Health Notes is a weekly feature that highlights health and wellness news in the area. Hospitals and other health related agencies may e-mail items to scappetta@hersamacorn.com.

Smoking cessation

Stratford Health Department and St. Vincent’s Swim Across the Sound sponsor a free smoking cessation program to all Connecticut residents.

Classes run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Birdseye Municipal Complex, 468 Birdseye Street, Stratford: March 14, 19, 26, and April 2.

To register call 203-385-4090 or email groberts@townofstratford.com.

Sinus pain lecture

Bridgeport Hospital ear, nose and throat specialist Bradford Chervin, MD and allergist Irena Veksler, MD, will discuss the causes of and treatments for sinus congestion and pain during the free lecture, “Wipe Out Congestion and Head Pain…For Good,” Thursday, March 14, 7, Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley Lane. Doors open at 6:30. Reservations required, 1-888-357-2396.

Family health & fitness event

Eastern Holistic Arts hosts a Family Health and Fitness Event to educate local adults and children on achieving optimal health including the benefits of good nutrition and exercise Saturday, March 16, 1:30-3:30, 232 Boston Post Road, (Aldi Plaza), Milford.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Braglia, chiropractic physician in Stratford will present ‘Take Control of Your Health’ which will focus on the importance of how you eat and how you move and include simple practices related to nutrition, injury prevention and spinal health.

Attendees also will learn about the benefits of yoga and karate, watch demonstrations and participate in sample class activities. Comfortable clothing is suggested. Youth activities, face painting, raffle prizes and refreshments will be available.

For more information, call 203-993-0731 or visit easternholisticarts.org.

Ostomy support

Sundays, March 17 and April 21, 2 p.m., Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut, 40 Lindeman Drive, Trumbull. Open to anyone who has had or will have an ostomy operation, such as colostomy, urostomy or ileostomy. Spouses welcome. Meetings held third Sunday of month except July and August, Sharon Tilley, 203-384-3209.

Breast cancer survivor support

Meets first and third Tuesdays of the month, 5:30-7, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Next: March 19, 203-576-6158, tmclaugh@st.vincentss.org.

Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer

Bridgeport Hospital hematologist/medical oncologist Justin Persico, MD, will discuss “Updated Hormonal Therapy for Prostate Cancer” during the next meeting of Man to Man, the hospital’s prostate cancer support group, Tuesday, March 19, 6-8 p.m., Spring Meadows, 6949 Main Street, Trumbull, 1-888-357-2396.

Breastfeeding support

Free breastfeeding support group for new and expectant mothers, first and third Wednesday of the month, 10-noon, 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull, 1-888-357-2396. Next: March 20, April 3 and 17.

Mammography screenings

SWIM Women’s Imaging Center offers free and low-cost digital mammography screenings for women age 35 and older Wednesday, March 20, 10-2, South End Community Center, 19 Bates St., Stratford; Saturday, March 23, 10-1, St. Ann Church, 501 Naugatuck Ave., Milford; Thursday, March 28, 10-2, St. Vincent’s Urgent Care, 2 Trap Falls Road, Shelton.

To schedule an appointment call 203-576-5505.

Cancer support group

Free Lunch & Learn Cancer Support Group focused on giving support to patients and families who have been diagnosed with lung, colon, head & neck, esophageal, GI cancers and other solid tumors runs the third Thursday of every month, noon-1, in the Oncology Conference Room in the Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, adjacent to the St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport. Next: March 21, 203-576-6158,  tmclaugh@stvincents.org.

Cancer nutrition and cooking

Free cooking course designed to help attendees prevent and survive cancer through proper diet and nutrition offered monthly 6-7:45 on March 21, April 23, May 29, June 26, July 23, Aug. 28, Sept. 25, Oct. 22, Nov. 20, SWIM Center for Cancer Care, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, 203-576-6158, stvincents.org.

Blood pressure screenings

Screenings offered by Bridgeport Hospital at Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace, Mondays, March 18, April 1 and 15, 9:30-11:30; Stratford Baldwin Center, 1000 West Broad St., Monday, April 8, 9:30-11:30; Shelton Senior Center, 81 Wheeler St., Mondays, March 25 and April 22, noon-2. Call 1-888-357-2396.

Also offered by the South End Community Center in collaboration with the Stratford Health Department, first and third Wednesdays of the month, 10-noon, South End Community Center; 203-385-4058; 203-377-0689.

The Mario and Irma D’Addario Hypertension Program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center provides free blood pressure screenings and information to the public every Tuesday, 11:30-3:30, main lobby of St. V’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport; 1-877-255-7847.

First aid/safety class

Bridgeport Hospital’s Emergency Care Institute offers the following self-care classes in the duPont Board Room at Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St. To register, call 203-384-4497.

Adult, child and infant CPR/AED two-year certification, Wednesday, April 3, 6-9, $65; Pediatric first aid & safety and adult, child and infant CPR/defibrillator training two-year certification, Saturdays, March 23 and April 13, 8:30-5:30, $100 full class or $70 first aid portion only; Administration of Medicine Class, Tuesdays, March 19 and April 9, 6:30-9:30, $50 full program (three-year certification) or $25 for injectable medications only; Basic life support for healthcare providers, Wednesdays, March 20 and April 17, 6-10, $90 ($65 with unexpired American Heart Association certification card).

Cancer survivor support

Moving Forward support and educational series for cancer survivors meets Friday, March 22, 1-3:30, Bridgeport Hospital Administrative Conference, first floor, 267 Grant Street. To register, call 203-384-3094.

A free patient and caregiver support program will be offered by St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound the last Tuesday of the month, 6-7:30, St. Vincent’s Medical Oncology Conference Room, Level 3 of the Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care. Program is open to all cancer patients and survivors along with their caregivers including family and friends, 203-576-6158,

Diabetes Alert Day

Central Connecticut Coast YMCA is sponsoring free healthy living information sessions on Diabetes Alert Day, Tuesday, March 26 at the following locations:

Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA, 20 Trefoil Drive, 5:30 p.m.; Fairfield YMCA, 841 Old Post Road, Fairfield, 6 p.m.; St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport, noon and 5:30 p.m.; United Church of Christ in Devon, 30 Ormond Street, Milford, 6 p.m.; Griffin Hospital, Division Street, Derby, 6 p.m.; North Haven Congregational Church, 28 Church Street, North Haven, noon; Soundview YMCA, 628 East Main Street, Branford, noon.

To register, contact Kelly Vaughan, 203-375-3844, ext. 32 or kvaughan@cccymca.org. For more information visit cccymca.org.  tmclaugh@stvincents.org.

Better Breathing Club

Meets Fridays, March 29 and April 26, 1:30, Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St. Open to anyone with chronic respiratory disease. To register, call 203-336-7375.

Stroke support

Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers will host a free Stroke Support Group meeting for recovering stroke patients and their caregivers Tuesday, April 2, 6-7, Shelton outreach site, 4 Corporate Drive, 203-925-4201.

Also offered third Wednesday of the month, 5:30-7, Seton Room, Level C, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, 203-576-5361.

Heart smart recipes sought

The Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital invites the public to share recipes for their favorite comfort foods, to be transformed into heart-healthy dishes and possibly included in a new cookbook. Recipes and a note about their special meaning can be submitted online at bridgeporthospital.org/heartrecipes, mailed to the Bridgeport Hospital Marketing Department, 267 Grant St., Bridgeport, CT 06610, or faxed to 203-384-3943. Submission deadline is March 31.

Caregiver support

Group for family members and others responsible for the day-to-day care of elderly relatives meets first Friday of month, 10-11, Operations Conference Room, Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant St., April 5; and 5:30-6:30, second Tuesday of the month, Center’s offices, 95 Armory Road, Stratford, April 9, 1-888-357-2396.

Free patient and caregiver support program last Tuesday of the month, 6-7:30, Medical Oncology Conference Room, Level 3 of the Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent to St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Open to all cancer patients and survivors along with their caregivers, family and friends. No reservations required, 203-576-6158, tmclaugh@stvincents.org.

Also, hosted by Maefair Health Care second Tuesday of the month 2:30-3:30, 21 Maefair Court, Trumbull. Meetings are open to all caregivers in the community. Light refreshments, 203-459-5152.

Genetic counseling

Bridgeport Hospital’s Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute and Yale Cancer Center provide genetic counseling services by appointment Wednesday, April 10, 5520 Park Ave., Trumbull, 203-764-8400.

Look Good .... Feel Better

Free American Cancer Society program helps women with cancer improve their appearance and self-image through hands-on beauty techniques Friday, April 19, 1-3 p.m., Bridgeport Hospital, 267 Grant Street. To register, call 1-888-357-2396.

Also offered April 11, June 6, Aug. 8, Oct. 10 and Dec. 5, 1-3 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care adjacent St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main Street, Bridgeport. Reservations required: 203-576-6158. Lunch provided.

Al-Anon meetings

Al-Anon is a resource for family members and friends affected by alcoholism.

Al-Anon meets Sundays, 6:30 and Wednesdays, 7:30, St. Ann’s, old convent behind church, Brewster Street, Black Rock; Sundays, 7, St. Charles Church, (Spanish meeting), 391 Ogden Street, Bridgeport; Fridays, 8, Bridgeport Mental Health Center, 1635 Central Avenue, first floor (park & enter from parking deck off Mead Street).

For information about groups in Connecticut, call 1-888-825-2666. For more information about Al-Anon, visit ct-al-anon.org. A free publication is available at Al-AnonFamilyGroups.org.

Addiction support

Are you dealing with an addiction in your life or the life of a family member? Higher Ground Ministry is non-denominational offering help that is permanent through biblical truths. Weekly meetings are held where one receives support, encouragement and spiritual guidance. Meetings are Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m., Trinity Baptist Church, 300 North Benson Road, Fairfield.

Also, Sundays, 6-7:30 p.m., Stepney Baptist Church, 423 Main St., Monroe; Mondays, 7:30-9 p.m., Huntington Chapel, 177 Ripton Road, Huntington; Thursdays, 6:30-8 p.m., Christ the King Church at American Legion Hall, 21 Cedar St., Naugatuck; Tuesdays, 6:30-8 p.m. and Fridays, 7-8:30 p.m., First Baptist Church of Shelton, 178 Leavenworth Road, Shelton; Fridays, 7-8:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 235 Prindle Ave., Ansonia; and Tuesdays, 7:30-9 p.m., Grace Baptist Church, 400 Burnt Plains Road, Milford. Information: 203-888-9974; highergroundministry.org.

Family support group

For adult patients, family members and friends who are coping with a diagnose of leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin’s Disease, first Tuesday of every month, 4-5:30, St. V’s Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, Level 3 Medical Oncology Conference Room, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport, 203-576-6158; tmclaugh@stvincent.org.

Diabetes education

Fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30, St. Vincent’s Level 4 Seton Conference Room, 203-576-6168.

Bereavement support

An eight-week support group facilitated by Ximena  Varas, certified lay minister and chaplain meets Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m at First United Methodist Church, 188 Rocky Rest Road.

Registration required: ximenavaras@umcshelton.org or 203-278-1568.

Yoga classes

“New ‘Mindful Flow’ yoga class series offered Fridays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. at 2505 Main St., Suite 224, Stationhouse Square, Stratford, naturesourcecare.com/yoga; 203-895-5534, info@naturesourcecare.com.

Free yoga for cancer patients

Restorative yoga, chair yoga with breathing and meditation for patients in active treatment or post-surgery, Tuesdays, 10 a.m., The Watermark, 303 Park Ave., Bridgeport; Thursdays, 10 a.m., Yoga Room, Level 3 of St. Vincent’s Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, adjacent to the Medical Center. Gentle Yoga, for patients in treatment or recently finished, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m., Yoga for Everybody, 27 Unquowa Road, Fairfield. Formal Yoga, for cancer survivors of five years or less, Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m., The Watermark, 3030 Park Ave., Bridgeport, 203-576-6158.

Healthcare and Medicare information

St. Vincent’s Medical Center is offering a free program of health insurance and Medicare information and counseling to the public every week. Individuals can meet with the health insurance specialist by appointment in the privacy of the Banks Library located on the third level of St. Vincent’s.

To schedule an appointment or for more information call St. Vincent’s Volunteer Office at 203-576-5111.

Free HIV/HCV tests

The Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program and the Stratford Health Department will offer rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing with results in 20 minutes every first and third Tuesday of the month from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Stratford Health Dept., 468 Birdseye St., Stratford.

To schedule an appointment call 203-385-4058.

Cancer support group

Ongoing monthly group is focused on giving support to patients and families who have been diagnosed with lung, colon, head and neck, esophageal, GI cancers and other solid tumors. Meetings are the third Wednesday of the month, 9-10 a.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, third floor conference room, St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158.

Healthy traveler service

Bridgeport Hospital’s Healthy Traveler Service provides pre-travel consultations, travel vaccines, medications and comprehensive travel information to help prepare for a healthy and safe international trip. For information or to make an appointment, call 203-384-3613.

Ring for Your Rhythm

Bridgeport Hospital’s “Ring for Your Rhythm” line provides recorded, step-by-step instructions for taking a pulse reading, to help detect atrial fibrillation (a-fib) and possibly prevent a stroke. Call toll free, 24/7, at 1-855-247-8573.

Community acupuncture

Led by licensed acupuncturist Gregor Wei, Mondays, 10-2, Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Call 203-255-5300 to register. Advance registration requested. Private appointments available.

Massage therapy

Massage is offered for oncology patients undergoing definitive active treatment and for survivors who have completed treatment. Call 203-576-6158 for an appointments. Program takes place on third floor of Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport.

Fitness classes

Bridgeport Hospital’s Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers offers weekly fitness classes in Bridgeport and Stratford:

Boot Camp, Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:45-6:45 a.m., 226 Mill Hill Ave., Bridgeport; Saturdays, 10-11 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.

Women’s Strength Training, Tuesdays, 11-noon; Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.

Zumba, Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 226 Mill Hill, Bridgeport; Saturdays, 8-9 a.m., 3585 Main St., Stratford.

$8 per class or $75 for 10 classes. Tickets are available at all Ahlbin Centers locations, or before or after classes. For information or to register, call 203-336-7301 (Bridgeport) or 203-380-4672 (Stratford).

In addition to Bridgeport and Stratford, Ahlbin Centers has outpatient facilities at 4 Corporate Drive, Shelton; 2600 Post Road, Southport; and 2750 Reservoir Ave., Trumbull.

Health and wellness classes

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport offers a variety of health and wellness classes. Most sessions run for 10 weeks with the exception of pilates, which is six weeks; and Y Diabetes Prevention Program and Weight Watchers program, 16 and 17-week sessions respectively. 10-week sessions: $90. Information/registration: 203-576-6267; scollins@stvincents.org.

Free exercise video program

A new online video program called A-B-E (Activity Bursts Everywhere) for Fitness, designed specifically to help adults meet those recommendations for daily physical activity, is available at abeforfitness.com.

Kripalu yoga

Beginner and intermediate level, runs weekly, Fridays, 9:15 a.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300; bridgeporthospital.org. Yoga, restorative yoga and teen yoga classes also available. Call for full class schedule.

Pilates

Weekly, Mondays, 5:30 p.m., Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, 111 Beach Road, Fairfield. Class size limited to six students. Advance registration requested; 203-255-5300.

Wellness booth

St. Vincent’s Wellness Booth has relocated to the main lobby of the Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Health screenings and services offered to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30-3:30. No appointment required for any of the screenings.

Free blood pressure screenings are performed every Tuesday. On Wednesdays, Cholesterol/HDL ratio/glucose screening, $18; a lipid panel requiring a four-hour fast, $25; blood sugar screening alone requiring a two-hour fast, $1.

For more information call St. Vincent’s toll-free Care Line at 1-877-255-SVHS (7847).

Heart-disease risk quiz

Bridgeport Hospital offers “Take 10 for Your Ticker,” a free online heart-disease risk quiz. Quiz is available at bridgeporthospital.org, by clicking on the link in the “Take 10 for Your Ticker” box.

For those without access to the Internet, a free printed copy of the quiz, with an explanation of results, is available by calling 1-888-357-2396.

Help for new movers

Bridgeport Hospital’s free Newcomer Concierge Service helps new residents of Bridgeport and surrounding towns locate physicians to meet personal and family health needs. Service also provides information on health-related events and activities. To reach the Newcomer Concierge Service, call 203-330-7462, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, 9-3.

Caregiver support

Atria Stratford Assisted Living, 6911 Main St., offers a support group for family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease, or related dementia, living at home or in an extended care facility. Group meets first Wednesday of the month, 6-7; 203-380-0006.

Grasmere By The Sea: One Post Road, Fairfield, offers open discussion about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, first Thursday of month, 4 p.m.; 203-365-6470.

Jewish Family Service, 2370 Park Ave., Bridgeport, offers support group for family members or friends helping with the care of adults over 60, meets first Wednesday of month, 6-7:30 p.m. RSVP: 366-5438, Ext. 219.

Sunset Shores Adult Day Health Center, 720 Barnum Avenue Cut Off, Stratford, offers a support group for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Meetings are the second Wednesday of the month, 4-5; 380-1228.

St. Vincent’s SWIM family support group meets first Tuesday of each month, 4-5:30 p.m., Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required; 203-576-6158; tmclaugh@st.vincents.org.

Prostate cancer survivors

St. Vincent’s SWIM Prostate Cancer Survivors Educational Lecture Series and Support Group meets at Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. Call 203-576-6158 or e-mail tmlaugh@stvincents.org for dates and times of lectures. No reservations required.

Breast cancer wellness

St. Vincent’s Breast Cancer Survivor Wellness program, intended for women who have recently undergone breast cancer surgery and those further along in their recovery, 4:30-5:30, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. V’s, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. No reservations required. For dates, call 203-576-6158.

Breast cancer stories

Bizymoms.com has helped many women with whatever information it is they may be seeking about breast cancer. A panel of cancer experts, women, wives, and mothers are waiting to share their expertise and stories while learning about yours. Visit bizymoms.com/cares/breastcancer.

Cancer boutique

St. Vincent’s partners with Saxon-Kent Lingerie of Orange to provide special products for women battling cancer. Boutique hours: Monday-Friday, 10-4. Fitting hours for wigs, prosthesis, mastectomy bras, lymphedema sleeves etc: Tuesdays, 2-4; Wednesdays, 10-noon; or by appointment; 203-576-6158; tmclaugh@stvincents.org. Boutique hours: 10-4.

Breast cancer support

Woman-to-Woman, an American Cancer Society sponsored support group for women who have had breast cancer or who have been newly diagnosed, meets monthly, 2-4 p.m., Cambridge Manor, 2428 Easton Tpke., Fairfield; 1-800-889-3340.

Cancer resource library

St. Vincent’s SWIM Cancer Resource Library is open Monday-Friday, 9-5, Maureen Ringel Cancer Resource Library, Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, St. V’s. Medical Center, 2800 Main St., Bridgeport. A representative is available to assist visitors with navigation of web-based searches, cancer clinical trial searches and direct patient referrals to a variety of free resources Monday-Friday, 9-1.

MS support

Trumbull MS support group meets third Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8, Trumbull Library, 33 Quality St. Ed, 445-0118; 1-800- FIGHT MS; ctfightsMS.org.

Scleroderma support

The American Society For Scleroderma Research has formed a support group for all afflicted by this disease. The group meets every second Thursday, 6:30-7:30, St. Vincent Medical Center, Main Street, Bridgeport; Aimee Turiano or Joy LoSchiavo, 203-273-2034.