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By Alysa Haas
For the Sentinel 

Health Fair to feature speakers on women’s health


Klickitat Valley Health’s annual health fair is less than two weeks away, and this year, the event will offer something new. The Klickitat County Health Department is presenting “It’s Your Time,” a speaker series focused on women’s health concerns, featuring book giveaways and other prizes.

Bringing in five health and wellness professionals to share everything from woman-specific health screenings to Zumba dance fitness, the series aims to engage women and girls to be proactive about their health and thus lead “more empowered, vibrant lives,” said Dr. Jennifer Silapie who will speak at the event.

Silapie, a Naturopathic Physician of Mountain Sage Medicine in White Salmon, explained that women’s health affects everyone in a community. “Women are natural caregivers to others but often at the expense of nourishing their own health,” she said. Jennifer Zimmerman, clinical dietician at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, echoed Silapie, explaining, “It is important for women to maintain their health so they can be role models for their children.”

Zimmerman is slated to present on the importance of family meals and tips on how to make them healthy with little time and a small budget. “Family meals and cooking skills are declining in this generation,” said Zimmerman. “We are raising a generation that will not know how to cook,” she explained, a future that she said “cannot sustain health.”

Processed, store-bought foods and fast food just won’t cut it, she explained. That’s why she will demonstrate some quick and easy recipes in her presentation, as well as outline how to plan meals effectively. As she explained, “Busy parents can save time, money, and eat healthier by meal planning each week.”

Silapie will share her expertise on natural therapies for anti-aging in women. She said it’s no secret, “To minimize the effects associated with ageing, whether it is skin appearance, mood balancing, or disease prevention, the answer is the same—living a healthy lifestyle.” In her presentation, she will address some ideas on just what a “healthy lifestyle” means, from diet choices to physical activity.

Silapie made clear that women’s health requires specific attention, especially because of hormones. “The hormonal system for women is extremely complex,” she explained. “There are many factors in our world that disrupt our hormone balance, whether it is chemicals, stress, poor diet, or lack of movement.” When this happens, Silapie explained, any number of health problems can arise, from PMS to thyroid dysfunction and even diabetes.

But avoiding these problems, she said, starts with the basics—eating well and staying active. “Trying to fix hormone imbalance without heavily addressing diet and exercise is like trying to dry off while standing in the pouring rain,” she said. “Even simple changes in food quality alone can do wonders on a woman’s mood, appearance, esteem, and energy.”

The women’s health speaker series will run from 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Health Fair on May 21. Additional speakers include Dr. Natalia Luera, MD, who will speak about preventive healthcare measures for women, and Janet Town, presenting “Healthy Relationships—with Ourselves and Others.” For women who are ready to get active, at 11am Sarah Thompson, a certified Zumba instructor, will lead a class for beginners at the fair site.

For more information about “It’s Your Time,” visit or, or contact Stephanie Horace, Chronic Disease Prevention Coordinator, at (509) 493-6234 or


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