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Penobscot Bay Press
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News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Compass, June 14, 2012
Women’s wellness fair planned for Blue Hill

Blue Hill Memorial Hospital will hold its first “Step Into Summer: Women’s Wellness Fair” at the Bay School in Blue Hill from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 19. Lead sponsors for the event include the Bay School and Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. The event is free and open to the public and will include activities and information for women of all ages.

“We are really excited to offer this event in our community,” Kelley Columber, advancement associate at the hospital and a mother of two young children from East Blue Hill, said in a press release. “Some of our activities are typical of a health fair, such as blood pressure screenings, diabetes and nutrition assessments, and cholesterol tests. We’re also offering screenings that are geared specifically toward women, such as breast exams and bone density testing.”

In addition to services offered by Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, the fair will highlight other community health resources. Several local businesses are participating, such as the Sleep Center of Maine (a department of Eastern Maine Medical Center), Coastal Eye Care, Parker Ridge Retirement Community and Audiology Center of Maine. The YMCA at TradeWinds and the Beth C. Wright Cancer Center also will share information about their programs. Women will have an opportunity to join or volunteer for the Champion the Cure Challenge and a local fitness program designed to prepare community members for the hospital’s 5K Fun Run and one-mile walk.

The June fair, however, is about more than health care; it is designed to encourage and inspire women to take care of themselves and each other. Participants can enjoy mini spa treatments such as skincare consultations, manicures, massages and make-up lessons. Women from Verde Salon, The Alchemist, Mary Kay, and Bella Salon will help to ensure that participants have fun while learning about wellness at every age. Local food and beverages will be available.

“We know that we have many women in our area who are committed to exploring modalities such as Reiki, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, SHEN, yoga, Tai Chi, ayurvedic medicine and Bach flower essences to complement what is currently offered by our hospital and its practices,” said Connie Barrett, RN and chief nursing officer for Blue Hill Memorial. Barrett notes that the hospital is very interested in integrating many of these approaches into its patient care areas in the future, and views the fair as an important step toward meeting this goal.

The Step Into Summer: Women’s Wellness Fair is the culmination of more than a year of planning. A core member of the planning team is Sotherd Steer, a senior at George Stevens Academy who worked with the hospital’s advancement department to plan the fair as part of a service learning project. The hospital chose to work with Sotherd because of her past experience in the communications area, and to help ensure that the fair will be relevant to young women in the community. Steer and her friends will staff a “teen table,” that addresses the health concerns of today’s adolescents, such as tanning, body image, texting while driving, and depression.

The evening’s events will include a performance by Ellacappella, a local women’s singing ensemble.