AARP plans rally
LIBERTY -- AARP is having a rally, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Holiday Inn MetroPlex, aimed at prodding Congress into bipartisan cooperation to pass an affordable prescription drug benefit in Medicare. All area residents are invited to attend.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Medicare will help pay for an annual eye exam for all Medicare beneficiaries who are at high risk for glaucoma. They include people with diabetes, those with a family history of glaucoma, and blacks.
Qualified people eligible for Medicare should check with their Medicare carrier for specific information about glaucoma screening. In Ohio, call (800) 282-0530.
Easter Seals open house
BOARDMAN -- Easter Seals of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana is having an open house from 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 26 at its newly relocated Adult Day Services program at 721 Boardman-Poland Road. The facility, formerly located at 5200 Market St., is nationally accredited by the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission and recognized as a "Center of Excellence" and a model for other Easter Seals adult day services programs by the Easter Seals National Headquarters. It enables the local Easter Seals program to double the number of clients served and expand services.
Seminars on grief
BOARDMAN -- Seminars on grief, titled Grief Goes Public, for caregivers and the general community are scheduled for Sept. 11 at the Holiday Inn, 7410 South Ave. Sponsored by The Compassionate Friends and The Touched by Nathan Foundation, the seminars feature Darcie D. Sims, a bereaved parent, author, grief counselor, bereavement specialist, licensed psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and Ph.D. Sims authored several books and articles for publications on grief, was coping editor for Bereavement Magazine for 15 years, and director of the American Grief Academy for four years.
The caregivers' seminar is 2 to 4 p.m., and the community seminar is 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $10 each. Contact (330) 549-5369 or (330) 750-1934 for more information or to register by Aug. 28.
PITTSBURGH -- The University of Pittsburgh's Arthritis Institute received an $8.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for a research study on early osteoarthritis in the knee. Pittsburgh is one of four clinical centers nationally to participate in the Osteoarthritis Initiative, a public-private partnership. The seven-year project, which will recruit 5,000 people nationally at high risk of developing osteoarthritis, will begin recruiting between 1,250 and 1,500 area participants over age 50 who will undergo periodic X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging examinations to reveal any physical changes in the knee joint along with blood draws to identify biomarkers.
New heart test
SHARON, Pa. -- Sharon Regional Health System is using a new process that will allow emergency department patients to be tested for congestive heart failure through a simple blood test.
The 15-minute test measures a hormone called B-type natriuretic peptide, which is secreted by the heart's ventricles in response to increased pressure and volume of blood flow.
The hormone helps relieve the stress on the heart by prompting the release of fluid and sodium from the body. Elevated BNP levels have been found in the blood of people with heart failure.
An international study of nearly 1,600 emergency patients with shortness of breath showed that BNP was the single most accurate predictor of heart failure, said Dr. Sergio Segarra, director of Sharon Regional's Emergency Care Center.
"This test, along with the use of new medications, will allow us to expedite the diagnosis and treatment of congestive heart failure in both inpatients and outpatients," he said.