HIV EXPERT TO SPEAK: Dr. Robert Gallo, most widely known as a co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS, will speak on “Journey with Blood Cells and Viruses” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at Freeman Auditorium in Woldenberg Art Center at Tulane University, New Orleans. The free lecture is the public keynote address for a three-day Presidential Symposium at Tulane, “Translational Research in Infectious Diseases: From Microbes to Man.” Gallo is director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is also co-founder and scientific director of the Global Virus Network.

MENTAL HEALTH IN NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans Coroner Jeffrey C. Rouse will speak on “Mental Health in New Orleans: From Katrina to the Future ” when NAMI New Orleans holds its annual membership meeting from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the Lakeview Christian Center, 5885 Fleur De Lis Drive, New Orleans. Membership in the National Alliance on Mental Illness is $35 a year, and new members may join at the meeting. For information, call (504) 896-2345.

JUNIOR HOSPITAL VOLUNTEERS: The West Jefferson Medical Center Junior Volunteers Program for high school students is accepting applications through March 31. For information, call (504) 349-1220 or send email to

GRIEF AND LOSS SUPPORT GROUP: A free grief and loss support group sponsored by the Akula Foundation meets from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at West Jefferson Medical Center, 1101 Medical Center Blvd., Marrero. Call to learn the meeting room. The next meeting will be March 18. To register or for information, call the Grief Resource Center at (504) 247-7818.

HEART MEDICINE: Clinical pharmacist Ernest Lawson will give a presentation on types of heart failure medications, and actions and common side effects of those medications at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at 4500 Westbank Expressway, Marrero. Bring your most updated medication list to help follow along. To register, call (504) 349-6222.

COURAGE CAPS: People who enjoy knitting and crocheting will gather at 5 p.m. March 19 at The Infusion Center, 4511 Westbank Expressway, Marrero, to create caps to encourage cancer patients. Yarn donations are welcome.

For information, call Tabitha at (504) 349-1232.

STOP SMOKING: A smoking cessation support group will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, and at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at the West Jefferson Care Transition Clinic, 4500 10th St., Suite A, Marrero. This group is for people who have quit smoking but need additional support. To register, call (504) 349-2340. For information on an eight-week smoking cessation program, call (504) 349-6226.

AARP DRIVER SAFETY CLASS: An AARP driver safety course will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 21, in the Gretna classroom in the Hall of History at West Jefferson Medical Center, 1101 Medical Center Blvd., Marrero. To register, send email to Brittney Schouest at For information, call (504) 349-1786.