According to the United States Department of Labor, moms make over 75 percent of the decisions regarding a family’s health care. She’s often the one to give the first diagnosis and determine a problem’s severity. She is often the first nurse who administers over-the-counter-medicine and patches up injuries. Therefore, it makes sense that medical providers reach out to women as their partners in striving to keep families healthy, well, and out of the hospital.
One year ago, St. Joseph’s regional hospital, Heartland Health, decided to join the Spirit of Women network to help strengthen the health of the citizens in Northwest Missouri. Over 170 U.S. hospitals have a Spirit of Women initiative to offer health information and education in a fun way to the major caregiver of most households. The Spirit of Women programs enlists the help of the main female of the household and empowers her to keep her family healthier through healthy cooking, exercise, scheduling routine vaccinations and wellness checks, and more.
Women of all ages have been enjoying the free information and activities of the Spirit of Women this past year. Enrollment in the program gives the women some wellness power through a Spirit of Women quarterly magazine and monthly e-mails on health topics related to their age and their family’s medical needs and concerns. Women in the program also receive VIP notifications for special events, classes, and seminars on health. Programs like “Day of Dance” offer participants a free and fun day to exercise with others through dance. The very first Heartland Health Spirit of Women activity was a trip to see a Kansas City Chiefs game.
Women between the ages of 25 through senior ages seem to benefit the most from the program at Heartland Health. Each decade of a woman’s life brings different health challenges. Young single women are guided in ways to manage stress and get proper nutrition through the last years of college and the early years in finding their first job and career. Women in their 30s are guided through healthy pregnancies and proper nutrition for their young children. Women in their 40s and 50s are assisted with heart health, exercise, and helping guide their children and husbands in keeping an eye on their health. Heartland Health helps women 60 and older find the zest of their life and reflection of their life through the Spirit of Women.
Barbie Squires, chief development officer with Heartland Health, says that Heartland hopes to inspire the community to live well, eat well, play well, and work well. Through the Spirit of Women initiative Heartland Health hopes that moms and other females will be a link where they can offer information and services specifically to other women in the community and to the families for whom they care.