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Project Homeless Connect on April 8 (2016)

Project Homeless Connect is a one-day event providing free services and referrals to people who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless.

This year's Homeless Connect will be held on Friday, April 8, 2016 from 8:00am to noon at the Northside Aztlan Center, 112 E. Willow St. in Fort Collins. Breakfast will be available at 8:00am, and lunch will be served from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Participants will be paired with volunteers to help them navigate through the services during the event.

Free services include:
  • Bike Repair
  • Bus Passes
  • Children's Activities
  • Clothing and Shoes
  • Counseling
  • Dental Screenings
  • Eye Exams
  • Food Basics Package
  • Government Services
  • Haircuts
  • Homeless Gear
  • Housing Information
  • Legal Services
  • Medical Screenings
  • Pet Services/Food (Pets Welcome)
  • Veterans Services

  • Some services may request identification, so please bring any identification you may have, such as a photo ID, and/or two pieces of mail with the same address.

    For more information call United Way 2-1-1 at 970-407-7066 or visit www.homeward2020.org.
     
    Great American Smokeout on Nov. 19 (2015)

    The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. The Great American Smokeout challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit. By quitting - even for one day - smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life.

    Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, yet more than 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, or 1 in every 5 adults. In addition, about 13 million people smoke pipes or cigars.

    The health benefits of quitting start immediately from the moment you stop smoking. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke. For general information from the American Cancer Society, go to www.cancer.org.

    Locally, the Health District of Northern Larimer County offers a tobacco treatment program to help smokers quit. We have six-week classes that are held periodically throughout the year on Wednesday evenings. The next class starts Jan. 20, 2016. If you don't want to wait for this class, give us a call because individual counseling is always available. For details about our Step Free from Tobacco program, call 970-224-5209. Or visit the Health District website.
     
    November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month (Nov. 2015)

    Along with other hospices across the country, Pathways Hospice will be celebrating National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in November. This month-long event serves to increase awareness of the benefits and options people have with hospice care during the end of life. What makes this year particularly meaningful is that November also marks the 10-year anniversary for the Pathways Hospice Grief and Loss Counseling Center.

    Pathways Hospice is inviting the public to an open house to learn how we help the community. The open house is on Friday, November 6, 6:30-8:00pm at the Pathways Grief and Loss Counseling Center, 305 Carpenter Road in Fort Collins. Attendees will discover why Pathways staff members chose to dedicate their careers to caring for patients during end of life, take a tour of the center and learn about the many bereavement programs Pathways Hospice offers families and their loved ones.

    The Pathways Grief and Loss Counseling Center has become a tremendous support to northern Colorado. In 2014, the center provided bereavement support, education and counseling to more than 6,000 people. Also last year, we provided more than 500 counseling sessions, and 165 children received support through programming.

    Pathways Hospice itself has become an exemplary model for other hospice organizations. We have a full-time medical director, and we have increased service at McKee Medical Center to six beds. Most recently, the Center was honored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization with Level IV status within the "We Honor Veterans" program, recognizing our commitment and service to veterans.

    About Pathways Hospice: Established in 1978, Pathways Hospice is a nonprofit agency providing exceptional hospice care in the last months of life, palliative consultation and counseling for those with long-term serious illness, and community-wide grief support for residents of Larimer and Weld counties. For more information, go to pathways-care.org.
     
    West Nile Virus Still a Risk in Larimer County (Sept. 2015)

    The Labor Day weekend brings many outdoor activities and the potential for mosquito bites, so the Health Department is reminding people to continue protecting themselves against West Nile virus.

    So far this summer, one person with West Nile encephalitis and five people with West Nile fever have been reported in Fort Collins, most since mid-August, in addition to three blood donors. In Loveland, one case of WNV meningitis was reported in July.

    There are pockets of very high levels of West Nile-infected mosquitoes in some parts of Fort Collins, including the Red Fox Meadows Natural Area on the west side of Fort Collins and the English Ranch Park area on the east side of the city. The area around the new Aspen Heights subdivision in north Fort Collins has also been quite high this summer.

    Larimer County residents can check online (www.larimer.org/westnile) to see weekly maps showing the number of Culex mosquitoes that were trapped in urban areas of the county. If the trapped mosquitoes were tested for West Nile infection, those results can be found for each week on a second map. Not all communities test the trapped mosquitoes due to the cost. This week is the last week of trapping for most of Larimer County; however, trapping in Fort Collins will continue for another two weeks.

    West Nile is a viral infection that is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes. Symptoms can range from none at all to severe illness. About 75 percent of people who are infected have no symptoms; about 25 percent will develop West Nile fever. Fewer than 1 percent develop the more serious neuroinvasive form, which can lead to hospitalization, critical illness, chronic disability or even death.

    West Nile virus disease can be prevented. In addition to community efforts, individuals can remember to use the 4 Ds:
  • DEET or other effective mosquito repellent - Use a mosquito repellent that has been proven to be effective against West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes. DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and IR3535 are good choices.
  • Dusk to Dawn - Avoid exposure during peak mosquito feeding times, from dusk through dawn.
  • Dress - Wear long sleeves and pants to keep mosquitoes from biting.
  • Drain - Remove standing water in your yard or garden to minimize mosquito breeding areas.

  • For more information, visit the Larimer County website.
     
    Health District Offers Free Cholesterol Tests in Sept. (2015)

    In recognition of National Cholesterol Education Month, the Health District of Northern Larimer County is offering free cholesterol tests in Sept. to all district residents.

    A fingerstick test is used to obtain results for total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides and blood glucose. During each 20-minute appointment, a registered nurse will run the cholesterol test and will also check blood pressure and provide health education materials. The test itself takes about 5 minutes, and the nurse will explain your results, assess risk for diabetes and heart attack, and provide follow-up recommendations.

    A complete list of screening dates and locations is available at healthdistrict.org/heart or by calling the Health District at 970-224-5209. Appointments are strongly recommended. Walk-ins accepted only at specific sites. An 8-hour fast is recommended, and water and medications are permitted.

    The Health District encompasses the northern two-thirds of Larimer County and includes the cities of Fort Collins, Timnath, Laporte, Wellington and Red Feather Lakes. A map of district boundaries is also on the Health District website. Cost for those living outside the Health District boundaries is $15.
     

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