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PRCC’s Women’s Health Symposium draws crowd

More than 500 women learned about eye health, the warning signs of dementia and home healthcare options at the 14th annual Women’s Health Symposium held at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville on Saturday.

The Symposium spanned a hallway, a conference room and three additional rooms at Pearl River Community College’s Poplarville campus. Nursing students gave attendees blood pressure tests, while at the other end of the symposium, women waited patiently in line to receive free manicures from PRCC cosmetology students.

Businesses had tables offering information on subjects like hypnotherapy, chiropractic work and dental health.

The Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative offered glucose tests and information on breast and cervical cancer.

The organization came to the symposium to make as many people as possible aware of the benefits of being proactive with their healthcare, said SMRHI Service Coordinator Jill Rogers.

The event also included panel discussions and a luncheon. During a panel discussion, Steve Reid with the Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home discussed warning signs of dementia and gave attendees ideas about how to speak with and support loved ones who exhibit those warning signs.

Along with sharing their expertise, the panel of medical experts answered questions from Miss PRCC Hollie Morgan about everything from eye surgery to home health care.

OBGYN Eric Siegel was a first time panelist at the symposium. He said the event was larger than he expected. Events like the symposium can help women feel more comfortable speaking about uncomfortable health issues, said Siegel.

“The lack of access to care for some, or reluctance to seek care, is a little higher here than some places,” said Siegel.

Siegel said the biggest thing he wanted attendees to take away from the event was to be their own advocate, because what they are going through may not be totally normal.

Attendee Kay Clay has come to the symposium every year, she said, and always enjoys the event.

“They do a great job of getting people out and helping women take care of themselves,” said Clay.

The event also raises money to provide a scholarship for a PRCC student. Last year’s scholarship recipient Kylee Necaise thanked attendees for their support.

“It’s helped me focus more on academics and less on working,” said Necaise.