Women on Wellness retreat is Nov. 15 in Romney

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at West Virginia University will host a retreat at the South Branch Inn in Romney on Saturday (Nov. 15) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"The Women on Wellness retreat (WOW) is intended to help women keep mind, body and soul in balance,” Betty Critch, executive director, said. “This is a day for and about women – women leading women and their families to healthy lifestyles.”

“We are not pushing a particular form of exercise or a specific diet. We want women to know they can enjoy foods that are healthy and engage in exercise that makes them feel good,” said Barbara Ducatman, M.D., chair of the WVU Department of Pathology and director of the center at WVU. “We’ve had success with these retreats across the state because women are quick to understand that the health decisions they make for themselves affect everyone around them, especially their families.”

Activities include discussions about health choices and ways women can increase physical activity, as well as improve strength, flexibility, stamina and well-being.  Some of the activities include Zumba, Dance Dance Revolution, Wii and golf.

“We want women to realize that they don’t have to run 10, five or even two miles a day and that exercise doesn’t have to be done in a gym,” Critch said. “It’s all about what feels good and what works for them.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss health and wellness topics such as health screenings, heart disease, prenatal wellness and herbs. How to quit smoking and how to talk with your pharmacist are also topics.

A healthful lunch will be served, along with tips on preparation techniques and how to make food taste good.

Presenters at the event include Julie Smith, Ph.D., a consultant specializing in change; Ann Chester, Ph.D., an assistant vice president at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center; and 
William Houck III, M.D., an oncologist from Winchester, Va.

According to Critch, the mission of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health is to provide comprehensive health care for women, promoting research in women’s health issues and reaching out to improve the health and well being of West Virginia women.

“It is vital that women take care of themselves in order to take care of those around them,” Critch said.

 “We know 85 percent of all healthcare decisions are made by the women in the home,” she said. “In West Virginia, we rank 48th in the nation in most health statistics. We believe women can lead their families to healthier lifestyles.”

Hampshire Wellness and Fitness professionals will demonstrate exercise options as well as massage therapy options in their new facility next to the South Branch Inn.

“At the end of the day, each participant will leave with a journal with a personalized step-by-step strategy to improve her lifestyle and a renewed energy to focus on improving her health through exercise, nutrition, mental health and chronic-disease management,” Critch said.

This retreat will be the seventh over the past four years. Other WOW retreats have taken place in Marion, Mercer and Hampshire counties.  More than 300 women have participated to date.

Sharon Brinkman Windle has attended five of the WOW retreats over the last three years and said that each one has added a component of empowerment that has helped her find ways that she can be healthier and happier.

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for women to explore who they are now, be comfortable with that person, yet find ways to be the best that they can be, as they age” Windle said.

Sponsors of the event include the Hampshire County Cancer Coalition, Hampshire Wellness and Fitness, Valley Health, the Appalachian Cancer Network and the Eastern Regional Family Resource Network.

Women can register for WOW by calling Lindsay Farris at Eastern Regional Family Resource Network at 304-822-5787 or email her at erfrn@frontiernet.net. Women may also register online at www.wvhealthywomen.org

“A $15 donation includes lunch and snack breaks. Scholarships are available. No woman will be turned away due to lack of funds, but spaces are limited,” Critch said.

For more information visit www.wvhealthywomen.org, or visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dKQwOysido to view a podcast of a past event.


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
EL: 11-05-08

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