Health and Safety Special Committee


TRTA State Health and Safety Committee Chair
Ron Leiman (D 19)

State Health and Safety Committee Members

Mary Ann Dolezal (D 4), Judy Hart (D 16), Verna Mitchell (D 10)

The TRTA Health and Safety Special Committee was created by President Marcy Cann and approved by the TRTA Executive Board for 2022-24. This committee will provide some of the information and resources previously promoted by the Healthy Living and the Informative and Protective Services State Committees. It is an “Opt In” Committee at the district and local chapter level.

Districts or local chapters can have a Health and Safety Chair, a Health Chair, a Safety Chair or none.

The purpose of this special committee is to serve the entire membership of TRTA with health and safety information.

The goals of this committee are to provide monthly health and safety articles; and to promote health and safety programs and special events.

On the first Tuesday of the month a health article will be posted on the TRTA Homepage. On the third Tuesday of the month a safety article will be posted on the TRTA Homepage. These articles will include pertinent information for our members and will often include resources and online references. Once an article is replaced, it will become available under the appropriate menu tab. This information is provided for all TRTA members.

Additional information will be provided primarily for districts and local units including newsletters, a monthly observances planning calendar, program ideas and special events. Special events will include planning information for health and safety fairs, fitness walks and other large-scale programs.

In addition to the committee members, advisors will serve in specific roles to assist the committee.

Marcy Cann, TRTA President, will oversee this committee.

Roy Varney, TRTA Multimedia Specialist, will be the TRTA Staff Liaison.

Walk Like a Penguin and Other Winter Safety Tips

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous, so be prepared! Here are seven steps to stay safe in cold weather:

  1. Listen to the weather forecast and pay attention to the wind chill.
  2. Plan ahead.
  3. Dress warmly.
  4. Seek shelter.
  5. Stay dry.
  6. Keep active.
  7. Be aware.

Prepare your home by winterizing (install weather insulation, insulate water lines that run along exterior walls and repair roof leaks), checking heating systems (have your system serviced, clean fireplaces and chimneys and have a safe alternative heating source available), check your smoke detector(s) and prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning emergencies (install one or more CO detectors, check the batteries with each time change and learn the symptoms of CO poisoning including headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion).

Prepare your vehicle by servicing radiator, maintaining antifreeze level, checking tire tread, keeping gas tank full, using wintertime windshield liquid and maintaining a winter emergency kit in case you get stranded.

Your winter emergency kit should include: charged cell phone with portable charger, flashlight, radio, extra batteries, booster cables, flares, tire pump, sand or cat litter (for traction), plastic bags, first aid kit, compass and maps, food and water, extra clothes including hats, coats, mittens, blankets and sleeping bags.

Prepare for winter emergencies by stocking food that does not need cooking or refrigeration, water stored in clean containers, baby items, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Radio with extra batteries and extra medicine.

Take precautions outdoors including wearing appropriate clothing. Winter clothing should include a wind resistant coat or jacket, inner layers of light clothing, mittens, hats, scarves and waterproof boots. Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches of steps or pavement, work slowly when doing outdoor chores and take a buddy and an emergency kit when participating in outdoor recreation.

Avoid travel when the National Weather Service has issued advisories. If you must travel, inform a family member or friend of your route and arrival time.

Above all, take your time in icy conditions and walk like a penguin. Slightly bend your back, point your feet outward, take small steps and stay flat footed.

Reference: Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dec. 2022 Safety Article

Nov. 2022 Safety Article

Oct. 2022 Safety Article

Sept. 2022 Safety Article

Cognitive Impairment and Heart Disease: Are There Connections?

Nearly six million of adults in the United States suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease or Alzheimer’s disease related disorders (ADRD) such as vascular dementia and Lewy Body Disease. The vast majority of these adults are seniors, a population most likely to be diagnosed with heart disease or other form of vascular disease.

Dementia describes a progressive deterioration in thinking, reasoning skills and judgement. It is a behavior that interferes with day-to-day functioning, and which may result in loss of independence.

Vascular dementia occurs when blocked or damaged arteries in the brain cause a large stroke or multiple small strokes.

Lewy body disease is a form of dementia with Lewy bodies. These are protein deposits which develop in nerve cells in the brain and may result in visual hallucinations and changes in alertness and attention. There may be effects including Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms.

Alzheimer’s Disease is characterized by the development of amyloid plaques and tau protein in the brain and often results in short term memory loss.

As an individual ages, multiple reasons for cognitive impairment may exist. Pure vascular dementia is rare, but vascular disease commonly coexists with Alzheimer’s Disease. A person with cardiovascular disease may not develop full-blown Alzheimer’s Disease, but their risk of mental decline rises. People with heart disease are more likely to experience thinking and memory problems. Women who survive a heart attack are twice as likely to experience a decline in memory and cognitive ability. Heart failure patients have a significantly higher risk of developing cognitive decline, leading to death.

Researchers have found that measures taken to lower the risk of heart attack may be beneficial to the brain. Recent studies have shown that taking medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes, or an antiplatelet drug or anticoagulant, may slow the rate of cognitive impairment.

Although Alzheimer’s Disease and ADRDs cannot be cured, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing them and perhaps slow the course of the disease.

Maintain cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure within normal limits.


Follow a heart healthy diet.

Eliminate smoking.

Remember, what is good for your heart is good for your brain.

References: The Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor and the Mayo Clinic.

Dec. 2022 Health Article

Nov. 2022 Health Article

Oct. 2022 Health Article

Sept. 2022 Health Article

TRTA Health and Safety Special Committee Effective Date: September 9, 2022
Observances Month and Week
Month Health Safety
January Glaucoma Winter Safety
Cervical Cancer Radon Action
Birth Defects Slavery and Human Trafficking
Thyroid Stalking
Folic Acid Week
February Heart Health Earthquake
Girls and Women in Sports Teen Dating and Violence Prevention
Cancer Prevention Burn Week
Mascular Degeneration and Low Vision
Eating Disorder Week
Sepsis Survival Week
March Kidney Disease Ladder Safety
Nutrition Spring and Flood Safety
Colectal Cancer Workplace Eye Safety
Tuberculosis Poison Prevention Week
Brain Injury Tsunami Week
Multiple Sclerosis
April Autism Alcohol Awareness
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Financial Capability
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Youth Sports Safety
Stress Sexual Assault Prevention
Minority Health Child Abuse Prevention
Parkinson’s Disease Occupational Therapy
Testicular Cancr Window Safety Week
Infertilty Week Playground safety Week
May Older Americans Electrical Safety
Mental Health Better Hearing and Speech
Women’s Health Clean Air
Better Hearing and Speech Wildfire
Arthritis Building safety
Lupus Motorcycle Safety
Asthma and Allergy Trauma
Osteoporosis Water Safety
Physical Fitness and Sports Healthy Vision
Stroke EMS Week
Nurses Week
June Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Health National Safety Month
Men’s Health Hydration
Cataract Pet Preparedness
Migraine and Headache Summer and Extreme Heat
PTSD Lightning Week
Scoliosis Trailer Safety Week
July Hepatitus Sunburn
Youth Sports Vehicle Theft Protection
Cleft and Crainiofacial Fireworks
Group B Stress
August Children’s Eye Health and Safety Water Quality
Breastfeeding Back To School
Immunization Stop on Red Week
September Healthy Aging Suicide Prevention
Food Safety and Education Pain
Blood cancer Fall Safety
Childhood Obesity Sport Eye Safety
Yoga Farm Safety and Health Week
Ovarian Cancer
Prostrate Cancer
October Health Literacy Cybersecurity Awareness
Breast Cancer Fire Prevention
ADHD Substance Abuse Prevention
Dental Hygiene Domestic Violence
Down Syndrome Crime Prevention
School Bus Safety Week
November Diabetes Family Caregivers
Lung Cancer Hospice and Palliative Care
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Holiday Cooking Safety
Alzheimer’s Disease Holiday Online Shopping
Pancreatic Cancer
December Flu Vaccine Frostbite
HIV/Aids Awareness Impaired Driving Prevention
Holiday Fire Safety
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Safety Council