Chef Instructor Donna Hortz with Cooking Matters was on hand to talk about her program, which is a free series to SNAP-eligible individuals and families. Once a week for six weeks an instructor cooks with participants and teaches them about nutrition and shopping on a budget. Next series starts April 19 at Campbell Park Recreation Center, 601 14th St. S, from 6-8 p.m. To register, please call (727) 967-0060.
BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – The National Council of The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section hosted their fifth annual Health and Wellness Expo earlier this month at the Enoch Davis Center.
Featuring organizations from feeding the elderly to kidney health, to hair loss, the room was full of information on how to live a healthier life.
NCNW President Thelma Bruce said everyone hears about eating better and exercising, but she feels there are so many other areas that are overlooked and that’s why they will continue sponsoring yearly health expos.
“The more you know, you can do better,” stated Bruce. “When these types of things are reinforced, no matter who’s doing the presentation, we are getting the word out.”
Jana Richardson, case manager at Healthy Start at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, was on hand to let the public know about their efforts in reducing the infant mortality rate in the African- American community, focusing on zip codes 33701, 33705, 33711, 33712 and 33713.
Baycare Health Systems Onsite Coordinator Ciara Rosario and Health Educator Ava Ceric were conducting wellness screening that consisted of blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol checks. Results were given on the spot.
Working with women in their childbearing years, ages 14-44, Healthy Start at Johns Hopkins was implemented to address identified gaps in the system of maternal and child health services directly linked to health disparities in infant mortality, pre and inter-conception care.
The program also has a male component for men who would like to become better fathers.
Anyone who is thinking of getting pregnant, is pregnant or have an infant and is in need of services, please contact them at (727) 767-6780.
“Our goal is to help our babies before moms get pregnant with them because a healthy baby starts before pregnancy,” said Richardson.
Audry “Pat” McGhee manned the 211 Tampa Bay Cares table letting people know that the service is in existence to connect individuals, families and employees to information about critical health and human services available in their community for everyday needs and in times of crisis. The service is free, and all you have to do is dial 2-1-1.
Sandra Grosvenor and Katrina Goodrick from St. Anthony’s Hospital were giving out information on their diabetes education program. Anyone can take their two hour, six-week long program or have a representative come out to a community center or church. This program is free of charge. If interested call (727) 820-7884
Neighborly Care Network representative Tommy Williams gave out information on their health and wellness programs for seniors and their families. Some of their services provided include the Meals on Wheels program, adult daycare and the Senior Dining program for the elderly.
The Enoch Davis Center is one of the sites throughout Pinellas County that provide activities for seniors, hot meals and socializing activities.
“One of the things that we forget is when seniors outlive their family they are all alone,” said Williams. “If you have no neighbors or no one to check on you, socialization is very important.”
Neighborly Care Network provides transportation to and from the program, and for those who are homebound, the Meals on Wheels help seniors stay independently in their homes by supplementing their nutritional needs.
If you would like to attend the program or would like to volunteer and deliver meals to homebound seniors in the community, please call (727) 573-9444.
Marlo Scott Wilson from the Alopecia Awareness Tampa Bay Association informed the crowd on hand that her nonprofit provides affordable wigs, hairpieces and weaves for those suffering from hair loss.
Also, for those undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or other health conditions that cause hair loss, insurance may be used to obtain a personalized cranial prosthesis. The only charge to the client is their insurance co-pay.
For more information, please call 1-855-427-4849.
Janice Starling-Williams gave out information on her non-profit organization called All Kidney Patient Support Group, which brings awareness to kidney disease. The group supports those living with the disease by providing transportation to and from dialysis centers and with providing monetary assistance when possible.
This Saturday, March 25 from 11-2 p.m. at the Enoch Davis Center, All Kidney Patients Support Group will be having an awareness event dealing with kidney disease and obesity. Everyone is encouraged to come out and learn more about the disease that disproportionately plagues African Americans.
For more information, please call (727) 510-3766.
The Alzheimer’s Association was there giving out information on their programs. Director of Client Advocacy Program Specialist Cyrena Duncan said the association provides free services to the community such as memory screening and care consultation for family members with a loved one who is starting to show signs of memory loss or have been recently diagnosed with the disease. Consultations are free and can take place in the home or at their office.
“We try to be with you every step of the way,” said Duncan. “We have tons of resources to support a person with the disease or caregivers.”
They also offer free educational programs throughout the community and will come to a church or organization to speak on the disease.
Karen Malo from Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay, Inc. explained that their program gives a voice to children in the court system. When a child has been removed from the home, this program guarantees a qualified and caring adult is there to ensure that their rights are protected at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives. They serve as the child’s voice in court and advocates exclusively for the best interest of the child.
They are looking for volunteers to do monthly welfare visits to the child, access what kind of services they may need and write a visit report speaking on a child’s behalf. They advocate for services and eventual look at what’s in the child’s best interest in terms of reunification with the parent or if the child should become eligible for adoption.
For more information, please log on to herotoachild.org or call Karen at (727) 464-6528.
Coordinator Melvin Smith with the Sickle Disease Association St. Petersburg Chapter was out bringing awareness to the debilitating disease that affects mainly African Americans.
Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited condition that affects the red blood cells. It is characterized by the red blood cells becoming sickle in shape and stiff. Sickle cells are fragile and break up easier than the body can replace them, causing a person with the disease to experience extreme pain.
The association’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by the disease and facilitate activities to lend economic, psychological and social support.
For more information, call (727) 896-2355 or visit their office housed in the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Health Center 1344 22nd St. S.