EAST CHICAGOSt. Catherine Hospital on Wednesday, April 27, will host the first session in a new, 2016 Financial Literacy Series initiative with local banks called, “Growing a Culture of Wellness.

The free series is being offered to provide tips and baseline advice to help consumers learn about ways to improve their personal finance — from setting a budget to buying a home and from sending your kids to college to estate planning.

Phil Foreman, an outreach specialist for the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, will open the series with a talk on “Identity Theft, Scams & Fraud,” beginning 4:30 p.m. in the Professional Office Building of St. Catherine Hospital, 4321 Fir St., East Chicago.

Foreman has traveled across northern Indiana to educate the public on consumer-related issues, such as common scams, identity theft, data breaches, security freezes, credit monitoring, Medicaid fraud and patient abuse or neglect in elder care facilities. He works with community leaders, law agencies, citizens and organizations to provide resources and assistance to raise awareness to scams and better educate Indiana residents to consumer-related issues.

Because we believe a person’s well-being and health can be tied to their financial situations, St. Catherine Hospital is joining with local banks to host a series of presentations through 2017 to improve financial literacy across the region, explained Lauren Trumbo, finance supervisor.

“Our goal is to offer a balanced approach to help you get ahead, put or keep your financial house in order, reduce stress and stay healthy,” said Jo Ann Birdzell, St. Catherine Hospital CEO.

 “Centier is honored to be the lead sponsor in St. Catherine’s pilot series on financial literacy,” said Centier president and CEO Mike Schrage. Centier is happy to help in many ways – among them, providing Spanish translators for the program, said Rosa Rios, East Chicago branch manager.

Each event, which includes a boxed lunch and beverage, Spanish translators and a Kid’s Coloring Corner, concludes at 6 p.m. Opportunities will be given to participants to ask questions during and after the session.

Other co-sponsors for the series that will be held every other month through January 2017 include BMO Harris Bank, PNC, First Merchants Bank, Peoples Bank and Standard Bank.

“We have a strong belief in financial, spiritual and health wellness creating better lives for all,” Schrage said.

Upcoming sessions in the 2016 Financial Literacy Series will be held on the last Wednesday of June, August, October, November and January on: “Building & Repairing Credit,” June 29; “Managing Your Money,” Aug. 31; “Taking Charge of Your Credit Card,” Oct. 26; “Saving Money, Nov. 30; and Setting Financial Goals,” Jan. 25, 2017.

Reservations are requested by calling, (219) 392-7116.

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