CRESTVIEW — To live, laugh and love was the theme of the 14th annual North Okaloosa Medical Center Healthy Woman dinner, held Aug. 24 at the Crestview Community Center.
Spokeswoman Alicia Booker told the gathering hat statistics show women make over 80 percent of the health care decisions for themselves and their families.
To that end, Healthy Woman works to provide women with information to make informed health decisions
"We want to make sure that we're a good community partner at providing outlets such as the Healthy Woman annual dinner and our quarterly event so that we can give education on various topics to the women of our community. Healthy Woman promotes not just physical health but mind body and spirit," Booker said.
She then introduced the Healthy Woman board of advisors, who all defined what the theme meant to them. They all spoke on their love for family and friends, faith and their purposes in life.
One of them, Dawn Mayer, a commercial agent with Legacy Insurance, said, "I live to laugh everyday with my family and friends, that I love so much." Guardian Ad Litem child advocate manager Angela Carden, said, "I live to encourage others, I laugh because I'm alive, and I love to advocate for abused and abandoned and neglected children in court."
Robyn Helt, of Elite Real Estate Services of Northwest Florida, drew laughter and applause from the audience when she said, "I love selling real estate in a community that's worth living in, where laughter is great medicine, but if that doesn't cure you, the fine doctors at NOMC will."
Booker then introduced NOMC CEO Ronnie Daves, who talked about some of the improvements coming to the local hospital. The $1.2-million renovations through next year include updating the older section of the hospital, as well as increasing the providers and services available so people don't have to travel to get care.
Booker then introduced guest speaker Diana Jordan, saying "She credits her sense of humor for finding the funny in life for getting her through her journey, and of course, her insurance company. She is also the best-selling author of "A Wife's Little Instruction Book, Your Survival Guide To Marriage Without Bloodshed."
Jordan, sporting a glamorous pink bra over her clothes, took to the stage to the tune "This Girl is on Fire," by Alicia Keys. "I figure if you've been through breast cancer and had your breasts done, wear your bra on the outside," Jordan said.
She said the bra was designed by a man for a breast cancer benefit she'd attended. Jordan then proceeded to take it off, explaining to men in the audience the different ways to remove bras, and why.
"There's snapping it in the back and taking it off," she said.
"Do the rest of you do like me?" she asked, sliding down the straps, "and you flip it around, especial when you come home from work," she said, taking the bra off and flinging it behind her. "And then how you do it after a day of work," Jordan said, taking off the bra, flinging it behind her and kicking off her shoes.
Along the way, she discussed getting along with family, how humor relieves stress, making better food decisions for your health, and life with pets.
She said her presentation to 1,600 neonatal nurses reminded her how important humor is during intense situations. After seeing a video of the work they do, including operating on babies, Jordan said she felt like what she did wasn't as important.
The person who hired Jordan to speak disagreed and told her that they couldn't do what they do without the relief they get from comedians like her doing what they do. That gave Jordan a different outlook on her work. She saw how humor relieves stress and makes people feel better.
"I love to go to places where people are retired and make them laugh, and you know, make them have to call for oxygen. I like that. If they have to call for a defibrillator, I've done my job," Jordan said.
The dinner featured a meal by Chef Ernie Danjean, who served baked chicken, mashed red potatoes and green beans, along with iced tea and brownies with strawberries for dessert.