Lee County will be the first of three stops for the 12th Annual Health Ministry Empowerment Tour.
The free health enrichment event featuring health screenings, educational workshops and fun activities will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 at Lee Central Middle School.
Sponsored by IMARA Woman magazine, Select Health of South Carolina and AmericHealth Caritas Partnership, the South Carolina tour is designed to educate and inspire and serve as a catalyst for healthy living, said Cindy Helling, executive director of Select Health, which offers First Choice, the state's oldest and largest Medicaid health plan.
"It aligns perfectly with our mission to help people get care, stay well and build healthy communities," Helling said.
Elease Lloyd, director of day services at the Gibbs Activity Center, is serving as the local co-chairwoman of the program's steering committee. She said the event is designed for women.
"We are telling the women to leave the kids at home," said Lloyd, "and come out to have a good time, fellowship with others, and take advantage of the health screenings. This is an opportunity to grow spiritually, mentally and physically."
The program will include a fashion show, door prizes and entertainment. A complimentary lunch will be highlighted by featured speaker Ernestine Pringle, who will deliver a message about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Pringle, a wife, mother, grandmother, entrepreneur and South Carolina pastor, will speak on the importance of "one small change," the theme of this year's tour. She will share her personal perspective as a diabetes survivor and relay how an open mind can lead to positive change and make a significant difference in a person's health and overall happiness.
A dozen workshops will be offered, and participants may attend up to two. Featured titles include "Why Taking Your Medication Matters," which emphasizes the importance of filling and taking prescription medications every day and "Make Me Over Eb!" with Ebony "Eb" Looney, a budding style guru who will present tips on make-overs and style.
"Matriarchs are often primary caregivers who make health and lifestyle decisions for entire households," said Maria Pajil Battle, president of ACP.
"Everyone benefits when a caregiver commits to making one small change to improve their own health as well as the well-being of those around them. Positive changes, whether physical, emotional, dietary or related to appearance, can lead to dramatic improvements in health and quality of life."
Advance registration is required, and space is limited, so guests are asked to sign up early for this popular community event at www.imarawoman.com or by calling (803) 252-0647.
"We can accommodate as many as 250," Lloyd said. "At last count, we were up to 130 registering so far. So, we urge women to go ahead and sign up as soon as possible. This event is so popular that you'll have women all over the state who have been to this in the past to come back. It is that good."
Additional stops will include Conway Middle School in Conway on Oct. 5 and Eau Claire High School in Columbia on Oct. 26.
WANT TO GO
Health Ministry Empowerment Tour 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Sept. 7 Lee Central Middle School Register: www.imarawoman.com or by calling (803) 252-0647