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A Spirited Report

July 7, 2005, Vol. III Issue 14

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our new Spirit of Women subscribers. It was fun meeting so many of you at the annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. How about our night on the town? It certainly pays to have a local in the crowd. Thanks to Nashvillan Jana Stanfield for leading so many of us to Monell’s Restaurant and the downtown music scene.

At the daily meetings, I especially enjoyed learning all about Spirit of Women’s activities nationwide from hospital members’ presentations. You’re the ones out there in the field implementing programs and realizing results. Thank you all for sharing!

As Tanya Abreu, Spirit of Women executive director surmised, “Certainly the challenges in the healthcare industry are interesting and often stressful, but, overall, I have not seen hospital commitment to women waver one bit. Women are indeed the change agents and decision-makers for family and community health. And Spirit of Women is a gift of education and action that our hospitals can provide to them.”

Speaking of education, this coming week many of our speakers will be participating in the National Speakers Association’s annual convention in Atlanta and the National Wellness Conference in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Pre-wedding activities are keeping me in town this month, so I’m going to rely on all of you to bring back reports for our readers! I’m especially interested in hearing about Morgan Spurlock of “Super Size Me” fame. He’s on at the wellness conference the same night as Jana Stanfield, who is a perennial favorite of this conference. Let’s hear from you readers, okay?

Yours truly,

Catch the Spirit

What an uplifting experience, spending four days at the Spirit of Women annual meeting with over 100 women’s health executives from non-competing hospitals. This meeting of the largest hospital alliance for women’s health brought together women’s health professionals to share best practices and successes in innovative community outreach.

Each spring participating women’s health networks and hospitals from across the United States send a delegation of women’s health and marketing executives to this retreat to review the year’s activities and trends in healthcare and to brainstorm future Spirit of Women programs, campaigns, and regional initiatives.

We (The Speak Well Being Group) exhibited there and also participated in the activities with our speakers Bonnie Dean, Sue Kirby and Jana Stanfield bringing their talents to the podium and backstage activities as well. In her trademark sequined tennis shoes, sparkplug Bonnie Dean kicked off the event with her contagious energy. Every time I see Bonnie in action, I marvel at her creativity and enthusiasm for the business of inspiring and appreciating others.

Some of her favorite topics for women’s groups are, “Help, I’m in Mental Pause, and I Can’t Get Out,” and “If I Had More Time, I Wouldn’t Be So Stressed.” To read about what Bonnie can bring to your women’s event, look up our article about PinnacleHealth’s 2005 Women’s Weekend Away posted here.

After Sue Kirby’s opening session the next day, the woman sitting next to me said she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed so hard in a morning. Now, I’ve heard some of Sue’s stories many times over, and they still put me in stitches. Women identify with Sue’s experiences as a single mother, entrepreneur, wife and grandmother as seen through her Erma Bombeck-type sense of humor. In fact her outlook and advice on parenting makes so much sense to me, I’m encouraging her to write that  next book. You can read about the magic Sue brought to Gunderson Lutheran’s Women’s Expo last fall, here.

And with the conference theme, “The Harmony of Healthcare,” Jana Stanfield’s music was a perfect complement for the meeting. As many of you know, I call myself a motivational speaker junkie. The truth is, I’m also a motivational music collector and Jana’s albums are never far from my CD player. I’ve known Jana over ten years now, and she never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and caring. She is truly a meeting planner’s partner. Her keynote concerts bring much-needed relief to the right brain strain of many a conference. We like to compare her music to Prozac: all of the benefits without the water retention.

Besides entertaining and educating people at women’s events and healthcare conferences, a talent all of these ladies share is the ability to appreciate people, especially the overworked and under-acknowledged. That’s something we can all appreciate, right? As Bonnie often says, do you know anyone who has received too much praise today?

To read an example of what Jana brings to a nurses appreciation event, check out our report from Spirit of Women member, St. Francis Hospitals and Health System here.

Another one of our speakers, Nancy Coey, who has already been involved with Spirit of Women for a few years, joined us Saturday morning to emcee and showcase the closing events. “It’s been a thrill to work with  many of the Spirit of Women hospitals as the national spokesperson for the ‘What Women Put Up With’ program,” she told me. Nancy is a master storyteller. I have a sense of pure heart when I hear her speak, and perhaps that’s why she connects so completely to women’s hearts. I also got to hear three other motivational  speakers you’ll
be hearing about in future issues.

Referring to one of my favorite songs, “I’m Not Lost, I’m Exploring,” Jana said, “The Spirit of Women gathering is a great example of the ‘I’m Not Lost, I’m Exploring’ model. As a fellow explorer on this journey of providing health information for women, I was impressed to see women’s health professionals from so many non-competing hospitals having fun sharing tips, techniques and tools. We laughed, learned, danced and cried together. The perfect women’s event!”

I couldn’t resist giving these ladies this mini-commercial as they all invested their own time and money to go to Nashville. I had the honor of rooming with Sue Kirby so now I know from 24-hour experience that this woman is the real thing: funny, funny and funny. I’d say that was an apt theme for our time together. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Some learning, some laughs, and shared camaraderie? To learn more about the organization, go to the Spirit of Women website.

Or ask me!

In the Headlines: “We Can!”

“We Can!” Have you heard about it? We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) is a national program designed as a one-stop resource for parents and caregivers interested in practical tools to help children 8-13 years old stay at a healthy weight. Tips and fun activities focus on three critical behaviors: improved food choices, increased physical activity and reduced screen time.

The program is a collaboration of four Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH): the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

According to the website main page, the program features information about portion control, parent-child activities and grass roots community involvement. Portion distortion, created by the “super size” age, has distorted what we perceive as a normal portion. On the website you’ll find resources for judging portion sizes and servings to help control the amounts you and your family are eating. In fact, this website is loaded with resources. You can download a Parent Handbook and a
Community Toolkit right from the home page.

You can also find out if there is an event or program in your neighborhood. More than 35 communities across the nation have already committed to implement We Can! with parents and children in their regions. NIH has provided in-depth training for an age-appropriate curricula to 13 communities in 10 states that were selected to pilot We Can!. Each of the 13 sites has received curriculum, lessons, tips and materials about fun and flexible We Can! activities for youth and their parents. They are implementing We Can! in their communities over the next year and conducting thorough evaluations of the program.

It’s about time. Something to counter the big boys and their fast food advertising budgets. Does anybody know if this has adequate funding? Are any of you utilizing these resources? I’d love to hear from you.

Interested in sponsoring a community program or looking for a dynamite speaker for your healthcare organization, on the topic of childhood obesity? Zonya Foco, RD, CSP, is on a mission to make a difference on this critical matter. In her program, “The Top Four Nutrition Problems Facing Our Kids Today,” or “Fit Families for Life,” she tackles food marketing, sugars, fats food colorings/additives, diabetes in kids and more. As always, Zonya doesn’t just talk about the problems, she offers solutions and she illustrates them vividly so you’ll never forget her examples! What I always hear from meeting planners about Zonya is that they (and their participants) go home with small changes they can make right away. That is what Zonya calls, “The Power of One Good Habit,” and that my friends, is the power of one good speaker!

Cell Phone Solution

Little things make a big difference when running a meeting but what if one of those little things is a cell phone ringing? Well, I loved this idea from the Spirit of Women meeting so much, I wanted to share it. Tanya Abreu, executive director, announced on the first day, along with the typical cell phone warning, that should a ring be heard, the offender would contribute $5 to a charitable fund. It was so silent for the first couple of days that someone contributed to the fund just to get it seeded! We’ll share more meeting take-homes in future issues.

Relatively Famous

Since we were in Nashville, (Jana’s adopted hometown), we were thrilled when a bellman, who was loading our car outside the Opryland Hotel, discreetly asked us, “Is THAT Jana Stanfield?” Turned out they’d worked together way back when. And then inside at lunch in a hotel restaurant while we were being entertained by a waitress (read musician in a waitress uniform and whom Jana also knew), she was sought out by an autograph-seeker. That was pretty cool! Now Jana would note that was singular, but nonetheless, we, her luncheon companions were duly impressed. For those of you who don’t know, besides being a accomplished keynote speaker and singer, Jana wrote the multi-platinum song, “If I Had Only Known,” recorded by Reba McEntire. Note: It has also been recorded by none other than Jana Stanfield by her very own record company, Relatively Famous Records.

By the way, the robins did leave the nest the morning I left for Nashville but I’ve not been abandoned. I have a talking fireplace. Some finches must have nested up in it because every so often loud bursts of cheep, cheep, cheep, emanate from it. I most definitely will not get to see them take flight but I will miss the music.

Until next time, take care of yourself, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

The Speak Well Being Group specializes in providing exceptional speakers for health, wellness and women’s events. Because we’ve worked with so many hospitals and healthcare groups around the country, we speak your language. Our hand-picked speakers are attuned to your needs and adept at addressing the issues while delivering information in an entertaining way, or simply providing
a good time with a light message when that’s the ticket. When you work with us, you’ll come back for more “How are we going to top that?” speakers.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.

Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031


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