Women enjoy day of health at PRCC
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015
On Saturday, women experienced a day full of health at the 2015 Women’s Health Symposium at the Pearl River Community College.
The event was held inside Crosby Hall, where more than 400 women enjoyed local art, health screenings and informational panel sessions.
Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president, kicked off the event by introducing keynote speaker Janie Walters, who is the CEO of Champion Communications, and an author and motivational speaker.
Walters spoke to the audience about the importance of adopting an optimistic attitude for both physical and emotional well being.
“If we embrace optimism, there are so many benefits that come with it,” Walters said. “There’s a Harvard study that shows people who are optimistic live seven years longer.”
During her speech, she gave advice on how women can adopt the optimistic lifestyle.
“Optimists aren’t always happy. Life doesn’t automatically become perfect. But people who are optimistic always expect to be happy soon,” Walters said. “If you want to adopt the optimist attitude, wake up in the morning, put your feet on the ground and say, ‘it’s going to be a great day’.”
Afterwards, a panel of local healthcare providers spoke to the audience about health issues ranging from the importance of exercise to depression.
Dr. Lynwood Wheeler, a psychologist at the Hattiesburg Clinic, spoke about depression and why women are the most prone to suffer from the condition.
“The rate of depression in women is twice that of men,” Wheeler said. “It’s mainly because women have a lot of responsibility placed on them. They are expected to be the nurse, counselor, CFO and event planner of the household. Which puts a lot of stress on their well being.”
Exercise physiologist at Wesley Medical Center Lauren Hill provided ways women could relieve stress and tension.
“Get up early and do 15 minute exercises, whether it’s walking, jumping rope or using the stairs,” Hill said.
She also recommended doing deep breathing exercises.
After the panel discussion, the health-screening portion of the event began, where women were able to undergo blood screenings, bone density scans, glucose screenings and blood pressure checks, which were conducted by PRCC nursing students.
The event also featured dozens of information booths manned by representatives from Manna Ministries, Forrest General Hospital Home Care and Hospice and Hattiesburg Eye Clinic, among others.
The Healing Touch School and Day Spa offered free neck and back massages.
Participants were also able to do some retail therapy at the Art Walk, where dozens of local artists displayed their work, which included paintings, purses and jewelry.
Afterwards, lunch was provided capped off with entertainment from PRCC’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, The Voices.
The grand sponsor for the event was the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. Other sponsors included Hancock Bank, Mississippi Power and Wesley Medical Center.
Dr. Jennifer Seal, PRCC vice president for planning and institutional research and chair of the symposium steering committee, said this event was a success, and she hopes the same for next year’s event, which is set to take place on Saturday, Jan. 30.