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Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Pasco announces Kick Off Meeting

Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Pasco announces Kick Off Meeting

Pasco County, Florida -- The Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Pasco will hold their fall kick off meeting Thursday September 8, 201, from 3 - 4 p.m. at the Pasco County Health Department Education Center (10841 Little Road, New Port Richey). 

“It is not, a bare bones, plain, vanilla event," explains Courtenay O'Connell, a retired teacher and partnership member. "This meeting will clarify the role of the partnership, as well as review some of the progress gained thus far, and we'll offer it all up with a cherry on top in addition to a few more toppings.”  As a playful way to illustrate the point, vanilla ice cream will be served but the members will bring the topping (flavor) – turning the plain into something more exciting and demonstrating how everyone’s input can improve results.

Tobacco is a powerful addiction with a powerful industry behind it, but with community input and advocacy great strides can be made.  In the last three years tobacco rates have dropped statewide.  According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, in Pasco County the rate of adults who currently smoke went from 30% in 2007 to 21% in 2010.

10 News helps Lutz woman get some help for disabled son

10 News helps Lutz woman get some help for disabled son

LUTZ, Fla. - 10 News has helped a Bay Area woman get some help for her disabled son, who suffers from cerebral palsy and is legally blind.

The mother, Erica Robinson, reached out to us because her son's disability benefits had ended. She says a few months ago she got a new job and started making more money. That made her ineligible for the benefits.

Robinson says she applied to another state program, but they don't cover all of her son's needs, which includes diapers and nursing care. Her health insurance through her employer doesn't cover that as well.

Local trainer explains why exercise boosts brain function

Local trainer explains why exercise boosts brain function

Lutz, Florida -- It’s a well-known fact that fitness greatly benefits our physical health. Now a new international study shows that regular exercise is also instrumental in maintaining a healthy brain and sharp mind. 

The findings of this study, conducted by researchers in Paris and at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the July 25 print edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, are not exactly surprising, says Samantha Taylor, a personal trainer at Pure Health & Fitness Studios in Lutz, FL. 

“The positive effects of exercise on our brain have been borne out by other studies,” says the trainer who serves Hillsborough and Pasco counties. “However, this newest research not only confirms previous findings, but also adds some new ones: a strong link between regular physical fitness and lower rates of mental decline in older adults, even those who already have a history of heart disease or stroke, or at least three risk factors for those conditions.”

Seniors get caught in Medicare cycle

Seniors get caught in Medicare cycle

Zephyrhills, Florida -- Even with the changes implemented through the Affordable Care Act, Seniors on Medicare are still watching out for the “dreaded doughnut hole”—the nick name given to the coverage gap for prescription drugs under Part D plans. 

Since 2006 when the Medicare Part D drug benefit was established, Seniors can be burdened with costly out-of-pocket costs once they and their Part D drug plan have spent $2,840. Roughly one out of every four Medicare Part D beneficiaries reaches the doughnut hole, according to 2008 study by the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation. Many reach it around the middle of the year.

“We are starting to hear from local Seniors who are nearing or are already in the doughnut hole”, said Bill Hepscher, owner of The Canadian Drugstore.

Pasco welcomes two new not-for-profit behavioral healthcare providers

Pasco welcomes two new not-for-profit behavioral healthcare providers

Two not-for-profit behavioral health providers well-known in Hillsborough and Pinellas are expanding into Pasco County.

Beginning August 1, Pinellas County’s Directions for Mental Health and Hillsborough’s Mental Health Care, Inc. will begin providing counseling, medication management, case management, and tele-psychiatry in Pasco County. Both organizations are nationally accredited and have a combined ninety years of experience in delivering services.

Directions for Mental Health’s office will primarily serve the western part of Pasco County. Its office is located at 5642 Meadowlane Street in New Port Richey.  Mental Health Care, Inc. will be the primary provider for eastern Pasco County with an office location of 2740 Windguard Circle, Suite 101, Wesley Chapel, 33544.

The agencies’ expansion into Pasco County is in response to two important issues: high reported need in Pasco County and the opportunity to provide more accessible options to residents.

Mental health agency expands to Pasco, opens 10 new positions

Mental health agency expands to Pasco, opens 10 new positions

New Port Richey, Florida -- Directions for Mental Health is bringing its nationally accredited health care services to Pasco County and hiring 10 new positions. The agency, which has three offices in Pinellas County, will offer outpatient mental health services at its brand-new Pasco County office, located at 5642 Meadowlane Street in New Port Richey. The office will open for services on August 1st, and job applications are being accepted now. Open positions are in psychiatry and counseling.

Directions for Mental Health is one of the largest not-for-profit behavioral health organizations in Pinellas County and will bring nearly 30 years of experience to Pasco County.

Directions currently employs over 220 staff and serves over 10,000 people each year. The agency expects to increase the number of individuals served by 20% over the next year with this expansion.

Library hosts "Color Me Healthy" for preschoolers ages 4-5

Library hosts "Color Me Healthy" for preschoolers ages 4-5

Dade City, Florida -- COLOR ME HEALTHY is a fun, intertactive program for kids aged 4 and 5 to help them understand the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

Dancing, plays, and music are part of the fun of learning! Parents of kids ages 4-5 are encouraged to participate.

Who: Kids ages 4-5 with parent/guardian
What: Color Me Healthy
When: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Where: Hugh Embry Branch Library
Questions? Call 352-567-3576