I hope you took advantage of the FREE health screenings at Go Red for Women: Heart Stoppers last Wednesday at the Regina McGinn Education Center.  Many of us only go to the doctor when we are sick. We’re treated and quickly forget about health issues until the next time an ailment arises.  Many years ago, I worked in the Medical Dept. of a large insurance company.  Every year, each employee had a full blood work-up, physical exam, dental check up and cleaning, PAP, mammography, counseling, chest X-rays, colonoscopies and more.  When I recall the benefits we were afforded, how could one not stay healthy?  Instead of taking the day off when you weren't feeling up to par, you visited the Medical Dept.  If your blood pressure was abnormal, you were checked once a week. A nutritionist was available if you needed help with your diet.  A psychiatrist was at your service a couple of days a week.  I was “saved” a number of times.  Working at one of the older wooden type desks, a sliver of wood jammed into my nail bed.  The nurse painstakingly removed it.  Another time, I had something odd on my finger which wouldn’t heal.  When I casually showed the doctor at a meeting we were both attending, he escorted me up to his office, ordered antibiotics from Beekman Downtown Hospital and showed me the streaking going down my arm—blood poisoning.  One other time, I thought I had a bug bite on my eyelid.  Doc asked me pointed questions, examined me and told me I had shingles.  I immediately left work, saw my personal physician and was treated. Alas!  HMO’s came into play; the need and expense of Medical Departments in corporations no longer could be justified.  Are we less healthy than a decade ago, 30 years ago?  How many of you skip the yearly visit to your doctor?  If your insurance covers it, make an effort to go.  Yes, they will tell you to stop smoking, lose weight, change every bad habit you have.  But heck!  Isn't it good to be nagged once in awhile (especially concerning your health).  I would like to know what you think.

Today, Wednesday, 2/17 at 2, at Clay Pit Pond State Park, 2351 Veteran's Rd. West, learn about the increasing deer population on Staten Island and inside of the Preserve.

Also today at 2, join a curator-led tour at Snug Harbor Cultural Center of the Staten Island Museum's inaugural art exhibition, Staten Island SEEN. The exhibition traces the borough’s unique history and landscape from the 17th century to the present. These works are made by amateur and professional artists, working in a broad range of styles and materials from ink drawing to anaglyph 3-D video.  FREE with admission to the Museum.  Call 727-1135 for info.

Bring your children ages 3 years and up to a Picture Book/Real Aloud Time, finger plays, action rhymes and coloring today at 4 at the New Dorp Library, 309 New Dorp Ln.

In recognition of National Heart Month, join cardiologist Dr. Bhavesh Gala for a FREE interactive talk on important issues related to heart health, tonight from 6:30-8.  The Talk is part of the ongoing series "Meet the Nurses" at Richmond University Medical Center, 355 Bard Ave.  Refreshments will be servied.  RSVP at 718-818-2391.

Another health event to put on your to-do list!  Staten Island University Hospital Northwell Health Medical Van will be at the Food Pantry, 984 Post Ave. on Thursday, 2/18 at 10 a.m.  Step inside the van for FREE blood pressure screening and body mass index--keys to keeping your heart healthy and preventing stroke. Also, healthy lifestyle/healthy aging information will be available from the Community Outreach Team.

On Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., the Compassion Center, 4116 Hylan Blvd., 2nd floor, is offering a FREE Intro to Meditation Class. These classes are intended to teach you a healthy long-term solution to whatever issues you face in your life. Meditation can be successfully used to address Depression, Substance Abuse, Anxiety, Anger, Emotional Trauma, Loss and so much more.  For more info, call 347-770-7096 of visit http://www.thecompassioncenter.com/free-intro-to-meditation-class

Attend a FREE nine-session choral music course for adults 55+ directed by Carolyn Clark, Music Director for the Unitarian Church of Staten Island on Saturday, 2/20 at 10:30 at St. George Library Center, 5 Central Ave. Sing a variety of songs in the African-American blues style, including spirituals and work songs that preceded the blues. To support your singing experience, breathing, posture, range, diction, and basic music reading techniques will also be practiced.

On Saturday, from 9:30-11:30, the City Harvest Mobile Market will be at the Mariners Harbor Houses and at the Stapleton Houses, 77 Hill St.  These bimonthly distributions of fresh fruits and vegetables are located at NYCHA sites.  They are FREE to residents who qualify and live in the area. To register with City Harvest, bring a Photo ID and Proof of Address to the next market in your neighborhood.  To learn more about City Harvest, to volunteer or to donate, visit: http://www.cityharvest.org/

At Clay Pit Pond State Park, 2351 Veteran's Rd. West on Saturday from 2-3:30, learn how to track and identify animals based on the shape of their footprints and scats. Call 605-3970 for further info.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., at ETG Book Café, 208 Bay St., Staten Island’s own publishing house, Boulevard Books, presents FIVE STATEN ISLAND WRITERS. The authors will discuss their newly published books: Palma Mingozzi, poet; Dennis Green, artist; Peter Kearney, raconteur; Chris Spollen, inventor and FIT professor, Avi Gvili, educator and author.

The Zimmer Club Annual Free Youth Conservation Program for boys and girls 10-17, takes place on Saturday at 9:15.  Your children will be introduced to activities that bring conservation topics to life such as environmental conservation, estuary systems, Blue and Greenbelt management, hunting, fishing (both salt and fresh-water), boating, first aid, camping, gun safety, archery, marksmanship, and how to use a compass and read a map. ALL CLASSES ARE FREE.  The Zimmer Club is located at 4411 Arthur Kill Rd. Register at AEZYouth.com or email info@aezyouth.com 

Join birder Anthony Ciancimino for a guided bird walk at Great Kills Park, Hylan Blvd. and Buffalo St. on Sunday, 2/21 at 8 a.m. Meet at the second parking lot along Buffalo St. (next to the salt storing area).  For further information, visit sibirdwatcher@yahoo.com

Attend a FREE Neighborhood Concert at the Music Hall at Snug Harbor, 1000 Richmond Terr. on Sunday at 2 featuring The Itty Biddies, a trio with roots in jazz and cabaret.  Read more about this group and the Somewhere Project, a citywide creative learning project that honors the 125th anniversary of Carnegie Hall at http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2016/2/21/0200/PM/Neighborhood-Concert-The-Itty-Biddies/

Why don’t you schedule a yearly visit to your physician this week!  You may be pleasantly surprised.  You may, in fact, be fit as a fiddle.  I’d be happy to share with my gentle readers any events you attend and pictures of you at these events.  You can call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at joan.coogan@gmail.com

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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