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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Upcoming At Berkshire Medical Center

12:00AM / Thursday, March 09, 2006

Pittsfield - Opportunities to improve health, support health services and gain health education are blossoming this spring at the Berkshire Medical Center.

DeMarsico Dinner Dance

In March, Berkshire residents can enjoy a great meal and dance the night away while supporting the Women's Imaging Center at BMC by attending the annual DeMarsico Dinner Dance benefit at the Berkshire Hills Country Club.

The event is set to begin at 4 p.m. on March 25.

The dinner menu includes venison, chicken, polenta, salad, and dessert, and a cash bar will be available. A minimum donation of $20 per person is required. Tickets are available at the BMC Auxiliary Gift Shop and the BMC Hillcrest Gift Shop. Donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to the Berkshire Medical Center.

Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; DJ Rob Dwyer will offer music for dancing. The evening's festivities include a silent auction, raffles, and door prizes donated by area businesses.
The event is named for Drew DeMarsico, who organized the event. Sponsors are the Berkshire Hills Country Club, UNICO, and Arrow Press.

Donations will help improve women's health services in the Berkshires through BMC's Women's Imaging Center and program.

Designed by women who have experienced breast health concerns at every level, the Center centralizes imaging services, health resources, and other information vital to meeting women's health challenges head-on.

A unique component of the Women's Imaging Center at BMC is a comprehensive patient support program for women dealing with health issues. Led by Kathy Hart, R.N., a breast cancer survivor, this program ensures that women know their options and the services that are available to help them navigate what can be a confusing health system.

Medical leadership of the Women's Imaging center at BMC is provided by Lisa Loring, M.D., the most experienced women's imaging specialist in the Berkshires with a fellowship in breast imaging from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The Women's Imaging Center is located on the first floor of the BMC Medical Arts Complex, 777 North St., Pittsfield, and provides mammography, stereotactic biopsy, bone density testing and ultrasound in a warm and comfortable environment.

The Women's Imaging Center at BMC is the only provider in the region to offer breast MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], a state-of-the-art technology utilizing a special breast coil designed to aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer. With this technology,BMC provides a level of diagnostic care for breast cancer patients on par with prestigious centers like the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

In addition, the Women's Imaging Center utilizes state-of-the-art R2 reader for mammography, which is a computerized system that aids a radiologist in the reading of mammograms.

For additional information about the Women's Imaging Center at BMC, call Kathy Hart at 413-395-7965.

For additional information about the DeMarsico Dinner Dance, call the BMC Community relations office at 413-447-2060, or Drew DeMarsico at 413-442-6345.

Kick The Habit

Those who are looking to kick the smoking habit once and for all have an opportunity to do just that during a BMC smoking cessation program slated to begin in April and conclude during early May. The BMC program meets on consecutive Thursdays for a five-week period.

The program cost is $40, which includes nicotine replacement therapy. The program is limited to 12 participants and pre-registration is required. Classes are open to smokers who have been trying to reduce their smoking habit or quit and need assistance and support.

The program begins on April 6 and will meet again on April 13, 20, 27, and end on May 4. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at 7:30 p.m. at the Accent on Health conference room at the BMC Hillcrest campus on Tor Court.

To register for the smoking cessation program, call the Berkshire health Systems Tobacco Treatment Services program at 413-499-2602 or 800-459-8762, ext. 9414.

Diabetes Education

The Diabetes Education program at the Berkshire Medical Center and the Fairview Hospital is offering classes focused on issues associated with diabetes.

At BMC, four classes are scheduled for consecutive Tuesdays. Classes will start on May 2 and conclude on May 23, and will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the BMC Medical Arts Complex fifth-floor classroom space.

Southern Berkshire residents may attend classes on four consecutive Mondays beginning May 1 and ending on May 22 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington.

Class topics include an overview of diabetes, achieving goals, blood glucose monitoring,pattern management,acute complications caused by diabetes, high and low blood sugar, sick day management, nutritional management, meal planning, carbohydrate counting, artificial sweetners, reading food labels. physical activity, medications and additional medications that may be recommended for diabetes management, chronic complications and prevention and treatment of complications, foot care, links between heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, community resources, diabetes health,problem solving, psychological adjustments, depression, and stress.

Pre-registration as well as pre-qualification is required for either class series. Classes are open to those age 18 and over; most health insurance programs cover the program cost. Those interested in enrollment are asked to call the Diabetes Education program at 413-395-7942.
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