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AIDS center and healthcare offices find new home in North Port

AIDS center and healthcare offices find new home in North Port

Venice, Florida -- Health officials announced today that the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Program that provides case management services to those living with HIV and AIDS has closed its office at 7810 S. Tamiami Trail in south Venice in preparation for a move to North Port.

The Ryan White CARE Program office will then offer services at the North Port Family Services Center, 6919 Outreach Way, second floor, room 216 (across the street from the North Port Health Center, also on Outreach Way) beginning today, Friday, July 1.

Other health department services that will relocate from Venice to North Port on July 1 include the Healthy Start Program and Sarasota Healthcare Access case management services, which are provided by appointment.

Candy-flavored tobacco resolution passes in Sarasota County

Candy-flavored tobacco resolution passes in Sarasota County

The Sarasota County Commission this week, on June 28, passed a resolution urging local vendors to cease the sale and marketing of all candy-flavored tobacco products. The resolution also urges residents not to purchase or use candy-flavored tobacco products in Sarasota County.

Under the federal Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the sale of cigarettes containing certain flavors other than menthol is illegal.

“However, this policy stops short of regulating menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products other than cigarettes, such as cigars, snus or Swedish snuff, and hookah,” said Kisha Gaines, Sarasota County Health Department tobacco prevention program manager. “Because not all flavored tobacco products are illegal, the support of a local policy to ban all other products is imperative to protect our youth.”

10 News and friends bring All American Blood Drive to Sarasota

10 News and friends bring All American Blood Drive to Sarasota

Sarasota, Florida -- 10 News -WTSP has teamed up with WQYK 99.5 FM, Florida Blood Services, and Sweetbay Supermarkets to sponsor "Ten News All American Blood Drive" on Thursday, June 30 and Friday, July 1, 2011, to help build our community's blood supply as we prepare for the long Independence Day Holiday weekend ahead.

Florida Blood Services will have bloodmobiles onsite from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., at the following location in Sarasota on Thursday and Friday:

  • Sweetbay Supermarket, 6100 N Lockwood Ridge

All lifesaving donors will receive

County provides safety tips for preventing heat stress and strokes

County provides safety tips for preventing heat stress and strokes

With the seasonal high temperatures, anyone can become overheated on or off the beach. Heat stress or stroke is a life-threatening situation and help is needed fast.

Scott Montgomery,  manager of Lifeguard Operations, offers these safety tips to help prevent heat stress or strokes:

  • Slow down and avoid strenuous activity.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and out of the sun.
  • Drink plenty of water often.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine because they can intensify the heats effect on your body.

Free and low-cost health services provided at 14 county sites this July

Free and low-cost health services provided at 14 county sites this July

The Sarasota County Health Department’s Health In Motion Mobile Medical Unit staff will provide free and low-cost health services at 14 sites around the county during July. In addition, the unit will participate in the Venice Summer Wellness Fair special event from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Avenue south.

The services offered include diabetes education and screening, blood pressure tests, pregnancy testing, HIV and tuberculosis testing, adult immunizations and health education. The staff also assists individuals who lack medical insurance and do not have a health care provider to find a medical home for ongoing health care.

No appointment is needed. Some services are free, including HIV rapid testing with results in 20 minutes. Other services are provided on a sliding-fee scale based on income. A registered nurse is available at all sites.

The following is a schedule of dates and locations for the mobile unit:

Free HIV testing offered in Venice and Sarasota for national HIV testing campaign

Free HIV testing offered in Venice and Sarasota for national HIV testing campaign

Free HIV testing will be available to the public from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Walgreens store, 1490 U.S. Highway 41 Bypass South (corner of U.S. 41 and Center Road) in Venice. This special opportunity is part of the national HIV testing campaign. In addition to HIV, testing and screening will be available that day for syphilis, gonorrhea, blood pressure, glucose (blood sugar) and cholesterol.

Health officials note that this year marks the 30th year since the start of the AIDS pandemic. Despite advances in testing and treatment, many people who are HIV positive still do not even know it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five people living with HIV in the United States are unaware of their HIV status.

“Early diagnosis is the key,” said Valerie Wojciechowicz, a Sarasota resident who educates and advocates for women living with HIV. “When I learned that I was HIV positive over 20 years ago, I made positive lifestyle changes. Today, my quality of life is good even with HIV, in part because of the early diagnosis and treatment.”

Sarasota's Education Channel to air Drug Abuse Program

Sarasota's Education Channel to air Drug Abuse Program

Sarasota, Florida -- A television program that explains the dangers of prescription drugs and explores the problems addiction to potent pain killers is causing in Sarasota County begins airing on The Education Channel on Monday, June 13.

The Education Channel is a service of the Sarasota County School Board which airs on Comcast channel 20 and Verizon channel 33.

The half-hour program, titled Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness, was produced as a cooperative effort between The Education Channel, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, the Medical Examiner's Office, First Step of Sarasota and Sarasota County Health and Human Services.