Healthy Woman, an initiative of SkyRidge Medical Center to hold events that promote awareness of women’s health issues, held its seventh anniversary event Tuesday night.
Hundreds of women filled the gym, lobby and sanctuary of Peerless Road Church to see what was available to them in the community and hear from Lisa Smartt, a speaker who gave her advice on working with people.
After taking part in an expo with more than 60 vendors and partaking in refreshments, attendees filed into the sanctuary.
Ann Marie Brewer, director of community relations for SkyRidge Medical Center, took the stage first to thank everyone who had supported Healthy Woman throughout the years and as the event was being planned for that night.
She said she was pleased with how the night had been going so far, adding that, though she did not have an exact number of attendees sitting in the room, 525 tickets had been sold.
The hospital holds events on a regular basis to “empower women with the knowledge and confidence to make informed health care and well-being decisions.” With the exception of annual events like the one held Tuesday, all other events are free. Past events have ranged from topics like heart health to self-defense.
The event’s main speaker focused on having healthy relationships with people.
Smartt, a newspaper columnist originally from Kentucky and living in Dresden, titled her speech, “I thought I was a people person ... until I started working with people.”
Amid stories of turning 50 and noticing a variety of unpleasant bodily changes like having to wear certain undergarments and find bathrooms more often, she spoke of how she had learned to work with people over the years.
“I cannot give you one word of encouragement when it comes to other people,” Smartt said. “There is one person you can control; that is yourself.”
She compared working with people to losing weight, saying that it is small, gradual changes that make the most difference. Then, she listed several concepts she believes can help with relationships.
“If you think you’re better than others, it’s a sure sign you’re not,” Smartt said, listing her first concept.
She told about a conversation she had with an uppity woman from California who was taken aback by her Southern accent on the phone. The woman asked her if she was sure she would be fine with speaking at a high-end event like the one she was planning. Smartt replied that, with her height of more than 6 feet, she would “have the highest end there.”
Despite differences like accents and personal lifestyles, everyone has the same kind of problems in their lives, and all people matter, she said.
“There is no high or low end when it comes to people,” Smartt said. “We can never, ever use terms like ‘white trash’ because people aren’t trash.”
She also spoke of the need to depend on other people, telling a story of how a man in overalls once had to help her refuel a rental car at a gas station because she could not figure out how to do so.
Smartt said everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and one person’s strength can help someone else in their weakness.
“We need people that aren’t like us,” she said.
The other concepts she shared with the audience included the importance of not living in the past, not being arrogant, not gossiping, forgiving those who have done wrong and being merciful to others.
Smartt’s talk was followed by a giveaway of door prizes donated by the expo’s vendors.
Some of the vendors also served “partners” to help support the event. Gold partners included the Cherokee Pharmacy, the Cleveland Daily Banner, Outland Travel and WCLE 104.1. Silver partners included Blush Magazine, Gastrointestinal Associates of Cleveland, the Ocoee OB/GYN Center for Women’s Health, Surgical Associates of Cleveland, P.C. and the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Cleveland. Bronze parters were Chick-fil-A, Jittery Joe’s Coffee, Ocoee Regional Health Centers, Serendipity CB, Stevi B’s Pizza, Tennessee Valley Urology Center, Voytik Center for Orthopedic Care and Welcome Friends.
For more information about joining Healthy Woman and taking part in upcoming events, visit www.skyridgemedicalcenter.net/HealthyWoman.