Health briefs for March 29, 2014: March 31 is deadline for insurance enrollment

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March 31 is the final day of open enrollment for 2014 insurance.

Health Coverage Guides from Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the clinic at 745 Russell St. to answer questions about the health insurance marketplace Connect for Health Colorado.

Information will be available for individuals, families and small businesses interested in learning about their options for health insurance under new legislation.

For more information, call 970-871-7664.

Anti-tobacco contest for Moffat County teens

Today is the last chance to participate in the Moffat County Teen Council’s social media photo contest as part of the Kick Butts campaign by Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition of Moffat County.

Teens are encouraged to submit photos of how they can fight Big Tobacco at facebook.com/MOCOTC. Tobacco companies spend billions advertising their products each year in the United States, much of which is targeting teens.

Participants should be creative in displaying how they refuse to be victims of tobacco.

A winner will be announced March 31 and will receive a $100 grand prize.

For more information, call 970-871-7627 or 970-824-5752.

The Memorial Hospital to host health fair

The Memorial Hospital will host the second annual Community Health Fair from 7:30 a.m. to noon April 26 at its facilities at 750 Hospital Loop.

The event includes low-cost health screenings, presentations by physicians and health experts, booth activities and healthy food and snacks.

Businesses that would like to cover the cost for their employees to get the tested can work with TMH on the billing and providing registration forms.

For more information, call 970-824-9411.

March time for medical awareness

March serves as an awareness month for many medical topics, and certain weeks and dates throughout the month also signify significant issues.

Brain injuries and research — Brain Injury Awareness Month is an annual observance of the causes and consequences of brain injury. It recognizes the need for greater prevention, research, education and advocacy on behalf of individuals who sustain a life-changing — sometimes devastating — brain injury and their family caregivers.

For more information, visit biausa.org.

Children’s health — During Child Life Month, child life programs around the world will join the child life council in educating health care colleagues and the public about the psychosocial needs of children in pediatric settings. Research has demonstrated that child life interventions reduce the anxiety that children and families experience in a medical setting. Child Life Month is designed to honor child life specialists as they work to ensure high quality, family-centered and developmentally appropriate care for children.

For more information, visit childlife.org.

Colorectal cancer — During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, cancer groups, hospitals and communities focus attention on preventing, treating and curing colorectal cancer. Education is provided to the public and colorectal screenings are encouraged.

For more information, visit preventcancer.org.

Eye donations, vision and eye wellness — Each year, the Eye Bank Association of America promotes March as National Eye Donor Month to raise awareness of the need to donate eyes. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Eye Donor Month in 1983, and since then, a member of congress has read a proclamation into the congressional record each March to note this special occasion.

For more information, visit restoresight.org.

Save Your Vision Month is held by the American Optometric Association to remind Americans of the importance of eye health and regular exams.

For more information, visit aoa.org.

When it comes to eye health, the more vision ailments employees have, the more medical care they use, increasing health care-related expenses. Employers are encouraged to contact Prevent Blindness America for information on the Healthy Eyes Vision Wellness Program, promoting vision care services during Workplace Eye Wellness Month.

For more information, visit preventblindness.org.

Kidney health — During National Kidney Month, the National Kidney Foundation urges Americans to get to know two humble, hardworking organs: the kidneys. To help raise awareness of and appreciation for all the vital functions the kidneys perform, NKF is encouraging Americans to learn more and take steps now to preserve kidney health, including taking advantage of free kidney health checks in March.

For more information, visit kidney.org.

Root canals — Root Canal Awareness Week, March 30 to April 5, established by the American Association of Endodontists, was created to educate the public about misconceptions about root canal treatments and the true benefits of this virtually painless procedure, which is performed an average of 25 times each week and can have important implications for overall health. Root canal treatment saves more than 16 million natural teeth each year, making the procedure more hero than villain.

For more information, visit aae.org/rcaw.

Doctors — National Doctors’ Day, April 30, recognizes society’s debt of gratitude to physicians for their contributions to enlarging the reservoir of scientific knowledge, increasing the number of scientific tools, and expanding the ability of health professionals to use both knowledge and tools effectively in the never-ending fight against disease. It also celebrates the compassion of physicians in administering to the sick and alleviating human suffering.

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