Women’s Health Week Wins Praise from Members

Hotel Voice — November 17, 2017

Here are some of the visitors to Women’s Health Week in Queens.

It is evident that Women’s Health week continues to be one the Health and Dental Centers’ best attended programs. Almost 5,000 members participated in the recent Women’s Health Week and this excellent response is great news, because the good health of our members and their families is always a primary goal of our union.

Like Men’s Health Week the primary focus of the 2017 Women’s Health Week was good health by eating well and getting plenty of exercise. Women who visited any of the Health and Dental Centers for Women’s Health Week did not need an appointment to be able to receive testing and an exam that allowed doctors to detect early signs of five different types of cancer: beast, cervical, skin, colon-rectal, and oral. In conjunction with a focus on heart health, tests were also provided to measure members’ blood pressure, cholesterol levels, as well as other health indicators. As always, information was provided on a number of other health issues that are specific to women, including menopause, infertility, osteoporosis, family planning and certain infectious diseases. Members could also get flu shots, which, we should add, remain available to all members and their families at the Health Centers without appointments being necessary.

Heart disease is always a major topic during Women’s Health Week, as it should be. Sadly, too many people think that heart disease is a medical condition that affects mostly men. This misconception has probably led to the needless deaths of many, many women. In fact, more women die from heart disease each year than from anything else!

“As we have said before, an event like Women’s Health Week can find conditions in members like high blood pressure and high cholesterol that they didn’t even realize they had,” said Dr. Robert Greenspan, Chief Executive Officer of the Benefit Funds. “Obviously, this one of the reasons we think these health awareness events are so valuable.”

One of the problems concerning women and heart disease is that too many believe that the only symptom is chest pain. But in fact there are other signs of heart disease in women, including difficulty breathing and sleeping, nausea, and back pain. The good news is that all women can greatly reduce their risk for heart disease. Giving up smoking is a must, and, yes, there was plenty of helpful information available on smoking cessation during Women’s Health Week.

Getting your blood pressure checked regularly is an important health maintenance step, too. If it turns out you do have high blood pressure, which increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and other conditions, it is usually controlled easily with medication, as well as non-medical steps such as low sodium (low salt) diets and regular exercise. Women should also have their cholesterol checked regularly. As Dr. Greenspan points out, blood pressure and cholesterol tests were available at the Health Centers during Women’s Health Week and they found members who had these conditions and might otherwise not have known about it.

Members who attended Women’s Health Week were also reminded about the importance of a good diet and regular exercise, too. Yes, eating right and getting regular exercise can reduce one’s risk of heart disease, but, science has learned in recent years, can also reduce the risk of various forms of cancer. The advice was to stay active. As an example, a simple activity like walking every day can greatly lower one’s chances of a heart attack or cancer.

Brochures and demonstrations were also available on how to lose weight. Good nutrition, counting calories and getting plenty of exercise are all important factors in the process of maintaining good health, and additional information was available on all of these topics, as well as the immunizations adults should receive.

Over the years it has become clear that attending Women’s Health Week gives many members peace of mind. Getting a clean bill of health always makes one feel good. The vast majority of this year’s visitors to the Health and Dental Centers for Women’s Health Week ended up with clean bills of health—and that’s great news for all of us!