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Wellness Expo 2013: To Your Health 

Gambit's 15th annual Wellness Expo at Lakeside Shopping Center offers a one-stop shop for healthy living

From the nephrons to the neurotransmitters, from the bicuspids to the biceps, the human body is a wondrous set of systems — most of which will need medical care at some point in everyone's life. The health field is a complex system in itself, and navigating it can be difficult.

  To that end, about four dozen exhibitors will assemble at Gambit's 15th Annual Wellness Expo at Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, answering questions, sharing information, and offering free screenings and giveaways. It's a one-stop shop for your health needs. Whether it's a new supplement or an osteopenia screening, you may find health resources you'd been looking for and some you didn't even know you needed.

  The exhibitors provide services for people at every point in life, from birth (Touro Family Birthing Center) to death (Canon Hospice). You can see Magnolia Physical Therapy to recover from a sports injury, or get back in the game by training at Elmwood Fitness Center for the Huey P. Long Bridge Run. Get a miniphysical when you donate blood to The Blood Center; get screened for osteoporosis and high glucose levels, relax with a mini massage, enter to win raffles and sample alkaline water, beauty products, diet foods, supplements and more.

  If that's not enough incentive to get proactive about your health, pick up a "Wellness Passport," have it stamped at six booths and enter it in a drawing for prizes at Center Stage, which include artwork, tickets for the Audubon Zoo/Aquarium of the Americas/Insectarium and Zephyrs games, gift certificates to restaurants and bars, jewelry and other items.

  Presentations at Center Stage include Zumba, Bokwa and martial arts demonstrations, as well as juicer demonstrations and juice sampling and instructions on how to train for a 5-kilometer race. (See p. 15 for a complete schedule.)

  The expo is sponsored in part by Touro Infirmary, Canon Hospice, Diagnostic Imaging Services, Elmwood Fitness Center, Evamor Alkaline Water, Huey P. Long Run and Tulane Medical Center. (See a full directory of exhibitors on p. 12.)  

Touro Infirmary is a nonprofit, faith-based community hospital. Founded by Judah Touro in 1852 to provide medical care for German and Irish immigrants, slaves and sailors, the hospital has treated more than 1 million patients and delivered tens of thousands of babies. Touro Infirmary and its partners continue to provide affordable, advanced inpatient and outpatient health care services for patients ranging from infants to senior citizens. There are comprehensive men's and women's health services, urgent care, cancer treatments and more. Specialty areas at the 280-bed hospital include the Family Birthing Center, Rehabilitation Center, Diabetes Center, Cancer Center, Wound Care Center and Touro at Home.

  Crescent City Physicians, a Touro subsidiary, offers comprehensive medical care at locations throughout Orleans Parish. Its 48 physicians and 167 staff members provide primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, oncology, cardiac and vascular care, urology and other medical services.

  Touro's mission is to provide the highest quality, most compassionate health care in the country by exhibiting values that have yielded accolades and recognition recently from organizations including the American Heart Association and the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.

  At the expo, Touro Infirmary offers free blood pressure screenings, brief physician consultations and free tote bags. Touro Diabetes Center provides glucose screenings and information about diabetes support services. Staff from the Find A Doctor Service, Rehabiliation Center, Comprehensive Wound Healing Center, Family Birthing Center, Cancer Care, Women's Imaging Center and Touro at Home will be available to provide more information about their services and programs.

  The Family Birthing Center at Touro has delivered more babies than any other single facility in the greater New Orleans area, with more than 3,000 births in 2012. Offering free pregnancy classes, lactation guidance, early parenting advice and more, The Family Birthing Center walks parents through every step of the birthing process. Doctors respect each woman's delivery choice, whether it is an epidural delivery, water birth, drug-free pain management alternatives or a birth assisted by a midwife. The comfortable birthing facilities include private, family-oriented labor, delivery and postpartum rooms, two nurseries (but a baby also can stay in its mother's room, if the mother prefers), a newly renovated neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a perinatology clinic for mothers and babies with special needs.

  Accredited in multiple subspecialties by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, The Touro Rehabilitation Center offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services to improve quality of life for patients who have suffered brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, amputation, congenital deformities, burns, arthritis, neurological disorders and other diagnoses. Specially trained therapists, nurses and physicians provide rehabilitation services including physical, occupational, speech and aquatic therapy, as well as specialized treatment for traumatically injured patients and those with physical, cognitive and psychological impairments.

  Every patient is different, and the physicians at the Touro Diabetes Center recognize this, identifying diabetic patients' needs and helping them compile the skills and educational resources necessary to properly manage the disease in their day-to-day life and to navigate life changes following a diabetes diagnosis. Offering services and support to both individuals and groups, the Diabetes Center's educational sessions include an overview of Type 1 and 2 and gestational diabetes, meal planning, weight control, blood glucose monitoring, medication management, exercise benefits and precautions, stress management, diabetes complications and other topics. Educators are certified through the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators. There are also monthly support groups, and a licensed, registered dietitian is available to help with weight control and meal planning.

  The recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, Touro Cancer Center's comprehensive, multidisciplinary program provides care for cancer patients at every step, from diagnosis to survivorship and beyond. The program addresses the whole person by including supportive care (mental, emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families), which allows patients to consult with a cancer navigator nurse, a dietitian, a chaplain and others.

  The Touro Imaging Center offers flexible, same-day scheduling, cutting-edge technology and fast results — a convenience that makes the process less stressful — and the Women's Imaging Center offers all-digital MRIs, bilateral breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds and other advanced methods for cancer detection, to diagnose the disease at its earliest and most treatable state.

  Touro's Find A Doctor physician referral service connects patients with hundreds of internists, OB/GYNs, cardiologists and other specialists in the greater New Orleans area.

  Proper home health care can help patients avoid hospitalization. Touro At Home's team of health care professionals provides intermittent in-home care to patients, under their physicians' guidance. Services include skilled nursing, home care aids, physical, occupational and speech therapy, nutritional counseling and medical social services. Specialized programs include infusion therapy, wound care, congestive heart failure treatment, orthopaedic recovery and diabetes management. The program is licensed by the state of Louisiana and was one of 17 home health agencies in the state to receive the 2010 Louisiana Home Health Capstone Quality Award.

  Some wounds don't heal on their own. Physicians, nurses and clinic support staff at Touro's Wound Care Center use the latest technology to address chronic wounds including diabetes-related foot or ankle ulcers, post-radiation tissue injury, crush injuries, gangrene and more. Specialized treatment plans may include bouts of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involve the patient lying in a pressurized chamber filled with 100 percent oxygen, laboratory studies, X-rays, consultations for surgical debridement (removal of dead tissue to promote healing), antibiotic therapy, specialty dressings, crutches, wheelchairs and more. To decide on the proper treatment and create a specialized plan for each patient, the wound care team performs a physical exam and takes a patient's history.

  Sourced from a protected aquifer and bottled in Covington, Evamor Artesian Bottled Water has a naturally high (alkaline) pH of 8.8. Diets high in sugar, fat and processed foods cause acid imbalance, and Evamor's website suggests regular consumption of the alkaline water can help people "keep things in check" without resorting to antacids.

  This was verified by a 2012 study by Dr. Jamie Koufman and Dr. Nikki Johnston published in Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, titled "Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease," which found that alkaline water has a therapeutic effect on patients with acid reflux.

  Evamor Artesian Bottled Water counts Dr. Mehmet Oz, heart surgeon and Emmy-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show, among its supporters. It has partnered with his HealthCorps program, which aims to help teens make healthier food decisions.

Stop by the booth at the expo to pick up a 20-ounce sample.

  The Great Huey P. Long Bridge Run, an inaugural 5k race, celebrates the $1.2 billion renovation and widening of the 77-year-old bridge. It's part of the Louisiana Bridge run series, which also includes the United Way of St. Charles Bridge Run and Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent Connection. The run/walk starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 16. Register at the expo and receive free tickets for raffle items, which include Newton shoes and a gift certificate to Varsity Sports.

  MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds and X-rays are sometimes vital to your health, but can be costly. Diagnostic Imaging Services, an independent outpatient medical imaging provider, offers these services, as well as screening and diagnostic mammograms, bone density studies, breast MRI and biopsy, nuclear medicine and other interventional and specialty exams, at prices that are significantly lower than those charged by hospitals, especially for patients with insurance that does not cover their exams or has a high deductible. At the expo, Diagnostic Imaging Services will offer free heel ultrasound screenings, which checks for preliminary indications of bone weakening, osteopenia and osteoporosis. Participants also can schedule appointments or get more information about the company.

  Part of the Ochsner Health System, Elmwood Fitness Center's 175,000-square-foot location encompasses a range of fitness offerings, including group exercise classes, yoga, Pilates, racquetball, aquatics, a cafe, senior fitness and gymnastics. Nutritionists, personal trainers and massage therapists offer expert service to members, and there are also weight loss programs and a physiology lab to help track progress and maximize workouts. Kids enjoy special offerings like summer camps, pool-, gymnastic- and obstacle course-themed birthday parties, and there are free two-hour child care sessions for children who are added to the membership plan. Elmwood Fitness will offer information and two-week trial passes at the expo.

  Canon Hospice holistically addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients, allowing them to enjoy as much quality of life as possible in their remaining days. In addition to specialized supportive and palliative care for patients, Canon Hospice offers support for their loved ones and can provide services in patient homes, nursing homes or its inpatient unit. Its 150-mile-radius service area includes the greater New Orleans area, Baton Rouge and Gulfport, Miss.

  Patients usually enter hospice in the last six months of life — and typically live longer than those who are not in the care of a hospice, according to a study published by the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management in March 2007, which found hospice patients lived an average of 29 days longer.

  Canon Hospice also operates a nonprofit agency, Akula Foundation, which is dedicated to providing hospice services to people who can't afford them, educating health professionals, granting special requests to patients and providing support groups and other workshops.

  Canon Hospice professionals will provide hospice information at the expo.

  At Tulane Medical Center, an academic medical, teaching and research facility, more than 500 credentialed physicians provide health care services ranging from primary care to complex and specialized treatments. Tulane Medical Center was founded in 1834 by physicians eager to address regional diseases including malaria and yellow fever, and at the time it was one of only 14 medical schools in the nation. Today, the Tulane Medical Center downtown has 235 beds, and the Tulane-Lakeside Hospital in Metairie has 119 beds, and both uphold Tulane's mission of providing "the best quality care, education and research through the combined re-sources of Tulane University Hospital and Clinic and the Tulane School of Medicine," according to the mission statement on the center's website.

  At the expo, Tulane Medical Center will offer blood pressure screenings, stroke prevention information, car seat safety checks, mammogram appointment scheduling and question-and-answer sessions with doctors about women's and pediatric health issues.

  American Laser Skincare offers cosmetic laser services ranging from photofacials and hair removal to body contouring and fillers. The center has more than 100 locations nationwide.

  Amerigroup Real Solutions in Healthcare offers health insurance to Medicaid Bayou Health Program customers and serves more than 2.7 million members in 13 states. Its booth offers beat-the-heat and healthy eating tips.

  Founded in 1960, The Blood Center is a nonprofit community service organization that provides blood, blood components and plasma derivatives to patients in southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. It will conduct a blood drive at the expo, and donors receive a T-shirt, mini physical and cholesterol check.

  Offering both inpatient and outpatient appointments, Children's Hospital is a 247-bed, nonprofit pediatric healthcare facility with more than 400 physicians. It is the only hospital specifically for children in the Gulf South. Stop by its booth for information about the hospital's services.

  Doctors Imaging offers outpatient imaging services including X-rays, CT and PET scans, MRIs and ultrasounds at prices often less than those charged by hospitals. Visit the booth for more information.

  Everybody Weight Loss Studio offers Ideal Protein, a weight-loss program that helps people lose fat and preserve muscle mass by following a diet of sugar- and fat-free pre-packaged meals, shakes and snacks. Food samples will be available at the booth.

  Gulf South Foot & Ankle provides podiatric services for conditions including bunions, hammer toes, fungus and diabetic issues. Podiatric screenings and foot health information are available at the booth.

  Insphere Insurance Solutions offers life, health, Medicare and long-term care insurance for individuals and small businesses. Stop by the booth for more information.

  Magnolia Physical Therapy provides physical therapy, massages and personal training to optimize your body's performance or return it to peak physical condition following an injury. Stop by the booth for physical therapy screenings and chair massages from noon to 3 p.m.

  Prescription and over-the-counter medications, household items, vitamins, diabetes supplies, cosmetics and food can be found at competitive prices at family-owned NOLA Discount Pharmacy. Vitamin, Bruise Relief, lotion and body wash samples, as well as other giveaways and a $100 raffle, are at its booth.

  NOLA Nutrition and Weight Loss Solutions, LLC offers Ideal Protein diet food and weekly consultations to clients. Visit the expo booth to sample free protein bars and snacks and learn more about how the diet works.

  Since 1994, Peoples Health has provided high-quality, affordable health care services to Medicare beneficiaries in southeast Louisiana.

  Organo Gold's roster of coffee and tea products includes organic red and green tea and coffee brewed from Arabica beans, as well as a line of neutraceuticals and personal care products. Participants can sign up at the booth for door prizes.

  Raul Llanos MD Medical Spa offers a comprehensive approach to total wellness and anti-aging, which includes cosmetic (including fillers, Botox and teeth whitening), psychological (hypnosis, electromagnetic therapy, neurointegration therapy) and hormonal approaches.

  Rodan + Fields is a clinical skin care line that includes regimens for aging, sensitive, acne-prone and dull skin, as well as facial tools like a micro-exfoliator. There will be mini facials and microdermabrasion testing at its booth.

  Stand-Up Open MRI Centers of Louisiana offers open MRIs, which feature a front- and top-open design and allow patients to watch movies during the procedure. Pick up brochures and free mousepads and fingernail files at the booth.

  Superior Healthcare offers medical and chiropractic care, diagnostic evaluations, spinal therapy and rehabilitation to patients who are experiencing neck and back pain, headaches, compressed discs, arthritis and other problems. Stop by its booth for spinal screenings and more information.

  The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library, maintains print and electronic health information for consumers, accessible through Medline Plus (,, and other collections. Its booth offers health-related brochures and free pens, note pads and bookmarks.

  United Healthcare Community Plan offers health care insurance to Medicaid recipients who may not otherwise be able to afford coverage. At the expo, United Healthcare will offer disease management and healthy eating brochures and free hand sanitizer, lip balm, jar openers and other giveaways.

  Upper Cervical Family Chiropractic provides specific chiropractic care to relieve health problems like back and neck pain, sports, auto and work injuries and headaches. At is booth, it will offer a free stress test, postural and nervous center analyses, information and special offers for new patients.

  Well, a new spa by Earthsavers Salon & Spa, supports its clients' overall health with services including acupuncture, lymphatic massage, Reiki, vitamins and supplements and an organic juice bar. Pick up brochures, sample supplements and free health bars and get a health consultation at the expo.

  Other exhibitors at the expo include Naturalizer Shoes, a contemporary line of comfortable women's footwear; Lakeside Pets, which offers pets including puppies, kittens, fish and hamsters, pet supplies and small dog grooming; Paris Parker Salon, a salon offering facials, nail care, makeup, waxing, hair extensions and deep conditioning treatments; Sunglass Hut, which offers on-trend designer shades featuring total UV protection; and Williams-Sonoma, a purveyor of kitchenware, tabletop accessories, cutlery and tools.


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