of alcohol and other drugs start at the middle school level.

• Did you know that, statistically, 40% of those who start drinking at age 13 or younger develop alcohol dependence later in life? And that teens that drink are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than teens who never consume alcohol?
• Did you know that nearly 30 percent of all middle school age students admit they have tried alcohol at least once?  And that over 10 percent of them drank alcohol for the first time BEFORE the age of 13? 

To learn more, all residents are invited to attend one of two planned informative presentations on this often overlooked topic.
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Volume 1, Issue 2, Posted 7:22 PM, 09.07.2009

Adolescent depression: A serious and common issue

Adolescents… whether you are one, love one, or work with one there is bound to be turmoil. Undulating adolescent behavior has forever confounded teens, their parents and other caring adults in their lives.

How do we know what is normal teenage angst? How do we recognize behaviors that should raise giant red flags? For most teens the transition from child to adult is filled with exciting, rocky, and awkward years; and they survive. For others, however, this is a time of great suffering and despair; a time when too many teenagers are seriously considering suicide.

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Volume 1, Issue 1, Posted 12:43 PM, 08.20.2009