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Health Notes for March 27, 2014

Benefit set for Hibbing girl with Dravet Syndrome

A Hibbing child who has become a centerpiece in the discussion about whether to legalize medical marijuana in Minnesota will be the subject of a benefit dinner next month.

The “Amelia Bedelia Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction” will take place for Amelia Weaver beginning at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Hibbing Park Hotel, organizers said.

Amelia, 7, has been diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a form of epilepsy that causes her to experience more than 30 seizures a day and has severely hampered her development. Her parents, Josh and Angie Weaver, have said they will move to Colorado if medical marijuana doesn’t become legal in Minnesota this year. They cite reports of children with Dravet Syndrome who have been helped by a form of medical marijuana in Colorado.

Proceeds of the benefit will help the Weavers pay for medical expenses.

Tickets are $100 per couple and include choice of dinner and dessert. They are available at 1st Realty Rangewide, 2832 First Ave., Hibbing; and Grandma’s in the Park/Hibbing Park Hotel, 1402 E. Howard St., or by calling Brian Grzybowski at (218) 929-1235.

Donations also are being accepted to the Amelia Weaver Fund at Security State Bank, 701 E. Howard St., Hibbing MN, 55746.

Help dealing with challenging kids

Even in a state where all of the children are above average, some kids do exhibit challenging behaviors.

For their parents and caregivers, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is offering a free one-day workshop in Duluth on April 24.

The Children’s Challenging Behaviors class, with school-age children in mind, will offer tips on when and how to seek help, developing parenting strategies, learning the ins and outs of special education and discovering community and county resources, according to the alliance’s Minnesota office.

The workshop will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Green Room of the Duluth Public Library. To register, call NAMI Minnesota at (888) NAMI-Helps.

The workshop has been approved as two hours of training for foster care families.

MNsure board needs help

MNsure needs some people for a board, and a local advocate hopes at least a couple of them will come from the Northland.

The MNsure board is seeking three to five members for its Consumer and Small Business Advisory Committee, said Jenny Peterson, executive director of the Duluth nonprofit Generations Health Care Initiatives.

Generations is trying to encourage representation from Northeastern Minnesota, Peterson said.

Meetings are in St. Paul, but teleconferencing and travel reimbursement are available. The time commitment is three to six hours per week. The committee seeks people representing low-income populations and small-business owners and employees from all areas of the state.

MNsure is Minnesota’s version of the health insurance exchange birthed by the Affordable Care Act.

Apply online at mnsure.org.

‘Invincibles’ wanted

MNsure navigators will be on hand during the Community Wellness Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Romano Gymnasium.

It’s part of MNsure’s down-to-the-wire push to get “Young Invincibles” enrolled in health insurance by Monday, the last day to enroll this year for private insurance plans. (Although MNsure announced this week that it will extend the deadline for individuals who have been thwarted in attempts to enroll.)

MNsure is particularly targeting young, healthy adults. The idea is that widespread participation by that group, which tends to have fewer medical expenses, will mean lower overall insurance costs for the rest of us.

Medicare questions and answers

Answers and education regarding health insurance for Medicare beneficiaries and pre-retirees will be provided by the Senior LinkAge Line through the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission’s Area Agency on Aging.

The times and places:

* April 7 and/or April 21 at Harbors Centers, 1105 E. Superior St.

* April 9 and/or April 23 at ARDC, 221 W. First St. (first-floor conference room).

To schedule an appointment, call the Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433.

There’s no fee for the service, but donations are appreciated.

Compiled by John Lundy

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