Join us this year as we celebrate two decades of empowering women through Forrest Health’s Spirit of Women program! 

WHY DOES SPIRIT OF WOMEN MATTER?

Why does Spirit of Women matter?

Because you matter. As more than 8,000 members of all ages have come to understand, taking care of yourself, first and foremost, will ensure that those you love and are responsible for will be taken care of, as well.

As Spirit of Women celebrates 20 years, women of the Pine Belt have come to count on the Forrest Health program as a resource to keep them in the know on the latest in healthcare, not just for themselves, but for those who count on you to take care of them, look after them, whether it be family, friends, or a pet.

Spirit of Women is about taking action for women and their health, because they take care of everybody else. If they don’t stay healthy, then who is going to care of the rest of the family? Females understand juggling so many different aspects of life. If a female has a profession or is a stay-at-home mom, whatever her chosen path in life, she is juggling so many more things. If she works, she comes homes and is responsible for the meal, getting kids taken care of, picked up at school, their social events, plus trying to be a volunteer and be a part of the community.

Each year programs are customized to meet the needs of today’s women and their families, providing health education events and health screenings in a fun and entertaining way that we call “health-u-tainment.” Great guest speakers provide the entertainment on topics ranging from gardening to home decorating, while experts from Forrest Health relay important health care information covering all stages of a woman’s life.

Forrest Health Vice President, Millie Swan, said she loves that SOW stresses that women take care of themselves, but also do something for laughter, thus the health-u-tainment. “I always say, ‘What woman wants to go hear a lecture about having a hysterectomy? It’s not what she wants to talk about. But if you can remind her to have her mammogram, colonoscopy, go and schedule her health checkups, in addition to her family, then we’ve put somebody on the right track.”

Spirit of Women doesn’t discriminate against age, which is a big draw. It is relevant to women of all ages, in all stages of their life.

 “There’s wisdom in every season of life. You are always learning, looking back, and reflecting, moving forward,” Swan said. “Everybody wants to age gracefully and enjoy each season. SOW offers that too. Younger moms or younger women are harder to reach because they are busy with careers, volunteer work in the community, children, carpooling, and dropping off, so that’s one thing we try to give a lot of thought to.  What’s going to be appealing to a 30 or 40 year old is going to be different to that of a 50 or 60 year old and beyond, because we are all in different places.”

There are many benefits to membership for women to take advantage of. In addition to becoming more informed regarding your health and the health of your loved ones, members receive:

  • Lifetime membership in a nationally-recognized program for just $20
  • Exclusive, members-only discounts to SOW programs and events
  • Discounts from local business through Rewards Partners
  • Newsletters

Each month, SOW members receive a digital newsletter which includes a variety of events designed for women and their families, ranging from travel programs and hobbies to informative health topics, screenings, awards, and competitions. The newsletter also includes interesting health and hospital-related stories, healthy recipes, and an extensive list of Rewards Partners.

Women helping and encouraging women is the goal of these programs. “The goal of our Spirit of Women program is to empower women with information, so they can make healthy choices for themselves and their families,” said Swan.

As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we hope you will join us as we continue our goal to provide women with valued resources, informative events, encouragement, and more. Looking ahead at all the events and things we have planned, this is a great year to become a SOW member.

For more information or to join Spirit of Women, visit forresthealth.org/spiritofwomen.

PROM-A-PALOOZA RECAP

Another successful Prom-A-Palooza is in the books!

Thirty-nine girls said “Yes to the Dress!” at this year’s event! We hope each girl left smiling, feeling beautiful, and ready to have a blast at prom this year! Thank you to the girls who shopped our event and allowed the Spirit Girls to play a small role in your BIG night!

A HUGE thank you to our community partners! Bliss Bridal provided our event space. WestGate Cleaners provided girls with a 50% discount on formal dry cleaning. WDAM came out to cover our event and help get the word out. Homes of Hope provided the pre-event rentals. We are so grateful to all of you that make this event such a success!

CANCER CENTER ART CONTEST

Forrest General Cancer Center invites artists of all ages to participate in our “Colors of Courage: A Celebration of Hope,” 25th Anniversary Art Contest!
 
Whether you’re a youth, an adult, or a master of originality, we want to see your work. Don’t miss out on this chance to showcase your talent and support our cause!
 
Winners will be selected from each of the following categories: 
  • Youth (ages 10 – 17)
  • Adult (ages 18 – and up)
  • Coloring Outside the Lines (Originality)
 
2-D art submissions will be accepted starting March 13th – April 17th. Any submissions will be considered a donation as they may be displayed in the Forrest General Cancer Center. 
 
For full submission guidelines and forms, visit forresthealth.org/art or click the button below.

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH

Do YOU want to make an impact this National Volunteer Month?!? Beginning April 22, our Ambassador Program is taking donations for our Comfort Cart to benefit patients undergoing treatment at Forrest General Hospital!

Student Ambassadors provide emotional support and personal hygiene items to patients with the assistance of our Comfort Cart. Many patients are admitted to the hospital overnight without such items as toothpaste, toothbrush, or deodorant, which can make a big difference during a patient’s stay. All items are free to patients.

Help us fill our Comfort Cart to continue to provide support and care for our patients!

Donated items may be dropped off at the Forrest General Hospital Information Desk located at 6051 US 49, Hattiesburg, MS. Enter from the HWY 49 entrance Monday, April 22 – Friday, April 26, 7 am-4:30 pm. All items will be given to patients undergoing treatment at NO cost.

Items to donate:

  • Colored Pencils
  • Coloring/Crossword Puzzles
  • Travel Size Deodorant, Toothpaste, Lotion, Shampoo, and Conditioner
  • Chapstick
  • Playing Cards
  • Brush/Comb
  • Small Stuffed Animals (new)
  • Dental Floss

WILL YOU BE WATCHING THE SOLAR ECLIPSE?

On Monday, April 8, we’re all going to be in the dark. But don’t worry, it won’t last long and it won’t be pitch black. Parts of the country are preparing for a total solar eclipse which will occur on that day and can be viewed by millions in Mexico, 15 states, and Canada. It’s a big deal with some Hattiesburg businesses planning special events. Some people are even driving to areas such as Arkansas or Missouri, where there will be a total eclipse.

This will be the third solar eclipse in the past seven years with others occurring August 2017, October 2023, and now April 2024. According to timeanddate.com, the next viewable total solar eclipse for North America won’t be until August 23, 2044.

For those wanting to view the eclipse, you need to take special precautions. Exposing your eyes to the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can cause retinal burns or solar retinopathy. The retina has no sensitivity to pain, and since the effects of retinal damage may not appear for hours, there is no warning that an injury to your eye has occurred.

To view the eclipse you need a special pair of safe certified solar eclipse glasses, NOT sunglasses. Regular sunglasses and other types of tinted plastic or glass are not strong enough to protect your eyes, even when the sun is partially covered by the moon. The eclipse can also damage your phone’s camera, which is a lot like your eyes. They both take in large quantities of light and are quite sensitive.

WHY GUT HEALTH MATTERS

Though your gut is an essential part of your digestive system, it also plays an important role in your overall wellness. Your colon and intestines host many different bacteria, called microflora, which vary from person to person based on infant nutrition, use of antibiotics, age, and diet. It may sound strange that your gut has bacteria, but microflora are incredibly important to your health, as a fundamental part of your immune system, and influence the absorption of minerals into your body. It is important that you have the correct balance of bacteria in your gut. An imbalance in these bacteria can cause issues like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenteritis, and even colon cancer. Clinical studies have shown that certain food products, called probiotics, can stimulate growth of your microflora and may help keep them in balance, leaving you with a happier gut. There are several other digestive problems that can keep you feeling down and out. Many digestive issues are controllable, while others have a genetic component. If you are experiencing belly symptoms, talk to your doctor to find out the cause, condition, and the best course of action.

Follow these tips to help keep your gut happy and healthy:

  1. Choose food-based probiotics: Probiotics are the good bacteria found in many fermented foods and supplements. Several yogurts contain probiotics, which can boost your good gut bacteria and
    reduce your bad bacteria.
  2. Eat prebiotics: Prebiotics contain non-digestible carbohydrates that feed probiotics and have been linked to a reduction in fat storage and irritable bowel syndrome. Prebiotics are found in whole grains, bananas, garlic, onions, honey, asparagus, and artichokes.
  3. Skip the fatty foods: Some fats can increase your levels of bad bacteria and even damage the gut lining. Fats may slow digestion and, of course, contribute to weight gain and even cancer. Daily fat should be no more than 30 percent of calories, ideally mono- and polyunsaturated fat sources versus saturated fat.
  4. Stop stressing: Stress can change your gut flora, reducing your good bacteria. It can also create negative changes in how your immune system functions, so for a happy belly, figure out what has you stressing, and start taking steps to eliminate your stressors.
  5. Count to 20: Chew your food many times for proper digestion and to feel full. A good rule of thumb is to chew each bite for 20 seconds. Also, eating smaller meals more often can help reduce the fullness that can cause indigestion. 

BARIATRIC SUPPORT GROUP

Join the Bariatric Support Group on the first Tuesday of each month for the support you need after surgery! 

April’s meeting will be about overcoming nutritional deficiencies after bariatric surgery.

Meetings are held in the Forrest General Hospital Cafeteria Meeting Rooms from 6pm – 7pm.

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP

Forrest General Hospice Services offers a Bereavement Support Group that meets the first Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Asbury Hospice House dining room. If you are looking for spiritual and emotional support after the death of a loved one, please join us! 

Madalene's Moms : Spring Session

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Whether you are expecting a new addition or you are adding to the family, we have the perfect class for you!

PREGNANCY EXERCISE: Tuesday, 5:30 PM – June 11th

JUST MOVIN’: Mondays, 9:00 AM – June 10th, 17th, 24th, July 8th, 15th, 22nd

FIRST YEAR: Mondays, 10:30 AM – June 10th, 17th, 24th, July 8th, 15th, 22nd

TODDLER YEARS: Wednesdays, 9:30 AM – June 12th, 19th, 26th, July 10th, 17th, 24th

EVENING CLASS: Thursdays, 5:30 PM -June 13th, 20th, 27th, July 11th, 18th, 25th

Order at CAREing Expressions Gift Shop!

CAREing Expressions Delivers: Do you have a loved one in the hospital or a friend who had a baby? Take a few minutes to brighten their day with a gift card from CAREing Expressions! Flowers, candy, cards,  and balloons make a great “Get Well Soon” gift, or think outside the box with candles and decorative or beauty items from the gift shop! 
The best part is you don’t even have to leave work or home. Shop by calling 601-288-4283 to find everything you need and have it delivered anywhere in the hospital, excluding the ICU, at no extra charge!

REACHING FOR THE STARS

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    Do you want to join Spirit of Women?
Do you need a new keytag?  Do you need to update your address? 
Simply call Spirit of Women at 601-288-4968 or email spiritofwomen@forrestgeneral.com. 

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