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Health and Wellness Events and Screenings
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Forsyth County News

Listings in Health and Wellness events are free and available to nonprofit organizations sponsoring free or low-cost events for the public. Groups may submit notices by fax at (770) 889-6017 or via e-mail at


Life with Cancer, a support group for men and women, meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday of every month at the Church of the Apostles. Joan Palazollo, a licensed, practicing counselor and cancer survivor, will facilitate the group. For more information, call her at (706) 878-8149.


SMART Recovery, Self Management and Recovery Training, helps individuals gain independence from all types of addiction. The group’s participants form a worldwide community which includes free, self-empowering, secular and science-based at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the office of Professional Recovery Counseling, 107 W. Courthouse Square, Suite 274 in downtown Cumming. Call (770) 630-6892 or go online at for more information.


Survivors of Suicide Support Group meetings are 6:30-8 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Warehouse, at Midway Park/Family Festival. The meetings are free, confidential and open to anyone who has lost a friend or loved one to suicide. For more information, call Karen at (770) 355-1024 or Sherry at (404) 660-0907. If you are in crisis, call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at (800) 715-4225.


GriefShare is a special weekly seminar and support group for people grieving the death of a loved one. The 13 weekly sessions will be held at the Church of the Apostles, 34 Grant Road West, from 1-3 p.m. through July 20. To register, call (706) 216-4912.


Compassionate Care Hospice is looking for volunteers to help those facing terminal illness. The program takes an hour a week and has needs in the Cumming area. For more information, contact Lin at (770) 220-2723 or e-mail


The Chestatee group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets at noon and 6:30 p.m. seven days a week at Hwy. 53 and War Hill Road, behind the tire outlet. All meetings are open. For more information, call (706) 265-6710.


Alzheimer's Respite Care is a service offered by Forsyth County Senior Services for caregivers and for individuals with early to moderate Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. The Sunshine Club meets from 11:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. The program provides caregivers a block of time for themselves by providing a safe environment filled with cognitively and physically stimulating activities for their loved ones with dementia. A nutritious lunch and snacks are provided, and transportation may be available. For more information, call Laura Bagwell at (770) 781-2178.


Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 6:45 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and at 6 p.m. Saturdays at Lanier United Methodist Church, 1979 Buford Hwy., in the trailer behind the church. A 24-hour hotline is available at (404) 525-3178.


Oak Grove Baptist Church presents its GriefShare ministry, a Christ-centered support group for those grieving the loss of a loved one. Sessions include topics like "The Journey of Grief,""The Effects of Grief" and "Living with Grief." Sessions are 6:30 p.m. Mondays at the church. For more information, call Daphne Bagley Moore at (770) 781-2866.


RESOLVE, a peer-led support group for couples struggling with infertility, meets from 10-11:30 a.m. the third Saturday of each month at the counseling offices of Beth Franchini, off Ga. 400, Exit 13. To learn more, contact Kate Badey at


Free 100-point home safety assessment for seniors is available through Stay In-Home Solutions, a Forsyth-based organization that seeks to help seniors remain safe and independent in their own homes, by calling (770) 406-1384 or visiting


Turning Point at Chestatee Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program is offered to residents of several northeast Georgia counties, including Forsyth. The program, through Chestatee Regional Hospital and Golden Care LLC in Dahlonega, offers group, individual and family counseling for patients suffering from depression, loss of independence, grief, anxiety and other emotional stressors. Patients attend the program one to five days a week depending on their level of need. Transportation to and from the program and lunch are provided. For more information, call John McMillon at (225) 385-5767 or (706) 867-4303.


Restore Motherhood is a nonprofit group that helps chronically ill mothers during their tough times. The group assists with household chores so that "Mommy" can spend time with her children. Duties include laundry, light cooking, dishes, sitting with mom while in the hospital and providing a ride to the doctor. If someone you know could use some help or you want to volunteer, call (770) 205-1147 or (770) 899-5641 or e-mail The group's Web site is There is no charge for these services; however, it is always accepting donations and seeking volunteers.


NAMI FDL support groups, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offers two local support groups (for families and peers). Meetings are from 7-8:30 p.m. the second and last Thursday of each month at the Forsyth County Senior Center, 595 Dahlonega Hwy. in Cumming. For more information, go online at or call (770) 406-8322. The help line is (800) 950-6264.


Northside Hospital-Forsyth has several blood drives throughout the year at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, Bennett Education Center, 1400 Northside Forsyth Drive in Cumming. Each donor will receive a free Northside Hospital T-shirt. As long as you are healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds and are 17 or older, you can give blood. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Glenda Cronan at (770) 844-3400, or e-mail


Sawnee View Memorial Gardens support group meets from 11 a.m. to noon the second Wednesday of each month at Piedmont Methodist clubhouse. On the fourth Wednesday the meeting is at an area restaurant. The group is for those who have lost family members and loved ones. For more information, call Scott Bennett at (770) 887-2387 or William Phillips at (770) 889-0607.


Al-Anon Family Group now meets at Trinity Presbyterian Church in the Free Home community. Inside Al-Anon Family Groups, members speak confidentially to one another about their situations. By listening to one another, members learn to understand the impact of alcoholism in shaping their perspectives and behaviors. They strengthen their relationships by personally using the "12 Steps" method adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous as a pattern for meaningful change. Al-Anon has no mandatory fees and is self-supporting through members' voluntary contributions. Members will meet in the fellowship hall at 1136 Trinity Church Road. For specific directions, call (770) 479-5899 or (678) 493-6955.

Free anti-addiction booklets are available by calling Narconon at (800) 468-6933 or visit to receive a free booklet titled “The Life Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction.” Narconon offers free addiction counseling, assessments and referrals to centers nationwide.

The Cancer Support Community offers the following free events at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, 1400 Northside Forsyth Drive. R.S.V.P. at (404) 843-1880.

• Support group for people with cancer/their loved ones — 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Tuesday in Suite 180.

• Drop-in Breast Cancer Support Group — 3-5 p.m. the third Sunday of the month in Room 140.    

Free individual counseling for seniors by a qualified therapist, will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at the Forsyth County Senior Center. Call May Johnston at (770) 781-2178 to make an appointment.

Access Christian Counseling has the following 16-week classes and is currently accepting applications for each:

• Men's Sexual Recovery Support Group — for men struggling with sexual addiction, sexual sin, compulsive behavior, affair recovery, sexual identity issues, same sex attraction problems and abuse recovery.

• Spouses of Sexual Betrayal Support Group — for women who have felt the betrayal in their relationship through sexual sin, sexual addiction, an affair or related abuse of trust in their relationship.

• Adolescent Young Men's Sexual Recovery Support Group — for young men struggling with sexual addiction, sexual sin, compulsive behavior, affair recovery, sexual identity issues, same sex attraction problems and abuse recovery.

• Women's Sexual Recovery Support Group — for women struggling with sexual addiction, sexual sin, compulsive behavior, affair recovery, sexual identity issues, same sex attraction problems and abuse recovery.

For more information, call Jeffrey Stull at (770) 888-7754.

Grief Support: Circle of Hope is a weekly seminar and support group at Cumming First United Methodist Church for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them. ItÕs a place to be around people who understand what you are feeling. At Grief Support, youÕll learn valuable information about recovering from your grief and renewing your hope for the future. To sign up, or if you have questions, contact the Rev. Ron Preuss, minister of pastoral care and older adults, at (770) 887-2900, Ext. 212, or by e-mail at

Happy Tails Pet Therapy is recruiting new volunteers. It needs volunteers and their pet dogs, cats or rabbits to help brighten days at more than 140 metro Atlanta health care facilities, social agencies and special needs programs.

Volunteers must be 18 or older. Monthly orientation lasts one hour and no reservations are required. Sorry, pets are not permitted at orientation. Visit or call (770) 740-8211 for more information.

Mothers Against Methamphetamine Forsyth County, meets every second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at New Hope United Methodist Church, 4815 Dawsonville Hwy. It strives to provide competent and compassionate drug education and rehabilitation resources for the addict, the family and the community. Contact Claire McDonald at (770) 889-8228 or (770) 889-7440 for more information.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers meetings at different locations. For meeting times and information, call (770) 886-0696.

Caregiver support group's regular monthly meetings scheduled for the third Monday of each month are temporarily canceled. Please call Sharon Waters at (770) 889-4272 if you wish to talk or meet with someone to discuss care-giving.

Cumming MS self-help group of the National MS Society invites anyone diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or those who have a family member with MS to attend our self-help group, which meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. the first Saturday of each month at the Doctor's Building at Northside Hospital-Forsyth in Cumming.

For information, call the National MS Society at (404) 256-9700 or Mary Grunewald, the self-help group facilitator, at (770) 889-8179.

Depression support group can help with feelings of hopeless or being overwhelmed with life. Appalachian Family Services Inc. is offering a free support group for depressed individuals. The group meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Thursday of each month at Northside Hospital-Cherokee in Canton.

Other free support groups are also available. Trained facilitators lead all support groups. AFSI is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency providing community mental health services. For information, call (770) 592-6515.

Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association announces that registration in the nationwide Safe Return program is now available for hundreds of Georgia residents with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. The fee is $40. Given the increasing number of Alzheimer's patients who are frequently reported as missing, this program is a way of increasing their protection and safe return.

For more information, call Andrea Higgins at (404) 728-1181.

GriefShare Program offers weekly seminar and support groups for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them. It is a place to be around people who understand what you are feeling. At GriefShare, learn valuable information about recovering from  grief and renewing hope for the future.

GriefShare features brief videos with nationally recognized experts on grief and recovery topics. Seminar sessions include "When Your Dreams Fall Apart," "The Seasons of Grief," The Emotions of Grief," "When Your Spouse Dies," "Your Family and Grief" and "Growing Through Grief." There is no cost. For information, contact the Rev. Ron Preuss, minister of pastoral care and older adults at Cumming First UMC, 770 Canton Highway, at (770) 887-2900.


Portsbridge Hospice is looking for volunteers of all ages for inpatient and homecare facilities. The wide range of volunteering duties includes anything from patient care to clerical work. For information, call Lisa Smith at (770) 614-9046.

North Fulton Regional Hospital is in need of volunteers for various departments and shifts at North Fulton Regional Hospital. Volunteers provide valuable services within the hospital that benefit the departments and patients, along with their families and friends. For information, call Gail Sinno at (770) 751-2602.


"Man to Man," a support group for prostate cancer survivors, meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Northside Hospital-Forsyth in the library. Don't call, just come.

Miracle on Wheels makes available power (electric) wheelchairs to non ambulatory senior citizens usually at no out-of-pocket expense if they qualify.

No deposit is required. The electric wheelchairs are provided to those who cannot walk and cannot self-propel a manual wheelchair in their home or independent living quarters and who meet the additional qualifications of the program. This service may also be available to the permanently disabled of any age. Call (800) 749-8778 or visit the Web site at for more information about the details of this program.

MS stretch class, a stretch class designed for individuals with multiple sclerosis, is available as a component to the MS society aquatic exercise program. Classes focus on improving flexibility, strength, endurance, stabilization and relaxation. Classes are from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every Wednesday at the Shepherd Center, 2020 Peachtree Road in Atlanta. Fees are $12 per month for ProMotion members and $15 per month for non-members. For information, call (404) 350-7789.

MS support group meets the first Saturday of each month at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, Building 1400, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For information, call Mary Grunewald at (770) 889-8179.

NAMI, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, a support group for friends and family of the mentally ill, meets on the last Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Sawnee Cultural Arts Center, 1090 Tribble Gap Road in Cumming. All are welcome to attend.

Narconon, a nonprofit public benefit organization that specializes in helping people with drug or alcohol addictions, offers free assessments and more than 11,000 local referrals. Drug addiction can be overcome and Narconon can help by calling (800) 468-6933 or by visiting

Narcotics Anonymous offers three meetings a week and a 24-hour Help Line. The Help Line number is (678) 549-1247.

North Georgia Autism Center at 5285 Lake Pointe Center Drive, Suite C, in Cumming provides one-on-one sessions, discrete trial consultations, school consultations and social skills classes for autistic children. For more information, call (770) 844-8624.

Northside Hospital MothersFirst offers maternity classes at Northside Hospital-Forsyth with information that every expectant parent should know.

• Baby Essentials — This class has a fee.

• Childbirth Preparation — Five-class series. This class has a fee.

• Weekend Childbirth Preparation — Two-session version of our regular Childbirth Preparation class. This class has a fee.

• CPR for Infants — Designed for those who do not need to be CPR certified. This class has a fee.

• Breast-feeding Couples — Class may be taken as a two-part series or a one-time, weekend class.

• Safe Sitter Program — Make sure your babysitter is a Safe Sitter!

All classes are held at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, Bennett Education Center, 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive in Cumming. For dates and times, or to register, call (404) 845-5555, and press 1.

Overeaters Anonymous holds their weekly meetings on Sundays at 7 p.m. at Northside Hospital-Forsyth in Meeting Room A. Call Virginia at (404) 788-9852 or Connie at (678) 455-6408.

Northside Hospital pre-diabetes class helps educate people about the growing risk of pre-diabetes, a condition that occurs when a person's fasting blood sugar is higher than normal. The Northside Hospital Diabetes Education Program pre-diabetes class is taught by experienced professionals that will educate and counsel those at high risk for developing the condition. The program includes an initial group class and individual follow-up visits with a diabetes educator/registered dietitian. For more information, contact the Northside Hospital Diabetes Education Program at (404) 851-6023.

Prescription Assistance is offered by the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) of Georgia, which helps low-income Georgians get free or discounted prescription medications. PPA offers access to information about public and private patient assistance programs, including Medicare. PPA also provides information to seniors on the new Medicare prescription drug insurance program. For more information, call (888) 4PPA-NOW or visit the Web site

Prostate cancer support group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Northside Hospital-Forsyth in the library of the 1400 Medical Office Building. Newly diagnosed men and those dealing with prostate cancer meet to discuss treatment options and how to live with the disease. All are welcome. For more information, call (770) 888-8775 or (770) 781-8086.

Forsyth County Senior Center needs volunteers for programs that serve the seniors of the county. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, call Jackie or Sonya at (770) 781-2178.

Senior Wheels USA Program makes electric power wheelchairs available at no cost to those 65 years and older and to the permanently disabled if they qualify. The wheelchairs are provided to those who cannot walk and cannot self-propel a manual wheelchair, and who meet the additional guidelines of the program. No deposit is required. If your need is for use in your home, call Leon Johnson at (800) 246-6010 for more information or to see if you qualify.

Shepherd Center offers a variety of classes in its temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool, including swimming lessons for "Moms and Tots," water exercise classes to increase strength and flexibility, aquatic therapy sessions, water yoga and more. Additional classes are also available for persons with multiple sclerosis. For information about class schedules and fees, call (404) 350-7786. The center also offers weekly team practices for anyone interested in trying wheelchair sports. For information, call (404) 367-1287.

"Grieving the Loss of a Child" for parents who have experienced the death of a child is now being offered on Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The group counseling series is at the Hospice office, 2150 Limestone Parkway in Gainesville. The program is free, but registration is required. To register or for more information, call Donna Moss at (770) 533-8888.

Support group for kinship families, which include grandparents and other relatives caring for children, meets on the third Thursday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Saint Elizabeth's Episcopal Church. The church is located at 1188 Hamp Hill Road in Dahlonega. For more information, call Jocelyn at (706) 864-2768.

Tobacco-Free Coalition is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to promoting a healthy, tobacco-free environment in Forsyth County. The group meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, 1400 Building, Bennett Education Center, Classroom A. For information, call (770) 844-3607.

Volunteers needed for a community team to fight against breast cancer. For more information, call Maresa Helton, LPN, at the Dawson County Health Department at (706) 265-2611.

Weight loss support at the North Fulton Bariatric Hospital Weight Loss Center meets the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for surgical weight loss patients and those who are interested in learning more about the procedure. Meetings are at the North Fulton Medical Arts Building, 11685 Alpharetta Highway, Suite 165, in Roswell. The meeting is free and open to the public 16 years and older and will be facilitated by Mary Frances McLemore, RN, bariatric coordinator. For information, call (770) 751-2924 or e-mail

Young women's cancer survivor group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Northside/Interchange Professional Building, 5780 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Suite 445. The group is for women ages 21-38 to help deal with concerns around body image, dating, sexuality, fertility, parenting, family and work issues. Laurel Gulish, M.A., a licensed psychotherapist, facilitates the program. For information, call (404) 845-5640 or go to