As a registered nurse, Sue Hoover first became interested in women's health while working as a nursing supervisor.

As a registered nurse, Sue Hoover first became interested in women's health while working as a nursing supervisor. "I was frequently called to the OB unit when there was a crisis and I realized just how interesting women's health was," she explained. "While it initially was obstetrics that drew me to women's health, over the years I was able to see the many facets there was to women's health. Once I became involved in the various areas, I was hooked."


Today, Hoover is still following her passion as the director of Women's Health Services at Dublin Methodist Hospital. She recently shared her thoughts and information regarding women's health with Columbus Parent Magazine readers.

Q: How do you define Women's Health Services?
A: Traditionally, women's health was thought to include only issues of childbirth and reproductive health, however it is now seen as the effect of female gender on disease and health that takes into account a broad range of biological and psychological issues.


Q: What are the hot topics for women's health now?
A: Since midlife women are the fastest growing segment today, many of the hot topics center on this generation. Since heart disease is the number one killer of women in America today, a great deal of research and education is taking place in this area. This generation of women has raised their families and is now ready to focus on themselves for a change. They are very focused on staying healthy and therefore there is a great deal of attention being placed on nutrition, exercise and routine health screening. Cancer prevention and breast health are also important issues since the rate and incidence of cancer is on the rise. However, depending upon the age group you are talking about there are many hot topics, which is the reason women's health is such a great area to work in.

Q: What are the most important things for women to know about their bodies?
A: Women today should respect their bodies and themselves. Society has put so much emphasis on body image, that women spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fit the stereotypical model. Instead women should understand that we come in all shapes and sizes and that there are more important issues. Maintaining good health habits and getting regular health checkups will go far in keeping women healthy and ensure early detection of any potential illness or disease.

Q: What are simple ways to reduce stress?
A: In our fast-paced world, stress is something we live with day in and day out. We must learn to deal with it. A few good ways are to:
Take time to meditate, pray or practice some form of mind/body relaxation.
Exercise—the change in body chemistry during exercise can produce endorphins which releases soothing hormones.
Dietary changes—reducing sugar, carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol can reduce stress.
Writing—writing things down helps to release the negativity associated with stress.

Q: Could reducing stress help to alleviate the onset of the disease processes?
A: Absolutely! Our bodies are designed to rise to challenges by fleeing or fighting the enemy or by performing feats of strength that seem impossible. Our bodies cannot tell the difference between true life-threatening emergencies and the anxieties, worries, stresses, and challenges of daily life. This stress has the same effect on our bodies and can affect our health in ways we might not even imagine. Chronic stress is like a vise gripping your body. So getting rid of stress gets rid of the problem that causes diseases and other health issues.

Q: What can women do to nurture their bodies and improve their health?
A: They can take care of themselves by reducing stress, eating right, exercising and obtaining regular health checkups.

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how women can find more time for themselves?
A: First, they have to make it a priority that is equal to the other priorities in their lives. In order to do that, they have to schedule this time. Start by scheduling small amounts of time, like 15 minutes, to read a book, take a warm, relaxing bath, etc.Gradually schedule increasingly longer periods where you allow yourself to chill out.

Q: What is one thing that the reader should know about women's health?
A: Women's health is about more than just babies and breasts. Because women are the primary caregivers and, in most cases, the decision makers for all heath care decisions for their loved ones, it is important for them to take care of themselves and become educated on health care information that will improve the health of their family and friends.

Q: Can you tell me about the Women's Health Services at Dublin Methodist Hospital?
A: As a new community member of Dublin, Dublin Methodist Hospital takes our role of providing high-quality patient care and relevant healthcare information to those we serve very seriously. Women's health is one of the key service lines being provided at Dublin Methodist Hospital. Since women make 85 percent of the healthcare decisions for their families, we are making healthcare education a priority. The education we provide will cover all generations of women and topics related to the health and well-being of their loved ones.


For more information on Women's Health Services at Dublin Methodist Hospital, visit their Web site: www.ohiohealth.com/dublin .