Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center is joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health in celebrating National Women’s Health Week 2009. This year marks the tenth anniversary for this nationwide initiative that empowers women to make their health a top priority.

During this week, which runs from Mother’s Day, May 10 through May 16, families, health organizations, businesses, communities, the government and individuals will come together to raise awareness about women’s health issues, and to educate women on simple steps they can take to improve their physical and mental well-being for a longer, healthier and happier life.

Saint Mary’s will celebrate National Women’s Health Week with the kickoff to its “Live Well” Women’s Seminar Series on Tuesday, May 12th. Joe Cloud, M.D., gynecologist with Millard Henry Clinic will discuss women’s general health topics, with a focus on age-appropriate preventive screenings. Dr. Cloud’s presentation is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the Saint Mary’s annex. Decadent chocolate treats and door prize drawings should sweeten this opportunity to learn more about these important women’s issues. For more information and to reserve your seat, call (479) 964-9468.

According to Cloud, “National Women’s Health Week is important because it encourages women to take time for their own health. Women are most often the main caregivers for their families. As a result, they may forget to make their own health a priority. During this week, and with the continued seminar series, we want to remind women that they too need to see the doctor, make sure that their screenings are up to date and just take the time to think about their own well-being.”

Cloud offered these important steps toward improving your physical and mental health and lowering your risk of certain diseases:

  • Get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate physical activity, 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both each week.
  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • Visit a health care professional for regular checkups and preventive screenings.
  • Avoid risky behaviors, like smoking and not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.

The Saint Mary’s “Live Well” series was created in partnership with area physicians to provide the community with current medical information and services that promote living well and maintaining good health. “Live Well” includes a Lunch & Learn series, as well as the Women’s Seminar Series. The women’s seminar series will feature a broad range of women’s health topics ranging from general health in the teens and twenties through reproductive health, birth control methods, bone and breast health, menopause and immunizations through the sixties and beyond.

Meeting the unique health care needs of women requires having both physicians and services committed to these patients. The talented and experienced women’s health specialists on staff with Saint Mary’s include: Dr. Cloud and Dr. Jody Callaway, Gynecology, Millard Henry Clinic; Dr. Michael Escue, Dr. Vickie Henderson and Dr. Dean Papageorge, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Millard Henry Clinic; and Dr. Larry Battles, Gynecology, Russellville Gynecology Clinic.

With comforting environments and advanced medical treatments and technologies, these physicians offer female patients the level of quality care needed to help maintain good health through all stages of life.