New Orleans metro health news, April 18-25, 2013

Photo provided by Ochsner Health Systems -- Ochsner Health System  announced that Michelle Dodenhoff has accepted the position of senior vice president and chief development officer for Ochsner Health System.
Photo provided by Ochsner Health Systems -- Ochsner Health System announced that Michelle Dodenhoff has accepted the position of senior vice president and chief development officer for Ochsner Health System.

Dodenhoff takes job as VP at Ochsner

Michelle Dodenhoff has accepted the position of senior vice president and chief development officer for Ochsner Health System.

Dodenhoff, a New Orleans native, comes to Ochsner from the University of South Carolina, where she served most recently as vice president for development and alumni affairs and was responsible for all programs and activities related to philanthropic support and alumni engagement. She raised over $700 million toward a goal of $1 billion for the university.

Prior to joining the University of South Carolina, Dodenhoff spent more than a decade with Tulane University Health Sciences Center, where she served as director of annual giving. Dodenhoff earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.

Oral, head and neck cancer screenings

Free screening for oral, head and neck cancer will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in the Coliseum Room at Touro Infirmary, 1401 Foucher St., in New Orleans.

In the United States, more than 100,000 cases (including thyroid) are diagnosed yearly. Signs may include a sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal or increases in size; persistent mouth pain; lumps, white or red patches inside the mouth; thickening of the cheek or a lump in the neck.

Parking in the Prytania and Delachaise street garages will be validated. The screening is free, but registration is required. Call (504) 897-8500 or or visit to register.

Auction benefits Camp Tiger

A fundraiser for Camp Tiger, a free, weeklong summer day camp for children with special needs in metropolitan New Orleans and Baton Rouge, will be from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

For a donation of $40, the evening promises to be full of fun and bargains with food donations, music by the Scott Sibley Outfit and silent and live auctions.

Camp Tiger is planned and operated by medical students from LSU Health Sciences Center to give disadvantaged and challenged children an enjoyable summer camp experience.

This year’s camp will be held May 20-24 with the theme “Camp Tiger Calls All Heroes.”

To purchase tickets for the fundraiser, call (504) 568-4874.

Cancer group sets meditation talk

The Ochsner Cancer Institute’s Support Group will host a meeting on “Staying Well with Meditation” at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Lieselotte Tansey Breast Center, 1319 Jefferson Highway, across the street from Ochsner Medical Center.

Indranill Basu Ray, M.D. with Tulane University and Ochsner Clinical School, University of Queensland, will present the information.

The group is led by Melissa Smith, MSW, LCSW, oncology social worker, Jamie Gambino, RN, BS, CMSRN and Megan Morphy, RN.

For information, call the Ochsner Cancer Institute at (504) 842-3708.

Free kidney screenings offered

The National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana will offer free screenings through the Kidney Early Evaluation Program from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 445 Ames Blvd., in Marrero.

One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history. Undetected, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis or an organ transplant.

The screening will provide participants with blood pressure and BMI measurements, urine analysis, blood test (including glucose, cholesterol, hemoglobin and kidney function) and the opportunity to discuss their health and review results with an onsite physician.

Registration is required. Call (504) 861-4500 or visit

Fest to raise money for Angelman’s

Jay Fest in City Park on Sunday will raise money for Angelman’s Syndrome, a severe neurological disorder characterized by profound developmental delays, problems with motor coordination and balance, and epilepsy.

Individuals with AS do not develop functional speech. Seizure disorders and feeding disorders in infants are common. AS affects all races and both genders equally.

This year, will dedicate the proceeds of its annual race and Jay Fest in City Park to finding a cure for Angelman’s Syndrome.

Tickets are $50 and that buys food, drink and a musical lineup including The Avon Suspects, Big Easy Brawlers, The Rockenbraughs and Zebra. For information, call (504) 227-1113 or go to

Organ donor registration drive

West Jefferson Medical Center will hold an organ donor registration drive from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday in the atrium of the hospital, 1101 Medical Center Blvd., in Marrero. Sign up to become an organ, eye and tissue donor.

For information, call (504) 837-3355, ext. 311.

Women’s Wellness Program ongoing

From 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. every Tuesday, Common Ground Health Clinic, 1400 Teche St. in Algiers, holds a health and wellness event aimed at women.

Women of all ages, sizes and abilities are invited for cooking, fitness, nutrition, stress management and more.

For information, contact Common Ground Health Clinic at (504) 361-9800.

Program offers free vaccines to children

The Greater New Orleans Immunization Network bus offers free shots to children who lack insurance coverage for vaccinations.

The network also maintains a computerized registry for easy recordkeeping.

The bus will be parked:

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Wal-Mart, 4810 Lapalco, Marrero.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Walgreens, Bullard and Lake Forest boulevards, eastern New Orleans.

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Clearview Mall, Veterans Blvd.

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Rouses, 1644 Gause Blvd., Slidell.

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Rouses, 6600 Franklin Ave., Gentilly.

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Wal-Mart, 4810 Lapalco, Marrero.

Gentle yoga classes
for seniors being held

Seniors meet for stretching and gentle yoga at 11 a.m. Saturdays in the meeting room at the Rosa Keller Community Center, 4300 S. Broad St. The class is free.

Metairie blood center looking for donors

The Blood Center of Southeast Louisiana is seeking donations of whole blood and platelets. Visit the center, 3400 16th St., in Metairie from noon to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday or Thursday; from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday; from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday; or from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For information, call (504) 887-2833.

Breast cancer group
schedules meetings

Bosom Buddies, a support group for breast cancer survivors, their family members and caregivers, meets the first Tuesday of the month at West Jefferson Medical Center’s Hall of History in the Gretna Classroom at the hospital in Marrero.

To register, call (504) 349-1640.

Diabetes support group meets monthly

Diabetes support group meets from noon to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at East Jefferson General Hospital.

Members share information and support each other to promote successful diabetes management. New members are welcome.

Call (504) 454-5609 or email

Ostomy support group meetings set

The Greater New Orleans Ostomy Support Group holds meetings on the second Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at 7 p.m. at East Jefferson General Hospital, 4200 Houma Blvd., in Metairie. For information, call (504) 454-4941.

Support groups meet at Touro, West Jeff

Free grief support groups are sponsored by the Akula Foundation at Touro Infirmary on the first and third Thursday of the month and at West Jefferson General Hospital on the first and third Wednesday.

Call (504) 723-3628.

Epilepsy group
offers counseling

Short-term counseling provides assistance in coping with the initial diagnosis of a seizure disorder, temporary and chronic difficulties and stress management.

Efforts are directed toward promoting the healthy functioning of people with epilepsy.

For information, contact Kelly Aprill at (800) 960-0587 or check online at

Parkinson’s support group sets meetings

Parkinson’s support group offers opportunities to share information on new treatments and medications, discuss tips and tricks for living well with Parkinson’s and offer each other positive reinforcement.

Meetings are at 1:30 p.m. the last Monday of the month at East Jefferson General Hospital and include a guest speaker.

Call (504) 456-5000 for information.

East Jefferson hosts stroke support group

Stroke support group meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the eighth-floor gym at East Jefferson General Hospital. Call (504) 456-5000 for information.