It’s National Women’s Health Week (NWHW). This is the time to encourage your mother, grandmother, or any loved one, to make their health a priority, whether it is physical or mental health. Taking simple measures, like scheduling regular check-ups and preventative screenings, paying attention to one’s mental health, engaging in safe behaviors, getting active and eating healthy are several ways women can achieve wellness.
But there’s also help, too. Local Community Health Centers are a good resource. Accessible and affordable, health centers provide a medical home for women and their families where they can receive quality care and achieve healthier lives.
In 2012 alone, for instance, health centers provided over 2 million pap tests to more than 1.8 million women. More than 360,000 women also received a mammogram at a health center for early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Below are just a handful of examples of the many programs offered through more than 1,200 health centers across the country to over 22 million patients a year:
Family Care Health Centers’ (St. Louis, MO) Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) class that gives patients the education and tools they need to manage their weight and develop healthier eating habits;
Erie Family Health Center’s (Chicago, IL) breast and cervical cancer program that helps provide free mammograms, breast exams, pelvic exams and pap tests to uninsured women;
AltaMed Health Care Services (Los Angeles, CA) provides women a full spectrum of general health education classes that include smoking cessation, diabetes control, and healthy living, as well as comprehensive perinatal education that includes a postpartum depression (PPD) class that teaches women how to identify and cope with PPD.
Health centers work hard to provide the appropriate care for all of their patients. For women—who are often the caregivers in the family—this means reminding them to take some time for their own health needs and making it easy for them to access care when they need it.
To learn more about National Women’s Health Week and to pledge to be a well woman visit: http://womenshealth.gov/nwhw/. Also, join the conversation on Twitter by using the #NWHW.