Ladies Health Day offers screenings, music, discussions - October 16, 2017

Courtesy of The Post-Tribune

Written by Sue Ellen Ross

Visitors to this year’s Health & Harmony First Ladies Health Day were greeted with upbeat gospel music as they walked through the entrance door of the Genesis Convention Center.

That atmosphere set the stage for a relaxing morning of pampering, health screenings, healthy refreshments, panel discussions and activities for the kids.

“When I first saw the calendar for what they’re doing today, I was amazed. There’s so much,” said Gary resident Hattie Osborn. “I don’t move real fast, so I hope I can get it all in.”

Osborn joined hundreds of others in the special event offered by a partnership between Methodist Hospitals, City of Gary, First Ladies Health Alliance and the Association of Black Cardiologists.

Thirty-five vendors offered information covering various health topics as visitors were treated to neck/back massages, healthy snacks and musical entertainment.

Gospel artist Erica Atkins-Campbell of Mary Mary performed, jazz saxophonist Ray Silkman played and the New Friendship Church choir presented popular gospel songs.

“I feel like we’re in church,” said Letty Parker of Hammond, with a laugh, as she listened to the choir. “This is a fantastic way to start the day and there’s so many things to see and do here. I love these hospital events.”

Sponsored by Walgreens and moderated by WYCA radio personality Darryl King, the five-hour fair had something for everyone, including a unique panel discussion. Led by Methodist Hospital cardiologist Dr. Andre Artis and facilitated by hospital employees Connie Adams and Sherry Mosier, the topic was heart health.

“I love to hear what the doctors have to say,” said audience member Dashay Hunter of Merrillville. “It’s nice that this doctor took time to be here among all these people. You don’t see that a lot.”

Nina Evans of Gary and her daughter Jazmine, 6, perused the booths, taking time to have Jazmine’s face painted.

“I love this fair. There’s so such useful information here,” Nina Evans said. “And it’s really beneficial to the city of Gary.”

Blood sugar, cholesterol and HIV screenings were offered; and heart attack and stroke risk assessments also were on the agenda.

“Not everyone gets to the doctor on a regular basis, so it’s wonderful that they can get them for free here,” said visitor Leticia Pena, of Gary. “It’s important to stay on top of our (health) numbers.”

After their screenings, many visitors stopped by the table of the Lake County Sheriff for their Safe Senior ID card.

Lake County Sheriff’s office secretary Sandra Garza was gathering personal information from seniors for the program, snapping their picture and laminating it on a card.

“Seniors really like this,” Garza said, of the ID program. “In case something happens, we have their personal info and a contact name and number in our data base. You never know when they’ll need this.”

Methodist Hospitals is a community-based, not-for-profit health system with two full acute care facilities, offered to residents of northwest Indiana for almost 100 years.