Health Notes column for Feb. 14, 2013

Students can learn about health care

Area high school students will have the chance to explore health-care opportunities this summer in the setting of local hospitals.

Students in the “AHEC of a Summer” program will be able to shadow health-care professionals, rotating through different departments and hospitals, for five weeks.

AHEC stands for Area Health Education Center, a national program. The local program is coordinated by the Central Louisiana AHEC organization.

The application deadline for the local summer program is March 1.

Students in East Baton Rouge Parish and surrounding parishes who are currently in the 9th, 10th or 11th grade; have a cumulate grade point average of 2.0 or higher and are interested in a career in health care can get applications at their high school guidance counselor’s office or download an application at http://www.clahec.org.

Students and their families can also call (225) 757-9845 for more information.

Alzheimer’s Services has new program

Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area has received a grant from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation to fund a computer program that lets people use a computer with minimal frustration.

The “It’s Never 2 Late” program is “built on a picture-based, touch-screen interface that allows users” to find content “appropriate to their level of cognitive and physical ability,” according to a news release from Alzheimer’s Services.

The technology integrates hardware, software, media and adaptive components.

The system lets clients of Alzheimer’s Services’ Charlie’s Place Respite Center access familiar music, movies, home video or personal pictures, according to the organization.

Toothpaste, chocolate make unlikely combo

A toothpaste for children that tastes like chocolate sounds like something out of the “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” movie, but it’s a new real-life product.

The Theodent biotechnology company of New Orleans, which already has regularly flavored toothpaste on the market, unveiled its new toothpaste targeted for kids early this month.

All of its toothpastes are fluoride-free; instead they use a substance, patented by the company, that’s found in the cacao plant and that the company says strengthens tooth enamel, according to a Theodent news release.

Its new Theodent Kids product not only contains a cacao-plant extract but tastes like chocolate.

The white-colored, “chocolate-chip” toothpaste, which the company says can be safely swallowed, tastes and smells like chocolate and comes in a brown-and-gold tube that looks like a luxury candy bar.

Selling for $9.99, the product can be found on the company’s website, http://www.theodent.com, and beginning in March, will be available in some Whole Foods Market stores, according to Theodent.

Compiled by Ellyn Couvillion

Advocate staff writer