Sheila StrandMemory Matters’ new executive director is ready to spread the word about staying mentally fit.

“I would like to see Memory Matters be on the front end of hope in helping people think about what can we do to maintain brain health,” says Sheila Strand, who started the job this month after moving to Hilton Head Island from Kansas City, Missouri. Strand was principal of Strand Communication Strategies and will replace outgoing Memory Matters executive director Edwina Hoyle, who is retiring Feb. 28.

Mentioning Alzheimer’s disease or dementia conjures images of vacant stares, confused expressions and heartbroken family and friends. But that’s only if you haven’t spent some time at Memory Matters.

The Hilton Head Island-based nonprofit organization has been bringing smiles to frustrated caregivers and dementia sufferers for two decades. By tackling one of the most feared illnesses facing the elderly, the agency has also helped change public perceptions of memory loss.

If ’tis the season for you is more like ’tis the stressing, you’re not alone. According to Prevention Magazine, up to 90 percent of the population feels some degree of stress during the holidays. And here’s why: On average, we spend approximately $1,000 — which means many people might be working longer hours to afford gifts, or people who work in retail might be facing longer hours and bigger crowds — and drive 275 miles. Plus, 37 percent of the population worries about gaining weight. It’s hard to feel festive when you’re overwhelmed with worry.

Oysters have long been a staple of Hilton Head’s rich culture, back to the days when Native Americans thrived off of the Lowcountry’s bounty. An equally delectable fact, according to Andrew Carmines, owner of Shell Ring Oyster Company and general manager of Hudson’s Seafood On the Docks, these briny bivalves also provide benefits to our ecosystem at every growth stage. 

Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram — the screening test for breast cancer — can help find breast cancer early, when it’s easier to treat.

Oral health linked to your overall health

It is widely accepted now that good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are an incredibly important part of a healthy lifestyle - not just for oral health but for overall health. Research suggests that your mouth can reflect the condition of your body as a whole, and that good oral health can actually help prevent certain diseases. Despite this knowledge, many people continue to neglect their oral health.

Cancer survivor Katie Maxwell’s charity aims to end stigma of genetic testing

Competition is at the core of Katie Maxwell’s DNA. She has ridden horses for four decades and is now training riders to pursue Olympic-sized dreams at nationwide competitions.

As summer evaporates into fall, we say goodbye to our favorite warm-loving fruits and vegetables and hello to the more cool varieties. But thanks to a fairly forgiving growing season, our final farewell to summer staples like fresh peaches can be gradual as we incorporate autumn flavors like cinnamon to create delicious transitional options like smoothies made from local ingredients. 

Fundraiser officials often talk about the difficulty of building buzz and momentum for annual events. Don’t tell that to Laura Morgan.

As the Bluffton-based founder of the LoCo Motion breast cancer challenge will tell you, the 1,600 participants and Pledgers of the Pink are as dedicated as ever heading into the event’s fifth year.

Elizabeth HancockFounder of Hilton Head’s Friends of the Children volunteer group drives fundraising for 16 years, celebrates launch of new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital

The recent groundbreaking ceremonies for the Medical University of South Carolina’s new Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital were emotional for Elizabeth Hancock. The Hilton Head Island attorney, philanthropist, wife and mother finally took some time to reflect on her contribution to the facility and its evolution. But “this milestone has so little to do with me,” Hancock says. She credits the dedicated group of women who supported her as she led the volunteer group Friends of the Children to raise awareness and money for the MUSC Children’s Hospital over the past 16 years.