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Health briefs: Urgent need at Memorial Blood Centers; Free summer meals app

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Urgent need at Memorial Blood Centers

Local blood bank Memorial Blood Centers is facing a serious challenge in maintaining an adequate supply of blood to meet the needs of hospital partners in Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, according to a news release. Memorial Blood Centers has an urgent need for donors and is asking the community to donate blood to help ensure it is available for patients in need. The organization asks people to donate blood if they are:

• In good health

• Free of antibiotics for 24 hours, unless taken daily for a skin condition

• Symptom-free for at least three days following a cold or flu

• 17 years or older, or 16 with written parental consent

To schedule a blood donation, visit or call 888-GIVE-BLD. Walk-ins are welcome.

Memory Café opens in Woodbury

Stillwater-based FamilyMeans is opened the second Memory Café in Washington County — and the first in Woodbury — Tuesday, July 10 at R.H. Stafford Library, 8595 Central Park Place. The free event will repeat the second Tuesday of each month.

A Memory Café provides facilitated conversation and community resources for those with memory loss and their caregivers.

Funding to support Washington County Memory Cafés is provided in part by the Washington County Local Public Health Grant. FamilyMeans is a private nonprofit social services agency dedicated to serving the needs of individuals and families who are facing challenging or changing circumstances.

App connects families, students with free summer meals

A new mobile application launched statewide in Minnesota this year to help students and families find free summer meals. The Summer Eats Minnesota app is powered by GPS to show locations of summer food sites, their menus and days and hours of operation. The app was created in partnership between the Minnesota Department of Education and Hunger Impact Partners.

"For some students, the free meals they get in school are the most nutritious meals they can count on," said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. "To help close the nutrition gap, students need access to healthy meals over the summer so they come back in September ready to learn. Many organizations, partners and communities are coming together to expand the number of meals available over the summer, and their innovative efforts will help more students have healthy meals after the last bell rings. The new statewide mobile app is a great example of how we can work together to help students get what they need to succeed, even when school is out."

The is available for free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. To learn more, contact MDE Food and Nutrition Services at, or call 800-366-8922.

Mental health first aid training in western Wisconsin

Two Mental Health First Aid training courses will be held this month in western Wisconsin. River Falls Area Hospital Classrooms will host a course 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, and another will be held 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, July 19, in the United Way St. Croix Valley Conference Room in Hudson. The eight-hour courses give participants the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary.

One in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. For friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late. Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

The course has a $10 registration fee. Visit to learn more or to register.

Deadline extended for disability advocacy training

Recruiting continues until July 17 for comprehensive disability advocacy training for Minnesotans with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Partners in Policymaking, a nationally recognized leadership training is free for participants. Eight sessions are held over nine months, starting in September 2018. Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities created the program to increase advocacy skill levels. "Graduates report that they gained a greater understanding of disability law and policies and increased their self confidence in advocating for their needs," said Dr. Colleen Wieck, executive director of the Governor's Council. "Many have become leaders in their own communities as they speak up for people with disabilities."

Sessions are held at the Crowne Plaza Aire in Bloomington, near the Mall of America, For further information or to get an application form, visit or contact Brenton Rice at, or 651-242-6589.

Paddleboarding yoga offered near Stillwater

Sunset classes for standup paddleboarding, or SUP, as well as SUP Yoga classes are being held this summer at Square Lake Park north of Stillwater.

SUP Sunset Paddle will be on Square Lake 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 14. All equipment is provided for this guided paddle boarding class. Price $30 per person.

Saturday SUP Yoga classes will be 9 to 10:15 a.m. Saturdays through Aug. 11. The guided yoga on water classes are $35 per person, and all equipment is provided..

Class size is limited and registration is required. Participants must be 14 years old or older and able to swim. For more information or to register, visit and search "SUP."

Dakota County hosts immunization clinics

Dakota County Public Health is hosting immunization clinics for residents who are uninsured or whose insurance does not cover vaccines. Clinics are also open to children enrolled on a Minnesota health care program or are American Indian or Alaskan Native.

A clinic will be held 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 24, at Dakota County Western Service Center, second floor, in Apple Valley. Call 952-891-7528 to schedule an appointment. A walk-in clinic also is planned for 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at the service center.

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 pay the donation. 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; search immunization clinics.