LAURINBURG — The women attending Saturday’s Women’s Health Event, took its theme “Live, Laugh, and Love” to heart.
The 125 women at the day-long workshop enjoyed lively speakers talking about staying healthy. The annual event, held at First United Methodist Church, is organized by the Scotland Memorial Foundation.
“As women, we tend to put ourselves last, we take care of everyone around us,” said Lee Anne Venable with the foundation. “It’s shown that women make most of the health decisions in the family and so if we can educate the women, we can educate the entire household.”
Colleen Bradley has been attending every year since the Women’s Health Event started in 2003. A former nurse at Scotland Memorial Hospital, the day had been part of work. Now she attends because the event is important to her — making a 90-minute trip from Holly Springs where she lives.
“I believe in the success of the program and education,” Bradley said. “I know how important it is to educate, the more people know the better it helps prevent diseases.”
Doretha Swann is also a longtime attendee.
“It’s a special event to show what the hospital can do for us,” Swann said. “Women need to know how to take care of themselves.”
Toward the end of the event keynote speaker, Kelly Swanson addressed the crowd. She gave the crowd lots of laughs and reminded them they are the creators of their own stories.
“We are the only thing we can control, we are the only thing we can change. The story you write dictates your actions, your attitudes, and your behaviors, and will become the life that you live.
At the end of her speech, she told the crowd the four things she always tries to do — see, believe, do, and trust.
“We can’t get somewhere different unless we’re willing to do something different,” Swanson said.
Swanson received a standing ovation from the crowd at the end of her hour-long speech.
During the event, women received screenings for health issues like; cholesterol, blood pressure, A1C, body fat, height and weight, foot checks, and flexibility.
Two educational sessions informed the attendees what is offered to them at Scotland Memorial Hospital. The first was about surgeons and robotic technology led by Dr. Ralph Carter of OrthoCarolina and Gary Hatchell of Scotland Rehab Services. The second was about mammograms and other cancer testings were led by Dr. Stephen Lanuti of Scotland Surgical and GI and Dr. Chip Helms of Scotland Cancer Treatment Center.
One tradition of the event is that participants are asked to bring in three non-perishable food items for Church and Community Services to receive a gift. They ran out of the gifts and according to Venable there was a gracious plenty.
“We’ve been doing it for so long now that most of the women who come bring in canned goods,” said Venable.
There were also breakout sessions that included heart health, diabetes, eating well, self-defense, sleep benefits, a retirement outlook, and general classes on better health. Each attendee chose one to attend.
There were light refreshments and a healthy lunch provided for the attendees, which included a chicken salad spinach wrap, broccoli salad, chickpeas, and a chocolate chip cookie.
The event was presented by Charolle Radiology, with sponsors from SHCS volunteer auxiliary, WLNC, Village Family Dental, Queue, Scotia Village, and Self Help Credit Union.
The Scotland Memorial Foundationworks to provide resources that support health care services, community health projects, and health education.
“It’s important for us to have fundraising events but also take those funds and educate the community,” Venable said. “Because if we can create better health outcomes it lowers the families cost of health care if they take their preventive measures and get their screenings it can affect the financial viability of a household as well as their health.”
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171