Health briefs: Walkathon will raise money for hearing-impaired

April 30, 2013 

SARASOTA -- The "Don't Walk In Silence" walk-a-thon is raising money to help the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The walk starts at 8 a.m. May 4 at J.D. Hamel Park, 2 Marina Plaza.

Sertoma has a long history of helping the deaf and hard-of-hearing, said Tim Self, district governor of the Sertoma Club of Greater Sarasota. In its founding, the national organization pledged to focus on hearing-health charities.

"Hearing has always been our main cause," Self said.

Florida chapters helped push through legislation in Florida that created routine hearing screenings for newborns.

In Sarasota, the Sertoma Club supports the Sertoma Kids Speech Therapy clinic, which provides free speech therapy for children. Hearing problems can be accompanied by problems with speech.

The club also has provided grant money to install a hearing loop at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

The May 4 walk is one of the many "Don't Walk in Silence" events being held by Sertoma Clubs across the country, Self said.

Entry fee is $20. Register or make a donation at "Virtual walkers" also are welcome and will get a T-shirt, Self said.

For more information, go to the website or call Self at 941-993-9036.

Boutique to introducenew breast form

BRADENTON -- Uniquely You, a mastectomy boutique, will host an event to introduce Impressions, a lightweight breast form, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 30at the store, 707 60th St. Court E., Suite B.

"This is brand new. It's incredibly lightweight and just feels so natural," said Whitney Kitchens, the store's co-owner.

The silicone prosthesis is made by TruLife and is an evolution of a similar TruLife breast form.

"This is a much more refined version," said Kitchens. Tiny perforations run through the silicone to make it breathable and lightweight. It is geared toward women with active lifestyles, she said.

Representatives from TruLife will be at the event to answer questions and help with fittings.

For more information, call 941-243-3856 or visit

Preventing osteoporosisis topic of seminar

ELLENTON -- Did you know some medications can cause osteoporosis? Learn more about this risk factor and others that affect bone health at a seminar from 2 to 3 p.m. May 3 at the H2U Ellenton Center, 7042U.S. 301 N.

Treatment options and ways to strengthen bones also will be discussed, said Darlene Moore, a community educator at Blake Medical Center who will lead the seminar.

One of the most important actions to take is exercise, said Moore. Exercise improves muscle tone and creates stronger bones.

Getting a little sunshine also helps because it raises vitamin D levels. Vitamin D "unlocks" bone to let in calcium, Moore said.

"So many times people don't hear about this and just a few steps can prevent disabling and spontaneous fractures," she said.

The seminar is free. Register by calling 888-359-3352.

Support group to discuss hearing technology

SARASOTA -- The Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota will host two events that will bring

people up to date on the hearing-friendly technology that is starting to saturate Sarasota.

The association's annual wine and cheese reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 1 at 1350 Main St. Juliette Sterkins, a Wisconsin audiologist who is the Hearing Loop Advocate of the Hearing Loss Association of America, will be the keynote speaker.

Over the past two years, 72 venues in Sarasotahave installed hearing loops, the technology that transmits crisp sound directly into digital hearing aids.

The "Take Back Your Life Reception" is also a fundraiser and tickets are $10. Call 941-706-4312 or email for more information.

The association will host an educational seminar, "What Everyone with Hearing Loss Should Know About the Loop," at noon May 2 at the University of South Florida Sarasota/Manatee's Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail.

The auditorium is equipped with a hearing loop, offering an opportunity for people wearing hearing aids equipped with T-coils to come and experience the loop system.

At the meeting, members will learn what they can be doing to promote hearing loops for places like banks and pharmacies.

Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be reached at

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