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

Women and heart disease program

The 8th annual Women and Heart Disease program,  hosted by Griffin Hospital’s Women and Heart Disease Committee will feature a talk about the connections between spirituality and heart health by The Reverend Jo Clare Wilson, M Div. Dinner is set for Thursday, Feb. 7 at Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby. Event registration and a silent auction at 5, followed by dinner and program at 6. Tickets: $35. Reservations by Jan. 31: 203-732-1137. Proceeds benefit the Women and Heart Disease Fund.


Extended clinical pastoral education

Griffin Hospital’s Pastoral Care and Education Department is offering an extended unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for area clergy, seminarians and, lay persons Jan. 24-May 23, 2013. Course requires a commitment of approximately 20 hours per week.

To apply or for more information, contact Chaplain Cormac Levenson at 203-732-1126 or


Fibromyalgia support

Fibromyalgia Support Group meets the last Tuesday of the month, 2 p.m., Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby. Information: Daun Barrett, 203-732-7584.


Weight loss support 

Interested in losing weight? Concerned about your weight? First Congregational Church, 44 South Cliff St., Ansonia hosts a night of mutual support Mondays, weigh in from 5:45-6:50 p.m.; meeting 7-8 p.m. First meeting is free. Call Tom, 203-308-3355 and leave a message.


Bereavement support

Eight-week 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, Shelton. Registration required: or 203-278-1568.

Griffin Hospital’s bereavement and grief support program runs Tuesdays, 6:30-8 p.m., through Nov. 20. Group is for anyone who is experiencing the loss of a loved one.

Advance registration required: 203-732-1100.


Look Good … Feel Better

Free American Cancer Society program that helps women with cancer improve their appearance and self-image through hands-on beauty techniques, offered the third Thursday of the month, 5-7 p.m., large conference room, The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby.

Attendees will receive a kit of complimentary cosmetic and skin care products worth approximately $250 and group instruction from a volunteer licensed cosmetologist in makeup techniques, skin care and nail care.

Register in advance by calling Laura Howell, 203-732-1280 or email


Nursing moms support

Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby hosts a monthly Nursing Moms Support Group, facilitated by a board-certified lactation consultant the fourth Tuesday of the month, 7-9 p.m. Contact for more information.


Breast cancer support

The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital offers a breast cancer survivor group “Circle of Friends” which meets the second Thursday of every month, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Center for Cancer Care, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby. New topics and guest speakers monthly; 203-732-1300;


Gamblers Anonymous

Meets Saturdays, 7 p.m., 100 Bank St., Seymour. For more information, call Steve, 203-362-5234.


Genetic counseling

The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital offers cancer genetic counseling services to individuals and families as part of the Center’s comprehensive model of patient-centered care.

Cancer genetic counseling is the process of collecting a patient’s detailed personal and family history, assessing their personal risk, and discussing their genetic testing options. Genetic tests are tests on blood and other tissue used to identify genetic disorders.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 203-732-1260.


Bariatric patient support

To help bariatric patients bridge the gap between the time of surgery and reaching their healthy weight, Griffin Bariatrics has assembled a Clothes Closet with men’s and women’s clothing in barely worn or new condition, which has been donated by bariatric patients and hospital staff and family members. The Clothes Closet is open the second Wednesday of each month, 4:30-6:30 p.m., prior to monthly “On Track” support group meetings; 203-732-7108;


Diabetes support

Diabetes Education & Support Group meets September -June, second Tuesday of the month, 6:30 p.m., Griffin Hospital, Derby. Open to diabetics and their families; 203-732-1137.


Overeaters group

Compulsive overeaters group meets Wednesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Rimmon Pond Counseling, LLC, 100 Bank St., Seymour. Group will address underlying attitudes and beliefs which affect eating behaviors. For more information or to register, call 203-888-0462.


GRASP suppport group

GRASP was formed to help provide sources of help, compassion and understanding for families or individuals who have had a loved one die as a result of substance abuse or addiction. Meetings held last Thursday of the month, (with the exception of November meeting), 6:30-8 p.m., Beacon Falls Congregational Church, 69 Wolfe Ave., Beacon Falls;; 203-231-6705;; 203-305-9808. Advance registration required. Information:


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

The program offers a library of more than 50 videos of guided physical activity routines, each of which may be done in 3 to 5 minutes. It offers a variety of options based on users’ time, interests, needs, and fitness levels.


MS support

Derby MS Support Group meets 4:30-5:30 p.m. third Wednesday of the month at Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby. Details: Lisa, 203-231-4716.


OCD support

Yale Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) Support Group meets first and third Thursday of the month, 3-4 p.m., CHMC, 34 Park St., 3rd floor conference room, New Haven. Information:; Suzanne Wasylink, 203-974-7523.


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 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; Fridays, 7-8:30 p.m., First Baptist Church,178 Leavenworth Road, Shelton. Information: 203-888-9974;


Weight-loss surgery support

Griffin Bariatrics, a program of Griffin Hospital, will host weight loss surgery support group meetings the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Griffin Imaging & Diagnostics Center at Ivy Brook, 2 Ivy Brook Road, Shelton. Advance registration requested;; 888-657-9252.


Breast cancer support

Woman to Woman of the Valley group meets second and fourth Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m., Griffin Hospital Cancer Center, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby.

Information: Midge Johnson, breast care coordinator at Griffin Hospital, 203-732-7566 or e-mail; or Joyce Grohe, co-facilitator, 203-888-3993.


Free hearing tests 

Offered in the office or at home, by Affordable Hearing Solutions, LLC, Orange Medical Center, 380 Boston Post Road #107, Orange, Monday-Friday, 9-5; free. Call 799-7775 for an appointment. Tests also offered at Waterbury office, 2457 East Main St., Monday-Friday, 9-5; call 203-574-5377.


Take Off Pounds

TOPS meets Thursday, 5:30-7:30, Ansonia Library community room. New members welcome; 735-1464. Seymour chapter meets Wednesdays, 6-8, Seymour Congregational Church, Broad St.; Call Loretta, 203-881-1610.



Are you affected by someone else’s drinking? Al-Anon meetings are conducted every Wednesday, 7:30, Seymour United Methodist Church, 90 Pearl St.; Al, 383-9136; Del, 527-9595.


Domestic violence

Umbrella offers Healthy Relationships, free weekly support group that meets Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Thursdays, 9:30-11 a.m., 435 East Main St., Ansonia. Childcare provided; 203-736-2601.



Support circle for emotional abuse victims meets second Monday of each month, 6:30-7:55, Ansonia Library; led by trained co-facilitators; 203-305-2137.


Grief support

Mondays, 7-9, Assumption Church rectory Ansonia; Barbara O’Grodnick, 203-734-5096; Marcia Burkitt, 723-5295.



Free 12-step program for compulsive eaters, meets Mondays, Fridays, noon-1, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 25 Church St., Shelton; 203-454-6607.


MS support

Derby MS Support Group meets third Wednesday of the month, 4:30-5:30, Griffin Hospital, 130 Division St., Derby; Lisa, 231-4716;

Shelton MS Support Group meets second Monday of the month, 2-3:30, Plumb Library, 65 Wooster St., Shelton; (800) FIGHT MS;


Donate vehicles

RedcrossMotors converts donated vehicles into dollars to help support the local chapter. Most motorized vehicles including boats, trailers, trucks, motorcycles and motor homes are accepted, running or not; 1-877-RCDONOR (732-6667).