Study volunteers needed
Researchers at the University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute are looking for participants age 50 and older with no memory loss to take part in an Alzheimer Prevention Trials (APT) Webstudy.
The Webstudy is a first-of-its-kind online study that detects if people experience memory loss over time and need early intervention, and matches them with the right Alzheimer’s study, as quickly as possible.
Twenty percent of Floridians, more than 4.3 million people, are 65 and older, making Florida one of the ‘grayest states’ in the nation. Consequently, it has one of the largest populations of people with Alzheimer’s disease — a projected 580,000. This number is expected to skyrocket by 24% to 720,000 people in the next five years, according to Message Partners PR news release.
Volunteers take no-cost memory tests online every three months to monitor memory changes over time. If changes are observed, volunteers may be invited to an in-person evaluation to determine eligibility for additional Alzheimer’s studies.
To learn more and enroll, visit APTWebstudy.org.
Dental services added
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County (DOH-Pasco) is partnering with Premier Community HealthCare Group Inc., to provide dental services at the existing locations previously operated by the health department.
“Premier continues to be a solid partner in our community effort to improve health outcomes,” said health officer Mike Napier, in a DOH-Pasco news release.
“This partnership ensures long-term sustainability for children to receive dental services,” Napier said.
The three dental facilities/programs serving children that will transition include:
- Children’s Dental Clinic, 10841 Little Road in New Port Richey
• Cox Elementary Children’s Dental Clinic, 37615 Martin Luther King Blvd., in Dade City
- Smile Care-A-Van Mobile Dental Clinic serving Pasco County Title I Schools
The transition of dental services will open opportunities for additional services and provide vital dental care for children/youth, especially the medically underserved population.
Letters have been sent to 5,100 existing clients advising them of this change effective Sept. 8.
Research indicates that maintaining good oral health has value beyond the obvious. It can help prevent serious health complications and disease.
To learn more about the programs and services offered by DOH-Pasco, call (727) 619-0300, or visit Pasco.FloridaHealth.gov.
For more about the services offered by Premier Community HealthCare, visit PremierHC.org, or call (352) 518-2000 or (727) 645-4185.
Health support bill
Congressman Gus Bilirakis and a bipartisan group of colleagues on July 30 introduced the Strengthening Behavioral Health Supports for Schools Act.
This bipartisan bill “would authorize annual funding of $25 million for the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through Fiscal Year 2025, to operate a technical assistance and training center to provide schools and school systems with mental health and substance use disorder support and services for students during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” according to a news release.
“It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I certainly believe that is true when it comes to ensuring early identification and appropriate intervention for children who are at risk or struggling with mental health or substance use issues,” said Bilirakis, in the release.
“Our bipartisan bill will help with data collection, research and sharing of most effective strategies for addressing this unmet need. When we know better, we can do better. Our children deserve the best possible care and treatment available and our bill will help us meet that goal,” Bilirakis said.
Medicare phone scams
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ (DOEA) Serving Health Insurance Needs of the Elderly (SHINE) Program has received multiple reports of Medicare phone scams involving Durable Medical Equipment (DME), according to a SHINE news release.
The Social Security Act prohibits suppliers of DME from making unsolicited telephone calls to people on Medicare. The reports indicate people have not only received unwanted sales calls, but other people have received unordered supplies, including back braces.
People on Medicare should be aware that DME sent by a supplier needs to be prescribed by their doctor. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), fraudulent telemarketing and DME supplies contribute to the estimated $60 billion in fraudulent Medicare payments each year.
To help put a stop to unsolicited calls and unordered supplies, consider the following actions:
- If you receive a call that pressures you to buy medical equipment you don’t want or need, simply hang up.
- If you receive items in the mail you didn’t order, refuse the delivery or send them back and report it to your local SHINE Senior Medicare Patrol Office at (800) 963-5337.
During the month of August, LifeLink of Florida will celebrate National Minority Donor Awareness Month (NMDAM) to bring heightened awareness to organ and tissue donation, and transplantation in minority communities.
Minorities often experience higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, which can contribute to organ failure, especially kidney failure. African Americans are three times more likely than white Americans to suffer from kidney failure, and Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.
During NMDAM, LifeLink of Florida will highlight the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors within multicultural communities, provide donation education, encourage donor registration, and promote healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation.
Individuals interested in celebrating this month are encouraged to follow LifeLink’s social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to participate in the education programs offered. Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history; a single donor can save or improve the lives of up to 75 people.
LifeLink encourages the public to register their donation decision at DonateLifeFlorida.org, or when obtaining or renewing a driver license.