Good Day Alabama: February 15, 2017

Good Day Alabama: February 15, 2017

Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:

JEH JEH LIVE - February is Black History Month. In celebration, Jeh Jeh catches up with some choirs this month for special music. Today he joined us from Selma High School with the choir. The Selma High School Choir has a long tradition of good choral music. The choir has traveled all over the country in the past. Under the direction of Colin Lett, the choir has forged a signature sound that is youthful and unique. The choir offers a fresh take on the Negro Spiritual that honors the rich choral heritage while expanding upon it with newly commissioned works. Among the performance highlights - singing for the celebration of the life of Civil Rights activist Amelia Boynton-Robinson and the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Selma. However, the Choir prides itself mostly on scholarships awarded to its members. Catch the Selma High School Choir on Sunday, February 26 at 3 p.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma for "A Celebration of Black Music in Selma." This event is free to the public.

COLLEGE AID DEADLINE - The priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid -FAFSA- is quickly approaching. Students and families should submit the form before March 1 in order to be eligible for grants, loans and work-study opportunities. Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit that removes barriers to prosperity, raises awareness about the deadline and lets parents, guardians and students know that free FAFSA workshops are available across the state. Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible, joins us to discuss the FAFSA and share information about the free workshops. The goal is to help students access the financial aid they need to pay for college and avoid leaving money on the table! More than $2 billion dollars of financial aid each year goes unclaimed in the United States. All that families need to do to get this money is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - FAFSA. The Cash for College Alabama campaign teams up with 207 high schools to encourage high school seniors and their families to complete the FAFSA before the March 1 priority deadline.

Any student seeking federal or state financial aid – including grants, loans and work-study programs –  must complete the FAFSA. Many students will qualify for Pell Grants of up to $5,920 per year. According to the U.S. Department of Education, nine out of ten students who complete the form attend college the following fall. Many students tend to wait until the summer to complete their FAFSA which excludes them from being eligible for some types of aid. Students who file their FAFSA by or before their college's priority deadline receive up to twice the amount of financial aid as those who file the FAFSA later. In the weeks leading up to the priority deadline, high schools, colleges and community groups will coordinate and facilitate free FAFSA completion workshops across the state. Students and their families can learn more about Cash for College workshops by visiting www.cashforcollegealabama.org. Cash for College Alabama is a partnership of Alabama Possible, the Alabama State Department of Education, Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama, and the Alabama Media Group. Alabama Possible is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to remove barriers to prosperity through advocacy, education, and collaboration. Our research-driven work is designed to broaden relationships and enhance capacity building. We believe that it is possible for all Alabamians to lead prosperous lives, and our programs work to make that possibility a reality. We have been changing the way people think and talk about poverty in Alabama since 1993. For more information, visit www.alabamapossible.org.

DECORATING IDEAS - Heather Brooks and Amy Wilson with Heart Sisters Interior Design joined us with three easy and affordable DIY design ideas.
1. Abstract Act - showing how to make your own floating frames
2. Succulent Bowls - easy ways to dress home or table
3. Large Glass Vase - show how to make a stunning arrangement just with items from your yard and garden

They advise that you know what you like and don't be a slave to trends! Also, learn which brands you like and where you can find them at discount stores.

You can learn more from the Heart Sisters this weekend at the Birmingham Home Show. They will be presenting at 2 p.m. on Friday. The show runs Thursday through Sunday at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. It's open from 11am-9pm on Thursday, 10am-9pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10am-6pm on Sunday. Tickets are $11 for adults at the door or $8 online. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $3 and kids 5 and under get in for free. Some of the other special features you'll find at the Home Show are the Tiny Home Village - the popular trend of downsizing to 300 square feet or less of living space, Bloomingham - experts on gardening, White Couch Challenge - try your hand at interior decorating, Fresh Ideas Stage - lively presentations by local and national home and garden experts, Home Depot Children's Workshop - Saturday morning for the kids to learn, and Ride & Drive Test Drive Experience - take a spin in select Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicle models. For more information on tickets and the show, visit http://homeshowbirmingham.com/.

HEART HEALTH - Dr. Robert Foster, a cardiologist at St. Vincent's East, explained what questions you should ask your cardiologist. If you feel like something isn't quite right, take the time to make an appointment with your doctor. It's easy to put off making an appointment, but it's important to listen to your body. Even though it's easy to start searching online, be cautious of the information you find. Make sure that you're looking at credible resources. The American Heart Association has a lot of great resources. Don't self-diagnose. As easy as it can be to do, you can cause yourself unnecessary stress by jumping to the wrong conclusion. Once you've made the appointment, take the time to prepare for your visit. The more information you bring about your overall health, the more productive your appointment will be. It's important to actively discuss all aspects of your treatment regimen — including heart and stroke health, diet, losing weight, cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical activity, quitting cigarettes and tobacco, and medication. Make sure you ask questions about each of these aspects. For example, for medications, make sure you understand how often you should take the medicine, if you should avoid mixing with other medications, etc. For overall heart and stroke health, be sure to cover the following:

  • What are my risk factors for heart disease?
  • Am I at risk for stroke?
  • What are the warning signs of heart disease and stroke?
  • Do I need to lose or gain weight for my health?
  • What is a healthful eating plan for me?
  • What kind of physical activity is right for me?
  • What is my blood pressure, and is it at a healthy level?
  • What is my blood cholesterol, and is it at a healthy level?
  • What can I do to lower my risk of heart disease and stroke? If you smoke, ask for help in quitting.

It's also beneficial to ask about screening tests. Make sure you aren't missing any critical screenings for you age group, which are vital to your medical care. Finally, if you're not satisfied with what you're hearing from your doctor, it's always OK to get a second opinion. If you're conflicted about which advice to take, ask yourself: Does the plan of your doctor or the second doctor make the most sense, involve the least risk and focus on the medical issues that are most important to you?

Go Red for Women encourages awareness of the issue of women and heart disease, and also action to save more lives. St. Vincent's Health System is proud to be the local Go Red Sponsor because bringing awareness is the first step in reducing heart disease-related deaths. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Stroke is the #5 killer of women in America - #4 in Alabama. Cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause 1 in 3 women's deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. That's more than all cancers combined. Despite this fact only 17% of women consider heart disease or stroke to be the greatest health problem facing Americans today. Alabama is ranked 2nd in the nation for the number of deaths related to cardiovascular disease. They rank #1 in nation for highest rates of stroke-related deaths. Alabama loses over 12,600 people to heart disease each year and another 3,400 to stroke. That's 30 percent of all deaths in the state. That's 1 death every 80 seconds. Since Go Red was founded, 293 fewer women are dying each day of heart disease. 80 percent of heart disease is preventable through lifestyle change like diet, exercise, high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar management, weight loss and not smoking. The American Heart Association has raised more than $1.8 million in Birmingham in 2014-2015. Dollars raised go to lifesaving research and educational programs. The American Heart Association funded more than $3 million in research projects that same year.

ASK THE DOCTOR - Dr. Gigi Youngblood with Children's of Alabama takes viewer questions about their children's health. She also discusses the allergy season. For more information, visit www.ChildrensAL.org. 
    1. Restart seasonal allergy meds now
    2. Fever is not consistent with allergy symptoms and more likely indicates a cold or other illness
    3. Cough or trouble breathing with exercise could be a sign of asthma and should be evaluated
    4. Eczema commonly flares with allergies so be sure to start good daily moisturizing routine with hypoallergenic moisturizer before flare ups begin.