Health issues such as insurance, access to quality care, fitness and taking charge of your fitness and well-being are omnipresent in the news, in the media and on the Internet. The amount of information and the number of recommendations and options can be daunting and leaves some people confused and in need of a coordinated approach. Those seeking to hone their health care knowledge can have their questions answered by the experts while also getting free screenings and giveaways at Gambit's 14th annual Wellness Expo™ at Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie; www.lakesideshopping.com) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 9.
More than three dozen exhibitors, ranging from hospital services, nutritional supplements and insurance to baby products, beauty treatments and solar power, will have booths at the expo with information, raffles, product samples, coupons, free massages, health screenings, giveaways and more. Participate in The Blood Center's blood drive and get a miniphysical, cholesterol screening and backpack for free.
Center Stage has a full day of presentations scheduled, including Zumba and martial arts demonstrations, a baby products demonstration and more (see Center Stage schedule on p. 15).
Pick up a "Wellness Passport," have it stamped at six different booths and enter your passport in a drawing for prizes at Center Stage.
Most of all, take advantage of having a large variety of wellness experts, products and services all in one place.
The expo is sponsored in part by East Jefferson General Hospital, Canon Hospice, Diagnostic Imaging Services, Spa Jouvence, Tulane-Lakeside Hospital and Tulane Medical Center. (See a full directory of exhibitors on p. 12.)
East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) is a comprehensive medical center providing primary care physicians and specialists in an array of areas to treat patients from birth to old age. Its 20-acre campus houses medical office buildings, the Yenni Treatment Center for outpatient cancer treatments, the Domino Pavilion for same-day surgery and outpatient services, the Wellness Center fitness and lifestyles facility, the Imaging Center and more.
Since opening in 1971, the publicly owned hospital has grown to 454 beds and has become one of Jefferson Parish's largest employers, with 3,000 employees and more than 650 physicians. The medical staff takes a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment, which has yielded results that have earned EJGH accreditations and awards for patient care and outcomes.
EJGH has a mission to improve the health of the community and offers prevention and wellness resources aimed at helping people achieve that goal. It also partners with other organizations and participates in events focused on health, fitness, awareness and action regarding medical and community issues. Partners and events include the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Cancer, the Crescent City Classic, Back to the Beach, the Multiple Sclerosis Tour for the Cure, the Susan Komen Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity, START Walk Against Heart Disease and more.
EJGH offers a number of avenues to wellness and will have booths at the expo representing 10 of the medical center's programs and departments.
The EJGH Diabetes Management Center is comprehensive in its approach to diabetes care, starting with a thorough evaluation, an individualized treatment program and education about every aspect of the disease. The education program includes personal consultations and group seminars covering the pathology of diabetes, medications and recognizing signs of high or low blood sugar and treating it. Patients also learn about nutrition and how to incorporate healthy eating into their daily routines, the importance of exercise and activity to managing diabetes, personal goal-setting and techniques for remaining motivated. The center provides tools to help patients manage the disease every day and to integrate required changes into their routines and lifestyles. The center also has support groups where patients and families can share experiences and ideas.
EJGH's Healthy Lifestyles program focuses on improving its members' quality of life and overall well-being by offering health assessments, fitness activities, outdoor recreation, social events, nutrition classes, health education and other lifestyle programs. Seminars and classes ranging from yoga and tai chi at the park to breastfeeding and total joint replacement are scheduled throughout the year.
A lifetime membership costs $50 ($25 for additional members in the same family), and entitles members who are hospitalized at EJGH to receive free room upgrades and discounts at the Wellness Center, The Fitness Principle and the Woman & Child Boutique. Members also receive discounts on nutrition counseling, travel and at selected restaurants, retailers and other businesses.
Healthy Lifestyles provides free weekly blood pressure readings for members, and other preventive tests are offered free or at discounted prices. At the Wellness Expo, representatives will administer blood pressure and blood-sugar screenings.
Highly qualified dietitians in the Food & Nutrition Services Department at EJGH tailor nutritional therapy menus to aid hospitalized patients' recovery from illnesses or surgery. Medical nutrition therapy also is key in treating chronic diseases including cancer, celiac disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease and hypertension.
The team also provides eating plans for athletes and outpatients trying to lose weight, improve their health or control disease symptoms. Medical nutrition therapy requires a physician referral, but nutritional counseling services for weight management, health maintenance and disease prevention are available through the EJGH Wellness Center.
EJGH Oncology Services takes a holistic approach to cancer care, using state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat the disease and offering palliative care to address emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. The interdisciplinary team of medical specialists, nurses, pain-management experts, dietitians, pharmacists and others work together on a patient's treatment and recovery. The Cancer Care Navigator Program provides a hospital "navigator" who personally helps a patient and his or her family maneuver through the process, including coordinating appointments, assisting with care management and insurance, finding appropriate support groups and facilitating quick treatment for patients who travel from out of town.
Outpatient oncology services allow patients to return to work or home between treatments, and a special Fast Track program speeds up the process. Oncology services also includes the Breast Center, the first in the area to offer digital mammography. Each patient is assigned a breast care nurse, who helps the patient find needed services at EJGH or elsewhere.
The patient education program provides information and instructions about the patient's treatment regimen. The patient library in the Yenni Treatment Center has a collection of educational materials, literature and videotapes patients can check out or read on site.
EJGH Radiology not only provides advanced cancer-fighting technologies, it also plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients throughout the medical center. Tools in the department's arsenal include disease-detecting imaging technology such as computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-rays. Therapeutic interventions include nuclear medicine, angiography, tumor removal and biopsies. The department also does mammography, MRI breast imaging and positron emission tomography (PET). EJGH also has the Novalis Tx and Trilogy systems for targeted beam radiation treatments.
In May, EJGH became the first facility in the area to earn accreditation from the American College of Radiology. The accreditation is considered a benchmark of quality care.
In the Outpatient Rehab Department at EJGH, physical, occupational and speech therapy specialists use state-of-the-art equipment, manual and neurological therapy, aquatics and more to help patients return to their normal routines following surgery or illness. Treatments are designed in coordination with each patient's doctor. Physical therapies include orthopedic care and rehabilitation, kinesiotaping and sports injury treatments.
Occupational therapy includes lymphedema (swelling and fluid retention) treatments, driving evaluations, neurological therapy and orthopedics. Speech and language therapies are available, as well as vital stimulation and cognitive therapy.
Sleep apnea, chronic snoring, insomnia, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome are among common problems addressed at the EJGH Sleep Disorders Center. To reach a diagnosis, a respiratory therapist and polysomnographic technician continually monitor a patient during a sleep study, usually overnight, at the Sleep Center in bedrooms designed to be home-like so patients can sleep normally. During the study, all aspects of sleep are recorded, and brain and muscle activity, eye movements, breathing and heart rate are monitored. Some conditions are diagnosed through day studies. Treatment regimens are tailored to each patient's needs, habits and lifestyle.
In March, EJGH Stroke Care earned a Gold Seal certification as a national Advanced Primary Stroke Center from The Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits health care programs and organizations. Taking care of the heart and vein systems is an interdisciplinary undertaking, and the hospital has a coronary care and telemetry unit that provides 24-hour heart monitoring and treatment for patients suffering heart attacks, unstable angina, irregular heartbeat and other conditions. The Catheterization Laboratory has diagnostic imaging equipment and performs coronary, peripheral vascular and carotid artery blockage interventions, including the innovative CryoCath, pioneered by EJGH's Dr. James McKinnie, for treating atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, and reducing or eliminating a patient's risk of stroke and need for medications.
EJGH also offers noninvasive procedures including echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, exercise and nuclear stress tests, monitoring and more.
The full-service Wellness Center at EJGH addresses all aspects of health and well-being, including a full slate of exercise classes and workout equipment, personal trainers, a disease management program, nutrition programs and counseling, massages, education programs and more.
The 38,000-square-foot medical fitness facility, which is offering a Safe Heart Screening on Aug. 7 (ask representatives at the booth for details), has two swimming pools, a steam room and whirlpool, raised walking paths and a massage facility. (At the booth you can enter a raffle for a free massage.) The center provides cardiovascular exercise programs, strength training and customized fitness and eating plans, and a corporate wellness program. Specialty classes include meditation, stress management and therapeutic aquatics for patients with multiple sclerosis and other conditions. Watch Center Stage for demonstrations of Spicy Steps, Body Combat and RPM or BodyPump.
Woman & Child Services is not just about delivering babies, although it does that well and has a neo-natal intensive care unit for specialized treatments. The center also provides gynecological services, maternity care, Lamaze classes and, after delivery, breastfeeding support. The hospital earned a Guided Infant Feeding Techniques Certification from the Louisiana Maternal and Child Health Coalition.
The staff includes high-risk pregnancy specialists, ultrasound technicians, lactation consultants, nutrition experts and more. Woman & Child Services' resource library and breastfeeding center is staffed with nurses and lactation consultants who are available to answer questions and give advice.
Labor, delivery and recovery suites are comfortable and homey, promoting bonding between a newborn and parents, and providing a warm atmosphere for visits from friends and family.
Canon Hospice provides services to terminally ill patients and their families in metro New Orleans, on the Northshore, in Baton Rouge and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The business focuses on helping families of patients who no longer are taking curative treatments to accept the impending death of their loved one and face the challenges and emotions in a positive way. Canon offers hospice services in a patient's home, hospital room or nursing home, and provides free bereavement support for families for a year after their loved one dies.
Patients receive medical supplies, medication and equipment, as well as regular visits from registered nurses, a 24-hour nursing care line for emergencies, and a nursing assistant to help with personal care tasks. A social worker also visits patients for counseling and psycho-social support. Most insurance companies cover hospice care.
Children 7 to 12 years old can attend Camp Swan, a Canon-sponsored weekend camp where kids can talk about their grief while also enjoying play activities, art and more. A brunch to raise funds for Camp Swan is scheduled for July 14 at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters in City Park (call 881-0452 for more information).
Diagnostic Imaging Services (DIS) has four locations in the New Orleans area where patients can get magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT scan), positron emission tomography (PET scan), X-rays and nuclear medicine diagnostics. The women's and advanced imaging center in Metairie offers breast MRIs, ultrasound-guided breast biopsies and cyst aspirations, ductography, mammography, bone density studies, ultrasound and a special "Inside Addition" 4-D ultrasound in which expectant parents can see their child in the womb.
The outpatient imaging center provides screenings and diagnostic exams for a multitude of illnesses and conditions, often at a savings over what such tests cost in a hospital. DIS, which opened in 1973, was the first center in the Gulf South to introduce a high-field open MRI, which is more comfortable for patients because they don't feel as closed in as with traditional units. The open MRI produces scans quickly — and can accommodate patients up to 660 pounds.
DIS, which opened in 1973, also performs MRI angiography, hysterosalpingograms, digital fluoroscopy, esophagrams, pyelograms, myelograms and arthrograms. On the nondiagnostic menu, massages are available.
Representatives as the DIS booth will conduct free ultrasound heel screenings to detect osteoporosis. Also pick up a gift bag containing a refrigerator magnet, ink pen, adhesive note pad and nail file.
Combining beauty, health and wellness services, the aesthetic medical and laser clinic Spa Jouvence offers weight-loss programs, body scrubs and wraps, facials, massages and cosmetic therapies including Botox, fillers and peels and more. Physicians temper the effects of aging using state-of-the-art dermal treatments and topical applications including Botox, Juvederm, Radiesse, Latisse and spray tanning. Patients also can get vitamin B12 injections, laser hair removal, tattoo removal and sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins.
The massage menu includes deep-tissue, prenatal, Swedish and warm stone massages as well as a 30-minute Spot Treatment that addresses specific areas bothering a patient, and the Foot Escape, which features a variety of techniques to relax your feet — and a foot scrub. The spa also offers aromatherapy, sinus and migraine therapies and enhanced treatments for hands, feet or the back.
The spa uses Obagi, Dermed, Avene and Glytone for its facials, which include acne- and back-specific facials, spot treatments and epidermal leveling, and waxing services. Body treatments include a salt/sugar glow, a mud wrap for remineralizing and detoxifying, an exfoliating and hydrating treatment and more. At the expo, Spa Jouvence will explain its products at Center Stage, provide free weight-loss analysis and beauty consultations and give away product samples.
Tulane Medical Center began in 1834 as one of only 14 medical schools in the United States. Since that time, it has expanded into a teaching, research and medical facility with the 234-bed Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, Tulane Hospital for Children, Tulane-Lakeside Hospital, and 24 clinics and multispecialty centers.
The comprehensive system includes Tulane Cancer Center, Tulane Abdominal Transplant, Tulane-Lakeside Center for Women's Health and Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine. It's vast array of departments and clinics cover all areas of health care, including sleep disorders, neurosurgery, human genetics, mood disorders, diabetes, headaches, pain management, multiple sclerosis, physical rehabilitation and more.
The 119-bed Tulane-Lakeside Hospital employs 450 people full time and provides cutting-edge technology in specialties including obstetrics/gynecology, urology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, radiology and surgery. It has a longstanding commitment to the health of women and their babies, and has delivered more than 100,000 babies and treated 300,000 patients since opening in 1964.
The Tulane booth will offer blood pressure screenings, and experts will conduct a question-and-answer session about women's health issues.
Other exhibitors at the expo include: 4D, a health and performance supplement; All American Medical & Chiropractic, which also offers massage therapy, rehabilitation programs and nutrition counseling; American Laser Skincare, specializing in laser hair removal, cellulite reduction and skin rejuvenation; and the Fortune 500 Amerigroup health insurance company.
The Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge offers supplements for weight loss and muscle development; Bopp Dermatology and Facial Plastic Surgery, which offers fillers, laser rejuvenation, hair removal, surgical augmentations and more; PMA Medical Treatment and Wellness Center, offering health care, a med-spa, hormone treatments, allergy tests, weight loss programs and more; and Wellness Water Company, which sells, installs and services water purification systems.
Bustles and Lollipops, a baby concierge company; Children's Hospital, a comprehensive pediatric health care facility; Kids Express Urgent Care, which is open until midnight on weekdays for nonemergency health problems; Harris Sports and Family Chiropractic, which treats sports-related and auto accident injuries and does energy therapy; and Close Combat and Fitness, which will present a seminar about self-defense for women.
Doctors Imaging uses technology to detect disease and injury; Gulf South Foot & Ankle offers a complete array of treatments for feet; Millennium Healthcare Management Inc. is a walk-in urgent care clinic; and Family Home Care provides a range of medical services that allow patients to recover at home.
Louisiana Relay Services provides equipment to ensure the deaf and hearing impaired can communicate by telephone; the National Library of Medicine offers a wealth of vetted information on all types of medical topics; New York Life is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the U.S.; Nola Pilates and Xtend Barre New Orleans, which has a wealth of movement classes; Peoples Health, which provides Medicare benefits; Superior Healthcare, a clinic with a multispecialty team; Upper Cervical Family Chiropractic, operated by Dr. Josh Rilette; United Healthcare Community Plan, insurance for families in the Medicaid and LaCHIP programs; and Sader Power Enterprises, which sells, installs and maintains solar energy systems.