Four Glen Ridge Friends Create Private Salon Space for Women Battling Illness, Life-Altering Issues

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 26, 2013 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Roller Girls (left to right): Jodi Badagliacca, Cris McMahon, Venera Gashi, Karen Goldberg

The Roller Girls (left to right): Jodi Badagliacca, Cris McMahon, Venera Gashi, Karen Goldberg

Four friends from Glen Ridge have pooled their talents to transform a room in a local salon into a private space for cancer patients and other women in stressful situations to relax, revive and beautify.

When Jodi Badagliacca, a cancer survivor, and three friends, all empty nesters, were enjoying a Thai food dinner one night over the summer, and began brainstorming. They wanted to do something on a local level to help women battling illnesses access the restoring effects of attending to their appearance, but who felt self-conscious or vulnerable because of bald heads, scars, a sickly appearance or were just too weak and ill-at-ease, to handle the semi-public atmosphere of a regular salon.

“We wanted a place where patients going through chemo or other life altering treatments, could get their hair done or wigs styled and cared for, get their make up done, or have any kind of beauty service that will make their difficult days less difficult,” Badagliacca explained.

Badagliacca, Karen Goldberg, Venera Gashi, and Cris McMahon quickly found a willing partner in Donna Vaicels, owner of Salon Gossip, on Broad Street in Bloomfield, who had an unused room in her salon, and for a long time had been interested in providing just such a space. Continue Reading

Montclair Y Offering New Exercise Program for Diabetics

BY  |  Friday, Sep 20, 2013 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

montclair y diabetes programIf you have pre-diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, the Montclair YMCA has a program for you.

Move Well Today is a new exercise program for diabetics. The program helps individuals get fit while managing their diabetes and/or changes in their HbA1c levels. A certified instructor is on hand to provide participants with educational information, a tailored exercise program and nutritional counseling.

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NJ Health Insurance Marketplace Readies for October 1 Open Enrollment Start

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 12, 2013 9:16am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Health Insurance - words

In a few weeks, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), New Jersey residents not covered by employer-sponsored health insurance can begin choosing from an array of (possibly? probably?) more affordable health insurance options, when the state’s Health Exchange Marketplace officially begins operating.

Concerns about a bumpy road and obstacles leading up to and after the roll-out on October 1 (when residents can begin signing up for new coverage), the state legislature has created a 12-member task force to oversee how the NJ marketplace operates in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, officials like U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and advocacy groups are calling for more state cooperation in disseminating easy-to-understand information so residents know about the new plans, and the increased Medicaid coverage that is also part of the ACA.

“We were never going to make this program work from Washington,” she has said. “This has to be an on-the-ground effort.” Rite-Aid, for example, will have informed representatives in several thousand stores on October 1 to help educate citizens, and local representatives from Enroll America have been ringing doorbells around the state to spread the word. Continue Reading

Junior League’s Third Annual Run for Children is September 15

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 8:19am  |  COMMENTS (0)

run for children 2013 logoGrab those sneakers, hope for a mild day and help raise funds for kids by participating in the Junior League of Montclair-Newark’s third annual Run 4 Children at Risk on Sunday, September 15. The main event is a four mile race, but there’s also a one mile fun run/walk, kids’ races and other activities, all scheduled for Montclair’s Woodman Field (Essex Avenue near Chestnut Street) from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm (rain or shine).

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Could You Get a BMW Convertible for $100? Someone Will.

BY  |  Monday, Aug 19, 2013 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (9)

BMW Clara Maas RaffleIt only takes one. Winner, that is. One lucky ticket holder, who paid $100 for a raffle entry, will drive away in a shiny new BMW convertible this December — and help Clara Maas Medical Center Foundation raise funds to benefit the cancer services it helps provide.

Only 1,500 tickets will be sold for the Alpine White 2013 BMW 128i Convertible, which will be given away on December 10. Now on display in the hospital’s lobby, the car has a gleaming white exterior, smooth black upholstery, power-folding automatic soft top, and chrome line trim.

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Post-Hurricane Sandy Effects Showing Up Nine Months Later, in Small Packages?

BY  |  Monday, Jul 29, 2013 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

newborn baby feetIs there a post-Hurricane Sandy baby boom in the metropolitan area? Some, especially in South Jersey say absolutely yes.

Other experts dispute not only a post-Sandy boom, but the very idea of any baby boom following a natural disaster, noting that contemporary couples stick to carefully laid-out plans to have children or not, despite outside factors.

Locally, St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston expects to see an additional 100 births in the period from late July to late August, and the spike has already begun, according to hospital spokesperson Sally Malech.

Richard Miller MD, Chairman of OB/GYN department at St. Barnabas, and an partner in New Jersey Perinatal Associates, which delivers babies at St. Barnabas and Clara Maas, concurs. “We are seeing a mini boom. We’re up a modest amount, about 10 percent, although July and August we tend to see a bump in delivery numbers anyway. Births are always seasonal, probably because winter months are colder here, something that likely goes back to cave man days.”

Michelle Aristizabal MD, an OB/GYN with a practice in Montclair, says, “I definitely have seen it; we’ve been crazy. Normally we deliver between 12 and 15 babies a month, but it’s been over 20 the last four weeks, and the hospital atmosphere has been insane, having to double up rooms. It’s true that July and August are higher delivery months, but not this crazy. Yes, it could be a coincidence, but a number of people have told me that their babies resulted from Sandy!” Continue Reading

Livingston (Lack of) Sleep Screening Could Pinpoint Health Risks

BY  |  Monday, Jul 15, 2013 11:19am  |  COMMENTS (0)

clock - insomnia - 2Today, I had a good excuse, what with my teenage son traveling on an 8-hour overnight bus ride to a 10 day high adventure camping trip. An excuse for my terrible night’s sleep, that is. And I didn’t. But the truth is, many other nights when I don’t sleep well, I have no excuse. Or none that I know of. And maybe I should find out, right? I mean, blaming the heat, being the mother-of-teenagers, creeping hot flashes, an old mattress, and that too-spicy-but-I-love-it Indian dinner, isn’t exactly taking responsibility for my sleep deprivation health now is it?

To do something about it, I can take myself to St. Barnabas Medical Center next week. The Livingston hospital is inviting the public to a free community lecture and sleep screening on Tuesday, July 23, at 5:00, for anyone with chronic sleep problems.

If you wake up feeling tired every morning, it could be a sleep disorder, and that might be a sign of an even more serious problem than arriving at the breakfast table or your job feeling grumpy and unfocused. The program provides a free screening and information about St Barnabas’s Center for Sleep Disorders, which offers daytime testing and full overnight sleep studies. Continue Reading

Summer Public Service Initiatives Tell Drivers: Don’t Leave Kids, Pets, Elderly in Closed Cars

BY  |  Monday, Jul 08, 2013 8:41am  |  COMMENTS (2)

kids in cars checklistUnless all the windows are wide open, the inside of a car on a hot day is the wrong place for living beings. That’s the message organizations, health care professionals, police and social service agencies are urgently trying to get across.

It’s no longer unusual to hear of young children dying after being left in closed-up vehicles on hot days. Pets have suffered the same fate and even elderly people waiting in cars for adult children or caregivers to complete errands are ending up in heat-related distress.

Last year, nearly three dozen children across the U.S. perished this way. In a closed vehicle–or even one with windows only partially open–the inside temperature can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes, and the bodies of children, the elderly and small pets heat up more quickly than a healthy adult’s.

Just last week in Newark, a passerby alerted police about a toddler in the back seat of an unattended car. Across the region, and around the country, police are getting involved when alerted to a child left in the car intentionally.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us that usually the child has been left in the car by mistake; something that happens across all segments of the population, even to intelligent and organized individuals with solid parenting experience.

A few years ago, I remember watching Oprah interview a responsible professional woman, an experienced mother, who drove to work and a few hours later a coworker noticed the woman’s baby strapped in the back seat of her car; it was too late. That morning, the woman and her husband had switched routines, and she was supposed to drop the child off at the sitter’s instead of the husband, something she rarely did. Continue Reading

It’s Mosquito Control Awareness Week! Are You Excited?

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 27, 2013 12:16pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

mosquitoSigh. I like a good, fun theme week sometimes. Tell me it’s national Mallomar day and I’m happy. I also like certain weeks designated to raise awareness and funds for diseases and causes that don’t get enough media attention otherwise.

But National Mosquito Control Awareness Week? Really? Yes, and we’re in it.

Of course, it’s important to clear standing water from our yards and take other steps so the extremely annoying and sometimes disease-carrying creatures don’t breed with abandon. But speaking even as someone who is routinely bitten by mosquitos far more frequently and earlier in the season and in many more places than any other human I now, even I can’t get excited about this one (though our county executive wants to make sure we all get the memo).

Yet, I do not go anywhere from May to October without my Cactus Juice, an all-natural product made from prickly pears that smells light and fruity, sort of a cross between banana, pear and citrus, or maybe like prickly pears (though I have no idea what prickly pears smell like). It goes on creamy, doesn’t stain and contains sunblock properties as well. My annual shipment arrived way back in March and this time around, I ordered a bottle in every size, the cream formulation, a spray bottle, purse size version…on second thought maybe I’m more mosquito-control-aware than I admit.

What about you? How do you battle mosquitos? And do you have any “mosquito control” secrets to share? Please pass them on in comments.

Photo: Flickr

A Health Care Exchange is Coming to NJ and Some Pols Want a Campaign to Spread the Word

BY  |  Thursday, May 02, 2013 8:36am  |  COMMENTS (9)

health insuranceIn late 2012, Governor Chris Christie vetoed using New Jersey monies to fund a state health care insurance exchange. But one will begin operating on October 1, backed by federal financing, in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Now there’s a bill in the state legislature to create a statewide awareness campaign to let residents know that it exists, when it will be accessible and how it may help them.

Under ACA, an exchange provides individuals, families and small business owners, who are otherwise not able to obtain health insurance coverage, a way to identify affordable options, purchase a policy, and find subsidies and other assistance programs. Continue Reading

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