June 5, 2008
It was a blistering hot Friday afternoon but heat did not deter a group of 32 ladies from gathering to share and experience a celebration dedicated to increasing awareness regarding women’s health issues across the lifespan and inspiring women to make healthier decisions.
The Jackson County Health Department, in collaboration with valued community partners, hosted the first annual "Women Empowering Women" Women’s Health seminar. This informative and exceptionally moving observance was held May 30th at the IFAS Agricultural Building Conference Center.
At registration each attendee was given a "goodie bag" of health education and promotion literature, stress relievers and other items of interest to women. The program was emceed by LaTresha Pittman, Jackson County Health Department’s Closing the Gap Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program Coordinator. Following a gracious welcome to all Reverend Frances Menchion of St James AME Church provided an invocation of thankfulness and blessing prior to the serving of a buffet luncheon sponsored by the Mu Omicron Zeta Phi Beta Chapter of Marianna Florida.
Ms. Sandra Helms, ARNP CDE, imparted an enlightening address with a call to action entitled "The Woman’s Charge." She advised taking simple steps such as having regular check-ups and recommended screenings, maintaining good nutrition, and exercising. Ms. Glenda Swearingen, prominent local attorney and motivational speaker, provided a stirring and inspiring account of her personal experience with health trials entitled "Dealing with life’s challenges…if only I could fly." Her accounting was laced with survival tools for mastery of life’s challenges specific to the broad range of issues facing women. A health quiz game, door prize drawings and an advice sharing activity concluded the event.
Julie McKinney, Assistant Nursing Director for the Jackson County Health Department shared these thoughts, "These are just a few words to say how much I appreciated the Women’s conference on 5-28-08. The speakers were informative and I learned from each one something new and refreshing concerning my health. Although I have been a nurse for 25 years I still learned some exciting and some thought provoking new facts from them! It was also refreshing to see women encouraging other women! The stories from Glenda Swearingen were especially insightful and to know she "Came Back" from a stroke especially encouraged me to encourage others as well."