Public invited to learn about Women on Wellness retreat

Women are often the gatekeepers of their family’s healthcare, but all too often, they do not do a good job of looking after their own health. Addressing that situation is at the heart of the Women on Wellness (WOW) retreats that are held across the state each year by the National Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at West Virginia University. (CoE)

The next retreat is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Rainelle Elementary School in western Greenbrier County. Organized by a steering committee of local representatives from educational, healthcare and social services organizations working in conjunction with the Center, the retreat will feature a full day of activities designed to help women think about improving their heath across their lifespan.

Betty Critch, executive director of the (COE) and members of the WOW community partnership are hosting a community meeting at the Rainelle Medical Center, 646 Kanawha Avenue, at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, to discuss the upcoming WOW Retreat and why the partnership wanted to make sure this program was delivered in Rainelle. They also will discuss how WOW is impacting women in West Virginia and why it is so important to the citizens of Rainelle and the surrounding towns. The meeting is open to the public.

The WOW retreat begins with health screenings at 8 a.m., followed by a healthy breakfast. Participants then begin working through a guidebook “Make ‘It’ Happen for You,” which will help them look at their own health and follow the five steps toward behavior change. Morning breakout sessions offer an opportunity to try out different types of movement activities such as yoga, Zumba or aerobics all offered by local resources.

A healthy lunch will be served, with a keynote address by Tammy Jordan, owner of the new Fruits of Labor café in Rainelle. Following lunch, the women will choose from a menu of educational breakout sessions. Another feature is a holistic component where participants can try alternative treatments such as chair massage and reiki.

“The women can expect to make friends, to find a support group, to learn about resources in their own community, to learn things they didn’t know in a very safe and non-judgmental environment,” Critch said.

She added that it is not a seminar, but an interactive event, so women should plan to wear comfortable clothes.

Local sponsors of the retreat include Rainelle Medical Center, The Town of Rainelle, The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, New River Community and Technical College, the Center for Rural and Community Medicine at WVSOM, the Robert C. Byrd Clinic, Greenbrier Valley Medical Center and The Greenbrier. Medical students from WVSOM and Medical Assisting students from New River CTC will assist with the health screenings.

There is a $25 charge for the retreat, which covers materials and food. The Center has received a grant from the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation to provide gift certificates to any women who are not able to pay.

For more information or to register, visit www.wowicandoit.com, or call 304-293-5690. There is a Facebook page for the Greenbrier event at facebook.com/wowgreenbrier.

Betty Critch (left), executive director of the National Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at WVU, pictured with WOW keynote speaker Tammy Jordan, owner of Fruits of Labor Café in Rainelle
Betty Critch (left), executive director of the National Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at WVU, pictured with WOW keynote speaker Tammy Jordan, owner of Fruits of Labor Café in Rainelle

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