Fort Wayne's VA medical center

VA’s Northern Indiana Health Care System’s locations are going smoke-free. Also, flu shots will be available at the Fort Wayne location.

Starting Oct. 1, per an announcement from the VA’s Northern Indiana Health Care System, patients, visitors, volunteers, employees and contractors will not be allowed to smoke at its health care facilities.

Most health care facilities have been smoke-free for quite a while, and now the VA has followed suit in response to various studies showing the impacts of not only smoking, but secondhand smoke.

The new policy will ban not only cigarettes and cigars, but also e-cigarettes and vaping apparatuses.

The VA, which has a Fort Wayne location at 2121 Lake Ave., will provide smoking cessation services for its patients and employees and can be arranged through the veteran’s health care team.

“As a leader in healthcare, we encourage everyone to quit smoking because of the great health benefits associated with being tobacco free,” the VA said in a statement. “Thank you for serving our country and for partnering with us to provide your health care.

Support geared

toward parents, grandparents of addicts

There is a new support group for parents and grandparents who have lost a child to a drug overdose or substance abuse.

The group was organized by Mom of an Addict, Inc., and will provides loved ones with a safe space to talk about their children, and how addiction impacted both their child and them. The group will also include educational aspects to help them better understand addiction and how they can help their loved ones impacted by it.

“Their feelings about the educational portion each week may be different than the rest of the parents at the meeting,” Mom of an Addict CEO Jennifer Hope, said in a statement. “They have a distinctive perspective, and their questions and discussion can be tailored to that. Mostly, we want them to come, feel as comfortable as possible and realize they are not alone.”

The support group will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays at The Chapel in Fort Wayne, 2505 W. Hamilton Road.

VA offering flu shots

It’s that time of year again, folks. Flu season is only a few months away, and it’s time to get protected.

Flu shots will be available at various VA health care facilities in the area. In Fort Wayne, 2121 Lake Ave., they will be available 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Veterans can check in at the main lobby in Building 1.

Ivy Tech massage

clinic opening

Need a little time for yourself? Need a quick de-stress session?

Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne is opening its student-run massage clinic, Healthy Essence, for the fall semester.

Between Sept. 16 and Dec. 14, the public is welcome to make an appointment for a massage with Ivy tech students studying therapeutic massage.

Prices for the massages will cost $30 for the general public, $25 for Ivy Tech employees and students, veterans and senior citizens. Appointments and times can be scheduled by emailing or calling 260-480-2094.

Visiting Nurse raises

a glass for those passed

Visiting Nurse’s annual fundraising dinner, “Toast to Life,” will take place Sept. 19 to celebrate the lives and memories of clients and patients who have died.

The event includes a five-course meal and accompanying specialty beverage crafted by Club Soda. A silent auction will also take place to raise funds for the 100-plus-year-old nonprofit hospice provider.

The event will start at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Club Soda on Superior Street in downtown Fort Wayne. Tickets cost $150 each and must be bought ahead of time by calling 260-435-3222 or by visiting

Chelsea Boulrisse is an experienced reporter who primarily covers health care and the medical device industry. You can send information for her weekly column to or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3307.

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