Lyme disease support

AYER — Nashoba Valley Medical Center is hosting a new monthly support group for those affected with Lyme disease and/or their caregivers, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Founders Room.

Coordinated by local resident and caregiver Donna Castle, the group will provide a nurturing environment where individuals will gain access to resources in the community in order to maintain their level of independence.

Scheduled lectures by professionals will be held periodically. For further information about the new support group or to register for the first meeting, please contact Donna by e-mail at Light refreshments will be provided at the first meeting.

Diabetes lecture

CONCORD, Mass. — Join Emerson Hospital for a seminar in a series of health-related presentations, titled “Diabetes Update: Advice from the Physician, Nurse and Patient Perspective.”

The free lecture, presented by Aldona Finkle, M.D., endocrinologist, and Cheryl Laundry, RN, CDE, diabetes educator, will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Emerson Hospital Center for Specialty Care, 54 Baker Avenue Extension, Concord. Registration is not required. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call (978) 287-3085.

Addiction support

AYER — A new support group to help those suffering from addictive behaviors will begin meeting at Nashoba Valley Medical Center on Thursday evenings beginning Nov. 29, 6:30-7:45 p.m. in the Founders Room.

SMART Recovery is a Four-Point Program that welcomes individuals suffering from addictive behaviors from either substance abuse such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food, illicit drugs and prescribed medications or involvement in activities such as gambling, sexual behavior, spending, exercise or gaming. Family members and friends are also welcome to attend.

In addition to this new meeting group at Nashoba Valley Medical Center, SMART Recovery also sponsors a number of online meetings each week through their Web site at SMART Recovery is a Four-Point program that helps individuals gain independence from addictive behaviors through enhancing and maintaining motivation to abstain; coping with urges; problem-solving (managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors) and lifestyle balance (balancing momentary and enduring satisfactions). The program is modeled around cognitive-behavioral therapy and specifically Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. For further information e-mail

Diabetes recognition

AYER — Nashoba Valley Medical Center’s Diabetes and Endocrine Center’s self-management education program has been awarded continued recognition from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). This program offers high-quality education services to the patients it serves.

The ADA Education Recognition effort is a voluntary process which assures that approved education programs have met the national standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs (DSME). Programs that achieve recognition status have a staff of knowledgeable health-care professionals who can provide the latest information about diabetes management for participants.

DSME is an essential component of diabetes treatment that helps patients initiate effective self-care when they are first diagnosed. Ongoing DSME also helps people with diabetes maintain effective self-management as their diabetes presents new challenges and treatment advances become available. In addition, DSME assists patients in areas such as optimization of metabolic control, prevention and management of complications, and maximization of the quality of life, in a cost-effective manner. DSME meets criteria for insurance and Medicare reimbursement.

The Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Nashoba Valley Medical Center has been serving area resident for nearly 15 years. For further information about the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program or any of the other programs available through the Center including the newly formed Diabetes Support Group, call (978) 784-9534.

Infant massage

WESTFORD, Mass. — Overworked adults aren’t the only people who can benefit from the physiological and psychological stimulation of massage. Skin is an infant’s first sensory organ; a 6-week old fetus responds to touch before sight or sound. Studies show that babies who are regularly massaged fall asleep quicker, feel relief from the discomfort of colic, constipation, teething and congestion, and experience enhanced neurological development.

Learn more about infant massage, an ancient art practiced in many traditional cultures as part of natural child-rearing, through Emerson Hospital’s four one-hour sessions in which you will explore the art of massage, yoga and reflexology. The infant massage instructor, who has completed intensive training with the International Association of Infant Massage, educates parents on how to communicate with their babies through touch.

“Infant massage is an excellent tool to help new parents bond with their infants, and research shows it can significantly reduce the risk of post-natal depression in new mothers,” said Lynn Darbyshire, an Emerson Hospital certified infant massage instructor.

Classes begin Saturday, Jan. 12, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Classes are held at the Emerson Hospital Health Center in Westford, located on Route 110. For more information on location and time, please call Lisa Bates at (978) 287-3268.

Shirley blood drive

SHIRLEY — The American Red Cross will hold a community blood drive at Shirley Middle School on Sunday, Nov. 25, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All donors will receive a free pass to Regal Cinemas.

Donors must be 17 or older, weigh 110 or more, be in good health, and have not given blood in the last 56 days. Positive ID is required by the Red Cross.

Walk-ins are welcome or an appointment may be made by calling (800) GIVE LIFE, to speed up the process. Visit to learn more.

Surgical weight-loss


CONCORD, Mass. — Emerson Hospital offers free surgical weight-loss support groups, where post-operative patients and patients considering the surgery can discuss the lecture topic and participate in an open forum.

Emerson Hospital uses a comprehensive approach — laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery and laparoscopic banding. Emerson’s bariatric surgeons — Drs. Michael Jiser, Roy Shen and Rebecca Shore — have performed more than 700 laparoscopic weight-loss surgeries with positive, long-term results.

Upcoming group meetings will be held on Nov. 28 (topic: holiday eating) and Dec. 19 (a clothing swap, during which patients bring in clothing they no longer fit into and swap with other patients, which is an economical way to address the rapid change in clothing sizes that patients undergo pre- and post-surgery and a fun way to illustrate dramatic weight loss!). Meetings are held at 6 p.m. and are open to the public.

Through the support groups, attendees can learn more about Emerson’s comprehensive surgical weight management program for severe obesity. Check at the front desk for conference room location or call (978) 287-3532.