On any given day, moms can treat their kids to loads of fun at Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center. On May 8, NorthShore Health Centers commandeered the space and hosted “We are Wild About Moms,” an event designed to treat moms for a change!
Sponsored by MDwise Indiana Wellness Consultants for the third year in a row, “We are Wild About Moms” reminded mothers in the community to care for themselves as seriously as they care for their children. Tricia Hall, NorthShore Health Centers Director of Marketing and Patient Relations, said that the event kicked off “Women’s Health Month,” a month devoted to celebrating women and spreading women’s health awareness.
“Every year in the month of May, we have ‘Women’s Health Week,’ and last year we extended it to ‘Women’s Health Month,’” Hall said. “It’s just a way for us to honor women: women are the heart of the family, and if they don’t take care of themselves, then how can they take care of their families?”
Through the month of May, NorthShore Health Centers are offering women a discounted full-body screening— that includes a complete physical, a breast exam, a mammogram, a pap smear, and a blood test and assessment. The exam will be just $75 for those not covered by insurance.
“It's an amazing deal,” Hall said. “To get a mammogram nowadays, the lowest cost possible without insurance is about $99.”
Information about the offer was available at “We are Wild About Moms.” NorthShore Health Centers also set up free blood pressure and vision screenings, and the NorthShore Prenatal Care department was present to educate new and expecting mothers on breast feeding and car seat safety.
Pampering perks included massages, scent therapy, and lotion sampling. For small donations, attendees could sign up to win door prizes featuring donated goods and gift cards from places like Babies R Us, Walgreens, NorthShore Health Centers Pharmacy, and many more.
Michelle Higel, Lead Family Care Coordinator for NorthShore Health Centers, planned “We are Wild About Moms.” Higel was thrilled with the event’s success in its third year.
“NorthShore is passionate about giving back to the community, and this is one of many events that we host that are free for the community to attend,” Higel said. “This is just a way to focus on the moms today—making sure that they’re not just taking care of their kids, they’re taking care of themselves, too.”
The event also featured the NorthShore Family Care unit—Higel’s team—which worked in tandem with MDwise to assess family needs. For instance, if a family needed clothing or a list of nearby food pantries, the Family Care team helped connect that family to those needs. If a family was uninsured, the NorthShore Outreach team navigated their needs and scheduled appointments to enroll families for Medicaid programs.
Kim Eldrige, Northwest Outreach Consultant for MDwise, said that the event presented a perfect chance to connect with families in need.
“Many of the families that you see coming through here are MDwise members,” Eldridge said. “This is a really good opportunity for us to tell them everything they need to know about the Medicaid they have and answer lots of questions for them. It’s a really good opportunity to hook up with our members, and to actually find people who are uninsured and get them involved.”
Eldridge said MDwise and NorthShore Health Centers have been partners for many years, and with good reason.
“We work really well together because [North Shore Health Centers is] a federally qualified health center—we refer our members to them and vice versa,” Eldridge said. “So it’s a really great relationship.”
Eldridge and her team enjoy “We are Wild About Moms” for both the community connections and the chance to partner with other great organizations.
“Working with NorthShore is always great,” Eldridge said. “And there’s a really great diversity in the partners we have here today.”
Other organizations present were Geminus Head Start, CareSource, and the Hobart Police Department, who created child safety IDs for the kids, much to the kids’ enjoyment.
While moms were the focus of the event, kids were definitely having a ball. Most booths featured a kid-friendly activity—and they were at Bellaboo’s, after all.
“We’re having a great time,” attendee Lisa Deneau said. “It’s my daughter’s first time coming here, so she’s having a blast going into all the different rooms! And it’s good for moms to get all the information out there that can help us out.”
Another attendee, Vinessa Rivers, said that while relaxation was the primary goal of the day, she was also interested in gathering local healthcare information.
“It’s important for me to be here, because we’re actually relocating to Northwest Indiana from Chicago this year,” Rivers said. “I want to get as much info as possible!”
Fun and awareness can be a tough line to straddle, but the NorthShore Health Centers “We are Wild About Moms” day pulled it off.
“We just want to let moms know they’re important, they’re special, and it’s important for them to take care of their health!” Higel said.