Post-Halloween event planned
The Junior League of Norman will host its sixth annual “Monster Dash 5k and 1 mile Fun Run/Walk” on Nov. 3. The USATF-certified 5k race will begin at 8 a.m. at Journey Church, 3801 Journey Pkwy., in Norman. The mile-long fun run and walk will start at 9 a.m. The events will include a costume contest, music, donor booths and more. Net proceeds directly will support the Junior League's community projects, including Baby Steps, which helps teen parents complete their high school educations, and Food for Kids, a food backpack program for needy middle school students. The local Junior League, a women's organization, aims to promote health and fitness in the Norman community, encourage volunteerism, develop women's potential and provide trained volunteers. To register or for more information, call 329-9617 or go to www.juniorleagueofnorman.org.
Lake Hefner walk and run set
The Oklahoma chapter of the Huntington's Disease Society of America will hold its third annual “Team Hope Walk/5k for HD” on Oct. 14.
Festivities and registration begin at noon. A mile-long walk and 5k fun run begin at 1 p.m. at Stars & Stripes Park at Lake Hefner. Huntington's disease is a hereditary, degenerative brain disorder that slowly diminishes a person's ability to walk, talk and reason, according to a news release. Eventually, sufferers become unable to care for themselves. It affects as many people as do muscular dystrophy, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis. There is no effective treatment or cure. The event includes refreshments, snacks and children's activities, including face painting. For more information or to register, go to www.firstgiving.com/hdsa-ok.
OCU to host free film screening
Oklahoma City University will host a free screening of “Disordered: Thy Name Is Teenager,” on Oct. 10. The video screening, shown during Mental Illness and Disabilities Awareness Week, will begin at 7 p.m. at the University Center near Florida Avenue and NW 25. “Disordered” is a video recording of a play written and performed by youth of the Blank Slate Theatre in Minnesota. The play illustrates the effects of mental illness and the harm that can come from negatively labeling people who suffer from it.
“A national study has found that mental illness and disabilities are prevalent among college-age students,” said Marshall Andrew Glenn, an OCU professor in the Applied Behavioral Studies program, in a news release.
“For instance, the study found that one in three students reported having experienced prolonged periods of depression, and one in four reported having suicidal thoughts or feelings. This is a serious problem facing our nation's future.”
A panel discussion will follow the video.
The OCU counseling office also will bring certified therapy dogs to campus from the New Leash on Life organization. The dogs will be at OCU from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 10 and Oct. 12.
One mile walk for autism set
Help raise awareness of autism and support for research and advocacy by joining the sixth annual “Oklahoma Walk Now for Autism Speaks” event on Oct. 6. The walk begins at 10 a.m. at the East Wharf Children's Park at Lake Hefner. Autism spectrum disorder is now diagnosed in one of every 88 children, including one in 58 boys, according to a news release. That makes it the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. The event will include bounce houses, crafts, entertainment and an Autism Resource Fair. Registration is free, but participants are asked to solicit donations individually or as a team. Proceeds benefit Autism Speaks, the largest autism science and advocacy organization in North America. For more information or to register, go to www.WalkNowforAutismSpeaks.org/oklahoma.
Vaccines are available now
County health departments across Oklahoma have opened influenza vaccination clinics. Flu shots are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. Pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease and other chronic conditions are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. So are relatives of babies younger than 6 months and people who live with or care for anyone at high risk for flu complications.
“Influenza ... can lead to hospitalization and even death,” said Dr. Terry Cline, state health commissioner, in a news release. “Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently.”
Most county health departments have a variety of vaccines. A nasal spray vaccine can be used by most people ages 2 to 49. Those ages 18 to 64 may get intradermal vaccines using needles 90 percent smaller than usual. And high-dose vaccinations are available for folks 65 and older.
Vaccines will be provided using this fee schedule:
No charge for families whose income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level.
No charge for those ages 65 and older.
No charge for children who have no health insurance or are on SoonerCare or are American Indian or Alaska natives. Vaccines are free, as well, for children whose insurance doesn't cover vaccinations.
No charge for those enrolled in HealthChoice and the Oklahoma Public Employees Health and Welfare insurance plans. Bring your insurance cards.
$25 vaccinations are available for those whose health insurance covers vaccines and those with incomes above 185 percent of the poverty level. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted for payment.
Many county health departments also will provide pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines for those 65 or older and those with chronic health conditions. The flu can lead to pneumonia.
For more information, call your local health department or go to www.health.ok.gov.
COMPILED BY KEN RAYMOND, STAFF WRITER