Women's Health Symposium combines food, laughter, technology

Submitted by jbraswell on November 17, 2016 – 3:32pm

POPLARVILLE – The Women’s Health Symposium at Pearl River Community College combined the traditions of food and laughter with valuable information about using technology to improve health.
Almost 500 women attended the tenth annual event on Saturday, Jan. 30, taking advantage of free health screenings, the opportunity to shop at the Art Walk and the PRCC Bookstore, watch artist Wyatt Waters create a watercolor painting and hear advice from three speakers.
Waters painted on stage as restaurateur Robert St. John demonstrated how to cook the Italian meal served at the luncheon.
“I was here at the first one 10 years ago,” he said. “So it’s really special to be here again.”
Highlights of the symposium continue to be the free health screenings and the jewelry, needlework and other items available at the Art Walk.
“It’s my second year to come,” said Brenda Shaw of the Crane Creek community near Poplarville. “It’s wonderful.”
St. John prepared Tabella house salad, a roasted tomato bisque, two pasta entrees and the white chocolate bread pudding for which his restaurants are known while   Waters explained he paints dark and mid tones first before adding the lighter tones to his work.
While St. John is a professional in the kitchen, speaker Dr. Robbie Melton acknowledged she is an amateur and showed off a “smart” skillet during her presentation, Turn Your Mobile Device into Your Personal Health, Education and Safety Assistant.
“Frying pan will let me know when to turn things over before I burn the house down,” Melton said. She is an associate vice chancellor focused on technology for the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Melton showed the crowd a wide variety of apps and devices designed for convenience as well as safety, including a Smart Diaper app that alerts caregivers when a diaper needs changing.
“What’s the possibility of this type of technology changing health care?” she asked. “What if it was used in nursing homes?”
She spent time talking one-on-one with participants and demonstrating some of the devices, including virtual reality glasses.
The symposium began with crowd favorite Janie Walters and The Garbage Truck Comes on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“We really can get rid of emotional and mental garbage,” Walters said. “When you take the real garbage out, leave it there.”
Walters advised the women to look at their lives realistically, let go of the “why” questions and practice the Golden Rule.
“The nice thing about the Golden Rule is our garbage doesn’t build up when we’re helping somebody else,” she said.
Dr. Becky Askew of Hattiesburg, retired PRCC vice president, founded the symposium to provide health information to South Mississippi women. Despite others’ initial doubts about its appeal, the symposium has proved a success.
“I really did believe women would attend,” Askew said. “You attended and have continued to attend and for that we’re so grateful.”
The Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation continues as the symposium’s grand sponsor.
“Everyone is greatly indebted to the women in our lives,” said Sid Whitley, foundation chief executive officer. “The Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation is pleased to fund the Women’s Health Symposium for the tenth year. It’s our desire to do anything we can to improve the health of women.”
Others sponsors include Hancock Bank, Valley Services, Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home, Slidell Memorial Hospital, Wal-Mart Supercenter in Picayune, Bank Plus, First National Bank of Picayune, Hattiesburg Clinic, Highland Community Hospital and Southern Bone and Joint Specialists.
Grand prize winners were Georgia McCardle of Brooklyn, concrete picnic table from the PRCC masonry program; Samantha Bolin of Lumberton, Rodan and Fields package from consultant Bonnie Hodges; Connie Glorioso of Picayune, pearl necklace from Parris Jewelers; Betty Bryant of Lumberton, year’s supply of Coca-Cola products from Hattiesburg Coca-Cola Bottling Co.; Eurdis Greer of Poplarville, Day of Beauty from Belk Salon and Spa; and Ann Abercrombie of Seminary, beauty basket from ServiceMaster.
Elite prize winners were Tina White of Poplarville, Kendra Scott necklace and earrings from Apple’s Ltd.; Teresa Hickey of Picayune, photography session from J. Daniels Photo; Sonni Knue of Poplarville, pet portrait session and hotel package from Affinity Retreat; Linda Brown of Poplarville, original painting from Alex Ladner; and Jane Ann Young of Poplarville, jewelry from Leah Holmes Lampwork Studio.
Each participant received a pair of black pearl ball earrings, a travel case embossed with PRCC and a copy of the tenth anniversary Women’s Health Symposium cookbook.
The 2017 symposium will be held on Jan. 28. Tickets will go on sale in November.

Pearl River Community College nursing student Colleen Mensi of Poplarville, left, checks blood pressure for Dianne Parvin of Lumberton at the Women’s Health Symposium.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Grand prize winners at the Pearl River Community College Women’s Health Symposium were, from left, Ann Abercrombie of Seminary, ServiceMaster gift basket; Betty Bryant of Lumberton, year’s supply of Coca-Cola products; Eurdis Greer of Poplarville, Belk Salon and Day Spa Day of Beauty; Georgia McCardle of Brooklyn, PRCC masonry department picnic table; Samantha Bolin of Lumberton, Rodan and Fields gifts from Bonnie Hodge. Not pictured is Connie Glorioso of Picayune, pearl necklace from Parris Jewelers.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Grand sponsor of the Pearl River Community College Women’s Health Symposium is the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. Attending the Jan. 30 symposium are foundation board member Barbara Alexander, from left, CEO Sid Whitley and board member Dr. Becky Askew.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Pearl River Community College cosmetology student Heidi Hines of Poplarville, left, does a manicure for Cheryl May during the Jan. 30 Women’s Health Symposium at PRCC. In the background, Sherry Brown gets her nails done by student Michelle Maloney of Sumrall.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Robert St. John of Hattiesburg does a cooking demonstration Jan. 30 at the Pearl River Community College Women’s Health Symposium.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Wyatt Waters of Clinton paints a Pearl River Community College wildcat on stage at the Women’s Health Symposium on Jan. 30.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.