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CANCER SUMMIT: Working For A Better Future

The government shutdown may hold back new clinical trials but it`s not stopping a non-profit from holding its annual Iowa Cancer Summit.

George Weiner is the president of the Iowa Cancer Consortium – the non-profit hosting the summit at the Mercy Cancer Center.

He says he hopes the shutdown ends soon so the clinical trials can resume.

Organizers say this summit gives cancer advocates a chance to exchange the best practices in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.

Medical director for the Mercy Medical Cancer Center Richard Deming says, “This really spans the entire horizon of preventing cancer and also looking at systems and environments to promote healthy living, which will reduce the burden of cancer.”

Health officials say basic health habits, like not smoking, eating healthy and regular exercise alone could prevent a third of all cancers.

BLOOD DRIVE: What Color Do You Bleed?

Do you bleed black & gold … Or cardinal & gold? That’s the question LifeServe Blood Center and Doherty’s Flowers asked people today.

Doherty’s Flowers hosted its fourth annual blood drive/tailgating party. Donors received raffle tickets for a chance to win Hawkeye or Cyclone tailgating gear.  With only 26 spots to fill, the donor list closed quickly. But the owner of Doherty Flowers Robyn Sloan says she`s not taking any chances this year. Sloan says, “Usually there is a few that can`t donate for various reasons and so this year I thought I’m getting tired of not getting a hundred percent so I have backup donors that are able to donate in case someone is anemic or you know not able to donate.”

Donors were also able to cast a vote towards the Hawkeyes or the Cyclones. The blood drive wrapped up around four with the cyclones winning by just two votes.

SMOKE DETECTOR: Des Moines Fire Department Announces New Project

The Des Moines Fire department is teaming up with Neighborhood Associations on what is believed to be the largest project of its kind in the city’s history.

Fire Chief John TeKippe says too many homes lack smoke detectors that actually work.

On October 12th volunteers will go to the Highland Park neighborhood and install new smoke alarms and/or replace batteries in existing smoke alarms free of charge. They hope to install 10,000 smoke alarms in one day.

HEALTHY CHOICES: Art Used to Encourage Patients

HEALTHY CHOICES: Art Used to Encourage Patients

Art is being used to encourage people visiting the Polk County Health Department to choose healthier lifestyles.

The first of six paintings to be completed over the next two years will be unveiled May 17th from 5-8 p.m.

“Bike Club” is a 6' x 11', oil on canvas painting by local artist, Dick Shook, of a group of cyclists making their way along a rural bike path. 

Shook said that the project was conceived following a visit with his wife to the clinic for a flu shot. He told his wife, “this place needs artwork.” Then he began to work through what kind of art that would be. “We spend an enormous amount of time waiting and it seemed to me we could improve on that time by using art to do more than merely decorate the walls.”

COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE: Centers Get Federal Windfall

COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE: Centers Get Federal Windfall

Iowan health centers were eligible for a federal windfall this week.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new funds to help uninsured Americans enroll in affordable health insurance coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act.

That amounted to over $1.4-million in Iowa split between 14 centers. They include Community Health Center of Fort Dodge, Primary Health Care in Urbandale and Proteus Employment Opportunities in Des Moines.

“Health centers have extensive experience providing eligibility assistance to patients, are providing care to 181,781 individuals in Iowa communities, and are well-positioned to support enrollment efforts,” Secretary Sebelius said.  “Investing in health centers for outreach and enrollment assistance provides one more way the Obama Administration is helping consumers understand their options and enroll in affordable coverage.”

HEALTHY APPROACH: National Honor For Schools

HEALTHY APPROACH: National Honor For Schools

Several schools in Iowa were nationally recognized for their healthy approach this week.

Goodrell Middle School received their national honor Wednesday.

The school was awarded the Healthier School gold medal, the second highest honor available from U.S. Department of Agriculture Wednesday morning.

The goal of the HealthierUS School Challenge is to improve the health of the nation`s children by promoting healthier school environments.

It comes after Indianola Middle School was awarded a gold award of distinction last month, the highest honor available.

Health teacher, Penney Arey told Ch. 13 the school is very proud of their achievement that they worked “very hard” to achieve.

The school received $2,000, an award plaque and banners to display throughout the school.

For a full list of award winners, click here.

SPRING CLEANING: Drug Take Back Events

SPRING CLEANING: Drug Take Back Events

The Drug Enforcement Administration wants to help folks with their spring cleaning this weekend.

The Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy is hosting a drug take-back program across the state to collect and safely dispose of expired or unused medications.

According to the ODCP overdose deaths in Iowa involving prescription pain relievers reached an all-time high of 62 last year. Officials believe cleaning out medicine cabinets of unused and unwanted medications is a good step in combating drug misuse and abuse.

All drugs will be accepted, no questions asked.

According to the DEA take-back events in Iowa have accounted for more than 10 tons of safely disposed medications.

Several drop-off locations will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m:

Iowa Department of Public Safety Headquarters Bldg., 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines

Des Moines Police Department, Walgreens, 3030 University