Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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June 27, 2014

Annual Chocolate Symposium boasts sweet success

GREENSBURG – The Health, Happiness and Chocolate Symposium is what launched the Spirit of Women in Decatur County in 2005, and it remains the network’s main annual event.

Spirit Coordinator Annie Wilkison said Vice President of Patient Care Diane McKinney wanted to bring women’s health and education to Decatur County through the Spirit of Women network. The first year, only a few people came and organizers decided chocolate would be an effective draw to get women through the door.

At Spirit of Women events, which have become the perfect setting for a girls’ night out, guests can expect to hear a speaker or a local physician and witness some kind of entertainment. Wilkison said women ask all year long when the chocolate event will be.

On June 12, 320 women gathered at Greensburg Elementary School for what has become known as the “Chocolate Symposium.” The theme for the night was “A Night Like the 1920s Speakeasy” and many guests arrived in all their flapper finery to enjoy the evening of information, entertainment and, of course, all the chocolate they could eat.

“It’s neat to see the women coming in with their daughters, granddaughters and friends. It’s become like a girls’ night out,” Wilkison said. “One woman brought a whole table of friends and family to celebrate her birthday.”

This year, Dr. Mohammed Tariq, a visiting pulmonologist with the St. Francis Franciscan Alliance, spoke to guests regarding lung cancer and a new screening Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) will begin offering soon. Dr. Tariq, along with Dr. Snyder and Dr. Bruns, is part of a group of pulmonary and sleep disorder physicians group that visits the DCMH Outpatient Clinic every Tuesday.

He said the screening is ideal for anyone who is a current smoker or who has quit smoking in the last 15 years, both men and women. Additionally, those between the ages of 55 and 75 or those with a 30 pack a year or more smoking habit would benefit from the new screening. Though the screening is not covered by insurance and is a self-pay service, it is only $69. Those interested can contact the hospital for more information.

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