Celebrating women’s health and wellness


If you ask Dini Petty, she would tell you that the recipe for women’s health and wellness contains four simple ingredients: “Food, water, rest and exercise,” chanted the famous talk show host during her keynote address at the Humber River Regional Hospital (HRRH) Foundation’s sixth annual Women’s Health and Wellness day at the end of October. “Society is moving at such a fast pace. Most Canadians run as fast as we can to stay in the same place, and we need all the help we can get to take care of our health,” said Petty. “That’s why events like Humber River’s Women’s Health and Wellness Day are extraordinary.”

More than 300 women of all ages were in attendance to support the popular HRRH Foundation event and to listen to the inspiring words of wisdom from the writer and helicopter pilot. “It’s an interesting time to be alive,” added Petty. “There are so many paradigms in society that we buy into. As women, we’re supposed to be caring; and we’re often told to find a rich guy and get married. Most of all, we are highly valued for our youth and our looks. But I urge all of you women here today: be who you are because there is only one you,” said Petty.

Events like the Foundation’s Women’s Health and Wellness Day ensure that women are informed about the health issues that affect them on many different levels.

“Our Women’s Health and Wellness Day is a wonderful opportunity for women everywhere to share their experiences with friends and colleagues,” says Debra Bond-Gorr, President of the HRRH Foundation. “The event showcases the diversity of women’s health and addresses the medical, social and psychological challenges that women face every day,” she notes. “The event also complements the variety of women’s wellness workshops and seminars that happen in our hospital and community on a yearly basis. We are really happy that this event attracts such high level speakers like Dini Petty every year. It makes a big difference and women of all ages really enjoy it.”

Petty wasn’t the only celebrity speaker who came out to support the Humber River Regional Hospital Foundation at the prestigious Copper Creek Golf Club in Kleinberg – home to the event once again – this year.

Dr. Sue Johanson, best known as the host of The Sunday Night Sex Show – a call-in advice show broadcast on the Women’s Television Network across Canada for more than 12 years – enlightened the audience with a presentation on sex and sexuality.

“I have great fun and I get away with bloody murder,” exclaimed the energetic registered nurse. “I am always pushing the line and I love it! I commend Humber River on this day. Events like these are so wonderful because it is women that we rely on to educate everyone. Women share things and are connected to each other. They also talk about sex with their friends and are more likely to talk openly about the topics of sex. After today, I hope these women go home and kick the door down!” she said.

In between the entertainment of Johanson’s feature presentation and the passion of Petty’s keynote address, participants took in valuable medical information from Dr. Teosar Bhesania, HRRH Cardiologist and Dr. Sarah Romans, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

“Our theme for this year’s event was Transitions through the Perimenopausal Years Sexual, Psychological and Cardio Well Being, and it’s nice to hear – from so many participants – that we did a great job in addressing the topics,” says Bond-Gorr. “We also had a fit-function show and goal-setting session courtesy of lululemon athletica which really added to this year’s event.”

“Our department never misses this event,” says Beverly Philp, Director of the HRRH Women and Children’s Health Program. “We come out to support the Foundation every year and we really enjoy the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge while sharing in each other’s experiences. It’s great to hear from our medical professionals, colleagues and celebrities like Dini Petty and Sue Johanson. Events like these are so important and Humber River’s is one-of-a-kind.”

Petty couldn’t agree more. “I thought the event was extremely well put together and organized and I could see that women were really into it and enjoyed the day,” says Petty. “To be given this kind of attention – to our health and wellness – in an event like this one, by the place that you work, is a gift.”