Community Briefs for Aug. 19

Published 11:18 pm Monday, August 18, 2008

UM holds summer commencement

MONTEVALLO – More than 140 University of Montevallo students received their diplomas at summer commencement Aug. 8.

The commencement speaker was Melanie Poole, owner of The Design Poole and immediate past-president of UM’s National Alumni Association. Following the address, Dr. Philip C. Williams, UM president, conferred degrees upon some 97 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, 45 candidates for master’s degrees and two candidates for the educational specialist degree.

After students received their diplomas, Karen Kelly, president of the National Alumni Association, inducted graduates into the 21,000-member organization.

From Clanton are Brandelyn Nelson (bachelor’s of arts), Britney Littleton (bachelor’s of science), Jaime Bee (master’s of education), Jason Porter (master’s of education) and Malissia Powell (master’s of education).

From Jemison are Jordan Smith bachelor’s of science and Sabrina Mims (master’s of education).

From Maplesville are Rebecca Barron (master’s of arts) and Brandon Shanks (master’s of education).

From Thorsby are Janet Castillo (bachelor’s of business administration) and Patricia Barnett (master’s of education).

Report illustrates success of health centers

As part of National Health Center Week August 10-16, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released a report describing how HRSA-funded health centers improve the lives of the more than 16 million people they treat each year.

Using personal stories, examples and background statistics, the report details the broad reach of HRSA-funded health centers across the country – and offers a glimpse into the work of community health centers to overcome language and cultural barriers that often have thwarted efforts to serve poor and minority patients living on the margins of mainstream society.

Health centers provide the only available preventive care and treatment for many underserved individuals across Alabama and the country—most of whom would otherwise seek care in overcrowded emergency rooms or go untreated.

In 2007, over 300,000 Alabamians accounted for almost a million visits to the 125 community health centers located in 57 counties in Alabama. Those same health centers had an economic impact of almost $150 million and supported over 2,000 jobs.

ACS launches cancer network

For the people who will be diagnosed with cancer this year, there will be many questions and emotions. A newly diagnosed patient may have questions about how to tell his or her family, what treatment options are available, or may need help understanding the complex medical system. The American Cancer Society understands that dealing with cancer is difficult, and makes help easy to find and easy to use to lessen the impact of the disease.

Through its Cancer Resource Network, the Society offers programs and services that address the needs of those touched by cancer. “We do everything we can to improve quality of life for patients, caregivers, and survivors during and after diagnosis and treatment,” said Scarlett Thompson, director of communications and marketing for Alabama division ACS.

Many different forms of support are available, both online and in person.

The Society provides many ways for patients and caregivers to connect with survivors and other volunteers – one on one or in groups – to share experiences, learn about cancer, and gain encouragement.

Volunteer drivers provide transportation for patients to and from treatment appointments (Road to RecoverySM).

All American Cancer Society services are offered free of charge, and information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Anyone seeking information can find it at, or can speak to a trained Cancer Information Specialist at the Society’s National Cancer Information Center anytime by calling 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345).