SB2: What We Learned About Women’s Health

Panelists of SB2: Taking Care. From L to R: Drs. John Fezza, Christina de Guia, Lori Abrams, Elizabeth Callahan and Chippy Nalluri, Moderator Wes Roberts. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Panelists of SB2: Taking Care. From L to R: Drs. John Fezza, Christina de Guia, Lori Abrams, Elizabeth Callahan and Chippy Nalluri, Moderator Wes Roberts. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Last week, SRQ Media hosted SB2 Taking Care: Advancements in Women’s Health at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. The panel was stacked with some of Sarasota’s most notable physicians, and we’re not embarrassed to admit that we learned more than just a thing or two about the changing world of health care. The morning kicked off with a warm welcome by Jay Clarkson, Principal at CS&L CPAs, the SB2 Sarasota Series Sponsor. As an organization, CS&L is dedicated to heartfelt community investment–through service, outreach programs like CS&L CARES and sponsorship of local events like SB2 that encourage conversation and growth. Being a firm that cares about the community it calls home, Jay noted the importance of keeping the women in our region healthy so that they may be able to give back in big ways. We couldn’t agree more.

Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs welcomes the crowd to SB2. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs welcomes the crowd to SB2. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Taking Care’s panel featured some of the greatest medical minds in our region. Panelists included Doctors Lori Abrams, OBGYN, Abrams Center for Women; Elizabeth Callahan, Dermatologic Surgeon, SkinSmart Dermatology; Christina de Guia, Psychiatrist, Private Practice; John Fezza, Cosmetic Facial Surgeon, Center for Sight; Chippy Nalluri, Cardiologist, Heart Specialists of Sarasota. We jotted down a few notes over breakfast (The Francis KNOWS how to put out a spread for a hungry, early morning crowd!). Here’s what we learned:

Dr. Lori Abrams answers a question at SB2. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan.

Dr. Lori Abrams answers a question at SB2. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan.

1. Treatment and medical care for women is constantly advancing–even with the assistance of non-medical technology! Commenting on the changing ways we look at health care, Dr. Elizabeth Callahan noted, “Selfies are are creating awareness of melanoma. I went on a local news show to talk about the recent viral photo of a young woman with skin cancer. For older women, non-invasive treatments are becoming more readily available. Using them in what I call ‘non-cookbook’ ways to stimulate collagen produces more natural looking results for patients,” said Callahan.

As women age, their health needs most definitely change. “It is a well known fact that women outlive men. As we age, our bodies begin to calcify–even our arteries,” said Dr. Chippy Nalluri. “The heart’s output becomes restricted. Previously, surgery to treat this condition was very invasive. Now, the same procedure can be done through a very small incision in the leg. This change in procedure is the single-handed best advancement in cardiac care. And it is being offered at SMH.”

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Dr. Chippy Nalluri addresses the crowd at SB2: Taking Care. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

2. Stress is no joke. Take it seriously. We’ve all heard it before: stress hormones have a negative effect on the body. For women, the pressures of work/life balance and responsibilities can quickly add up to be the perfect stress storm. Dr. Lori Abrams has seen how women’s natural process can be corrupted by stress’ physical manifestation. “Stress impacts a woman’s ability to get pregnant,” she said. But it doesn’t stop there. Our body’s natural function can be affected on all levels, “stress hormones affect overall health: from the skin, to the heart and even to fertility,” said Dr. Abrams. She also noted that “as women, we are often busy taking care of everyone else and it begins to take a toll on us.”

In the field of dermatology, Dr. Callahan sees the outward stress symptoms, “We see tons of patients with dermatitis and hives. The pace of the world we live in is taking an effect on the health of women.” In fact, the speed of the world changes even our expectations about getting healthy, losing weight or refreshing a few wrinkles. Dr. John Fezza mentioned that within his practice, he never wants to deliver a narrow solution to a larger problem. “My patients may come in and want a quick fix, but what I look to do is make them look and feel better. Which is sometimes much more of a process than they’d like to hear.”

3. Staying healthy isn’t rocket science. There are plenty of things you can do to keep your body in ship shape for the long haul. You have heard all sorts of things, right? Eight glasses of water a day, eating a whole spectrum of colorful fruits and vegetables–we know the right things to do. But sometimes, it just takes a little consciousness, too. “There is no perfect sunscreen. If you’re trying to avoid wrinkles and sun damage, wear SPF 30 or higher every day. If you’re going to spend a lot of time outside, you’re going to get wrinkles. But whatever you do, wear sunscreen and protective clothing and always stay sun smart,” said Dr. Callahan. 

Knowing your family history is also important said Dr. de Guia. “Understand your genetics. If you start to have trouble sleeping and lose concentration, these could be signs of depression. And always exercise, eat a good diet and get enough sleep.”

Dr. Nalluri mentioned something that really stuck with us, “getting a disease isn’t the natural process of aging. Maintaining healthy nutrition and lifestyle are of critical importance of aging in health.”

SRQ Media produces the SB2 Symposia series with bimonthly panel discussions as part of our commitment to foster a community of growth and development. Visit SRQSB2.com for upcoming topics and event details. The July 23rd SB2: Helping People, will take place at The Francis at 7:30AM. We hope you’ll join us!

From L to R: Nancy Morgan and Dr. Elizabeth Callahan pose for a photo with Ashley Grant of SRQ Media. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

From L to R: Nancy Morgan and Dr. Elizabeth Callahan pose for a photo with Ashley Grant of SRQ Media. Photo credit: Shane Donglasan

BONUS! All of our amazing panelists had something very important to say about taking charge of your health. Don’t just be a patient, be a partner in your health with your physician. With recent regulation changes and the myriad of treatments available, talk to your doctor and be sure that when you have a concern, see a health care professional. It could save your life. We were stunned to hear a statistic presented by Dr. Nalluri, “64% of women who die from a cardiovascular disease or event had no idea they had a condition. The urgency of preventative care has to happen at a grassroots level. It has to spread to our children and to our parents,” she said.

Guests of SB2 smile for a photo over breakfast. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

Guests of SB2 smile for a photo over breakfast. Photo Credit: Shane Donglasan

A gallery of images from SB2: Women Taking Care can be found here. 

For a more in-depth look at this and other SB2 events, pick up a copy of SRQ | The Magazine!

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