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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.
 
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.
 
SummitStone Health Partners Walk-in Crisis Services (Aug. 2015)

SummitStone Health Partners has expanded their 24-hour mental health and addiction crisis services. 24/7/365 walk-in and mobile crisis response are available at 1217 Riverside Ave., Fort Collins. In fall 2015, a short-term residential unit will be available as well. For more information about these services, go to the SummitStone Health Partners website.

If you or anybody you know feels they are in mental health crisis, please do not hesitate to contact us. Walk-in and mobile services are free of charge. To access mental health crisis support services, call 970-494-4200 (SummitStone Health Partners) or Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners at 1-844-493-TALK (8255). However, in a life-threatening emergency that requires medical care, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
 
Rabies Confirmed in Larimer County (April 2015)

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has confirmed the first positive rabies case in Larimer County this year, a rabid bat.

Rabies can infect any warm-blooded mammal, but in Larimer County, it is most commonly found in bats and skunks. If you see a skunk or bat that's behaving strangely, keep your distance and call the Larimer Humane Society's animal control number at 970-226-3647, #7.

The Department of Health and Environment reminds pet owners to keep their animals up to date on rabies vaccinations. Unvaccinated pets that come into contact with a rabid animal will either need to be euthanized or vaccinated and quarantined at a veterinary facility for 90 days, followed by another 90 days of strict home quarantine, which can be very expensive. Pets that are behind in their vaccinations must be vaccinated and quarantined at home for 90 days. Fully vaccinated pets need a booster and 45 days of observation at home. Livestock owners should check with their veterinarians about rabies vaccinations for their horses, cattle, and other livestock. There is no cure for rabies.

Ways to protect you and your family:
  • Do not feed or touch wildlife.
  • Teach children to observe wildlife from a distance and to notify an adult if there is a wild animal in the area or if they are bitten or scratched.
  • Eliminate food sources for wild animals by not feeding pets outdoors, closing pet doors especially at night, and tightly closing garbage cans and feed bins.
  • Ensure that your pets, horses and livestock are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

  • For the latest information on rabies in Larimer County, visit http://www.larimer.org/health/ehs/rabies.htm.
     
    Give Kids a Smile Day on Feb. 6 (2015)

    Give Kids a Smile Day is a day of free education and dental treatment for kids that's organized by the Colorado Dental Association every February.

    To qualify for an appointment, your child/family must meet ALL 5 of the following criteria.
      1. The child needing an appointment must be 17 years old or younger.
      2. Your family must be low income and unable to afford dental care.
      3. Your child must have no dental insurance or CHP+ coverage.
      4. You must have transportation to get to the appointment.
      5. You must be able to be at your appointment on time.

    If you meet the 5 requirements, we welcome you to participate in Give Kids a Smile Day. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. No walk-ins. When you call to make an appointment, please say that you are "calling to make an appointment for Give Kids a Smile Day."

    In Loveland, appointments are available at:
    Ross Family Dentistry
    1907 Boise Ave., Suite 5
    Loveland
    CALL: 970-667-1236

    For other Give Kids a Smile locations in Colorado, go to the Colorado Dental Association website.
     

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