National Women’s Health Week shines a light on women’s health issues

By Karen Halfpop, Digital/

Production Director

In a news release from the White House, President Donald Trump shared a message about National Women’s Health Week, May 10 through May 18, which calls “attention to the heath needs and conditions that are unique to our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends, and we recommit to improving the quality of care and resources available to women.”

Here in the Tri-Lakes, Skaggs Foundation works daily to fund programs and projects focused on women’s health. The National Women’s Health Week observance helps shed a light on heath issues specific to women, but that’s not all.

“National Women’s Health Week is so important in raising awareness, not just about the specific health issues women face, but we hope it encourages our local women to take the time to do something for themselves - whether it is scheduling an annual exam, committing to a healthier lifestyle or simply calling to check in on a friend,” said Melinda Honey, Director of Community Relations for Skaggs Foundation.

“Women often are so busy taking care of others that they tend to put their own health last. This week is a great reminder that as women, we need to take care of ourselves too.”

In his message, President Trump cited medical recommendations that “starting at age 50, most women have a mammogram every other year to screen for breast cancer. This screening test is critical in helping identify cancer before symptoms appear and can detect a tumor before it can be seen or felt by a physical examination alone. By raising awareness of practices such as these, we can help continue to reduce the number of women’s lives lost to cancer.”


Deborah Berbereia shows of the SmartCurve system at The Women’s Center at Cox Medical Center Branson. (Special to Branson Globe)

Comfort goes a long way in encouraging women to get that mammogram, and a simple piece of equipment called the SmartCurve™ Breast Stabilization System, was funded by Skaggs Foundation for use in the Women’s Center at Cox Medical Center Branson. Hologic Inc., manufacturer of SmartCurve states that “95 percent of patients surveyed would recommend facilities that use a SmartCurve system.The fear of pain prevents many women from making regular breast imaging appointments a priority” putting them at risk of a cancer being missed or diagnosed at a more advanced stage.

The President’s message also discussed the opioid crisis and the specific effect it has on women.

“The rate of opioid overdoses over the past two decades has increased more quickly for women than it has for men, and women who are pregnant or postpartum often face barriers to accessing treatment and recovery services for substance use disorders,” said the release.

To answer this need, according to Honey, Skaggs Foundation has funded the Healthier Mothers, Healthier Babies program at Cox Medical Center Branson.

“Healthier Mothers, Healthier Babies helps new and expecting moms overcome substance use and mental health issues so she can be the best for her baby,” Honey said.

“These are just a few of the ways [Skaggs Foundation is] helping women put their health first.”

National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health.

For more information on this observance, see www.womenshealth.gov/nwhw. To learn more about Skaggs Foundation, visit www.skaggsfoundation.org; and to schedule your screening mammogram, call the Women’s Center at Cox Medical Center Branson at 417-348-8313.

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