We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that March is Women’s History Month . It’s a time to reflect upon the long process of all people gaining the same rights and opportunities. While women, on average, live longer than their male counterparts, even today there are disparities between the health care the sexes receive. For example, a woman is still less likely to be treated for a heart attack – not only because her symptoms are often different from those of a man, but also because it’s still less likely that she and her doctor will suspect she’s having one.
At LifeBridge Health, we’re aware of these differences and are working to rectify them. Thankfully, recent women’s health campaigns have come a long way in helping establish more health equity in this country. However, it’s still a woman’s job to make sure she’s leading a healthy lifestyle and getting all her recommended exams and screenings.
Northwest Hospital has a special focus on women’s health, which is part of the reason it is a Spirit of Women hospital. The Spirit of Women program seeks to educate women in fun, entertaining ways about what they can do to be healthier. This coming April, Northwest will be hosting its annual Day of Dance event, which will actually be an energetic evening of dance, music, entertainment and health screenings — pretty much the most fun a woman can have while learning how to be healthy. Included in the mix will be food, wine, drum musician Ubaka Hill and learning the “Know Your Signs” dance, which teaches women their special warning signs of a heart attack. The event is free, and online registration is available.
In honor of Women’s History Month, here are some of the many women’s health services that are offered at LifeBridge Health hospitals:
For many women, the first time they think about hospitals is when they choose where to deliver their first baby. At The BirthPlace at Sinai , new moms benefit from comfortable, private labor and delivery rooms; the services of volunteer doulas ; private Mother-Baby rooms with a pullout bed for a guest; and lactation consultants who will go the extra mile to help new moms breastfeed, but will support moms in whatever choice they make. A free, breastfeeding support group meets weekly so that moms can receive the ongoing help they need.
Sinai is also home to the Institute of Maternal-Fetal Medicine , where highly specialized obstetricians manage complicated pregnancies. And if babies are born prematurely or with special medical needs, moms can take comfort in the fact that Sinai has a highly advanced, Level 3B neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where their babies will get the best care.
Between the ages of 35 and 40 (or perhaps earlier if there’s a family history of breast cancer), a woman should get a baseline mammogram to so that her doctors in the future know what a normal result is for her. Then starting at age 40, she should have a mammogram each year. Mammography is offered at both Sinai and Northwest hospitals, and Northwest even has the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center — a comprehensive center offering everything from routine mammography to treatment for breast cancer and breast reconstruction. As an added convenience, the center has bone density scanning for osteoporosis, so women can save a trip and have both tests at one appointment.
For women who are interested in seeing a gynecologist who will take a holistic view of their health, the Women’s Wellness Center at Northwest Hospital might be for them. The center specializes in helping women who are peri- or postmenopausal.
Did you know that quite often, it’s no longer necessary to have a large scar after a hysterectomy or other gynecologic surgery procedure? Gynecologic surgeons at both Sinai and Northwest are able to perform these procedures through minimally invasive laparoscopic or robotic surgery . Sometimes, the only visible evidence of surgery is a small incision hidden in the shadow of the navel. In other words, this is not your mother’s hysterectomy! Doctors can use the da Vinci® Surgical System to maneuver tiny instruments more precisely than ever before, which can dramatically reduce post-surgical pain, scarring and recovery times.
LifeBridge Health’s Heart Health & Lifestyle Screening – now open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 70 – started as a program that recognized that women were often falling through the cracks because it was (wrongly) popularly believed that heart disease didn’t happen to women or at least not to the same extent as men. The low-cost screening event gives people information about their cholesterol, blood pressure and more, and educates them about how to reduce their risk for a heart attack. To find information about an upcoming heart screening, visit our Community Calendar .
For more information about these or other women’s health services offered at LifeBridge Health, call 410-601-WELL (9355).