Tag Archives: health screenings

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Tobacco Tax Funds Kindergarten Scholarships

Eighty qualifying families in the City of Chandler will have the opportunity to apply for preschool slots funded by tobacco-tax dollars.

The $270,000 First Things First Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Grant awarded to the Chandler School District is paid for with tobacco-tax dollars approved by Arizona voters. In 2006, Proposition 203 increased statewide cigarette taxes by 80 cents for the First Things First programs.

In addition to the 80 preschool slots made available for qualifying families, the grant also pays for dental and health screenings, nutrition education, and family literacy programs. Families must be below a certain poverty level based on income and household size in order to be eligible for the scholarship grant. A family household of four people for example, must have an annual income of less than $46,100.

The preschool slots offer reduced tuition rates to the recipients of the First Things First Scholarship award. Children must be 4 years old, and classes meet five days a week, Monday through Friday. The Chandler School District offers half day programs for $50 per month, and full day programs for $100 per month.

“The Chandler Unified School District will place 40 of the 80 available preschool slots in Title 1 school areas, where the majority of low-income families live,” said Frank Narducci, assistant superintendent for elementary education. The other half of the slots will be distributed throughout the school district.

Barb Mozdzen, governing board member of the Chandler School District, emphasizes the importance of early childhood care. “From birth to age five is the most crucial development period of a child’s life,” Mozdzen said.

Certified teaching staff help children get ready for kindergarten by using hands on activities, and early learning standards curriculum. Daily meals and snacks are also provided as a part of the preschool programs grant.

Narducci explains the main goal for the First Things First grant, and how it helps families with young children. “The grant award is intended to reduce any barriers for individuals to access quality pre-kindergarten programming,” Narducci said.

Families are being made aware of this opportunity when they request information about preschools, and also through the school district’s website. “Word of mouth is pretty strong too,” Narducci said.

The First Things First Scholarship Grant application can be found on the Arizona Department of Education website at www.ade.az.gov. When applying for the grant, families are required to provide the child’s birth certificate, and immunization record, along with proof of residence and income. The grant is awarded on a first come first serve basis.

Health Screenings 101

Be Proactive: Health Screenings 101

Everyone has heard it: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

This oft-used quote from the one-and-only Benjamin Franklin could not be truer for anyone more than seniors.

From arthritis to Alzheimer’s, Scottsdale residents need to take control of their health and wellness at the most proactive level possible. Among the most important ways to become proactive is to simply taking part in recommended health screenings.

Annual physical

Certainly, an annual exam is a must, including a blood pressure check, cholesterol screening and potentially even a diabetes screening. Ideally, this should occur each year no matter one’s age; but, for even the healthiest of individuals turning 50, this is a must-do.

Mammograms

For women, mammograms should be a given. In fact, according to Dr. Luci Chen at Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, new screening guidelines recommend mammograms as early as age 40 for all women, even those with no history of the disease in their families. This is an update from the former age of 50 to begin such tests.

But, Dr. Chen adds that a stunning number of women often don’t begin getting regular mammograms until retirement — or after.

Prostate screenings

Prostate cancer is the most common form of non-skin cancer in America — and rampant among senior-age men. According to Dr. Gregory Maggass of Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with likelihood increasing with age.

“Without a doubt, the best chance for a positive outcome, including early diagnosis and less-invasive treatment, is a regular screening starting at age 50,” Dr. Maggass says. “The best bet: Getting a prostate-specific antigen as well as a digital rectal exam, which sounds bad but is much more comfortable than cancer.

Colonoscopies

“As Katie Couric has taught us, both men and women should get their first colonoscopy by age 50, and should repeat the process as doctors request, usually once every five to 10 years,” Dr. Maggass says.

Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer can ensure a 100 percent cure.

Hearing screenings

“Aside from continuous exposure to loud noise, age is the most common cause of hearing loss,” says Sherri Collins of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. “Physicians can test for hearing loss in a general health assessment, but it is rare, making it imperative for seniors to take the initiative to be tested.”

Collins adds that advancements in technology and services in recent years have provided the ability to live a completely full and productive life if one is experiencing hearing loss — and catches it early.

Vision screenings

While these are recommended as early as age 30 and repeated about every five years, it is imperative to begin a relationship with an optometrist or ophthalmologist, as diabetes-released eye diseases as well as glaucoma and cataracts are common issues among seniors.

For more information on general health screenings, please visit cdc.gov.

health screenings

Top 5 Health Screenings Every Woman Should Have

Preventative health screenings are important but there is conflicting information about who needs them, when the right time is to get screened and how often certain tests should be done. May is National Women’s Health Month so it’s time to set the record straight and take health matters into your own hands.

“Preventative health screenings are crucial but often confusing for my female patients,” said Dr. Angela DeRosa, president and chief managing officer of DeRosa Medical, P.C., a private women’s heath medical practice in Scottsdale and Sedona. “Routine tests are our best defense for early diagnosis of disease and in-turn higher successful treatment rates if something is detected. Women need to make their health a priority and National Women’s Health month is a great time to do that.”

Dr. DeRosa suggests these Top 5 health screenings for her patients:

1. Heart disease is the number one killer of women throughout the world, six-times more likely to cause death than breast cancer. Based on these statistics, women over the age of 50 should have an electrocardiogram (EKG) yearly.

2. Skin cancer screenings must be conducted every year no matter what your age. The American Cancer Society anticipates Arizona will have 1,650 new cases of melanoma in 2012.

3. Pap smears should be done annually between the ages of 21 and 30 and then every 3 years in patients older than 30, providing they are in a monogamous relationship and have a history of normal pap smears.

4. Starting at age 40, mammograms need to be performed every other year and annually after age 50.

5. A colonoscopy should be performed at age 50 to screen for colon cancer. After a baseline is established, follow up tests should be done every 5-10 years.

“You can never be too careful when it comes to your health,” added DeRosa. “Just this year I discovered a melanoma on a patient’s stomach during a routine skin cancer exam. She had been told by another physician that it was nothing to worry about.”

May 13-19, 2012 also marks the 10th annual National Women’s Health Week designed to empower women of all ages to take control of their own health needs through health screenings, being active, eating right and prioritizing mental well-being.