Vascular Surgeon Chris LaGraize appeared on KATC TV3 last month to speak about varicose veins and the benefits of the VNUS Closure. Offered at Lafayette General, VNUS Closure can remove varicose veins with less bruising and pain.

A local Strategic Medical and Assessment Response Team has returned to Acadiana from Sri Lanka, where it assisted victims of the tsunami. The group gave a visual presentation of its work to First Pentecostal Church of Melville Jan. 30. MedExpress Cos., MidSouth Bank and The Lemoine Co. joined forces to help in this cause. An account has been set up at MidSouth to finance the local effort. Those who are interested can call Amanda Tanner at 237-8343 for more info or call Tricia Guillot at MedExpress at (800) 257-9771 to donate supplies or medicine.

The American Heart Association held its Lafayette Heart Gala kick-off Jan. 13 at Bailey's Restaurant. Attendees received information on the 2005 Heart Gala, "Jewels of the Heart," set for April 2. The association also recently announced that its Lafayette Heart Walk, held in October, was a success, raising more than $113,000. The proceeds go toward the national goal of reducing death and disability from heart disease and stroke by 25 percent by the year 2010.

Employees at Southwest Medical Center are participating in the Heart Association's Wear Red Day, Feb. 4. In support of raising awareness of heart disease in women, Southwest employees will donate $5 to the association and participate in body weight, blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol screenings. Southwest was also a presenter of the association's Heart Walk. Wear Red Day is a component of Go Red For Women, the association's national campaign to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Any company is welcome to participate. Call 521-8600 for more info.

City-Parish President Joey Durel has been named Honorary Walk America Chair for the Acadiana Division of the March of Dimes during the organization's annual kick-off breakfast Jan. 20. Durel will help promote the walk, scheduled for May 7 in Girard Park.

Eric Morrow has been appointed to the new position of physician services representative at Lafayette Health Ventures/Medical Dimensions, a subsidiary of Lafayette General. Morrow will service clients and promote new products throughout Louisiana.

The Health Information Center at The Woman's Foundation is offering free pamphlets on weight management, walking, nutrition and wellness. The center is located next to Women's & Children's Hospital, and more information is available at www.womansfoundation.com.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has planned its annual MS Walk for March 5 in Girard Park. Last year, the Louisiana chapter of the society raised $90,000 to help the more than 3,500 people living with MS in the state. Call (504) 832-4013 to register for the walk or for more info or go to nationalmssociety.org.

The Wholistic Wellness Network recently met at Hospice of Acadiana. Featured speaker Al Viguerie, a clinical social worker, spoke about the use of Emotional Freedom Techniques in reducing the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Logan Kosarek, a first-year medical student at LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in New Orleans, recently job shadowed family practice physician Keith Ramsey at the Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center in New Iberia. Kosarek paired up with the center through the help of Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center to fulfill a course requirement.

The first Louisiana eHealth Conference, which aims to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care through information and information technology, will be held in Lafayette, March 10, at the Cajundome Convention Center. For more info, visit www.louisianaEhealth.org.