Author and cooking expert to highlight Irene W. Pennington Wellness Day for Women

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Released: Friday, September 15, 2006

Activities will feature free health screenings, booths offering important information on health and wellness, and a series of outstanding speakers on topics of concern to women.

The Women's Nutrition Research Program at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) has scheduled its major annual free health expo, the Irene W. Pennington Wellness Day for Women, on Saturday, October 7. The event is free and open to the public. Last year's event was canceled when the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans desperately needed space for Fall classes due to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"We are thrilled that the event will continue this year in its same location on the Pennington campus, in the C. B. Pennington, Jr. Building. We expect this year's event to be larger than ever," said Dr. Cathy Champagne, Ph.D., director of the PBRC Women's Nutrition Research Program (WNRP). The Irene W. Pennington Wellness Day for Women is coordinated by the WNRP with assistance from the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation.

The event, scheduled from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., will offer free health screenings, health related talks and feature exhibitors with information targeted to increase health awareness.

This year's Presenting Sponsor is Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center (OLOL), who will provide free medical screenings, including height/weight assessment, and blood pressure via two screens, an ankle brachial index which compares systolic blood pressure of the ankle to that of the arm (brachial). These dual measurements are useful in the assessment, follow-up and treatment of patients with peripheral vascular disease. All testing is free.

The Women's Nutrition Research Program, an outreach and education program targeting women's health concerns was established in 1997 at the PBRC in response to the interests of many researchers at the Center who were studying issues related to women's health.

PBRC staff will also be on site discussing and recruiting volunteers for current research studies. Participants can have PBRC test their resting metabolic rate and get information on how that rate relates to calorie needs. Information, a demonstration, and sign up for America On the Move in Louisiana, a web-based walking and weight maintenance program, will be available from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center as well. In addition, participants can register to win one Ipod to be given away by the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation.

The keynote speaker is Holly Clegg, noted gourmet cook and author, who will discuss "Trim and Terrific Commandments for a Healthy Lifestyle.” Her presentation, which will include a food preparation demonstration, is scheduled at noon. Educational sessions will be presented "Natural and Alternative Remedies to Menopause", "Today's Diets: An update", "Nutrition and Cancer", "Managing Anxiety and Stress Levels", "Taking Care of Your Aging Parents", " Women and Heart Disease" and “Sleep Disorders.”

Exercise demonstrations on tai chi and yoga are also scheduled.

The event is underwritten with assistance from Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, The Reilly Family Foundation, The Advocate, McDonald's of Baton Rouge, Whole Foods Market, CC’s Coffee House, Lamar, DeAngelo's, Coca-Cola and City Social Magazine.

Compliments of McDonald's, a luncheon salad will be provided with reservation. Reservations can be made via the internet at or call 225-763-3099.


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.