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The Durham County Health and Human Services building under construction in downtown Durham NC

To Your Health


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Now that the COVID-19 numbers (infections, hospitalizations, deaths, etc) are going down substantially, we’ll be hearing less and less about the pandemic (unless the numbers start rising again). The official COVID emergency declaration ended in may-2023, which means that the White House has shut down its COVID response team. Some activists feel that those actions were premature. Vaccinations will still be available at the Durham County Department of Public Health free of charge.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stopped publishing its COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review, but you can still view the main tracker, which will run indefinitely. Click here for the national numbers, and click here to see what’s happening here in Durham County.

The updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccines are available for children ages six months through four years at the Durham County Department of Public Health (414 E Main St). The clinic is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am to 4:30pm (and closed for lunch from noon to 1pm). Walk-ins are welcome.

Click here to find vaccines for not only COVID-19, but also influenza (flu) and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

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NC Medicaid covers most health services, including primary care, hospital services, maternity and postpartum care, vision and hearing services, prescription drug benefits, behavioral health services, preventive and wellness services, dental and oral health services, and medical-related devices and other therapies.

Here’s how to apply for Medicaid on your own:

  • Online via ePASS; click here.

  • Download the application, print it out, and mail it in or drop it off; click here.

  • Visit the Durham County Department of Social Services (DSS) at 414 E Main St; click here for more info.

  • Make a phone call to DSS; click here for more info.

Click here to visit the Medicaid website for an overview and more info.


414 E Main St, 919-560-7600, website

Here are the upcoming health webinars and educational events put together by the Durham County Department of Public Health. To join in online, click on the event’s link to register. Then, you‘ll receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link. Contact Willa Robinson Allen at 919-323-9676 or or Yvonne Reza at 919-560-7223 or with any questions you might have. 

  • [to come]


The NAMI* Connection Recovery Support Group is a free, peer-led support group for those age 18+ who are living with a mental illness. Group members will be able to share successes with each other and discuss challenges with the help of NAMI-trained facilitators. This month’s meetings will be held on Tuesdays, July 9 and 23, 7:30–9pm; click here to register in advance for this Zoom meeting.

     * National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI Durham hosts an online Stress & Anxiety Support Group for African-Americans every Thursday from 7 to 9pm. Black people often push down their fears and problems because they’ve been told that seeking help is a sign of weakness. Lorraine Childs leads the weekly confidential discussions that encourage African-Americans to reach out and to realize that “You are not alone.” Share experiences without judgment, exchange tips, and gain access to helpful resources. Click here for more info; if you’d like to attend a meeting (on Zoom), click on “Calendar” and then click on the particular Thursday to register for that day’s meeting.

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Health and research studies

Here are some health studies being run by local universities:


919-668-3154,, website


Researchers at Duke Health are conducting a study to see if Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented with cognitive training. The PACT* Study is looking for people age 65+ who would like to volunteer to participate in the study and undergo computerized training exercises that are designed to reduce that risk.


To qualify, participants should be age 65 and older, with no neurological disorders or cognitive impairments and no history of stroke or brain injury. The potential benefits of taking the computerized training exercises can include enhanced mental quickness, improved gait and balance, and protection against depression. The length of the study will be approximately 3 years, with three study visits of up to 2 hours each. The 45 1-hour computer training sessions will be done in your own home.


* PACT = Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is running The Harmony Study to learn about lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke among African-American and black women age 18+ and with a BMI (body mass index) between 25 and 39. They’re testing two exercise and nutrition programs in the hopes of improving participants’ lives and collecting data that can help create healthy-living programs in the future. Participants will be expected to be in the program for one year and will receive $260 and a FitBit at the end of the study. The principal investigator for the Harmony Team is Cheryl Giscombe. Call or write to sign up and for more info. 




Durham Housing Authority residents who are women age 18+ are invited to book free appointments for visiting a mobile health van that offers blood-pressure checks, blood-glucose checks, HIV tests, and PrEP consultations. Doing so will enter you in an IFE4Her health-service study. If you’d like to participate, click here; call or write to if you have any questions.



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is running The Minds & Milkshakes Study where teens ages 14 to 16 and their mothers participate in a study that researches what people choose to eat. In order to qualify, each teen must be generally healthy with no dietary restrictions, won’t be taking any medications other than vitamins, won’t be wearing any braces or unremovable metal in their body, and will not be a user of nicotine. This is designed to be a 5-year study with a total of five visits—two the first year and one visit in years 3, 4, and 5. Each young participant (and their moms) will complete a series of taste tests, brain games, and surveys. Blood samples will be collected and MRI images will be made of the brain during the first and last visits. The principal investigator for The Minds & Milkshakes Study is Dr Kyle S Burger. Write for more info and to see if your child qualifies for the study. 


919-503-4711, website


Velocity Clinical Research has developed several Weight-Loss Studies. People who are having trouble losing weight, even after making serious lifestyle changes, are invited to call or to sign up at to learn about these studies. Eligible participants can receive compensation, with the amount depending on the study. You can also learn about upcoming trials by downloading the VISION Engage app from the App Store or Google Play.


The American Dance Festival offers free classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners at ADF Scripps Studios (721 Broad St). Heather Bryce leads Dance for Parkinson’s on Wednesdays from 2 to 3:15pm. Call 919-797-2871 for more info and click here to sign up.


The American Dance Festival offers free classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners at ADF Scripps Studios (721 Broad St). Rebecca Bliss leads PWR!Moves Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery on Thursdays from 2 to 3:15pm. Call 919-797-2871 for more info and click here to sign up.

The American Dance Festival offers free classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners at ADF Scripps Studios (721 Broad St). For those who are unable to travel, Susan Saenger leads Virtual Dance for Parkinson’s on Zoom on Fridays from 11am to 12:15pm. Call 919-797-2871 for more info and click here to sign up.

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Learn all about cancer from the American Cancer Society:

Breast cancer

Colon and rectal cancer

Lung cancer

Prostate cancer

Skin cancer

Other types of cancer (choose one)

Cancer in children


Here’s more locally based information from the American Cancer Society’s North Carolina chapter: NC ACS website.

Image by Tim Mossholder

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is offering the Hope4NC helpline for people needing mental-health support due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone can get free and confidential emotional support and helpful resources 24/7 via telephone, text, or chat. This service is also available in Spanish. The Hope4NC helpline number is 855-587-3463; click here for more info, to start a chat, send a text message, and to get help in Spanish.

Feel free to explore the NCDHHS’s COVID-19 website here for more resources and information on staying both physically and mentally healthy during the pandemic.

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Formed by a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the Riverkeepers of North Carolina, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of North Carolina, and local law enforcement agencies, Operation Medicine Drop is an initiative that helps people safely dispose of expired and unused medications. A common practice is to flush them down the toilet, but that poisons the waters and endangers wildlife. Simply tossing them in the trash is also a bad idea. Someone could come along, fish them out, and use them as recreational drugs. Many overdoses and other drug-related problems happen because someone didn’t get rid of over-the-counter medications properly.

Operation Medicine Drop provides safe dropoff points for those who want to get rid of their old medications easily and safely. Here are the Durham County locations:

  • Durham County Justice Center (510 S Dillard St, in the lobby, 919-560-0854)—weekdays 8:15am–5pm

  • Durham County Sheriff’s Office, North Station (11821 US Hwy 501 N, in Rougemont, 919-560-0930)—weekdays 8am–4:30pm

  • Durham District 2 Police Substation (5285 N Roxboro Rd, 919-560-4322)—weekdays 8am–5pm

  • Durham District 3 Police Substation (#8 Consultant Pl, Shannon Rd near MLK Pkwy)—weekdays 8am–5pm

  • Durham Police Department Headquarters (602 E Main St, 919-560-4600)—anytime (24/7).

Click here for more info.

Here are some additional locations, as provided by the Lincoln Community Health Center:

  • Durham County Department of Public Health (414 E Main St, 919-560-7632)—pharmacy 1st floor, Clinic 3 dropbox in the lobby

  • Central Pharmacy (2609 N Duke St, Suite 103, 919-220-5121)—weekdays 9am–5:30pm, Saturdays 9am–noon; no sharps

  • CVS (3573 Hillsborough Rd, 919-383-0171)—no sharps, aerosols, inhalers, or chemotherapy waste

  • CVS (2103 TW Alexander Dr, 919-957-2989)—no sharps, aerosols, inhalers, or chemotherapy waste

  • Triangle Pharmacy (1700 E Hwy 54, 919-544-1711)—weekdays 8am–8pm, Saturdays 8am–6pm, Sundays noon–6pm; no sharps

  • Walgreens (3905 N Roxboro St, 919-471-1534)

  • Walgreens (6405 S Fayetteville Rd, 919-544-6430, 919-544-6395).

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The American Red Cross will host the following pop-up Blood Drives. (Blood/platelets can also be donated just about every day at the American Red Cross office (4737 University Dr).) Click here for more info and to set an appointment.

Monday, July 1

  • Arthur Murray Dance Studio (410 W Geer St), noon–4:30pm

Wednesday, July 3

  • North Regional Library (221 Milton Rd), 1:30–6pm

Friday, July 5

  • Chick-fil-A (3429 Hillsborough Rd), noon–5pm

Friday, July 5

  • Streets at Southpoint (6910 Fayetteville Rd), noon–6pm

Saturday, July 13

  • Aria Cultural Center (2609 N Duke St), 10am–2pm

Tuesday, July 16

  • American Legion Durham Post 7 (406 E Trinity Ave), noon–5pm


Tuesday, July 23

  • Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Center for Health Education (8 Searle Dr), 10am–3pm


Friday, July 26

  • Streets at Southpoint (6910 Fayetteville Rd), noon–6pm

​Monday, July 29

  • Hope Valley Baptist Church (6900 Garrett Rd), noon–5pm

​Tuesday, July 30

  • City of Durham Water Management Office (1600 Mist Lake Dr), 10am–3pm

  • St Matthew Catholic Church (1001 Mason Rd), noon–5pm

​Wednesday, July 31

  • DoubleTree at Meridian Corporate Park (2515 Meridian Pkwy), 11am–4:30pm

  • Veterans Administration Medical Center (508 Fulton St), 10am–2:30pm

  • The Frontier (800 Park Offices Dr), 10am–3pm


Thursday, August 1

  • First Presbyterian Church (305 E Main St), 1–6pm


Friday, August 2

  • Southwest Regional Library (3605 Shannon Rd), noon–5pm


Saturday, August 3

  • The River Church (4425 Ben Franklin Blvd), 9am–2pm


Thursday, August 8

  • Lincoln Community Health Center (1301 Fayetteville St), 10am–2:30pm


Friday, August 9

  • Synergy Fitness for Her (4810 Hope Valley Rd), 9am–1:30pm; look for the bus

  • Uplift Community Center (1811 Palmer St), noon–5pm; hosted by the Beta Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

  • Streets at Southpoint (6910 Fayetteville Rd), noon–6pm.


The Blood Connection hosts mobile Blood Drives throughout Durham. Here’s a partial schedule of the pop-up locations (in the most public spaces). Click here to see the full list of locations and dates:

Monday, July 1

  • Sprouts (105 W Hwy 54), 10am–2pm

  • O2 Fitness University Hill (3103 Shannon Rd), 4–7:30pm

Sunday, July 7

  • Lowe’s (117 Wm Penn Plaza), 11am–2pm

  • Glass Jug Beer Lab (5410 Hwy 55, Suite V), 4–7pm

Thursday, July 11

  • Museum of Life and Science (433 W Murray Ave), 10am–2pm

Saturday, July 13

  • Dollar Tree (5422 New Hope Commons Dr, New Hope Commons Shopping Center), 11am–1:30pm

  • Kohl’s (5241 McFarland Rd), 11am–7pm


Wednesday, July 17

  • Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center (508 Fulton St), 10am–3pm

  • Revco Solutions (2700 Meridian Pkwy), 10am–3pm

Thursday, July 18

  • Aspida Financial Services (2327 Englert Dr), 11:30am–2pm

  • Elizabeth Street United Methodist Church (1209 N Elizabeth St), 1–6pm

Saturday, July 20

  • Belk (6910 Fayetteville Rd, Streets at Southpoint), 3–5:30pm


Wednesday, July 24

  • Avance Care Durham (1821 Martin Luther King Pkwy), 10am–3pm


Thursday, July 25

  • Bonefish Grill (7820 Hwy 751), 4:30–8pm


Saturday, July 27

  • Belk (6910 Fayetteville Rd, Streets at Southpoint), 11am–2pm

  • Hi-Wire Brewing (800 Taylor St, Golden Belt), 4–7:30pm


Sunday, July 28

  • Bethany United Methodist Church (2809 Guess Rd), 11am–4pm


Tuesday, August 6

  • Lodge at Southpoint (1300 Knoll Circle), 3:30–7pm


Thursday, August 8

  • Duke BME PhD Student Association (Bryan Research Center, 101 Coal Pile Dr), 11am–4pm.

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your ZIP code to find out.

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The National Library Service in Washington DC, in cooperation with libraries across the country, hosts the That All May Read program. People with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that keeps them from reading or holding a book can have braille or audio books delivered to them free of charge. You can choose physical books or free downloads. Click here to get started.


Relatives and friends of people with addictions are invited to attend their own 12-step program to help figure out ways to understand and support their loved-ones. Get your questions answered and identify community resources while meeting others who are in similar circumstances. NAR-ANON meetings are held every Thursday, 5–6pm, at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church (2200 S Alston Ave).


211 E Six Forks Rd, Suite 103, Raleigh,


The North Carolina Reading Service is a free service helps blind and visually impaired people keep up with the news and entertainment worlds. Volunteers read local news stories, editorials, obituaries, books, and advertisements from a variety of publications. They also read special programs that discuss specific topics like education, tech tips, and legal matters. Users can then listen via their smartphone and tablet apps, the NCRS website, or with any “Alexa”-enabled device.

Listeners who don’t have internet access can borrow specially tuned receivers free of charge. Donations to NCRS help cover the average price of $70 per receiver, and some listeners make donations if they’re able to. Click here to see the various ways of enjoying the broadcasts and to see the list of podcasts included with the service. Visit the website if you’d like to make a monetary donation or if you’d like to be a volunteer reader.


​Hersey Pharmacy (4711 Hope Valley Rd, in the Woodcroft Shopping Center) offers free vitamins for kids, adults, and seniors. Stop by and sign up for your 30-day supply; you can pick up free vitamins every month. Call 919-346-4008 for more info.

Be sure to check out Dr Keith Hersey‘s Destroying Diabetes podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Episodes are on-demand and consist of vital information, tips, and interviews.


If you’d like to learn about epilepsy from an advocate who has it, check out Roxanne Davenport’s ‘Seize’ure the Day show on YouTube, which airs live every other Tuesday at 7:30pm. Click here to go to the ‘Seize’ure the Day YouTube channel. 


4206 N Roxboro St, Suite 100, 919-748-1022, website:

Project Access connects people who don’t have health insurance with medical services that are affordable or free of charge, and HELP, the Health Equipment Loan Program, helps everyday folks gain access to medical equipment that they couldn’t otherwise afford. 


If you any have walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, canes, knee-scooters, reachers (pickup or grabber sticks), tub-transfer benches, etc, it would be greatly appreciated if you can donate them. Everything will be sanitized and repaired if necessary so they can be loaned out to people for easily renewable 3-month periods regardless of their insurance status. HELP is open Tuesdays (10am–2pm) and Fridays (1–5pm). Visit the website or call and ask for the manager, Amy Armstrong, for more info.

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