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My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

My Town: Be mindful of your health during storm cleanup

My Town: Be mindful of your health during storm cleanup

WYOMING, Mich.—If you plan to spend the weekend cleaning up damage from Sunday night’s tornadoes and storms, the American Heart Association wants you to be mindful of your health.

Cleaning up storm damage can be physically taxing, leading to a higher risk of heart attack.  Residents should take plenty of breaks, carry smaller loads and drink plenty of water.  The American Heart Association says most importantly, residents should listen to their bodies. 

The warning signs of a heart attack include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that last for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck and arms.
  • Chest discomfort with light-headedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.

People who experience the warning signs of a heart attack should stop what they’re doing immediately and call 911.

My Town Kentwood: Griffins' free helmet giveaway July 2

My Town Kentwood: Griffins' free helmet giveaway July 2

KENTWOOD, Mich.—One-hundred children will receive a new bicycle helmet Wednesday as part of the Grand Rapids Griffins and Safe Kids Greater Grand Rapids “Lids at the Library”.

This is program’s final giveaway of the year.  Helmets will be distributed at the Kentwood branch starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 2.  Volunteers will be on hand to properly fit free helmets to each child.  Each child must be between the ages of 1 and 12 and have a parent or legal guardian present.

The giveaway is part of the Griffins’ “Put A Lid On It!” helmet safety program, presented by the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.  Children who stop by for the event can also decorate their bikes for the upcoming Fourth of July parade, and take part in patriotic crafts.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town: Health department offers free testing in honor of National HIV Testing Day

My Town: Health department offers free testing in honor of National HIV Testing Day
----------------------NEWS RELEASE--------------GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Kent County Health Department) – One in five people living with HIV don’t know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thursday, June 27, 2014 marks the 10th annual National HIV Testing Day. The Kent County Health Department is making it easy for everyone to know their status the week of National HIV Testing Day: a quick, painless finger poke test, which gives you preliminary results in just 20 minutes. The Kent County Health Department is offering four opportunities to get tested, without an appointment, free and confidentially. When you get tested at one of these events, you will receive a gift card* for your time, education about HIV and prevention, and steps you can take to protect those you love from HIV.

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—As Memorial Day approaches, Kent County Commissioners are getting ready to hear a proposal to create a millage to support county veterans.

The proposed Dedicated Veterans Millage would be for .050 mill, generating slightly more than $1 million for veteran outreach and emergency services.  The measure would also more than double available federal claims assistance hours. 

On May 8, the Kent County Board of Commissioners Millage Subcommittee unanimously supported forwarding the millage request onto the Finance and Physical Resources Committee for consideration. The proposal will be discussed at the Kent County Commission’s finance meeting Tuesday, May 20 at 8:30 a.m.  Supporters hope to get the millage on the November ballot.

My Town: Stamp Out Hunger results better than originally expected

My Town: Stamp Out Hunger results better than originally expected

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Organizers of the 2014 Stamp Out Hunger food drive say while donation numbers are down this year, the results are better than they first thought.

Andrew Steiner with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank says the Northwest, East Paris and Northeast communities dominated in this year's drive.  The final donation numbers from the May 10 event are: