McLaren Bay Region announced a health awareness campaign today designed to get people thinking and communicating about what being well means to them. Entitled “Be Well”, the project will operate on several levels.
“As a community hospital, part of our responsibility to the public is to encourage wellness, and make wellness opportunities available,” said Kurt Miller, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the 405-bed medical center. “In April, our new magazine, “Be Well” will show up in Bay County mailboxes. We were looking for a way to get people talking about their own health, as well as create some interest in the quarterly magazine. We’re also making two new health-related smart device applications available to the public within the next few weeks,” said Miller.
Within the next few days, Bay County residents will receive a Be Well post card in the mail. “Just follow the directions to read it, write it, snap it, tag it, and share it,” said Miller. “Post it to the McLaren Bay Region Facebook page and we’ll choose ten “posters” to receive a free Be Well T-shirt.”
McLaren Bay provides wellness and screening events throughout the year. Twelve low cost or free screenings for cancer, heart disease, and stroke were conducted during 2012, and more are scheduled for 2013. The hospital screened more than 2,000 people last year.
“Being well means so much more than an absence of illness,” said Laura Love, Health Educator and Screening Coordinator. “No single exercise program, diet, or lifestyle fits everyone, but we can provide a variety of resources for our community, and offer them expert advice on how to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle that works for them.”
As an added wellness benefit, consumers will be able to download two free applications to their smart devices within the next few weeks. “One app will be a generic, user friendly way for consumers to access our website information, but in a format sized and designed for hand held devices,” said Miller. “For instance, we know that after employment opportunities, the number one search item on our site is “Find a Physician.” The app will provide training and location information for every staff physician at McLaren Bay, as well as mapping/directions software and contact information. A complete, searchable health library is also part of the app. “The design is mobile and user friendly,” said Miller.
The second app provides new mothers and mothers-to-be with pregnancy information, links to parenting and baby health sites, pediatric nutrition and immunization information, and much more. “It can help care for children from the time parents start a family until the child leaves for college,” said Patti Krenz, RN, Manager of the Family BirthPlace at McLaren Bay Region. The app provides a baby name generator, kick counter, a contraction timer, appointment calendar, a complete pregnancy manual in PDF format, and information about childbirth education, including Boot Camp for New Dads.
“Parents, especially new parents, can become overwhelmed with information,” said Krenz. “It can be challenging to sort through what’s valuable and what might be misleading. Our Family BirthPlace application review committee consists of an obstetrician, pediatrician, childbirth educator, and maternal and child health experts from the hospital,” said Krenz. “Parents can trust that, although the information does not replace a relationship with a health care provider, it is reviewed and approved by medical and educational experts.”