Wellness briefly

Healthcare Week activities planned

Trinity Health has planned a number of activities in conjunction with National Health Care Week this week.

Around 300 third- and fourth-graders from area schools are expected to attend Trinity’s annual “Hands on Health” simulated classroom on Monday through Thursday. Ten class sessions will expose students to what happens behind the scenes in a hospital setting.

“We’ll have learning stations that focus on surgery, x-ray, the laboratory and heart services,” said Kathleen White, community education coordinator. “In recent years, we’ve also focused on the importance of making healthy choices regarding nutrition and exercise.”

Also planned during the week are employee picnics, theme-of-the-day topics centering on wellness, safety and nutrition, and a new event called “Laughter is the Best Medicine,” in which staff will display their funniest home videos.

The schedule for Hands on Health is: today, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; and Thursday at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Each Hands on Health session will last one hour and will be held on the Health Center-Medical Arts skywalk, with access via the fifth floor west of Health Center-Medical Arts.

Hepatitis Awareness Month observed

BISMARCK – In observance of National Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month in May, the North Dakota Department of Health is encouraging individuals born between 1945 and 1965 to know their hepatitis C status, according to Sarah Weninger, Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator for the Department of Health.

Individuals born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than those from other age groups. Many individuals do not experience symptoms of hepatitis C and do not know that they are infected. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis C can take up to 30 years to develop. When symptoms do appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease. Symptoms of hepatitis C can include fever, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain and jaundice.

“National Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness about viral hepatitis since as many as 75 percent of those infected with chronic hepatitis C do not know they are infected,” Weninger said. “Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne infection in the U.S. and is the leading cause of liver cancer in the U.S. As many as 70 percent to 80 percent of all people who have hepatitis C will develop long-term infections. However, once the infection is identified, treatment options are available.”

For more information, call the North Dakota Department of Health’s Viral Hepatitis Program at 328-2378 or 800-472-2180 or visit (ndhealth.gov).

New income levels set for kids’ program

BISMARCK – Income eligibility guidelines for the North Dakota Children’s Special Health Services Specialty Care Treatment Program have increased, according to Melissa Evans, CSHS Claims & Eligibility Administrator with the North Dakota Department of Health.

Effective May 1, a family of four can earn up to $44,123 annually (or $3,677 monthly for the household) and still meet income eligibility requirements.

Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, CSHS provides services for children with special health care needs and their families and promotes family-centered, community based, coordinated services and systems of health care. The Specialty Care Treatment Program helps pay for services that are needed to treat children with eligible medical conditions from birth to 21.

“Approximately one in seven children in North Dakota has a special health care need. Although many of these children may be covered by some type of health insurance, Children’s Special Health Services acts as a gap-filler for over 100 medically eligible conditions and promotes access to quality health care,” said Evans.

To qualify for CSHS Treatment Services, families must be North Dakota residents and meet medical and financial guidelines. To find out if their child qualifies, families can call their local county social services office or the state CSHS office at 1-800-755-2714.

For more information, contact Evans at 328-4815 or toll free at 1-800-755-2714.