Free & Low-Cost Health & Wellness Events – August

August 3, 2011

As a part of our ongoing effort to help you optimize your health without breaking the bank, we’ve researched and compiled a list of free and low-cost health resources for the month of August, including health clinics and wellness events.

Take a look at the list below to see if there are any events near you, and be sure to check back regularly – we update the list as we find additional resources. If you yourself know of any events that aren’t on our list, feel free to let everyone know in the comments section below!

*Denotes recurring event.

Scottsdale, AZ – Anterior hip replacement screening (Free, 8/23); Bone Density Screening ($20, 8/23, 1-4pm); Heart Health Evaluation ($20, 8/24, 9am–Noon); Cholesterol & Bone Density Screening ($35, 8/30, 8-11:30am); Children’s Immunizations (Free, 8/6, 8am-Noon).

Free Support Groups: Pregnancy & Postpartum Depression (times/dates vary by subject & location)

Hanford, CANOTE: Cost is undisclosed unless otherwise noted. Most services require appointment. Immunizations* (times/dates vary by location); Reproductive Health Services* (times/dates vary by location); STD Clinic (M-F, 8-5); Preventive Care – Screenings and Referrals (Free); Women, Infant and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (times/dates vary by location); TB Clinic & HIV Testing (times/dates vary by location); Diabetes Information (Free)

Riverside, CA – Meditation Group* (Free, Thursdays, 7:30-9pm); Senior and Caregiver Expo (Free w/free transportation to the event, 8/20, 7:30-11:30am. Requires RSVP by 8/5).

Miami, FL – Cholesterol & Diabetes Screening (Free, times/dates vary by location); “For Your Health” online chats (Free, times/dates vary by subject)

Detroit, MI – Prostate Health (Free, 8/3, Noon-1pm, RSVP); Medication Management (Cost unspecified; 8/4, 10:30-11:30am); Health & Wellness Expo for Seniors & Caregivers (Free if you RSVP, $3 at the door, 8/5, Noon-7pm); Senior Summerfest & Health Screenings (Includes seminars – injury & cancer prevention and joint replacements, screenings, blood tests, blood pressure check, vision, hearing and foot checks. Free, 8/7, 1-4pm. RSVP is required); Advancements in Hip Replacement/Surgery (Free, 8/10, 6pm)

Support Groups: Mental Illness (Cost unspecified, 8/9, 7-9pm); Prostate Cancer (Free, 8/9, 7-9pm)

Queens, NYAll events are free. Yoga 50+* (Registration required, Tuesdays, 10:30 am & 11:45 am); Blood Pressure Screening (8/10, 9-10am & 8/17, 9-10:30am); Caregiver Support (8/11, 11am)

Again, we’ll be updating this list as we find more events, so check back often! To stay up-to-date on health news, wellness tips, and cost-saving healthcare advice, you can follow us @HealthSurvival and ”like” our Facebook page here.

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How to reduce your risk of foodborne illness at your 4th of July barbecue

June 29, 2011

Barbecues, pool parties, and other outdoor celebrations can be some of the most enjoyable moments of summer.  But these get-togethers tend to involve food, and bringing food outside can increase the potential for foodborne illnesses.  Just in time for the July 4th holiday, the Food Safe Families campaign–a multimedia public service campaign run by the Ad Council, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the FDA and the CDC–is debuting.  Through a series of humorous  public service announcements that you can see soon on TV (or click here to watch online), the campaign’s goal is to raise awareness of foodborne illness while helping to educate consumers about what actions they can take to reduce their risk.

The campaign advocates the following safe food handling procedures:

  • Clean: Anyone preparing food should use soap and water to wash their hands, clean kitchen surfaces like countertops, and clean any utensils to be used.
  • Separate: Use different cutting boards to ensure that raw meats stay separated from other foods you’re preparing.
  • Cook: Use a food thermometer to make sure you’re cooking foods to the proper temperature.
  • Chill: Quickly chill raw and prepared foods.

When you’re preparing meat and poultry for a delicious 4th of July cookout, also remember to keep these tips in mind:

  • Thaw your meat/poultry before cooking it so that it cooks more evenly.  You can thaw it slowly but safely in your refrigerator.  If you need to thaw it more quickly, you can use your microwave to defrost it, but only if it will be put on the grill immediately afterward.
  • Marinate meat or poultry in your refrigerator, not on your counter. 
  • If you’re going to be transporting food to another event or location, use an insulated cooler with ice packs; the cooler needs to keep your food at a temperature of under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When taking cooked food off the grill, put it on a clean platter.  Don’t re-use the same platter that had previously held raw meat or poultry.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers quickly, and throw out any food that’s been left out for over 2 hours.
  • Want more details on how to barbecue your food safely?  Click here!

Get more helpful tips on food safety by visiting www.foodsafety.gov.


Attention Men: Top Ways to Take Care of Your Health Now!

June 7, 2011

Did you know that half of male-premature deaths are preventable? Or that women on average outlive men by five years? The current state of men’s health is not very good, especially in comparison to their female counterparts. One reason for this is that women on average take better care of themselves – according to Men’s Health Network, men are half as likely to go to the doctor for a check-up as women are, thus depriving themselves of a chance to catch a disease in its early stages, when it’s most treatable.

However, there is an upside: because many men aren’t doing enough to take care of their health right now, there are many opportunities to improve. Here are a few tips to start taking care of yourself now:

1. Go to the doctor! With early screenings, many diseases can be successfully treated.

2. Eat more tomatoes. They contain lycopene, which may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. (Mayo Clinic)

3. Perform self-exams regularly. Check for lumps and nodules. See your doctor for routine physicals.

4. Seek help for depression. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. (National Institute of Mental Health)

5. Don’t ignore snoring. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea – blocked air flow – which can lead to clogged arteries.

To stay up-to-date on health news, wellness tips, and cost-saving healthcare advice, you can follow us @HealthSurvival and ”like” our Facebook page here.


Wellness Events – June

June 7, 2011

As a part of our ongoing effort to help you find the best care at the lowest cost, we bring to you this month’s list of free & low-cost wellness events.

Take a look for an event near you, and be sure to check previous entries for any recurring events (which are indicated by a *).

Detroit, MI – Diabetes Education (6/8, Free); Men’s Health Month Seminar (6/9, Free); The New Healthcare Law – What it Means for You (6/9, Free); Sleep Apnea/Treatment Options (6/9, Free)

Cross River, NY – Free Community Wellness Day – Topics include holistic health, stress reduction, Homeopathic Medicine for Chronic Conditions, Meditations, Diabetes, ADD/ADHD, Nutrition (6/11, Free)

Houston, TX – Free AHA Wellness Conference for African American Women. Includes sessions on heart health, cooking healthy foods, physical activity (6/11, Free)

Mount Shasta, CA – Caregiver Class (6/8, Free)

Topeka, KS Cost is unspecified. Health & Wellness Fair: more than 30 area health and wellness groups, educational resources, screenings (6/15)

Memphis, TN – ACS Look Good, Feel Better Program (6/13, 23, Free); Stroke Survivor Group (6/7, Free); Crohn’s/Colitis Support Group (6/7, Cost Unspecified); Weight Loss Seminar (6/7, Free); Men’s Health Summit (6/11, Cost Unspecified)

We will continue to update this list over the course of the month, so check back regularly! If you come across any events we missed, please let us know in the comments section below!

To stay up-to-date on health news, wellness tips, and cost-saving healthcare advice, you can follow us @HealthSurvival and “like” our Facebook page here.


PHA Case Study: Underinsured Patient Facing Foreclosure

May 13, 2011

Situation:

Edward, a part-time worker, had insurance coverage but not enough to cover several large hospital bills. Edward’s Personal Health Advocate informed him about “hardship/charity” assistance available through the hospital and helped him fill out the paperwork. As a result of this assistance, his inpatient hospital bills were cancelled. His PHA also negotiated with his physician to reduce Edward’s medical bills by 30 percent and worked with his insurance company to successfully reprocess and pay his past bills. Edward stated that without the PHA’s help, he faced bankruptcy and losing his home.

What The Healthcare Survival Guide says:

No matter what your income or health status, there are free or low-cost government and private options available. One example: free clinics for basic check-ups and screenings (pg. 17). Healthy individuals or those with a job on the horizon might consider a short-term mini-medical/limited benefit plan (pg. 31). The take-away: comparison-shop for what you need and read the fine print carefully. “Affordable” can mean exclusion of hospitalization, leaving you with big bills in a crisis. Look for drug coverage, limitations of doctor visits and other missing parts (pg. 26).

If you would like a free copy of The Healthcare Survival Guide: Cost-Saving Options for the Suddenly Unemployed and Anyone Else Who Wants to Save Money, you can download it at www.healthcaresurvivalguide.com.


Wellness Events – May

May 3, 2011

As a part of our ongoing effort to find you the best care at the lowest cost, we again bring to you a list of free & low-cost wellness events.

We would like to note that from now on, we will put up these wellness event entries on a monthly basis, editing the post over the course of the month as we find new events – keep an eye out for updates at twitter.com/healthsurvival.

Take a look below for an event near you, and please feel free to leave us a comment if you know of any events we may have missed.

* Denotes a recurring event. Click on the city for full details of the event.

New York City, NY – 50+ Yoga*; Blood Pressure Screenings* Stroke Awareness (May 26th)

Silverdale, WA – Free Women’s Health Seminar w/ health screenings (May 13th; RSVP by May 11th; there’s a 20-person limit) 

Macomb, IL – Diabetes Grocery Store Tour (May 24th, Free: If you have Diabetes or are at risk for it, check this tour out; you can learn how to read labels and decipher the carbohydrate and fiber connection)

National Women’s Health Week  National Women’s Health Week – The link will take you to Women’s Health National Directory of events for NWHW, including health clinics, STD clinics, wellness seminars, and more.

Longboat Key, FL – Free Cancer Support Group* (Mondays)

Sarosta, FL – Natural Breast Health (May 17th); Hearing Health Seminar (May 18th); Free Cholesterol & Diabetes Screenings (May 24th)

Baltimore, MD – Cancer Support Groups* (1st Wednesday of every month); Caregiver Education & Support Group* (1st Wednesday of every month); Free Glaucoma Screening (May 9th); Diabetes Eye Disease and Diabetes Support Group (May 16th); 10th Annual Senior Health & Fitness Day (May 25th); Smoking Cessation Classes (Time & Date of classes depend on location); Free Skin Cancer Screening (May 9th/16th, depending on location); Free Cararact & Diabetic Eye Screening (May 17th)

Hanford, CADate & Time vary by location; call for appointments. Immunizations; Reproductive health clinic services; STD Clinic, Preventive healthcare for adults; Senior Services.

Events from these previous entries are also recurring, so check them out here and here for events near you.