Cardiologist, robot headline this year’s Women’s Heart to Heart lunch

The Telestroke robot chats with Dr. Stephen Bell, Susie Fisher and Linda Kaino, from left, at Ocean Beach Hospital's Health Fair last September. Fisher and the robot will be part of the Women's Heart to Heart lunch program at the Elks Lodge this Friday.

ILWACO — Five years ago, Cheryl Holman wanted to create a forum where women could discuss health issues. Enlisting the support of several Ocean Beach Hospital Auxiliary members and hospital employees, Holman headed a small but determined group that cobbled together a few dollars and fashioned a one-hour educational presentation.  

It was a modest event with snacks, some handouts and a crowd of about 30. They called it Women’s Heart to Heart. It’s all grown up now. Last year, the forum drew a full house of more than 175 people. This year, organizers are anticipating 200. 

“Heart to Heart is an event that has taken on a life of its own,” said Denise Ross, the diabetes educator at Ocean Beach Hospital. Ross is one of the hospital employees Holman first approached with the idea. 

Dr. Diana Rinkevich, a cardiologist from OHSU, will be one of three speakers at this year’s lunch, Feb. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to       2:30 p.m. at the Long Beach Elks Lodge.

“We’ve always had great speakers and this year is no exception,” Ross said. “We’re delighted that we will have a cardiologist speaking at the event.”

“One Heart at a Time” is the theme of this year’s forum, which is co-sponsored by Ocean Beach Hospital Auxiliary and Gift Shop, and Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics.

In addition to Dr. Rinkevich, other speakers will include Gwen Meyer, ARNP, from the Naselle Clinic; and Susie Fisher, RN, the regional program manager of the Providence Stroke Center in Portland.

Rinkevich’s presentation is entitled “Heart Disease in Women, Are We Different?”  Meyer’s presentation is entitled “Drug Use in the Grown-up Golden Years.” Fisher’s presentation is entitled “Know the Signs:  Stroke Prevention and Awareness.”

“Gwen Meyer spoke at our event last year and was just inspirational. She really connected with the audience,” Ross added. “We’re expecting a repeat performance from her.” 

As in past years, there will be a question and answer session with the speakers, a heart-healthy lunch, raffle items, free blood sugar and blood pressure checks and a lot of information.

Also as in past years, organizers are encouraging women to wear red in support of the American Heart Association’s ‘Go Red for Women’ movement.

Along with the speakers, Ocean Beach Hospital’s Telestroke robot will make a guest appearance at the forum and may even pose for pictures, Ross said. “The robot was a big hit at our health fair in the fall – he has a lot of personality and a great sense of humor.” 

Tickets are available at Peninsula Pharmacies and Ocean Beach Hospital Gift Shop. The cost is $7. For more information, call 642-6308.

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