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Wednesday, September 1, 2004
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University observes Women's Health Month 2004

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 1, 2004) -- The Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program at the Ohio Department of Health is pleased to be partnering with the Area Health Education Centers to sponsor Women's Health Month 2004 in September throughout the state. Throughout Ohio, there will be numerous women's health programs covering a very broad range of issues. The primary thrust of activities during this month is to encourage women to network with each other and to assume a proactive role in promoting their health.

This September marks 19 years of observing Women's Health Month. Ohio's program has been publicized as a model by the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and used as an example for community education on women's health in other states. Through grants from the Ohio Department of Health that are awarded by AHECs, community organizations and agencies throughout the state have received up to $1,500 each to plan and conduct conferences, workshops and health fairs focused on women's health issues.

"Oftentimes organizations match grant funds with money from their budgets, but this is not a requirement. Fortunately, we are able to have some quality programs without a lot of funding," said Margo Marazon, director of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine's AHEC.

"1999 was the first year that the statewide AHEC program worked with ODH to oversee Women's Health Month activities in each of the AHEC regions. This was a natural fit, because AHECs are involved in community health education."

"Now, five years later, the collaboration has proven to be an excellent one for all parties involved and the women of Ohio. I am very pleased that OU-COM's AHEC can play such a positive role in advancing women's health care and health-care education."

Priority issues for Women's Health Month are prevention/wellness; the impact of low income, poverty and homelessness on women's health; the impact of racism on health and access to health care; violence against women; the health effects of multiple roles; chronic diseases; the effects of media messages and advertising images on women's health; occupational health issues; reproductive health; health issues of women with disabilities; women and addiction; eating disorders; health needs of women with alternative lifestyles; the health issues of incarcerated and other institutionalized women; parenting and caregiver health effects; empowerment/self-esteem; the effects of sexism on health and access to health care; women's changing health needs over the life span; professional ethics; and the effects of environmental pollution on women's health.

Six events (click to find a schedule of all events) will highlight Women's Health Month in Athens County.

  • Sponsored by My Sister's Place and O'Bleness Memorial Hospital, "Get Carded" is a month-long pilot program designed to help medical personnel screen patients for interpersonal violence and refer patients to appropriate support services. Call (740) 593-7125 for more information.

  • Planned Parenthood of Southeast Ohio will hold four programs addressing birth control, parent/child communication, healthy relationships and general wellness. Call (740) 593-3375 for more information.

  • Ohio University's WellWorks will hold a wellness education workshop, "Mid-Life and Beyond: Strengthen, Nourish and Energize Your Body, Mind and Spirit," focusing on osteoporosis, heart disease, reducing stress, nutrition counseling. The workshop will also provide blood pressure and hearing screenings, and diabetes and heart-disease risk screenings. Call (740) 593-0250 for more information.

  • OU-COM's Community Service Programs will sponsor "Girl to Girl: Tips for Growing Up Healthy and Strong." "Girl to Girl" is an educational program for junior high and high school girls on the importance of making the right choices involving relationships, nutrition, exercise and diet as they mature into adults. Call (740) 593-9127 or (740) 593-2432 for more information.

  • OU-COM's CSP will hold four breast and cervical screening clinics through the region. The clinics will be held in its Mobile Health Unit. Call (740)593-9127 or (740) 593-2432 for more information.

  • Kathy Trace, director of CSP, will host "Health Matters," WATH Radio, 970 AM, on women's health issues. Call (740) 593-9127 or (740) 593-2432 for more information.

Programs are supported by the Ohio Department of Health-Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program, the Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction and the Ohio Statewide AHEC program. For more specific program information, please contact the OU-COM AHEC office at (740) 593-2292.

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Media Contact: Writer/Editor Kevin M. Sanders, (740) 593-0896

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