Women's health focus of event

By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – A recent widow, Martha Spears of Corinth said she came to Friday’s Women’s Health Conference as a step toward taking control of her health.

She has high blood pressure and diabetes, as did her recently deceased husband.

“A friend invited me, so I came with her to learn how to take better care of myself,” Spears said.

She was one of about 700 women and men who didn't let the rainy day keep them from the 5-year-old event.

“We had about 600 to register, but about 700 came today,” said Heather Boyd, marketing director for Magnolia Regional Health Center, which sponsored the event. “We have people from about seven counties attending, including Lee County.”

Screenings and information
About 40 vendors provided information, screenings and products at their booths before the program of talks began.

Topics included managing medications, cancer screening and different aspects of cardiovascular disease, the illness that was the underlying reason for the original conference.

“About five years ago Lee Ann McDuffy and I noticed that our hospital statistics showed mortality for men with heart disease was decreasing, but for women it was staying flat,” said Dr. John Prather, cardiologist and MRHC medical director.

Researching the issue together, Prather and McDuffy found women were not aware that their heart disease risk was higher than breast cancer or lung cancer.

They launched the information outreach program with support of the American Heart Association.

“Reaching more and more people, trying to get across that controlling obesity, controlling blood pressure, not smoking are ways they can take charge of their health, is what we’re trying to do,” Prather said.

Contact Daily Journal Corinth Bureau reporter Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.