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The Healthy 10: Safely get rid of unused prescriptions, run a 5K in your undies this week

A new Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge starts this week, with a $5,000 grand prize. You also have the chance to run in your underwear this week and safely get rid of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. These are among WNY Refresh Top 10 Picks of the Week when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition and family events in the region.


Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge: The latest installment of this challenge will kick off today and includes a weekly fitness class at New Era Field, weather permitting. A grand prize winner also will win $5,000. The challenge is open to all adults in New York State. Participants earn points by achieving three daily goals: 20 minutes of physical activity, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables, and drinking eight glasses of water. Sign up at The six-week initiative runs through June 3. Those who report meeting goals also will be eligible to win daily prizes, including autographed Bills memorabilia and fitness trackers, as well as a weekly $500 cash prize.


Food Truck Tuesday: The weather during the first two weeks of this popular event left something to be desired. That is expected to change from 4:30 to 8 p.m. in Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St. Dozens of food trucks from across the region are expected, each serving at least one healthy choice. For more info, visit

Holistic Health Series: Laura Kokanovich, a doctor of naturopathy, will lead a talk entitled “Thyroid and Autoimmune Connection” at 7 p.m. in the Audubon Branch Library, 350 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst. For more info, call 689-4922. Free.

American Holistic Nurses: This month's meeting for this group, designed to help health professionals and others take care of themselves so they can care for others, will include a talk entitled, “Healing Touch – Explore an energy based modality.” It starts at 7 p.m. in the Kenmore Mercy Hospital Community Room, 2950 Elmwood Ave., Town of Tonawanda. It's free and open to all. For more info, email


Walk at Lunch Day: WNY Refresh and the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo will kick off the institute’s outdoor Walking to Wellness season starting with a wellness fair at 11 a.m. inside the lobby of The Buffalo News, at One News Plaza, along Canalside. A 30-minute walk will start at 12:15 p.m. and cover parts of downtown. If that doesn't fit with your work schedule, gather some colleagues and take a walk in your workplace neighborhood. Learn more about related walks as the season moves along in coming weekly Saturday editions of Refresh and at

Powerful Tools for Caregivers: This weekly six-week program starts from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Trinity Old Lutheran Church, 3445 Sheridan Drive (near Sweet Home Road), Amherst. It's designed for people helping or caring for relatives or friends with a chronic illness such as dementia, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or stroke. Preregistration is required by calling the Erie County Department of Senior Services at 858-2177 or emailing; the $25 cost includes a copy of “The Caregiver Helpbook.” The cost is covered for members of BlueCross BlueShield of WNY and Independent Health.


Mental health talk: The 16th U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher will speak about the implications of youth and state Mental Health Education Law from 8:45 a.m. to noon in the offices of SEIU 1199, 2421 Main St. (at Jewett Parkway). Satcher’s presentation will cover the history of the public health approach to mental health and how it is connected to innovative prevention tools to promote the well-being of youth today. The talk is free but registration is recommended at or by calling 465-6508. If seating remains, registration starts at 8 a.m. the day of the talk; park in lot behind the building on Leroy Avenue.


Becky Davis is president of Healthy Alternatives through Healing Arts.

Healthy Alternatives through Healing Arts (HAHA) Conference: This organization advocates an integrative approach to mental health treatment and will host its 18th annual holistic health conference from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Butler Building of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, 400 Elmwood Ave. Registration remains open and is required by visiting; call group President Becky Davis at 903-6083 with questions. Peers pay $15 and others $24; the cost includes breakfast and lunch, and the chance to attend several of 22 holistic workshops.


Buffalo Undy Walk/Run: Walk or run in your underwear (those who do general wear it over their shorts or sweatpants) to benefit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and its local partners, starting at 9 a.m. in Delaware Park. To register and for more info, visit

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration leads this 15th annual event for those across the country who want to get rid of unused and unwanted drugs in drive-up fashion. In addition to prescription and over-the-counter medications, syringes and needles will also be accepted at several sites.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

More than a dozen sites across the region will accept these drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., include the following hospitals:

  • Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, 224 E. Main St., Springville.
  • Kenmore Mercy Hospital, 2950 Elmwood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.
  • Mercy Ambulatory Care Center, 3669 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park.
  • Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, 1540 Maple Road, Amherst.
  • Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, 5300 Military Road, Lewiston.
  • Sisters of Charity Hospital – St. Joseph Campus, 2605 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga.

Collection points also include several police agencies and senior centers across the region, as well as Cleveland Hall on the SUNY Buffalo State campus. Find the location nearest you online at

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