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Karina Ramirez: New countywide wellness calendar now online

Continuing with their efforts to support children’s health and wellness, a new calendar is now available for the Denton County community to see events and programs online.

The calendar is hosted by a wellness coalition called the Wellness Alliance for Total Children’s Health of Denton County, known as WATCH.

“We have an educational workgroup that meets every other month and they had mentioned that they were not sure what was going on in different communities [countywide],” said Jeremiah Salmon, WATCH coordinator for the coalition.

The countywide calendar is part of an outreach effort and the result of an initiative Cook Children’s Medical Center launched in 2008. Officials conducted a survey and identified seven issues critical to children’s overall health: asthma, abuse, access to care, weight, dental, safety and mental health. The results of the communitywide Children’s Health Assessment and Planning Survey (CCHAPS) was provided to dentists, doctors, therapists and school nurses earlier this year in a health summit.

After studying the data, Denton County stakeholders decided to focus on improving mental health first and meet the health needs of the children in a six-county service region, which includes Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties.

Members of the coalition decided to focus on mental health because it coexists with many other health issues, such as bullying and obesity, according to the coalition’s website.

The online calendar now features direct links to programs like Love and Logic Early Childhood Parenting classes, Touched by Suicide of North Texas support groups and Social Skills Summer Camps.

Salmon said he hopes as more people and organizations learn of the calendar, many will submit their events and programming via e-mail to

“Right now we are looking for organizations and events that are geared toward children and families, especially those who are suffering for some mental health crisis,” he said.

In the future, the calendar may be expanded to include other topics identified by the survey data, like injury prevention, poison prevention, obesity and others, Salmon said.

To view the calendar or learn more about making submissions, visit .


Denton Regional Medical Center recently earned the Texas Ten Step Program facility designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services, according to a news release. The hospital earned the designation in May.

As a Texas Ten Step facility, the hospital is able to provide mothers and newborns with exceptional maternity care, through education and by encouraging breastfeeding to reduce unnecessary costs and breastfeeding complications.

Texas Ten Step facilities are asked to address 85 percent of the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.” Additionally, facilities must be designated as a Texas mother-friendly worksite, evaluate their breastfeeding policies and maternity care practices, and educate all health care staff routinely with evidence-based courses.

The goal of the Texas Ten Step Program is to have 82 percent of infants exclusively breastfeeding when discharged, said Veronica Hendrix, a spokeswoman with the Ten Step Program.

The Department of State Health Services, in collaboration with the Texas Hospital Association, developed the Texas Ten Step Program in 1999 as a method to improve maternity care practices in birthing facilities, according to its website.

In addition to Denton Regional Medical Center, other local Texas Ten Step facilities include Medical Center of Lewisville, Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

For more information on the Texas Ten Step Program, visit .


The children of the employees at Lake Forest Good Samaritan Village held a fundraiser July 11 to purchase chairs for the retirement community’s dining halls, according to Eddie Garcia, life enrichment coordinator with Lake Forest.

Garcia said the children and staff volunteers washed golf cars and scooters, raising a total of $1,374.

Lake Forest Good Samaritan Village is located at 3901 Montecito Drive.


In June, Denton County auto dealerships sold 1,424 cars and 1,597 trucks for a total of 3,021 vehicles, according to the recent press release of the Freeman Auto Report. So far this year, county dealerships have sold a total of 13,874 vehicles.

The Freeman Auto Report tracks new and used vehicle registrations statewide.


Gold Mine BBQ opened a month early, July 1, at 222 W. Hickory St. in Suite 102.

The 2,400-square-foot space, which includes a 400-square-foot  patio, already has a small fanbase on social media sites like Facebook. Fans have provided the restaurant with good reviews.

“We are doing good,” restaurant owner Vince Wolf said on Thursday.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit .

Coming up

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Denton County will offer a private pesticide applicator license training on Aug. 1. The training session will begin at 8 a.m. at the office in the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St., Suite 507.

The 3 1/2-hour training will give participants the needed information to take the private applicator license test, which will be administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Cost of the training is $60 and all materials will be provided. Deadline to register is Wednesday.

Guests planning to attend need to call Brandon Boughen with the AgriLife Extension for Denton County at 940-349-2897.

The Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce will conduct its Wednesday Coffee gathering from 7:15 to 8 a.m. at Texas Land & Cattle, 8393 Stemmons Freeway in Hickory Creek.

For more information, e-mail .

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878 and via Twitter at @KarinaFRamirez.