Decatur County Memorial Hospital’s (DCMH) Spirit of Women (SOW) staged its 7th Annual Day of Dance event Saturday at Greensburg Elementary School (GES).
SOW Coordinator Annie Wilkison said the event set a record not only for a Day of Dance, but for any DCMH SOW outing.
“We had around 450 attendees,” Wilkison said. “That’s more than we’ve ever had for any SOW event.”
That attendance number, Wilkison added, includes 50 attendees who participated in the day’s “Zumbathon,” staged in the school’s second gym. For a fee of $20, attendees participated in a three-hour Zumba marathon hosted by 5 various instructors from Decatur and Ripley Counties, with proceeds benefiting Safe Passage Domestic Abuse Center in Batesville and Greensburg’s New Directions Domestic Abuse Services Center.
Wilkison and co-organizer Suzanne Miller expected big numbers going into Saturday’s event, with 400 free lunches prepared beforehand and distributed to attendees.
Explained Wilkison, “To get a free lunch, attendees received an event card when they signed in. After visiting 12 of our Day of Dance free screening stations, they could then redeem the card for a free lunch.”
Those free screenings, according to Miller, included screenings for neuropathy, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, vision and body mass index.
Wilkison added that, for the first time at any SOW event, this year’s circus-themed Day of Dance included a blood pressure screen for kids.
“Our featured performer, Cirque Amongus, had 10 educational stations for kids set up in the GES gym adjoining the cafeteria,” she explained. “The blood pressure check was set up there. [DCMH Dietitian] Holly Pray and [OB Nurse] Nancy Vanderpohl did the screenings.”
She continued, “My own kids had high blood pressure, and they’re very active kids. It’s a problem we’re seeing more of in kids these days. That’s why we felt like it was important to include blood pressure screenings for kids at this year’s Day of Dance. Generally speaking, it’s an issue parents don’t consider when taking their kids to the doctor. There’s such a big push on obesity awareness right now, that checking kids’ blood pressure often gets overlooked. But blood pressure problems are part of obesity.”
Pray said that between 40 and 50 kids were screened at Day and Dance and confirmed that she’s seeing more kids between second grade and high school with blood pressure issues.
“We get one-to-two referrals a month for kids with high blood pressure,” she said. “And I suspect that if more parents got their kids screened, we’d see even more. When we visit the schools with our ReCharge program, we stress to kids that blood pressure and cholesterol aren’t just ‘grandma and grandpa’ problems anymore. These problems are hitting this current generation now.”
DCMH’s ReCharge program also participated in Saturday’s event as one of eight total performers that rotated every half hour on the GES “main stage” set up in the school cafeteria.
“ReCharge is an important program,” Wilkison said. “It’s all about getting kids up and moving and teaching them about good food choices and energy in and energy out.”
The ReCharge booth at Day of Dance included a demonstration of the Xbox Connect.
“Kids these days are so big into video games,” Wilkison said, “and with the Connect, they don’t have to be sitting on their beds playing the game, but can be up and moving around and getting exercise.”
Wilkison called this year’s Day of Dance more “kid-oriented” than ever before and added her hope that 2013 will set a trend in the regard.
“You know,” she said, “we’d like to keep them more kid-centric; that would be nice, because we always struggle trying to attract our younger moms; they don’t know what to do with the kids. This way, they can bring the kids with them and make sure they have plenty to do, so mom can spend time doing the health screenings and getting educated about health-related issues for themselves and their households.”
According to Wilkison, SOW has a full slate of activities lined up for 2013. The next event will be held starting at 6 p.m., Tuesday night, Feb. 26, in DCMH Classroom D. Visiting DCMH Cardiologist Dr. Polly Moore, out of St. Francis in Greenwood, will speak about living with and managing heart failure.
At 6 p.m., March 7, Visiting DCMH Cardiologist Dr. Vijay Rao, also based at St. Francis, will be speaking about irregular heartbeat or atrial fibrillation.
“We’ll be teaching attendees how to take their own pulses to check heartbeat irregularities,” Wilkison said of Rao’s appearance. “And one attendee will win a free EKG.”
At lunchtime March 26, at DCMH, new DCMH Pulmonologist Dr. David Wilson will give a talk about Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Also in the works in the coming months is SOW’s bi-annual trip to Indiana Downs.
For more information on DCMH’s Spirit of Women chapter or any of its events, call Annie Wilkison at 663-1325 or Suzanne Miller at 663-1389.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011