By Sarah Chadwick
THUNDER BAY – LIVING – More than 80% of Ontarian adults live with a chronic or lifelong disease. Knowing that our lifestyle or behavior choices play a huge role in preventing the development of chronic disease, Prevention and Screening Services, at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, created a free monthly education workshop series that features popular chronic disease prevention topics and tools. Known as ‘The Healthy Get-Together’, Kelly-Jo Gillis, Manager, Preventive Health Services, highlights everything you need to know about our Hospital’s chronic disease prevention speaker series.
“We offer two free sessions each month at our Hospital – one during the day for our staff and another in the evening for the public,” said Gillis. “Each session is one hour and features a guest speaker from our Hospital staff or a community expert. The Healthy Get-Together provides information about chronic disease prevention strategies and healthy living in a fun and engaging way!”
When it comes to selecting a diverse topic, the options are endless. “Healthy Get-Togethers always focus on healthy living and chronic disease prevention, but we try to showcase different angles on chronic disease prevention strategies such as eating healthy and being active,” explained Gillis. “We’ve had sessions on how to grow your own food through gardening, which in turn teaches our participants about healthy eating through fresh, homegrown foods. Other topics have ranged from time management and space organization to help reduce stress, to creating and maintaining positive relationships, and learning about the importance of sleep.”
One goal for the Healthy Get-Together is to make the sessions accessible to anyone who wants the information. “To address distance and time-related barriers, we now offer the sessions via webcast and video conference through the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN),” said Gillis. “Sessions that are offered through OTN are also archived by OTN, and then we make them available on our Prevention and Screening Services website.”
Like our Hospital’s Facebook page for upcoming Healthy Get-Together talks! For more information about the speaker series, or to be added to our email distribution list contact Katherine Mayer, Project Assistant, Prevention and Screening Services at (807) 684-7790.