Tonight Meg and I attended an event hosted by Merrimack College (on campus) along with Fitness Magazine as well as Saints Women’s Medical Center for Health and Wellness. It was great! Upon entering, they had some delicious food set up – some spinach and ricotta flat breads, a penne dish and coconut crusted chicken as well as red or white wine. There were tables set up from local health based businesses such as Calhoun Chiropractic – Family Wellness/Peak Athletic Performance (451 Andover Street, Suite 100, Andover – (978) 681-4500), The Nova Spa (595 Chickering Road, Route 125 North Andover – (978) 685-9723), First Health of Andover which specializes in Acupuncture (1 Dundee Park, Suites 1 & 2, Andover – (978) 474-9994), among others.
Everyone was really friendly, it was a relaxing atmosphere. Meg and I were definitely the youngest women there, but it was good – change of scenery. We walked around and chatted for a bit before sitting down. Once we took our seats, we were introduced to the new wellness center through a quick video. Made to mirror spa-like facilities, this place looks amazing. From the bathrobes you change into, to the waterfall in the waiting room (along with WiFi, soothing music and coffee/tea) you are pretty much guaranteed a comfortable, anxiety-free environment.
This place was designed in order to please women, to make them feel at ease. The level of expertise that comes along with the aesthetically pleasing surroundings is top notch. If you live in the Andover area, you would have had to travel to Boston before this new facility was established, however now it’s right in your backyard. They have a partnership with the Radiologist at MGH’s Imaging Department, and once Tomosynthesis is approved (a digital mammography) Saints Women’s Center will be one of the only places in New England with this equipment.
The first speaker was Dr. Julie Jones (Director), a graduate of Boston’s Partner’s Breast Surgery Fellowship Program. She spoke of how serious breast cancer is. Did you know that one in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime? I have at least 7 or 8 friends (I think?…) It’s so scary to think that one of us might eventually get breast cancer. This is one of those things where you figure, ‘that’ll never happen to me,’ but you can never be sure. All women (and even men) need to keep on top of checking for lumps and bumps on a regular basis.
The Health and Wellness Center will offer Breast Imaging – mammograms (Dr. Jones said at the age of 40 you should be getting a mammogram regularly), ultrasounds, MRI’s, etc. One woman spoke up about how stressful waiting for the results of a mammogram can be. She explained how results usually take about two weeks, which adds about twenty years to her life. Then they call and say they didn’t get the whole picture and that she would have to come back. Then it takes about three weeks to get those results, which adds another ten years. Dr. Jones said that the wait for results will decrease with calling patients instead of sending letters containing their results.
Another woman bravely stood up to tell us her story. She had found a lump in May (a few years ago), wasn’t diagnosed until October. She explained how she had to travel to MGH in Boston and that the women of this area are now lucky to have all of this expertise, knowledge and technology right at their fingertips. She encouraged everyone to go to the Health and Wellness Center.
They offer genetic testing as well – BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations. 10% of all breast cancer cases are hereditary. When there are three or more people in your family affected by breast cancer, you might want to think about genetic testing. It’s now a wash and spit test, no longer a blood test.
The next speaker was Dr. Bill Chun who was hilarious (he practices GYN at the Health and Wellness Center, not the OB part FYI.) Dr. Chun explained how he likes to give each patient a personal experience – he likes to chat and get to know everybody. First topic was menopause – Chun told us that in 1899 people believed that if you ground up dried cow ovaries, that this should be helpful for women experiencing menopause (anyone willing to try?)
Bioidentical Hormones have been prescribed to Dr. Chun’s patients for menopause side effects, including night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. Let’s get one thing straight – hot flashes scare the shit out of me. I already turn red reeeally easy – I don’t need any help getting nervous, turning red and sweating – nothankyou – I can do that on my own. Apparently for 70% of women who experience hot flashes will experience them for two years (in some cases they go with you all the way to your sixties! That’s outrageous Mother Nature!)
Lastly, Dr. Kathleen O’Keefe (Podiatrist) spoke. Dr. O’Keefe explained how she continuously saw patients come in with infections from salon pedicures. They now offer a medical pedicure at this facility (however, no polish! bummer.) With a medical pedicure, everything they use is sterile, they don’t use jets (so no bacteria), they are able to use sharp instruments unlike salons, they do a medical exam while giving the pedicure so they can address common issues such as fungus and athletes foot (sexy.)
They offer a bio-mechanical exam in order to identify bunyons as well as hammer toes (yum.) They offer a chemical peel for those big, gross, annoying calluses we all get (even if we’re ashamed of them.) Also, two different injections are used: 1 – Sculpture is inserted into the bottom of the foot to give it more cushion and 2 – Botox is used in order to address excess sweating (feet are so much fun to talk about.)
Overall this new Center seems like a wonderful addition to the Merrimack Valley. A doctor’s office with a spa-like feel seems like it would be enticing to any woman. Maybe the Bostonians will be shuttling out to the suburbs for treatment instead of vice-versa?
Check out their website – http://www.saintswomenscenter.com/
While browsing through some of their literature that was handed out Meg found this class – Sexual Violence, First Responders Training. Saints offers it free of charge on April 13th with three different sessions: 9-10am, 3-4pm and 7-8pm. ‘This educational program will assist clinical and non-clinical workers in responding to family, friends, patients or co-workers who disclose that they have been a victim of sexual abuse.’ For anyone who knows someone or who is interested in volunteering somewhere where this could be useful, please inquire more –
On another note… Today Nicole and I decided to go get our (probably last, unfortunately) free burritos from the Boloco in Harvard Square. We only had a short amount of time to get to the Boloco, order and get back to work. We rushed to the T, ran down the stairs, and just missed the train! Oh wait, oops, we’re on the wrong side. Duh! We heard the announcement, ‘the next red line train to Alewife is now approaching…’ We looked at each other, mutual thoughts being, CRAP – WE NEED TO GET OVER THERE! We ran like we’ve never run before, up the steps, across the street, down the steps, through the ticket thing and onto the train – just made it. Thank you sweet baby Jesus! That burrito is worth everything and anything. SO SO delicious.
Ok, it’s way too late for me to be up. I’m really enjoying the whole blogging thing, I hope you are too. Goodnight! :)