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Panel discussion on colorectal cancer screenings March 24

Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center will host a panel discussion, "What You Need to Know About Preventing Colorectal Cancer," 5:30 pm Tuesday, March 24, 55 Park St. auditorium. The speakers are: Howard Hochster, MD, clinical program leader, Gastrointestinal Cancers Program, Smilow; James Farrell, MD, associate professor of medicine (digestive diseases), Yale School of Medicine; and Xavier Llor, MD, PhD, co-director, Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, Smilow. They will discuss colorectal cancer risk factors, the importance of screenings and treatment options. Registration required: 1(888) 700-6543 or the events page.

Flexible spending accounts deadline: March 31

March 31 is the filing deadline for all 2014 flexible spending account claims — health care and dependent day care. Employees who have questions about 2014 FSA balances should contact the hospital's FSA claims administrator, Crosby Benefit Systems, 1.866.918.9711. FSA claim forms are available on the Crosby Benefits website in the Benefits Office (CB101) at the York Street Campus and in Human Resources, Selina Lewis 3, Saint Raphael Campus.

YNHH nursing scholarship applications due April 1-30

Yale New Haven Hospital will accept applications for advanced practice nursing scholarships from Wednesday, April 1 through Thursday, April 30. Applicants should apply online for the Marna P. Borgstrom and Peter N. Herbert, MD, Yale New Haven Hospital Advanced Nursing Education Scholarships. The scholarships provide tuition assistance of up to $10,000 annually to qualified employees working toward advanced nursing education to meet requirements for an APRN license. Nurses can find scholarship information on the Human Resources page on the YNHH intranet; YNHH nursing website; or through Employee Self Service by clicking the Career tab, then the APRN scholarship link. The scholarship hotline is (203) 688-8222.

Healing power of plants workshop April 2

The Smilow Wellness Workshops series presents an interactive workshop on the healing properties of plants, herbs and flowers, 5:30-7 pm Thursday, April 2, 55 Park St. auditorium. Nancy DuBrule-Clemente, owner of Natureworks Horticultural Services in Northford, will also discuss creating gardens as sanctuaries to quiet the mind and reduce stress. To register, call (203) 688-2000 (Option 2), or toll-free 1(888) 700-6543, or register online,

Two blood drives in April, York Street Campus

The American Red Cross will hold two blood drives in the East Pavilion Cafeteria special events area at the York Street Campus in April: 7 am-5 pm Monday, April 6; and 7 am-1 pm Thursday, April 9. The last 15 minutes of each hour will be kept open for walk-in donors. To make an appointment, contact Melanie Champion.

Career exploration fair April 8

Employees are invited to a career exploration information fair, 9 am-3 pm Wednesday, April 8, East Pavilion Cafeteria special events area. Employees must present their YNHH badge for admission. Representatives from area colleges and organizations will discuss educational programs, and additional resources will be available for employees exploring healthcare opportunities. For information, contact Cynthia Lowman, (203) 688-1085.

Social Security workshops April 14 and 15

Employees are invited to Understanding Social Security workshops, noon-1 pm Tuesday, April 14, room CH 201, York Street Campus, or noon-1 pm, Wednesday, April 15, Selina Lewis multipurpose room, Saint Raphael Campus. A presenter from MetLife Securities will explain the basics of Social Security as one source of retirement income, including age requirements for eligibility, how benefits are taxed and the impact of additional earned income on benefits. Register at Metlife PlanSmart (company name is YNHH) or by phone, (866) 712-9172.

Pre-retirement Workshop April 21

A Pre-Retirement Workshop will be held 8 am-4 pm Tuesday, April 21, room CH 201, York Street Campus. Employees may attend on work time with manager approval. The workshop will cover estate planning, YNHH retirement and Social Security benefits, Fidelity Investment options and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in retirement. To register, visit Employee Self Service. For more information, contact Deanna Fowler, retirement benefits representative, Benefits Office, (203) 688-7810, or Deanna Fowler.

2015 Closer to Free registration is open

Online registration for riders and volunteers for the Sept. 12, fifth annual Closer to Free Ride benefitting Smilow Cancer Hospital is now open at Closer to Free Ride. Riders can again choose to ride 25, 62.5 or 100 miles to raise money for patient care and research. In addition to riders, volunteers are needed to help throughout the day at the Yale Bowl and on the ride routes. Medical personnel, including physicians, nurses, and advanced practice practitioners, volunteers with a motorcycle license and licensed massage therapists are especially needed. For more information, send Closer to Free Ride an email.

YNHH opens sleep medicine centers

Yale New Haven Hospital recently opened two sleep medicine centers, a 12-bed facility at 8 Devine St., North Haven, and a three-bed facility at 1291 Boston Post Road, Madison. The centers diagnose and treat sleep disorders, including insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea. They are staffed by Yale School of Medicine physicians with expertise in sleep medicine who are board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, neurology, pediatrics and other specialties. For information or to schedule an appointment, call (203) 287-3550.

Upcoming health lectures

To register, visit the events page or call the phone number listed for the event.

Thyroid 101: 6-7 pm Thursday, April 2, Cronin Auditorium, Saint Raphael Campus