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Health Calendar published May 10, 2023

Support groups, clinics and health classes are published weekly on Wednesdays. Email submissions to news@wctrib.com by 10 a.m. at least a week in advance.

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Cancer screening

WILLMAR — CentraCare is offering colon and rectal cancer screening through May 31 for people who are age 45 or older. To receive a free immunochemical fecal occult blood test take-home colon screening kit, print and complete a consent form available on centracare.com , and bring it to a participating location. In the West Central Tribune coverage area, they are the Willmar Cancer Center, the Benson Hospital registration desk and the Paynesville Laboratory.

Colon and rectal cancer are a leading cause of cancer death for men and women despite being one of the most preventable forms of cancer if treated early. Regular screening should start at age 45 or sooner if there’s a family history of cancer or other risk factors. Approximately 70 percent of people with colorectal cancer have no family history. The screening does not replace a colonoscopy, which is the best method to detect colorectal cancer. To schedule a colonoscopy, please contact your doctor.


WILLMAR — The Lutheran Social Service caregiver support group will next meet from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11, at the Willmar Community Center. Call facilitator Debi Retzlaff at 218-593-1333 to register or email debi.retzlaff@lssmn.org .

Compassionate Friends

WILLMAR — The West Central Minnesota chapter of The Compassionate Friends will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society Museum in Willmar. This self-help group offers friendship and understanding to families who have experienced the death of a child at any age. Call Lois at 320-444-4334 for questions about the meeting. Please leave a message. More information is available at www.compassionate friends.org .

Multiple myeloma

WILLMAR — The central Minnesota multiple myeloma support group will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 13, in the training room at the Willmar Fire Department. Interested patients, caregivers, family members and friends are encouraged to join. For more information, contact Bev and Tony Hartzburg, 320-894-8101 ; Steve and Sheila Ellingboe, 320-295-3940 ; email CentralMN@IMFsupport.org ; or see the website at CentralMN.support.myeloma.org . The group is affiliated with the International Myeloma Foundation.


Keep reading for more of this week's calendar items below the related content.

More health-related news:
More than two dozen Memorial Day ceremonies took place throughout west central Minnesota on Monday, May 29, as residents paid respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The injury crash is the second in two days on U.S. Highway 2 in Minnesota and North Dakota involving a vehicle and tractor on the roadway.
Baseball report for Saturday, May 27, 2023, in west central Minnesota. Thunder Hawks beat NLS, ACGC to remain in 3AA winners' bracket


MONTEVIDEO — A Parkinson’s support group meets at 3:30 p.m. Monday, May 15, in Montevideo at the CCM Wellness Center conference room. Anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, or family, friends or community members who would like to learn more about Parkinson’s, are encouraged to attend. For more information, call Gretchen Reeves at 320-321-8240 .


MONTEVIDEO — A dementia care partner support and education group meets at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 18, at the CCM Wellness Center conference room or attendees may join virtually. Open to care partners of people living with dementia. For more information or to receive the virtual link, call Gretchen Reeves at 320-321-8240 .


WILLMAR — A cancer support group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 22, at CentraCare — Willmar Cancer Center. It is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, whether currently receiving treatment or in remission. Caregivers who have a loved one with cancer are also welcome. Knowing others who are dealing with cancer may help a person cope with their own cancer-related experiences, and can help better understand the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges. Free. Attendees do not need to be a patient at the CentraCare — Willmar Cancer Center to attend. Register at CentraCare.com/WillmarCancerSupport .


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community caregivers support groups will next meet:

  • Olivia: May 23, 5 to 6 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living
  • Willmar: June 1, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Bethesda


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community dementia support groups will next meet:

  • New London: May 11, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Bethesda North Pointe
  • Olivia: May 25, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Park View Village Assisted Living


WILLMAR — The Bethesda community Parkinson’s support groups will next meet:

  • Willmar: May 16, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda
  • New London: May 18, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Bethesda North Pointe
  • Olivia: May 23, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Park View Village Assisted Living

NAMI Western Minnesota

WILLMAR — NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a variety of free online mental health classes. They include classes such as Hope for Recovery, Family to Family, In Our Own Voice, Creating Caring Communities, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, a suicide prevention class called QPR — Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities, and more. The classes are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Classes” under Education and Public Awareness.


Senior services

The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging provides advocacy, information, resources and assistance so that older adults can maintain the lifestyle of their choice. To learn more about this and other presentations and trainings MNRAAA has to offer, visit mnraaa.org/calendar.

Live chat with a specialist also can be accessed online at www.MinnesotaHelp.info .

Senior LinkAge Line: Your link to an expert on Medicare, prescription drug expense assistance, forms assistance, community-based resources, finding resources in your community, caregiver planning and support and more. It is a service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota’s local area agencies on aging. It is the state’s federally designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program and Senior Medicare Patrol. Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays or visit www.MinnesotaHelp.info to chat with a specialist during business hours. Be sure to have a complete list of prescription drugs and dosages.

    SAIL: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Willmar Community Center, free, all skill levels. The Staying Active & Independent for Life program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures caused by osteoporosis by increasing muscular strength, balance and bone density.

    55+ Driver courses: This class offered through the Minnesota Highway Safety & Research Center will save you up to 10 percent on your auto insurance. Completion of an eight-hour course qualifies you for the discount. To maintain the discount, you must complete a four-hour refresher every three years. The course covers defensive-driving tips, changes in laws, vehicle technology, and traffic safety. Courses are also available online at www.mnsafetycenter.org . Advance registration required, online at www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-888-234-1294 . Classroom training set in the West Central Tribune area includes:

    • Refresher course, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., May 11, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.
    • Refresher course, 5 to 9 p.m., May 11, $24, Jefferson Learning Center, Willmar.
    • Refresher course, 1 to 5 p.m., May 24, Montevideo Community Center, Montevideo.

    Disability Hub MN: A free statewide resource network that helps solve problems, navigate the system and plan for the future. The team knows the ins and outs of community resources and government programs, and has years of experience helping people fit them together. Call 1-866-333-2466 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or find email and live chat options at www.disabilityhubmn.org .

    Coffee Talk: This statewide phone chat line for older adults is open from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays. Call toll-free at 877-238-2282. It is staffed by volunteers who understand the older adult population’s needs and challenges and is dedicated to easing loneliness and social isolation among older adults. Volunteers can offer words of encouragement and understanding and provide information about support and resources available in the person’s community. Calls are free. The caller’s privacy is a priority, and the only information requested will be first name. Users of the line may call as often as they would like.

    LSS Meals on Wheels: Hot Meals on Wheels are delivered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A frozen meal is available for the following day or the weekend. The meals are available for persons who are unable to cook for themselves due to their age, disability, illness or recent release from the hospital. Along with the regular meal, two special diet meals are available. The cost is $8.75 and includes milk. Those 60 and over may contact LSS to see if they qualify for a reduced price. Order by noon the weekday before the delivery day by calling 320-737-0985 . The menu is available on the website lssmn.org/meals .


    Willmar Senior Dining: The meals are served at 11:30 a.m. weekdays and are also available for curbside pickup at the Community Center. The meals are open to those who are 60 years of age and older. Suggested donation of $5 a meal. Call 320-262-5288 by noon the day before and leave a message. The menu is available on the city of Willmar website www.willmarmn.gov under Community Center.

    Lutheran Social Service: Frozen, shipped meals are available for older adults statewide through the LSS Meals to Go service. Each shipment includes 14 frozen meals and the cost is about $9 per meal, which includes the shipping cost. The cost is covered for Minnesotans who use one of five waiver programs. Meals are also available to anyone in Minnesota who could benefit from healthy meals shipped directly to their homes. Order meals on the website lssmn.org/mealstogo or call 800-488-4146.


    The American Red Cross conducts blood drives in the west central area. To give blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. You can give blood every 56 days. Double red cells can be donated every 112 days. While all blood types are needed, type O and type B-negative donors are especially encouraged to give.

    Appointments can be made at 1-800-RED-CROSS or online at www.redcrossblood.org . All donors need acceptable identification. The preferred form is a government-issued picture identification, such as a driver’s license, or a Red Cross blood donor card. Otherwise you will need to provide two other forms of identification, such as a work identification, Social Security card, personal check or credit card. Personalized mail such as a utility bill will not be accepted.

    Blood drives scheduled for the Tribune area are:

    May 10, Litchfield: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Meeker Memorial Hospital

    May 10, Kerkhoven: Noon to 6 p.m., Kerkhoven Civic Center

    May 10, Spicer: 1 to 7 p.m., American Legion


    May 11, Belview: 2 to 7 p.m., Odeon Hall

    May 12, Litchfield: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Litchfield Christian Church

    May 15, Willmar: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Willmar Conference Center

    May 16, Willmar: 1 to 7 p.m., Eagle Lake Lutheran Church

    May 22, Willmar: Noon to 6 p.m., American Legion Post 167

    May 23, Willmar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kandiyohi County Health & Human Services Building

    May 24, Paynesville: Noon to 6 p.m., Grace United Methodist

    May 25, Olivia: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Renville County Government Services Center


    May 30, Sacred Heart: 1 to 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Community Center

    May 30, Glenwood: Noon to 6 p.m., Glenwood Lutheran Church

    May 30, Willmar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Willmar Public Library

    May 31, Buffalo Lake: 1 to 7 p.m., Buffalo Lake Community Center

    Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

    The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email:
    news@wctrib.com or phone 320-235-1150.
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