heart monthThe American Heart Association has launched a new “Act in Time” campaign to  increase  people’s  awareness  of  heart  attack  and  stroke  and  the  importance  of  calling  9-1-1 immediately  at  the  onset  of  heart  attack  symptoms. Heart  attack  and  stroke  are  life-and-death  emergencies—every  second counts.

Today heart attack and stroke victims can benefit from new medications and
treatments.  But  to  be  effective,  these  drugs  must  be  given  relatively  quickly
after heart attack or stroke symptoms first appear. Coronary heart disease is
America’s No. 1 killer with Stroke being No. 3 and a leading cause of disability. That is why it is so important to reduce your risk factors, know the warning  signs  and  to  respond  quickly  when  warning  signs  occur.  Heart  Attack warning signs are sometimes sudden and intense but most start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. People aren’t sure what is going on and delay getting help quickly.
Some warning signs for heart attack include chest discomfort in the center of
the chest that last for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and then
returns.  It  can  feel  like  an  uncomfortable  pressure,  squeezing,  fullness  or
pain. Other areas of the body that may experience pain or discomfort is one
or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Shortness of breath may occur
with or without chest discomfort;  other signs might include breaking out in a
cold  sweat,  nausea,  lightheadedness,  confusion,  indigestion,  weakness,
unusual fatigue, or fainting.
Signs  and  symptoms  of  stroke  include:  sudden  numbness  or  weakness  of
face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding may occur. One may experience trouble seeing  in  one  or  both  eyes,  trouble  walking,  and  dizziness,  loss  of  balance  or coordination, sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
IF  you  or  someone  you  are  with  experiences  any  of  these  symptoms,
especially  with  one  or  more  of  the  signs,  CALL  9-1-1  IMMEDIATELY.
That is the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.

Also,  learn  CPR.  It  may  save  your  life  or  that  of  your  loved  one.  Please  remember  we  are  available  for  blood  pressure  screening  and  discussions  of any health concerns.

It’s been tough weather lately and we are inside more and isolated. So let’s
get together and get moving. We would like to do a walking DVD, in fr. Leonard Hall. It is for all ages and abilities. Basically, walking in place, some side steps,  kicks.  One  can  do  whatever  is  comfortable  for  them,  also,  can  hold onto a chair for balance if need be.
It will be a good way to socialize and move a little. We can use any morning
Monday-Wednesday and meet once a week. Please call us if interested, and
let us know what day is best for you and we will go with the majority.


Flu Season


From the Parish Nurse Ministry
The  flu  season  is  here.  Only  You  are  responsible  for  preventing giving yourself the flu or flu-like illnesses. IF we follow the 4 principles  of  hand  awareness,  we  can  make  a  difference  in preventing  a  flu  epidemic  or  future  pandemic.  We  MUST  understand  that  we  as  humans  PERPETUATE  the  disease  and the POWER is in each and everyone of our HANDS to prevent it. We need to correct and improve our Awareness of our OWN
Personal  Hygiene  and  Respiratory  Etiquette  Habits.

Direct  Inoculation of your mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth) is how infectious disease enters your body. Germs are located on dirty  hands and by touching your eyes,  nose or mouth, you infect yourself with these germs. Germs  are not  wafting
through ventilation systems in your house or classroom.

Follow the 4 principles of hand awareness:
1.   WASH  your  hands  when  they  are  dirty  and  BEFORE  eating.
2.    DO NOT cough into your hands.
3.    DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
4.    Above all, DO NOT put your fingers in your nose, mouth or rub your eyes.


  • Remove Jewelry if possible.
  • Use warm water and wet your hands thoroughly.
  • Use soap and lather well.
  • Scrub  hands,  between  fingers,  wrists,  and  forearms  and under nails with soap for 20 seconds (Sing Happy Birthday x 2).
  • Rinse  thoroughly  and  if  possible  use  single  use  towel  or aid dryer and turn off faucet with a paper towel.
  • Protect  your  hands  from  touching  dirty  surfaces  as  you
    leave the bathroom.
  • Wash your hands and practice 4 principles of hand awareness
    for a safer and healthier you and parish here at St. Mark’s.


Presented by the Berkshire County Parish Nurses

Wednesday, October 5th
Presenter: Robert LaCote (Addiction Specialist at BMC)
Place: South Congregational Church,
110 South St., Pittsfield
Parking in rear of church off Church St.
Time:  6:30pm

All are welcome! Light refreshments.

Addiction has become a major issue in our Community—hope you can make it.


…Linda & Pat, your Parish Nurses

From the Parish Nurses

bike helmetSince proper helmet fitting is essential for safety, we will repeat suggestions for proper fitting of a bike helmet…

The helmet should sit level and firmly but comfortably on the head. It should not tilt forward or backward, and a baseball cap should not be worn underneath the helmet. It should have strong, wide straps that fasten snugly under the chin. No more than a finger’s width should be able to fit beneath the strap when it is fastened correctly. The helmet should be tight enough with straps fastened, so that no sudden pulling or twisting can move the helmet around on your or your child’s head and always fastened while riding. Children should also wear their bike helmets when in-line skating or using scooters. Children should never wear helmets while playing on a playground, because helmets can get caught in small places in the equipment and can lead to choking or strangulation.

Make sure you buy a bicycle that is the right fit for your child. If you buy one that’s too big thinking your child will grow into it, your child could lose control and get hurt. Make sure that your child can sit on the seat with their feet flat on the ground and the handlebar is no higher than their shoulder. Bikes for beginners should have coaster (or foot brakes), not complicated hand brakes. If your child is starting on training wheels, be sure they can be adjusted as their riding skills improve.

Happy Biking!

“Finding Your Identity and Reconnecting With Your Memories”


An Intervention for people with Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
Film: “Alive Inside” a very moving and inspirational documentary will be shown.
Presenter: Meg Greenawalt ~ Therapeutic Recreation director at Springside Rehabilitation & Nursing Home

Date: Thursday, May 5th Time: 7:00pm
Where: Fr. Leonard Hall (building behind church)

Sponsored by the Berkshire Parish Nurse Ministry
Refreshments will be served. All are welcome!

Heart Awareness Month

heart monthFrom our Parish Nurse:

This is the month of heart awareness month and we will discuss stroke and cardiac arrest.

Warning signs of stroke include:
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding may occur.
One may experience trouble seeing in one or both eyes, trouble walking, and dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t Delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical services so an ambulance can be sent. Also, check the time the first symptoms appeared. It’s very important because if given within the first three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

Cardiac Arrest strikes immediately and without warning. Here are the signs:
Sudden loss of responsiveness, no response to gentle shaking.
No normal breathing. The person does not take a normal breath when you check for several seconds.
No signs of circulation.
No movement or coughing.

If cardiac arrest occurs, call 9-1-1 immediately and then begin CPR immediately. Always summon help first. Consider learning how to administer CPR.

Lead a heart healthy life. Know your risk factors. Know your cholesterol values and blood pressure numbers. Discuss your risk and family history with your physician. Educate yourself and your children. Call Pat or Lind with any questions or concerns. Thank you.

Happy New Year from Parish Nurses

parish nurse ministries of Berskshire CountyAnother year has passed and we hope 2016 will be a happy one for everyone. Made your New Year’s Resolution yet? Well, we have a few ideas that we hope you may keep.

This is the start of a New Year, A Healthier Year, so make some Healthy Resolutions for 2016 that include:

Making an appointment for your Annual Physical Exam, (this includes children and keeping their immunizations up to date),

  • Eye Exam,
  • Gynecological Exam with Pap smear,
  • Mammogram and Colonoscopy if applicable,
  • and prostrate exams for men.

Many use their birth month for these appointments to make it easier to remember each year—make this a 2016 priority!

Regular exercise and healthier eating can help promote optimum health. Always consult your physician if you have any health problems or concerns.

Remember, we are available to take blood pressures, visit homebound or answer any health question you may have. We are also looking for suggestions for health programs to present or any services that may be helpful. Please call the parish office (447-7510) with any ideas, which will be forwarded to us.

Remember to get your flu shot(s) – there are many free flu shot clinics-consult the Berkshire Eagle for times and places.

Remember to be Vigilant with Precautions, Especially Hand Washing. If you think you may have a cold or flu symptoms just give a wave instead of a handshake at the Sign of Peace.

Cough into your sleeve of your elbow instead of your hands.

If you are sick, Stay Home and Get Well.