A Day for Women: After Mother’s Day, a time for all women

Anishadhariwal ds/Wikimedia Commons Mothers, their children, and anyone interested in women’s health is invited to register for “A Day for Women” at the UPHS—Portage Campus to learn about topics including low-intervention birth and menopause transition. Space is limited.

Mother’s Day is May 12 this year. But, did you know that the week following Mother’s Day is International Women’s Health Week? Hopefully readers have already found ways to celebrate Mother’s Day but if they haven’t found a way to celebrate Women’s Health Week, UP Health Systems – Portage has some ideas.

“Women’s Health Week is something I love to celebrate,” said Dr. Theresa Holladay, a Gynecologist at UPHS – Portage. “The goal is a fun couple of hours where women can listen to a speaker, pick up pamphlets on things they’re interested in, and we’ll have food and drinks.”

She’s talking specifically about “A Day for Women.” The event will take place on May 22 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the UPHS – Portage campus on Campus Drive in Hancock. Three speakers will present at the event in two sessions. For the first session, Dr. Joe-La Dewitt on low-intervention birth, Physical Therapist Stephanie Bustos on bladder and bowel health. Then, for session two, Dr. Dewitt will speak about birth control and Dr. Holladay will talk about menopause transition. There will also be a dinner and a selection of free health screenings. The event costs $25 and is limited to sixty people.

A larger event that still includes women’s health issues will take place on June 1 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Free Health and Safety Fair, also at the UPHS – Portage campus in Hancock. While women are welcome and encouraged to bring children to the Day for Women, the Health and Safety Fair will have many more children’s events, including a bike course and helmet fitting, tours of emergency vehicles, a car seat clinic, and other events.

“The more we put out in terms of events, the more we can remind people to take care of themselves,” said Dr. Holladay. “Our office offers same-day appointments to established patients. New patients that have UP Health Systems Portage patient portal access can contact me directly for questions and to make appointments online.”

The events are not just about reminding people to take care of themselves. They are also about keeping patients up-to-date on developments in medicine like vaccines, birth control, and genetic testing. Genetic testing is advertised online but it’s also available locally.

“It’s important to me that patients know they can order medical quality testing through companies that will protect their privacy and give them an accurate recommendation for how they should conduct their health screening moving forward,” said Dr. Holladay.

Further, vaccines are a well-known health initiative but there are a lot of things that many people don’t know about them or elements of the medicine that they don’t think about. For example, some people in middle age and older may no longer be protected from some illnesses by their childhood vaccines. Further other newer vaccines have a benefits that people may not know of.

“The [Human Papilloma Virus] vaccine for patients under forty-five can protect against many other cancers … the same virus affects different parts of our bodies at different ages,” said Dr. Holladay. ” … it’s just as important for guys.”

Just like the HPV vaccine, many people don’t think about the benefits of birth control beyond its namesake.

“The quality of women’s lives and the ability to achieve all of their life goals exponentially expanded with the invention of accessible and affordable birth control,” said Dr. Holladay. “… they also protect women from devastating medical problems.”

Whether or not female readers can make it to the events sponsored by UPHS, there are a number of things that they can do to maintain a healthy relationship with their women’s health care provider. That includes keeping in touch with providers outside of the office.

“Most women are online and most of the providers share Facebook access with our patients,” said Dr. Holladay, who also uses her Facebook to post educational facts and videos. “… We’re always trying to use everyone’s current tech. Most of us are using smartphones so our patients can go on their patient portal and text me directly and make appointments from their phones.”

Dr. Holladay also said that patients can make their visits go more smoothly by bringing in information that they know that they will be asked for. “We can save that data for when we have to chart and I can actually have a conversation with my patients.”

Dr. Holladay’s office number is 483-1730, to make an appointment to care for yourself, please call. To register for A Day for Women, visit dayforwomen2019.eventbrite.com. For more information, call (906)483-1153. For more information about the Free Health and Safety Fair and other upcoming events, find UP Health Systems – Portage on Facebook.

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