Health classes offered at Treasure Valley hospitals

Here are classes and lectures offered in Boise and Meridian through Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and St. Luke’s Boise Regional Medical Center, the biggest medical centers in the Treasure Valley:

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center

Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, at 1055 N. Curtis Road, Boise, is a member of Michigan-based Trinity Health, a chain of nonprofit Catholic hospitals. The 381-bed facility offers community education classes across the Treasure Valley, including Meridian Health Plaza, 3025 W. Cherry Lane, Meridian.

For a full list of classes, go online to Saint Al’s Web site, or call 367-2121 for general information. Some classes are free; participants must pay a fee for others. Here’s a sample of the offerings:

Fat Loss and Muscle Gain in the Real World
This is a nutrition and exercise class taught by a certified fitness trainer and nutrition specialist. You will learn how to burn fat without losing muscle, how to create meals in 1 minute or less and much more. Cost is $105 per person. Register with a friend and pay a total of $190. For more information, call IQ Fitness at 395-1234 or send an e-mail to

Diabetes Self Management
Ongoing classes are available. Call 331-1155 for more information and for a schedule.

Healthy Back Class — STARS
Topics for this free class, held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays, include general spine and muscle anatomy and pain management. Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services, 901 N. Curtis Road, Suite 204, Boise. Call 367-3315 to register.

Massage therapy
Get Swedish massage, hot stone therapy, deep tissue massage, pregnancy massage, infant-massage instruction or couples-massage instruction in Boise or Meridian. Massages range from 30 to 120 minutes. Appointments are available weekdays, evenings and some Saturdays . For more information, call 367-7380. Cost varies.

A dozen classes related to childbirth and babies are available, including "ABC’s of Early Pregnancy," "Breastfeeding for Beginners" and childbirth preparation, including hypnotherapy.

Family and Parenting
Ten classes or support groups on family and parenting are offered at Saint Al’s, including a "Baby and Me" support group and an infant loss support group. Classes include enhancing your baby’s communication skills through sign language, CPR for parents and "Our Miraculous Bodies," designed to prepare parents to talk with their children about puberty, healthy relationships and peer pressure. Check for dates and times online.

Healthy Teen Relationships
Teens strengthen communication skills, learn the language of love and get tips on healthy relationships and safe dating. Classes are scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, or Thursday, April 19, at the Liberty Medical Park Building, 900 N. Liberty St., Suite 100, Boise. Cost is $5. For more information or to register, call the Saint Alphonsus Resource Line at 367-3454 or e-mail

Health and wellness for seniors

AARP driver safety program — This program helps drivers ages 50 or older improve driving skills and avoid crashes and violations: Two-day classes are scheduled each month through December 2007. The February class will run from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 13-14. The March class will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 13-14. The April class is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 10-11. All the classes are to be held at Meridian Health Plaza, 3025 W. Cherry Lane, Meridian. Cost: $10. To register, call the Saint Alphonsus Resource Line at 367-3454 or 1-800-322-9549, or e-mail

Medical pedicures for diabetics and non-diabetics — Staff will soak feet, trim nails, treat corns and calluses, file rough edges and teach proper foot care. Cost: New patients, $25 per visit; return patients, $16 per visit; nail polishing $4 extra (must schedule polish before visit). Call 367-6569 for information. Appointments available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Boise and Friday mornings at Meridian Health Plaza.

Parkinson’s disease support group — Group meets from 1:30-3 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of the month at Whitney Baptist Church activity center, 2301 Nez Perce.

St. Luke’s Health System

St. Luke’s Health System is now Idaho’s largest health-care provider, with four full-service hospitals and more than 25 outpatient treatment facilities and clinics. Treasure Valley hospitals are St. Luke’s Regional Boise Medical Center and St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center. Classes and other instruction are offered at various sites. Some are free and some are not. For a complete list of classes, go online or call 381-1200.

Here’s a sample of classes and support groups available in Boise through St. Luke’s:

Water Aerobics.— Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital pool, 600 N. Robbins Road, Boise. 5-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost: $30 per month. Senior discounts available. Registration required. Please call 489-5011.

Prenatal Water Aerobics — The class includes cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, strengthening and spine stabilization. St. Luke’s/Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital, 600 N. Robbins Road, Boise. 5:15-6:15 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays or 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost: $30 a month or $45 a month for water aerobics and prenatal yoga Register at 381-1200.

Other fitness classes include Yoga for Beginners, and Gentle Yoga for Cancer Patients. Class times and fees vary.

Freedom from Smoking
The American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program is a behavior modification approach to quitting. It helps you understand why you use tobacco and teaches you how to "un-learn" the automatic behavior of smoking. This program also emphasizes long-term changes such as healthy eating, exercising and stress management. Free. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays on the seventh floor of the main hospital in downtown Boise. Call 381-3491 for more on when classes will be held. Registration: 381-3491.

Heartsaver First Aid Class
American Heart Association-certified instructors teach adult, child and infant CPR. The first-aid is adult-focused and includes assessing an emergency, specific-injury emergencies and psychological reactions to stress. Class meets OSHA requirements. Cost: $40 (includes manual and certification card). One-day classes scheduled from 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14, Saturday, July 14, and Saturday, Oct. 13, in the Anderson Center at St. Luke’s Boise Regional Medical Center. To register, call St. Luke’s at 381-1200.

AARP driver safety program
Class helps drivers ages 50 or older improve driving skills and avoid crashes and violations. St. Luke’s Education Annex, 325 W. Idaho St., Boise (southeast corner of 4th and Idaho streets). Two-day classes: 12:30-4:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. Cost: $10. To find out dates and to register, call St. Luke’s at 381-1200.

MSTI Melodies
Among numerous support groups and classes for cancer patients and their families is MSTI Melodies. Mountain States Tumor Institute patients/survivors, caregivers and staff sing with others in a choral setting and perform at community events. No training is necessary. Ages 16 and older. Boise High School Music Building, 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Free. Registration: 343-9896 or email

Children’s Cancer Support Group
An ongoing support group for children ages 7-11 who have a family member with cancer. Fun activities focus on feelings, sharing, education, family changes and helping one another. St. Luke’s Boise Regional Medical Center, South Tower — MSTI. Free. For more information, call 381-3161 or 381-2779.

Childbirth and Parenting
St. Luke’s has almost two dozen courses for pregnant women, arranged by the trimester of pregnancy when moms-to-be should consider taking them, along with other classes on family and parenting. Among the offerings:

Safe Sitter Seminar
This popular class for 11- 13-year-olds teaches baby-sitting reliability and responsibility, caring for young children, basic first aid, choking prevention and personal safety.
2007 schedule for St. Luke’s Boise Regional Medical Center is
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 7
9am - 4 p.m. Saturday, May 12
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 7
9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Aug. 16 and 17 (Two-day session)
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3

2007 schedule for St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center:
9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. March 29-30
9 a.m.-4 p.m Saturday, June 9
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.
9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Dec. 27-28

Cost: $30. Scholarships available. Call Lynette at 381-1510 if you need one. Call St. Luke’s at 381-1200 to register.

Family Asthma Education
Learn what asthma is, how it affects the airways, what triggers it, what medications are available and how to make an asthma plan with your physician. St. Luke’s Boise Regional Medical Center, 7-8:30 p.m. every third Thursday. Free. No registration is required. For more information, call St. Luke’s respiratory therapy department at 381-2155.