By Michele Deluca
Niagara Gazette —
Robbie Raugh says she still remembers standing in Manhattan's Times Square and "bawling my eyes out."
She had a six-figure job for a national health club chain and should have been on top of the world. But her husband and kids were at home without her.
"I kept asking God, 'What do you want me to do?' " she said. "I wanted to stay home. I wanted to be married. I wanted to raise my kids."
Raugh says that is just what she decided to do and that getting her priorities in order is what helped restore the quality of her life. That's part of the message she'll give Saturday as the guest speaker at the Mount St. Mary's Hospital 6th annual Conference on Health Care for Women.
The fitness instructor, who leads a variety of classes and counsels on nutrition at the Buffalo Athletic Center, has spent her adult life promoting exercise and healthy eating. But she believes wellness comes from a concentration on something more.
"I call them 'our primary foods' and for me those are God, family, relationships and spirituality. If those are off balance it doesn't matter how well you eat or how much you exercise," she said.
Raugh, who also has a Saturday radio show on WDCX and who, along with her husband and two daughters, is an active member at The Chapel in Amherst, says that with all the roles she's playing now, her most important is caring for her 91-year-old mother, Terry Palmisano, a former Niagara Falls resident who now lives with Raugh in East Amherst.
With priorities in place, she said she can concentrate on her life's mission of teaching wellness.
"Here's the bottom line," she said. "You are going to spend the time and the money either eating right and exercising and preventing disease, or you're going to spend the time and the money treating disease."
Raugh's message and her energy is exactly why she was selected to speak at the conference, said Tanya Miller, a co-chairman of the event with Kate Cumbo.
"I think we were looking for someone, very motivated, with high energy, who lives what they preach," Miller said. "She's very spiritual person and she fits perfectly with what our whole event is about."
Other topics and speakers include: Pelvic Health with Dr. Abeer Edibb, OB/GYN; WNY Urology Associates; Free Yourself from a Constipated Life with Cathi Stack, ND, owner of Journey to Health and newspaper columnist; Heart Health for Life with Dr. Zina Hajduczok, cardiologist and Marylou Scholl, NP, Mount St. Mary’s Heart Associates; Challenges of Menopause with Dr. Sharmilee Thota, OB/GYN, Center for Women and Dr. Rachel Weselak, OB/GYN, Center for Women; Managing & Understanding Nutraceuticals (Nutritional Supplements) with Andrea Rosati, NP, Center for Women; Prevention & Treatment of Gynocological Cancer with Dr. Faraj Touchan, OB/GYN, Center for Women and Dr. Pankaj Singhal, UBMD Gynecologic Oncology.
Informational and live demonstrations will include: Niagara Dermatology, Anne M. Ramsdell, MD; Yoga/meditation, Laura Vendryes; Makeup and hair, Hair Chateau, Tammy L. Bundrock and Jessica Rodriquez; Foot checks, Dr. Jude Violante, podiatrist; Childcare safety seats, Niagara Falls Police Dept.; Floral designs, RD Woodykins Creations, Diane Woodcock; Jewelry, Small Indulgences, Mary Ann Culbert; Holistic health, Ami Patrick, Embody Health & Wellness; Positive Discipline, Joyce Barnwell; Acupuncture, Destin Radder, licensed acupuncturist; NCCC Culinary Institute, cooking demonstration; Blood pressure screenings.
A lunch at noon will feature a panel of healthcare experts taking questions from the audience. The conference is scheduled to conclude at 2:15 p.m.
Those interested in participating as a vendor at the conference can call 298-2146. Tickets for the day are $15. For registration visit the Mount St. Mary’s Hospital website at www.msmh.org or call 298-2146.
IF YOU GO
• WHAT: Mount St. Mary's Hospital 6th annual Conference on Health Care for Women — Healthy Inside and Out
• WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Saturday. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast. Conference includes speakers, demonstrations, vendors, break-out sessions, and lunch
• WHERE: Conference Center of Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls
• MORE INFORMATION: Tickets are $15. Interested vendors or those wishing to reserve a a seat can call 298-2146