Healthy Night Out provides screenings, massages for women - March 15, 2017

Courtesy of chicagotribune.com • March 15, 2017

By Sue Ellen Ross

Gary friends Ruth Martin, Jennie Carson, Mary Oren and Etta Barber enjoy spending time together on a regular basis. One recent outing, Healthy Night Out With The Girls at Methodist Hospital Southlake found the women enjoying free health screenings, hand and back massages, tasty refreshments and much more.

“This event is a wonderful thing. It’s important for women to take care of themselves,” Barber said, while discussing ‘lipology’ with Mary Kay consultant Shelly Recktenwall. “And we need all the information we can get.”

Screenings included blood pressure, BMI and bone density, as well as heart and vascular disease risk assessment.

Many visitors commented on the fact that people can’t afford to go to the doctor for every little ache and pain, so the free screenings give a heads-up if they need to check into something further.

Linda Fortner of Merrillville knew she had high blood pressure, but didn’t know her exact numbers. She welcomed the chance to find out after her bone density screening was completed.

“These tests give us a chance to see if we need to focus on a certain area,” Fortner said, as a Methodist Hospital technician took her blood pressure. “We always hear about people that didn’t go for regular checkups, or to a doctor about a specific problem, until it was too late. I don’t want to be that person.”

After the serious screenings were completed, it was time for a little fun in the massage rooms. On the agenda were hand and chair massages.

Students from Paul Mitchell Beauty School in Merrillville set up their supplies at a long table draped with a soothing green-colored tablecloth for the hand massages.

Afterward, visitors traveled across the hall for a chair massage offered by Kaufman Chiropractic.

While Lori Michalak of Valparaiso patiently waited for her turn in the massage chair, she checked out her screenings results.

“This is great for the community. Not everyone is comfortable going to the doctor to find out where they stand with their health,” Michalak said. “Here we’re getting so much more information before we do go, so we know what questions to ask.”

Also during the evening, visitors were treated to a special presentation by Methodist cardiologist Dr. Mihas Kodenchery — A Woman’s Guide to Cardiovascular Services.

“I had some heart problems last year, so this talk really appeals to me,” said Sandy Grainger of Munster, as she and her friends seated themselves in the second floor atrium. “I’m only in my 40s, so this topic about heart health isn’t just for older senior citizens.”

After the physician’s presentation, refreshments and a raffle wrapped up the evening.

“I just found out they have these Healthy Night Out With The Girls sessions four times a year,” said Jennifer Unger of Merrillville, as she looked into her information bag on the way out the door. “I’ll be sure to tell everyone I know. This is one stop that will appeal to all ages of women — and it teaches them that they need to be a role model for taking care of themselves.”