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Sue Bush
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REACH To Host Girls' Night Out

12:00AM / Tuesday, October 17, 2006

North Adams - The REACH Community Health Foundation is sponsoring its first Girls' Night Out on Mon., Oct. 23 in North Adams Regional Hospital's newly renovated reception area from 6-8 p.m.. The event was planned as part of the national observance of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month and to focus on women's general health and wellness.

Women of all ages are invited to attend and celebrate women's health. There will be plenty of information focused on the health and wellness and issues of special importance to women. Healthy snacks and beverages available and door prizes will be awarded, including a weekend getaway for two. The event is free, but
advance registration is requested by calling REACH at 664-5326.

"Breast Cancer Awareness month has been extremely effective in raising awareness to women about how they can best protect their own breast health," said Program Manager Polly Macpherson. "We wanted to take it a step further and do something fun but at the same time emphasize the many elements that make up a woman's overall health and well-being."

Women will have the opportunity to talk to a wide range of professionals about their health. NARH registered dieticians Kristin Civitella and Jaimi Shiland will talk to women about their diets and offer a "taste test" of easy-to-make smoothies. The American Cancer Society will have booklets and resource materials on women and cancer.

Women 18 and older will be able to sign up for a free clinical breast exam and confidential consultation by nurse practitioners Liz Toomajian and Carol Guernsey. For women over 40 who have not had a mammogram this year, staff from the hospital's Medical Imaging Department will be on hand to schedule an appointment.
REACH staff will also be on hand to schedule appointments for the free Women's Health Screening Program sponsored monthly by REACH.

The screening is for women who have no health insurance or whose health insurance does not pay for routine health screenings.

"Wellness, knowing your health risks and status and feeling and looking good are important issues to all women," said Macpherson. "We invited local businesses who help women achieve these goals to join us."

Avon and Mary Kay representatives will consult on beauty makeovers. Sheri Sagendorf of Victoria's Secret has agreed to consult with women on bra fitting. Natasha Judson of Sunflower Yoga will show a yoga demonstration video and will be available to answer questions about yoga. Sue Dube from the Clip Shop in Williamstown will be on hand to consult about hairstyles and give advice on wig care and styling. Her colleague, Martha Pratt, will offer free hand
massages and tips on nail care. Darcy Thurston of In Touch Dayspa and
Jennifer Hanlon-Morin from Blesse'd Body Massage will be offering 10-minute complimentary chair massages.

"We expect Girl's Night Out to be a fun evening that is a little different," said Macpherson. "We hope that women will walk away feeling refreshed and relaxed, and at the same time energized and well informed about how to get help in setting and achieving some new healthy life style goals."

REACH for Breast Health is a comprehensive breast health program serving the women of the Northern Berkshires.

Polly Macpherson is a certified breast health navigator. The program is supported in part by a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation Inc., a major gift from Paul Newman and individual gifts and contributions.

The REACH Community Health Foundation is a non-profit subsidiary of Northern Berkshire Healthcare. Its mission is to improve the health and wellness of the Northern Berkshire community through education, outreach, programming and advocacy in collaboration with community members and organizations.

Women may pre-register by calling 413-664-5326. Walk-ins are
welcome as well. For more information about the REACH for Breast Health Program or Girls Night Out please call Polly at 413-664-5170 or Pat at 413-664-5326.



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