‘Spirit of Women’ Inspires Healthy Living with a Smile

Spirit of Women members at a past event. (Photo contributed by Saint Agnes Medical Center)

The health of women is a serious matter for the Spirit of Women program at Saint Agnes Medical Center (SAMC), yet focuses on getting healthy – body, mind and spirit – in a fun and inspiring way. The program’s statement, “Serious information and a seriously good time,” says it all. The upbeat program is designed to empower and encourage women to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy doing it. The format is designed to empower women to take a more active role in their health.

Currently, Spirit is a network of over 100 US hospitals and healthcare providers who believe that health and wellness begins with knowledge and empowerment. SAMC is the only hospital in the Central Valley to partner with the Spirit of Women program. Its goal is to find innovative ways to inspire women to improve their health through education, prevention, screenings and early intervention.

There are a variety of health education classes and support groups available. All resources are geared towards helping participants improve their general health and reduce the risk of costly illness. Some events require physician referrals and fees.

The classes have proven to be very popular.

“We had a woman who was having terrible foot pain,” said Kelley Sanchez, SAMC Director of Communications. “After attending our Agony of da Feet event, she scheduled an appointment with the featured podiatrist and he was able to diagnose and treat what had been causing the pain, making a huge difference to her quality of life.

“Another event, called Girl Talk, featured an OB/GYN who talked about the changes women go through before, during and after menopause. It was so well received and the attendees asked tons of questions that they admittedly weren’t comfortable asking their own physicians. The setting provided a safe atmosphere where women could talk openly about issues they were facing, and also hear what other women were going through. It’s reassuring to know that you’re not alone. That’s one of the benefits members tell us they appreciate most … having a chance to come together with women of all ages and from all walks of life, and hear their challenges and successes, and then be armed with the knowledge and tools to make positive life changes.”

Spirit of Women monthly award program has partnered with ABC30 to recognize ordinary women within the community who are doing extraordinary things.

“It’s a way of celebrating and recognizing women who are doing their part to improve the health and wellbeing of themselves and others,” added Sanchez. “It’s been so rewarding to receive the nominations and read about so many amazing women who are making a positive difference in so many people’s lives.”

Each month, a panel of judges from Saint Agnes Medical Center and ABC30 will review all nominations submitted by the public, and select one individual who best demonstrates one or more of these qualities:

• Promotes a healthy lifestyle for herself and others

      Contributes to her community through involvement in religious or service organizations

      Embraces life and strives to be a continuous learner

      Inspires others through personal or professional achievements

      Serves as a role model or mentor for others

      Encourages others to overcome life’s obstacles and challenges

      Demonstrates care and compassion

Winners will receive a custom designed Spirit bracelet from Orloff Jewelers and a gift certificate for a complimentary spa service at Saint Agnes Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics. Winners will be recognized in a 15-second television promotion on ABC30, as well as on Facebook and other social media platforms for ABC30 and Saint Agnes Medical Center, including Saint Agnes print publications.

Interested in becoming a Spirit member? It’s free and comes with a complimentary subscription to Healthy Spirit magazine delivered quarterly, advance notice and special reminders about exclusive health events and seminars, free health screening opportunities throughout the year, connection with other women who have similar questions, concerns and interests, plus monthly health promotions on timely topics.

To join, visit www.samc.com/spirit-of-women, text “Spirit” to 58124, call (559) 450-5376, or email Spirit@samc.com.