Female-focused expo set for April 26

TYRONE – An inaugural health expo aimed at educating and empowering women will take place next week.

The Breast Cancer & Women’s Health Institute of Central Pennsylvania, the Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone and the Altoona Mirror are sponsoring the Women’s Healthy Living Expo on the Tyrone Hospital campus on April 26.

“The reason we decided to do this is because we think that for women’s health it’s really important to educate women on the different disease processes that affect us as we get older and that affect primarily women,” said Lannette Johnston, the institute’s director of outreach programs.

She said information will be available on “breast health, cervical cancer, managing menopause, mental health, the art of looking young, how to age gracefully; how to reach your optimal state of health and different things that we face every day as a woman.”

The Healthy Blair County Coalition identified health initiatives needing addressed in the county a including obesity, diabetes and smoking.

“We thought why not have an event that we can educate and empower women to be the best that they can be with their health,” Johnston said.

The expo will kick off at 10 a.m. at the institute’s entrance on the hospital campus with the unveiling of a cast bronze sculpture created by Penn State University art student Olivia Calef of Philadel-phia.

“The sculpture sends a powerful message that women need to take control of their own healthcare,” David Arbutina, the institute’s medical director said in a press release. “Knowledge is the key. This is most important when dealing with issues as important as breast cancer.”

The indoor-outdoor expo, which will have speakers presenting at the hospital and the institute, will offer free health screenings including blood glucose and blood pressure, and will cover a wide variety of topics including teaching hands-only CPR.

John McIntosh, a licensed professional counselor at the hospital, who also has his own practice, works with local law enforcement and their families who are under stress. He will present a seminar on women’s mental health with a focus on anxiety, stress and emotional well-being.

“I love to teach. And I love to do presentations on stress that people just don’t think of it that way. For instance, I don’t believe in stress management, I believe in stress reduction. And there’s a difference. Management, they still want you to do everything you do and more but manage it. Whereas stress reduction is looking at what’s really eating you up and trying to reduce or eliminate it,” he said.

Tyler Hunter, a certified personal trainer, will lead two sessions on the basics of fitness and nutrition, which he said he plans to simplify.

The “expo will provide people with the tools and with the professionals they need to assess [their overall health] and see where they’re at, all in one shot,” he said.

The event will have many vendors, raffles and prizes such as a $500 MAC makeover, a piece of fine jewelry from Confer’s Jewelers, and tickets to The Lettermen concert May 3 at Tyrone Area High School.

“It’s going to be fun,” Johnston said. “I’m hoping that we have a large crowd because I believe in educating and empowering women to achieve their optimal state of health. There’s a lot of great things that we’re doing.”

Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.