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Thursday, July 09 2015

News & Notes from BFMC

Adapted from several Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) press releases:

Baystate Franklin Medical Center would like the public to know that registration for their annual Wheeling for Healing fundraiser is now open, parents should review laundry packet safety, and a brain injury support group welcoming new members is taking place on the last Wednesday of every month.

Wheeling for Healing
Registration is now open for the 8th annual Wheeling for Healing benefit on Sunday, August 16th, which for the first time will start and end at Greenfield Community College (GCC).  Also new this year are a 5k walk/run around the college, and through adjoining neighborhoods, and children’s bike safety activities.  The registration fee, which is $40 for cyclists, $30 for walkers/runners, and free for children age 12 and under, includes morning snacks and a Fiesta Feast, catered by GCC.  Health New England is the presenting sponsor for the event.

Proceeds from previous Wheeling for Healings have been used to purchase medical equipment and comfort items for patients undergoing chemotherapy at Baystate Franklin, and have also gone to assist patients with extraordinary expenses associated with their illness, including medicines not covered by their insurance.

Bruce Mainville, a nuclear medicine technologist at Baystate Franklin, who together with Dr. Howard Natenshon spearheaded the first Wheeling for Healing event in 2008, is a strong believer in supporting his local hospital through fund-raising events such as this one.  “We are encouraging participants to collect pledges and raise additional funds for cancer programs and services at Baystate Franklin. Virtually no one today is untouched by cancer. We all know family members, friends, and colleagues who have battled this disease, and this is a chance to raise funds to honor or remember someone special.  It’s rewarding to know that every pledge collected goes to support our local Oncology Department, serving people right here in our community.”

Those who have a group of enthusiastic cyclists in their workplace, or who are part of a cycling club or a family of cyclists, are invited to form teams and raise more donations together. Teams may be comprised of walkers, runners and cyclists. They may write their team names on sports “bibs” that will be available at the event.

All participants can design their own fundraising web pages, complete with photographs and personal messages about why they are committed to this cause, and send emails to solicit additional pledges.  Anyone who raises $100 or more in pledges will receive a commemorative sports T-shirt. 

Wheeling for Healing features three different rides:  a local 10-mile route through the Greenfield meadows; a moderate 25-mile ride through Bernardston, Gill, and the Turners Falls and Greenfield bike trails; and a challenging 50-mile route that goes up into the hills of Warwick and Wendell.  This event is not a race, and participants are asked to sign up for a course that matches their level of ability.  The walk/run course will include the GCC campus, as well as neighboring streets – all within safe, low-traffic, areas.  Small children could safely ride their bikes while parents walk or run alongside them.

For more information, or to register for or sponsor Wheeling for Healing, visit or call Baystate Health Foundation at (413) 794-4288.

Laundry Packet Safety
With liquid laundry packets gaining in popularity -- now used by 20 percent of U.S. households -- parents need to be aware of this emerging risk for children. Between 2012 and 2013, more than 700 children age 5 and under experienced serious effects as a result of ingesting liquid laundry packets, with the impact greatest among 1- and 2-year olds. In fact, the poison centers received more than 33,000 calls from 2012 through May 2015.

These packets are a concentrated, single-dose, product designed to dissolve in water, so when they come in contact with wet hands or mouths, they start to dissolve and might release the concentrated liquid inside.  If children get into laundry packets, the health risk can be significant. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, children can experience loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, excessive vomiting, severe eye burns, and temporary vision loss.

“Luckily, the solution to protect children in the home against laundry packet poisoning is simple,” said Mandi Summers, Safe Kids of Western MA Coordinator. “It’s ensuring that parents and caregivers are taking preventative measures to keep it from happening, and knowing what to do in case additional help is needed.”

To prevent poisoning, Summers offered simple tips to keep children safe:
*Keep liquid laundry packets out of children’s reach and sight.
*Keep packets in their original container and keep the container closed.
*If a child gets into them, call the Poison Help number immediately, 1-800-222-1222.

For more information, click here.

Brain Injury Support Group
The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) sponsors a support group on the last Wednesday of each month, from 5PM to 7PM, in Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Conference Room A.  Refreshments are provided and discussions and guest speakers cover a variety of topics.  Survivors of brain injury, as well as their spouses, family members, and care givers, are invited to attend.

Brain injuries can have a traumatic effect on both survivors and their families. The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts sponsors support groups across the state to provide survivors and their loved ones a forum for sharing information about brain injury.  “The forum provides a compassionate environment for survivors to share their stories with an understanding peer group,” said Scott Doane, director of the Western Regional Office of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.   “It also provides an opportunity to socialize and make new friends with others through recreational activities and outings,” he added.

For more information, contact Scott Doane, Western Regional Office of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, (413) 443-0200 or toll free (888) 554-5553.  The next meeting takes place on Wednesday, July 29th.