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Advice and services to expect from Wellness Expo exhibitors 

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Nearly four dozen exhibitors will be on hand Saturday at Gambit's 16th Annual Wellness Expo™ at Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Vet-erans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, to answer questions and provide information about every bone, tissue and muscle in the human body. The expo, scheduled from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, June 7, is a one-stop shop for health information, supplements, screenings, tutorials on the latest technology for treating chronic wounds, spinal alignment and other health concerns. There also are demonstrations of fitness routines and more (see Center Stage, p. 15).

  The expo is sponsored in part by Touro, Hospice Compassus, Evamor, Breathe Easy Allergy & Asthma, La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center, Retina Specialty Institute, Revolution Fitness, Solar Alternatives, Tulane-Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children and the YMCA of Greater New Orleans (see a full directory of exhibitors on p. 19).

Touro Infirmary is a community-oriented, not-for-profit hospital that provides care for patients ranging from newborn to elderly. Founded in 1852, Touro has continually endeavored to stay on the cutting edge of medical treatments and technology and was one of the first hospitals in the country to establish a physical therapy department. Specialty areas at the 280-bed hospital include a Family Birthing Center, Rehabilitation Center, Diabetes Center, Cancer Center, Wound Care Center and Woldenberg Village, a retirement/nursing facility for seniors.

  Crescent City Physicians is a subsidiary of Touro Infirmary that's been a part of the greater New Orleans community since 1994. Its nearly 50 physicians in Orleans and Jefferson parishes provide primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, oncology, cardiology and urology care. Staff at the booth will offer a free "Find a Doc" physician referral service.

  At the expo, representatives of Touro's many specialties will offer free blood pressure screenings, consultations and tote bags, and will answer questions.

  The Touro Rehabilitation Center offers a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services — including speech, physical and occupational therapy — to improve the quality of life for patients who have suffered brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, amputation, congenital deformities, burns, arthritis, neurological disorders and more.

  The Touro Cancer Program and Imaging Center provides care from the time a cancer diagnosis is made through treatment and beyond. In 2011, the center received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer. The center's holistic approach provides not only medical treatment but also emotional, spiritual and mental support for patients and their families, as well as access to dietitians and other support services.

  The Touro Diabetes Center takes an individual approach to treating diabetes, providing customized care from the time of diagnosis and throughout a patient's life. The center offers support to individuals and groups, providing both with the tools they need to manage diabetes and live comfortably. The center hosts educational sessions including an overview of the different types of diabetes, meal planning, weight control, blood glucose monitoring, medication management, exercise routines, stress management and more.

  Touro has delivered more babies than most other facilities in the greater New Orleans area in the more than 160 years it has been open. The Family Birthing Center recently underwent a six-month, $3.3 million renovation and now offers even more room for babies, an expanded lobby, an improved viewing area for the well-baby nursery, observation rooms, water birthing tubs and a lactation boutique. The birthing center can accommodate a range of preferences, whether you want to have an epidural for pain during delivery, a natural or water birth, or you want midwife assistance.

  Some wounds require extra care, and the Touro Comprehensive Wound Healing Center has an expert team to address all kinds of chronic wounds. The center uses the most advanced technology and techniques available. That includes hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room; blood carries up to three times more oxygen under these conditions, stimulating the release of hormones and stem cells, which promote healing. Touro's wound care team examines a wound and designs a comprehensive treatment plan.

  Touro's Woldenberg Village offers independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing in a spacious retirement community. The grounds of Woldenberg Village are nicely landscaped, the living quarters are comfortable and the staff can accommodate residents at all levels of dependence. The facility schedules transportation for residents to run errands and attend doctor's appointments, outings to the symphony and other cultural events. There are also a beauty salon and barber shop, an elegant dining room and more.

Hospice Compassus seeks to provide the highest quality care and service to its patients at the end of their lives. Building on the core values of compassion, integrity and excellence, the hospice provider uses an interdisciplinary team of trained volunteers and professionals including a medical doctor, the patient's physician, nurses, social workers and therapists, home health aides, nursing assistants, chaplains and bereavement counselors, to help make a patient's transition into death as comfortable as possible.

  The company provides pain relief and symptom management, working individually with patients. Mental anguish often is as serious as physical pain, and Hospice Compassus addresses the emotional side of end-of-life issues as much as it tries to comfort the body. That includes working with a patient's family and friends and providing support to everyone involved in a patient's care.

  Volunteers play a huge role at Hospice Compassus, doing a range of tasks from visiting patients to writing letters, reading, running errands, preparing meals or other chores. Volunteers also help with bereavement coordination, assisting with support groups and coordinating community resources.

  At its booth, Hospice Compassus will provide information about its services, address the benefits of hospice care and provide volunteer materials. Also at its booth, Hospice Campassus will give visitors information about Five Wishes, an easy-to-use legal document that helps people plan ahead for serious illnesses. The wishes include granting the power of attorney, a living will, treatment preferences and how a person wants to be remembered.

Louisianans in particular may recognize the smooth, curved blue bottles of Evamor Artesian Bottled Water, which is both sourced and bottled in nearby Covington. Evamor comes from a protected aquifer and boasts a smooth, clean taste thanks to its naturally high (alkaline) pH. According to Evamor's website, alkalinity helps the body fight acidity, body fat and fatigue and also helps protect bones. Drinking water high in pH also helps support the immune system and can provide relief for acid reflux episodes, especially when paired with eating fresh foods.

  More than 40 percent of Americans experience acid-related issues, from heartburn to indigestion, and Evamor can help settle the stomach by decreasing the body's acidity.

  The minimum daily amount of water a person needs is about 13 cups for men and nine cups for women. Throughout the day, the body loses water through sweat and even breathing, so drinking enough water is crucial to maintaining overall health. Evamor water, which comes from deep below the ground, is filtered through stone and the company doesn't add anything before bottling it in BPA-free, recyclable bottles. The water is consistently monitored at its source for pH levels and quality.

Since opening in 1964, Tulane-Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children has delivered more than 100,000 babies and treated more than 300,000 patients. The full-service hospital includes a host of services for children and babies, including a pediatric emergency room, general and specialty pediatrics and pediatric and neonatal ICUs. Tulane is committed to providing care to children in a non-frightening way, from clinic visits to hospital stays, by explaining procedures in kid-friendly  terms.

  For women, the hospital provides breast health screenings and therapies, bone density testing, ultrasounds, cyst aspiration, MRI, risk assessment and more. Women can schedule mammograms online. Tulane's Center for Women's Health provides women with a lifetime of care, from general gynecology to pregnancy and delivery and even high-risk obstetrics, and from urinary care to pelvic prolapse.

  Tulane-Lakeside is a full-service hospital, so women can see a cardiologist or visit the diabetes center in the same place they see a gynecologist or take a child to the pediatrician. The hospital also has 24-hour emergency care.

  Patients at Tulane-Lakeside get complimentary Wi-Fi, facility tours and private rooms. At its booth, Tulane-Lakeside will have information about proper use of an infant/child car seat, a grip strength test and information about strokes and more.

The human eye contains a complicated set of parts, and the Retina Specialty Institute in Metairie is intent on focusing on one of them. The retina is the small, thin tissue that lines the back of the eye. At its center lies the macula, which contains a large concentration of light receptor cells that allow us to see fine details and color. Another set of cells allows us to see things that are dimly lit. These are only a few of the reasons our retinas are crucial to how we live our daily lives.

  The institute recognizes the importance of the retina and aims to treat diseases and problems associated with it. The institute's team of retina specialists are health care providers and active researchers, and they aim to apply the most up-to-date technology to their patients' retina issues, treating macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina, arterial and venous occlusions, cataracts, ocular tumors, inflammation, eye trauma and optic nerve disorders. It strives to deliver minimally invasive care with increased comfort, reduced operating time and quicker healing times.

Cooling a home in New Orleans in the summer can be just as costly as warming one in the winter, but solar panels mitigate some of that expense while also providing a way to go green. Solar Alternatives, a New Orleans-based company, helps homeowners and businesses realize huge savings with solar energy using the latest in engineered solar and backup power technology.

  The company does more than just install solar panels. It also helps its clients access tax incentives to use clean energy in the most cost-effective way. The Louisiana tax credit is worth 50 percent of the cost of the solar project, which is the most valuable tax credit in the country for solar energy (the federal credit only covers 30 percent). Solar energy systems are made to withstand the elements, so customers don't have to adjust them when a storm rolls in. They also are expected to last 25 to 40 years.

  Solar Alternatives also provides whole generators, electric vehicle charging and general energy efficiency consulting. At its booth, the company will have a full-size solar panel to give visitors an idea of what to expect when they invest in clean energy. Employees from Solar Alternatives will also provide free solar screenings to determine the best options for solar for homes and businesses.

The YMCA of Greater New Orleans has been a part of the New Orleans community since 1852, providing aerobics and other health classes, swimming lessons, after-school programs, summer camps and programs for seniors in three locations in the greater New Orleans area. The nonprofit offers something for people of all ages, and people can buy individual or family memberships. At its booth, the YMCA will offer free passes to visit its three locations. It will also have giveaways and information about special programs.

  The YMCA's summer camps include both overnight and day camps and give kids the opportunity to explore the world around them, whether ourdoors or by trying new activities inside. The YMCA also offers lifeguard training at its pools.

  The YMCA also takes the health of its members seriously, offering support for diabetes patients through its Diabetes Prevention Program and providing all sorts of group exercise classes for adults looking to get and stay fit. Those classes are both fun and challenging, with names like Gutts and Butts and activities like Zumba and Step Combo. The YMCA is committed to the social responsibility its been known for since its founding. Its educational service, for example, provides free reading, math and language skills classes to adults who want to improve their skills. It also sponsors Home for the Holidays, a program that teams up with volunteers to deliver meals to the elderly and homebound on Thanksgiving Day.

Revolution Fitness NOLA aims to put the best training methods under one roof. The personal training gym recognizes that speed, agility and strength are developed skills, and its staff works with individuals to improve their performances.

  Many gyms offer the same treadmills and elliptical machines, but Revolution Fitness NOLA uses functional training tools to hone in on what you most want to improve. Clients don't have to decide what exercises to do on a given day, because a knowledgeable coach will direct them.

  The gym provides adults with one-on-one training, semi-private training and team training with an emphasis on weight loss, conditioning, functional strength, mobility and flexibility and maintenance. It also offers sports performance training through the Parisi Speed School, available to athletes from the age of seven to the pros. The franchise exists in 27 states across America and boasts the ability to make its students faster and stronger.

  Revolution Fitness also offers Training for Warriors, a physical and mental training program developed a decade ago. It helps people develop the muscular and mental strength to take on personal challenges and includes detailed warm-ups, speed training, strength training, endurance and flexibility work. The warrior program has been used by athletes in a variety of fields, including pro football, but it's not limited to athletes. Warriors also include weekend athletes and people looking to get back in shape after a hiatus from working out.

  Cafe Thrive, Revolution Fitness' in-house restaurant, offers food for post-workout boosts.

Address specific vein issues and leg health with La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center, which offers modern vein care under the direction of Dr. Randall Juleff, a certified phlebologist. Located on the Northshore, Juleff provides vein care for tiny spider veins and large varicose veins alike, but it also serves as a full skin-care operation, from cosmetic treatments to state-of-the-art technology for skin cancer and other diseases. Spider veins can be erased using simple methods that do not require surgery, most notably Visual Sclerotherapy, which is a simple solution injected using a small micro needle that causes the vein to seal and disappear over time.

  La Bella also offers a range of nonsurgical procedures from Botox to hair removal. Skin care regimens include Obagi, a system designed to decrease signs of aging and sun damage, as well as other facial fillers that reduce wrinkles through an injection. The vein center also offers photodynamic therapy, which uses light and light-sensitive dye to destroy cancerous skin tumors and other diseases. La Bella Vita uses light therapy in other ways, most notably for its photofacials, which rejuvenate skin with intense pulsed light (IPL). IPL reduces the effects of sun damage and other surface skin conditions.

The laser-based skin-care service American Laser Skincare offers laser hair removal, cellulite reduction, body shaping and skin rejuvenation treatments and adapts treatments depending on a patient's needs and lifestyle.

  Sample nutritional and energy products are from AdvoCare, a health and wellness company offering performance, energy and weight loss products. AdvoCare offers individuals the chance to develop their own independent businesses. Learn more about individual business prospects with AdvoCare at its  booth.

  Children's Hospital has served children in its 247-bed facility in New Orleans for 21 years. It has more than 40 pediatric specialties and more than 400 physicians and is the only full-service hospital exclusively for children in Louisiana and the Gulf South. Pick up tips on healthy eating and summer safety and get more information about Children's Hospital at its booth.

  The expo also is a chance to do something for the health of others by participating in a blood drive sponsored by The Blood Center, the primary supplier of blood to patients in southern Louisiana and Mississippi. Donors will receive a Blood Center T-shirt, a mini-physical and a cholesterol check.

  It Works! Global is a lifestyle products company that offers nutritional supplements, detoxifying creams and remedies. It also sells the It Works! Wrap, designed to tighten, tone and firm a specific area of the body in 45 minutes.

  Walk 4 Recovery is an annual 5K run/walk held in City Park to raise awareness and support individuals recovering from addiction. Stop by the booth to learn more about the race, pick up a giveaway bag and register for the event.

  Ascension Fitness offers personal and small group training in its Metairie facility. Staff will be present to answer questions about exercise and nutrition and give samples of energy drinks.

  If Elmwood Fitness Center's long list of activities and amenities — which includes personal trainers, nutritionists, weight rooms, an indoor track, multiple pools, among other attractions — aren't enough incentive to sign you up for a membership, stop by the booth and pick up a two-week pass to the Harahan fitness complex.

  The National Library of Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, makes reliable health care information accessible online. Its booth will offer a variety of pamphlets on all kinds of health issues, as well as bookmarks and other giveaways.

  St. Margaret's at Mercy is a skilled nursing facility that provides both long- and short-term care, from therapy services to hospice and assisted living. At its booth, St. Margaret's will offer brochures about its services, hand sanitizer, pens and notepads.

  Sunrise of Metairie, a senior living community, provides assisted living, memory care, short-term stays, hospice care and activities and outings to keep seniors active, comfortable and happy. Stop by its booth to learn more about its services.

  Gulf South Foot and Ankle offers podiatric screenings and information regarding foot health at its booth. The clinic provides everything from diabetic foot services to ingrown toenail treatments and serves podiatry patients of all ages.

  Crane Rehab Center will offer a body fat analysis and tests from the functional movement screen to help visitors learn more about their bodies and what they need. The center is known for its physical and occupational therapy, which it offers to both children and adults, as well as its personal training, yoga, Pilates, nutrition consultation and life coaching.

  If you're having trouble hearing, it might be time to get your ears checked, and Zounds Hearing of Metairie will be screening an informational video about hearing health at its booth. The clinic offers free hearing assessments, hearing aid fittings and hearing aid accessories.

  Associated Hearing Inc. also will be at the expo. The full-service medical practice provides hearing screening and testing out of its Metairie office and fits patients for hearing aids, assistive listening devices and tinnitus treatment.

  Premier Fitness will give away a three-month couples membership, as well as water bottles and information about the fitness club and its many classes. Personal trainers from Premier will demonstrate exercises highlighting abs, glutes, battle ropes, slam balls, kettle bells and agility ladders.

  Through its many services, EXCELth Inc. seeks to ensure that all members of the community receive quality health care, regardless of ability to pay. EXCELth provides care from pediatrics to geriatrics, and will have plenty of information to share at its booth about the various health care plans it offers.

  Doctors Imaging offers patients the chance to get outpatient imaging, including X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound and PET, without visiting a hospital. At its booth, Doctors Imaging will provide information on the costs associated with imaging outside of the hospital, as well as information on the importance of preventative screenings for diseases like lung cancer.

  Peoples Health was founded in 1994 as a Medicare Advantage organization. It now serves more than 57,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the Southeast portion of the state. At its booth it will offer Medicare Advantage plan information and Peoples Health promotional items, as well as hurricane preparedness tip sheets and information about high blood pressure.

  Amerigroup Real Solutions in Healthcare, based in Metairie, is a Medicaid health insurance provider serving Louisiana and the United States. Staff at the booth will answer questions and give out free bandaids for visitors.

  UnitedHealthcare Community Plan provides insurance to Medicaid recipients, businesses and individuals and offers access to programs like NurseLine, in which patients receive advice from medical professionals, and Healthy First Steps, a plan designed for mothers and babies. It also provides personal care managers for patients with long-term illnesses.

  In an effort to pinpoint the sources of discomfort in the body, Superior Healthcare of Metairie uses a combination of medical and chiropractic services, in addition to spinal rehabilitation, and attempts to build spinal strength to correct chronic problems. At the booth, get a free infrared spinal assessment.

   All American Medical Services uses chiropractic treatment, massage therapy and rehabilitation to treat patients with back and body pain. Stop by for a free, 10-minute pressure point chair massage, as well as exercise and nutrition advice and samples of Biofreeze, a gel pain reliever.

  Upper Cervical Family Chiropractic will perform nervous system analytics, stress tests, posture analyses and answer any questions about the range of health issues the New Orleans-based clinic covers, including hormone balancing, chiropractic care, detoxes, body cleanses, total body balances and weight loss programs.

  LA Health Solutions also offers chiropractic care, including electrical stimulation, ultrasound therapy, massage, chiropractic adjustments and more. Stop by the booth to get foot leveler scans, bilateral scale readings and posture screenings.

  Breathe Easy Allergy and Asthma aims to allow adults and children to breathe easily with its state-of-the-art medical practice. At its booth, pick up information on allergies and asthma and get an asthma screening.

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