CRESTVIEW — It takes women to truly understand women’s issues, so in 2005, female specialists at North Okaloosa Medical Center organized the Healthy Woman program.

“It promotes wellness in mind, body and spirit,” NOMC Director of Marketing and Community Relations Alicia Booker said. “It’s the medical side, the physical side and the wellness side. It’s about education and being a resource.”

The program’s 1,500 members, who range from their early 20s to their 70s, help drive its initiatives, which are not always about physical and emotional health, Booker said. That’s how Healthy Woman’s Heels and Wheels seminar started.

“We have people who are out and about and may have something going on with the car and they don’t know what to do,” Booker said. “They want to know enough not to be taken advantage of when they’re at a shop.”

NOMC has partnered with Hub City Ford, brought in one of the auto dealer's few certified female mechanics, and let members experience basic vehicle maintenance, including changing a tire.

Programs — many, open to the public — include the downtown Pink Street Party, which raises breast cancer awareness; and “Dance Your Heart Healthy.” Nationally renowned speakers entertain and inform at the program’s annual dinner, which last year featured humorist Jeanne Robertson under the theme “Fit, Fierce and Fabulous.”

Healthy Woman is a natural outreach for NOMC, Booker said.

“We want to have the tools and resources and people members can call,” she said.

“We want to be the community resource for a well-rounded approach to wellness.”