Minnesota Hospital Association


January 16, 2019

Mayo Clinic Health System offers women’s health and wellness program

Since 2008, Mayo Clinic Health System has offered an annual women’s health program designed to educate women on health prevention and wellness. In 2018, Mayo Clinic Health System hosted a Women’s Health and Well-Being Symposium at locations in Albert Lea, Owatonna and Red Wing.

To design the program, a regional committee composed of Community Engagement and Public Affairs staff from Albert Lea, Owatonna and Red Wing came together to identify symposium topics in alignment with Community Health Needs Assessment findings. The program focused on mental health, including mental illness and issues stemming from drug addiction, and promoted resiliency and strategies for managing physical pain induced by stressful situations.

The committee partnered with Mayo Clinic Health System care providers who are experts in the field of mental health related to addiction, pain management and resilience. Approximately 25 staff and volunteers, in addition to the speakers, helped to make the three events successful in each location. Over 300 women attended the free events and heard how resiliency can positively impact mental and physical health, and how drug addiction can impact all aspects of life.

Sarah Stinson, a licensed professional counselor and facilitator in Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) at Mayo Clinic Health System, shared strategies on how to manage stress by expressing silent gratitude and positive thinking. To reinforce these strategies, guests received “The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living” by Dr. Amit Sood.

Dr. Tyler Oesterle, a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic Health System – Fountain Centers in Albert Lea, discussed unique mental health issues women experience from addiction and Carol Gardner, a certified women’s health physical therapist, provided techniques for calming physical pain induced by stressful situations. Guests were provided educational material that addressed signs of drug addiction and the road to recovery, plus habits for healthy living and fulfillment.

In a survey, attendee shared that their top three learnings were mindfulness, pain management and gratitude. In addition, the survey suggested future symposium topics such as the aging process, healthy diet and mental health focused on depression. The financial investment of $24,000 made an impact on the health and wellness of the communities. Participants appreciated the event and look forward to the 2019 Women’s Health and Well-Being Symposium.