Be Well With Upcoming Seminars

Improve your physical and mental health through these upcoming seminars and programs.

Grief and loss

Rachel Kodanaz, author of “Living with Loss, One Day at a Time,” offers several upcoming programs designed to help people cope with grief and loss. Sept. 10, she leads a session on embracing life’s challenges at Gilda’s Club Kansas City 6-7:30 p.m., then Sept. 16 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Solace House, Kodanaz discusses grief in the workplace and how to create an environment that meets the needs of grieving employees. Later that evening, she delves into living with loss and communicating with those giving support. See the full calendar of her upcoming engagements online here.

BRCA gene mutation

Learn about BRCA gene mutation cancer during a presentation hosted by Women’s Philanthropy-Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Jewish Community Campus’ White Theatre. It is the kick off of The Elizabeth Prostic Memorial Outreach Program through the University of Pennsylvania’s Basser Center for BRCA.

Elizabeth Prostic, who grew up in Kansas City, was a young wife and mother when she died from breast cancer caused by the BRCA gene mutation. Her parents, Dr. Ed and Merry Prostic of Kansas City, endowed Outreach Program through the Basser Center for BRCA, a leading institution for the research and treatment of cancers, namely breast and ovarian, associated with BRCA gene mutations.

When BRCA mutations are detected, there are many things that can be done to reduce and manage your cancer risk. Both men and women can carry the BRCA gene, but women with the mutation have up to an 80 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and up to a 45 percent lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The evening presentation will include a discussion of the impact of BRCA gene mutations, genetic testing and risk management strategies, and the most cutting-edge cancer and prevention research. The Sept. 17 outreach program is free, but reservations are requested by calling the Federation office at (913) 327-8100 or by email to

Dealing with mental illness

Jewish Family Services and NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) are teaming up to reach out to families dealing with the challenges of mental illness. The free, 12-week series of classes will be held on Wednesday evenings beginning Sept. 30, 6:30-9 p.m. through Dec. 23 at the Jewish Community Campus. The course provides caregivers with communication and problem-solving techniques, coping mechanisms and self-care skills needed to deal with their loved one’s mental illness. While there is no charge for the course, space is limited so those interested are asked to register in advance by contacting Susie Hurst, JFS director of Family Life Education, at (913) 327-8259 or email her at