Local health care expo to take place in March
By Kalea Hall
In an effort to keep health care local, three competitors have joined with the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber to host a health care expo at the Covelli Centre in March.
Health care providers Mercy Health, Southwoods Health and Steward Health Care have partnered to bring the first Health & Wellness Expo, themed “Live Well. Be Well. Locally,” to the Mahoning Valley.
The expo, free for attendees, will take place March 3 and 4. It will feature a full agenda of speakers and breakout sessions on various topics, including health care changes; exhibitors; health screenings; an “Ask a Doc” section with family physicians and specialists; a kids zone; and giveaways.
“I see a huge opportunity to keep health care here,” said Ed Muransky, CEO of Southwoods. “If we do that, not only is it efficient, it keeps the economic dollars here.”
Muransky, who had knee-replacement surgery last year, said there’s a misconception in the community about local health care and what’s available.
“At the end of the day, I believe so much in the care here that there’s no reason to go outside of Youngstown,” he said. “Maybe sometimes you have to go outside, [but] for the most part, most things should stay here.”
The expo’s goal is to provide education on certain health care topics and about what local health care providers offer so those in need of care can stay here.
“Mercy wants to be a part of this mainly because we know we provide high-quality, comprehensive care in the Mahoning Valley,” said Dr. James Kravec, executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Mercy Health Youngstown. “There’s no reason to leave the Mahoning Valley for care.”
The expo will be the first big community event in collaboration with other health care providers for Boston-based Steward, which took ownership of local hospitals Trumbull Regional Medical Center, Northside Regional Medical Center, Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital and Sharon Regional Medical Center last year.
“At this expo, we will provide a range of education,” said Melissa Bennett, president of Northside Regional.
The three providers surveyed customers in the fall to find out what they would like to learn more about at the expo. Some of the topics to be discussed by experts include preventive care and wellness; Medicare/Medicaid questions; power of attorney/living will; pain management; joint replacement; assisted living/long term care; health screenings; and nutrition.
With 23,000 health care employees locally, the industry is the largest in the Valley, said James Dignan, chamber president and CEO.
“Our health care is our key driver,” Dignan said. “We want to provide an opportunity for our local providers.”