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On Thursday evening, Oct. 21, St. Stephen's Church and the Social Action Committee of the Community Synagogue in Sands Point hosted a program to discuss some of the services, which are available through the Nassau County Department of Health. The moderator, Shannon Jauck, started the presentation and discussed how residents might obtain free or inexpensive health care for children. Delmy Tejada, also from the Nassau County Department of Health, repeated the presentation in Spanish. Various related programs were discussed for families who have had difficulty accessing medical care due to rising costs.

The co-chairpersons from the Community Synagogue (l.-r.): Marjory Fisher, Janice Friedman and Cheryl Mandelker.

The speakers described the WIC Program, a program of the Nassau County Department of Health, which offers food and nutritional services for women, infants and children. Eligible participants include pregnant women, children up to 5 years old, mothers of babies up to 6 months old and breastfeeding mothers of babies up to 12 months old. Checks are issued which can be used in neighborhood stores and pharmacies for nutritious foods such as milk, cheese and cereal. It is not necessary to be a legal resident, have a green card or a Social Security card. This program also offers a referral service for related programs such as Medicaid, Head Start and food stamps. For further information, call (800) 522-5006.

A second program was described which offered affordable health care insurance for children called Health Care Plus. Children under the age of 19 may be eligible for health services such as physical exams, prescription drugs, and the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. There are no payments for services or benefits. Health Care Plus comes in two plans, A and B, and there is a financial test to qualify. Further information may be obtained by calling (800) 698-4543.

The Nassau County Department of Health also sponsors a program called Children with Special Health Care Needs, designed to offer diagnostic evaluation and treatment programs. Dental rehabilitation services are also available. Further information may be obtained by calling 571-3278.

Co-chairs Marjory Fisher, Janice Friedman and Cheryl Mandelker of the Community Synagogue, sponsored the project and publicized it through local Port community churches and schools. Fisher expressed her appreciation to Ira Freehoff of the Comfort Diner in Manhattan and the staff at Stop & Shop on Shore Road who generously donated a lasagna dinner for the 35 to 40 participants who attended and to Father Kurt of St. Stephen's for making their meeting room available. The social action committee had previously received donations of winter clothing, which were made available for the attendees.


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