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Pet blessings

 Attending her first Feast of St. Francis Pet Blessing is 8 -month-old Persian cat named Fi Fi who was blessed by Rev. Theodore Mens, left, pastor of St. Mary Church in Griffith. Fi Fi, looking content after her blessing of holy water, is shown with her owners, Olimpia Kolisz (holding Fi Fi), Ed and their daughter Anya Kolisz of Crown Point. Pet food, supplies and monetary donations were collected and will be given to the Griffith Animal Shelter and The Humane Society of the Calumet Area.

HealthLinc receives service award to combat opioid crisis

VALPARAISO — HealthLinc was named as a recipient of the Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services (SUD-MH) award by the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. The award will allow HealthLinc to expand access to quality integrated mental health services, with a focus on conditions that increase risk for, or co-occur with Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Use Disorder.

“HealthLinc is committed to battling this horrific epidemic that is ravaging our communities,” said Beth Wrobel, HealthLinc CEO. “This award will provide the necessary resources for us to confront the problem, head-on. It will enable us to expand our behavioral health care team, build a training center for staff, educate and inform our patients, and develop strategies and programs that will result in positive and concrete changes for those most affected.”

SHIP counselors available to help review Medicare plans

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, housed in the offices of the Porter County Aging and Community Services, is a free and unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance for Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana. SHIP officials recommend meeting with a volunteer counselor who will use the Medicare plan finder to review plan options and show seniors all of the choices for 2019.

SHIP volunteers will be on-site for counseling hours on Oct. 22 at the Banta Senior Center, 605 Beech St., in Valparaiso. To schedule an appointment at Banta, call 219-462-1301. They will be at Bonner Senior Center, 5800 Lexington Ave., in Portage on Oct. 29. To schedule an appointment at Bonner, call 219-762-3591.

SHIP counselors are available weekdays at PCACS, 1005 Campbell St., in Valparaiso. To schedule an appointment at PCACS, call 219-464-1028 or email SHIP@portercountyacs.org.

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Community Coordinator

Annette is Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for two decades. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.