Spring Wellness April Weinberger

Dr. April Weinberger will present about nutrition and healthy eating at the spring wellness workshop by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital and St. Francis Health & Wellness Ministry on Wednesday, May 24. The workshop will cover many topics for living better and feeling great.

“Balancing Dimensions of Health,” a spring wellness workshop, will be presented by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital medical staff and St. Francis Health & Wellness Ministry on Wednesday, May 24.

The free workshop will include information on personal care of body, mind and spirit. It includes a healthy lunch, health screenings, information booths, door prizes and presentations on nutrition, stretching and exercise, breathing and relaxation, and men’s and women’s health.

Dr. April Weinberger, president of the Marcus Daly medical staff and primary care doctor at Corvallis Family Medicine, a clinic owned by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, will be a presenter at the event.

“Our general heath is important. How we maintain our bodies and preserve our wellness for our entire life as well as improve it at any point in our life is very, very important,” Weinberger said. “There are times where you haven’t focused on your health and wellness for a while and you get worried to talk about it and make changes but taking care of your body is the most important thing you do for yourself.”

Weinberger said a healthy body is important for general well being, feeling good, being engaged in the community and teaching family members about healthy eating. She will present information on dietary guidelines, My Healthy Plate and provide healthy recipes.

“The most important thing that I always teach is how important plant-based foods are,” Weinberger said. “As a culture access to local fresh fruits and vegetables has really improved recently. We have an active farming community and farmers market.

Weinberger said she would teach the importance of increasing the volume of fruits and vegetable in daily diets and how to prepare them.

“A lot of people have gotten away from those skills because we’re used to eating pre-packaged foods that come with instructions,” she said. “A vegetable doesn’t come with that and it makes it hard for some people to wrap their head around.” 

Weinberger said primary health care providers have always been interested in preventative health care but now insurance payers and Medicare cover preventative care.

“We have a whole generation of people with preventable chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease due to our obesity epidemic,” she said. “Payer sources are finally appreciating that as well and letting us focus on that the way it needs to be done. It’s happening through preventative and wellness visits and nutrition.”

Weinberger said preventative visits with primary care physicians have a more narrow focus covering limited topics.

The event will include a movement component about strengthening and exercise.

“We live sedentary lives now and spend a lot of time in front of computers and have lost our connection to physical work in a lot of ways,” Weinberger said. “It’s important that we learn to move our bodies again.”

She said good balance is a key to prevention.

“We are not as steady as we have been and falling is incredibly dangerous as we age,” Weinberger said. “People who have hip fractures have a very high mortality risk. Maintaining your balance is very important for being able to keep active which is needed to prevent chronic diseases and falls which complicate your life.”

The spring wellness workshop replaces the Health Fair previously offered by the hospital. Free health checks will be available at this workshop.

The doors open at 11 a.m. to register for free door prizes and visit booths on blood pressure, posture, sleep health, eye health, and osteoporosis. There will be information on sun safety, CPR/First Aid and annual preventive screenings. Participants can receive a free chair massage.

Cholesterol screenings are not part of the offering.  

Weinberger said cholesterol guidelines have changed and screening numbers are just a start of a healthy conversation with a primary care provider.

“Just having the numbers doesn’t help you,” she said. “You need someone to translate that information for you.”

Weinberger said everyone has different risk factors due to age, family history and health, and that health decisions should be customized. She and gave an example of someone going on a low-fat diet because their numbers are high.

“We are seeing that low-fat diets have more sugar and we’re seeing a higher diabetes rate,” she said. “It’s more complicated and it is important to have a doctor to talk with about your numbers.”

Nancy Dezell, a nurse with the Health & Wellness Ministry at St Francis of Assisi, will give a welcome and talk about “Balancing Dimensions of Health - Body, Mind & Spirit.”

At 11:30 a.m. participants will have a healthy lunch and at noon Weinberger will speak about nutrition and health.

From 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. there are separate breakout sessions with wellness topics for men and women. Katie Herczeg, FNP, Bitterroot Physicians Clinic South, and Larry Brouwer, MD, Ravalli Family Medicine, will talk about common health concerns, age specific preventative health screenings, annual physical and wellness visit components and exercise.

At 2 p.m. MDMH Rehabilitation Physical Therapists will teach about stretching, exercise and how an exercise partner provides motivation.    

The workshop will conclude with a session on healthy deep breathing and mindfulness for relaxation.

Space is limited to the spring health workshop. To reserve a place call 406-375-4188 by Friday, May 19.

Attend the spring wellness workshop, “Balancing Dimensions of Health” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, at St. Francis of Assisi Pastoral Life Center, 411 S. 5th, Hamilton.