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Health briefs: Blood donation opportunities; Addiction book signing in Red Wing

Red Cross: Give blood for breast cancer awareness month

The American Red Cross is calling on donors to give blood or platelets in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Cancer patients may need red blood cell or platelet transfusions during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. Donors of all blood types are needed to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients this fall, especially after Hurricane Florence and subsequent flooding forced the cancellation of more than 6,000 blood and platelet donations last month.

To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit www.RedCrossBlood.org or call 800-RED CROSS. As a thank-you, those who come to donate blood or platelets in October will automatically be entered to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants. To learn more, visit www.RedCrossBlood.org/GoForGoal.

NAMI state conference is Nov. 3

NAMI Minnesota, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will hold its state conference 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. Titled "Transforming Attitudes," the conference's keynote speaker will be attorney David D. Dawes, a nationally recognized leader in the health equity movement and mental health disparities.

Minnesota-born Jazz guitarist Sam Miltich also will share his story and how he uses the creative process in pursuit of wellbeing amidst the challenges of living with a serious mental illness. In addition, 18 workshops on current mental health issues will be held.

Five continuing-education credit hours are available for professionals. For registration information, call 651-645-2948 or go to www.namimn.org.

Hospital foundation fundraiser in Hudson

Hudson Hospital Foundation will host a community fundraising event 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at the Hudson House Grand Hotel. Presenting sponsor, Spirit Seller Liquors, will be hosting an early VIP wine tasting 5 to 6 p.m. followed by a larger community event and program.

Event proceeds will support the Good Samaritan Fund which provides patient assistance in the areas of prescriptions, transportation, medical supplies and basic needs like food and clothing.

Hudson Hospital Foundation is a nonprofit organization that serves the community by raising funds to support Hudson Hospital & Clinic, as well as other local health-related projects. Tickets are on sale at www.hudsonhospital.org through Oct. 26. For more information, contact the foundation at 715-531-6075 or e-mail kari.k.rambo@hudsonhospital.org.

Medicare meeting in Woodbury

UCare, Fairview Health Services and North Memorial Health are teaming up to offer new Medicare Advantage plans to Minnesotans in the Twin Cities metro. The three organizations will host a series of Medicare Meetups to educate attendees on the plans' benefits, such as coordinated care and cost management, as well as answer questions.

Sessions will be held at Woodwinds Health Campus, 1925 Woodwinds Dr., Woodbury, on Nov. 28 at 9:30 a.m.; and Dec. 27 at 9:30 a.m.

Interested individuals should RSVP by calling 612-676-6851 or online at www.ucare.org/FVNM.

Medicare Cost Plans are being phased out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, meaning many individuals must find a new health plan for 2019. The new UCare Medicare Advantage plan with Fairview and North Memorial will be offered to eligible individuals in eight metro counties, including Dakota and Washington counties.

Dakota County Immunization clinics

Residents who are uninsured or whose insurance does not cover vaccines can receive immunizations at upcoming Dakota County Public Health immunization clinics. The flu vaccine is available along with other recommended adult and child immunizations. In addition to the uninsured or underinsured, immunization clinics are also open to children enrolled on a Minnesota health care program (Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare or Prepaid Medical Assistance Program) or are American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Upcoming appointment clinics will be:

• Tuesday, Oct. 9, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

• Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Both clinics will be at the Dakota County Western Service Center, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley, second floor, suite 286. Call 952-891-7528 to schedule an appointment.

Walk-in clinics (no appointment needed) will be:

• Thursday, Oct. 11, 4 to 6 p.m. Dakota County Northern Service Center, 1 Mendota Road W., West St. Paul, fourth floor, suite 410.

• Tuesday, Oct. 16, 4 to 6 p.m. Dakota County Western Service Center, second floor, suite 286.

A donation of $20 for each vaccination is suggested, but people who qualify for reduced-fee immunizations will not be turned away if they cannot donate. Cash and checks are accepted; no credit or debit cards. Minors under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian or have a signed authorization for another adult to accompany them. Forms and eligibility information are available online at www.dakotacounty.us; search immunization clinics. Please bring all immunization records with you to the clinic. For more information, call the Immunization Hotline at 952-891-7999.

Addiction book signing in Red Wing

Ryan Hampton will hold a book signing 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 at the Red Wing Public Library, 225 East Ave. He is the author of "American Fix," which describes Hampton's struggle with addiction and offers a plan to end addiction problems in America.

The event is sponsored by Rochester-based Recovery is Happening. For more information visit www.rih.me.

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