Information about how to lead a healthier life is out there. For many, having the information still leaves us feeling challenged. So what is it that holds us back from making necessary lifestyle changes, before health issues arise?

That is the question that brings together Preventative Medicine Specialist Dr. Paula Marchionda and Clinical Mental Health Counselor Christina Myers for the first tandem “Dinner with a Doc” at Moab Regional Hospital.

On Monday, Feb. 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Marchionda and Myers will give a presentation on the preventative path to wellness. Moonflower Community Cooperative will provide the free dinner.

Moonflower Outreach Coordinator Cactus Maloney said that Moonflower is donating soup options and organic salads.

“It’s free for those who show up, so it’s a pretty good deal – learn about being healthy while eating healthy,” she said.

Marchionda will talk specifically about “The Big Three: Preventing Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes.”

Myers, who moved to Moab in May 2016, was looking to integrate her life’s work in wellness with local health programs. She considers the opportunity to present with Marchionda “great news,” and believes the content is something everyone can benefit from.

“Franky, I think (the things) we are going to talk about – yes – help prevent chronic illness, but they are good lifestyle messages for everybody, regardless,” Myers said. “The biggest challenge is helping people to (value) making a lifestyle change before one gets a diagnosis … I mean, we will never know the answer to this, but how many things can be prevented?”

Myers has been a bodywork practitioner for more than 20 years. She has been a counselor for over 35 years, and held the dream of living on the Colorado Plateau just as long. Myers just celebrated the grand opening of her new office in the Portal Building on Center Street, and said she is happy to be living out that dream.

Americorps VISTA volunteer Susan Toth said that Moab Regional Hospital is looking forward to hosting both Dr. Marchionda and Myers, and especially together.

“They will each present and there are usually questions and discussions at the end,” she said. “People come with their own concerns, so we love the discussion because people get to ask what’s specifically on their mind.”

Toth said that Moab Regional Hospital has hosted more than 20 different “Dinner with a Doc” events over the years. Each event features a different theme with a different doctor. Past topics have included “skin care and skin cancer prevention and treatment,” “stroke awareness,” “smoking cessation,” “allergies and sinus infections” and “spinal health.”

Myers believes that the role of mental wellness in physical health is becoming more widely accepted, and that lifestyle changes can prevent and even reverse illness. That is where she steps in.

“What happens with our psychological makeup and behavior and physical factors all contribute to our health and wellness,” she said. “I think that science has caught up to our intuitive understanding that these things go together.”

Myers has spent decades helping patients identify roadblocks and overcome them, and still offers personal consultations.

“It becomes about helping people understand how their attitude impacts their health…. And how that can prevent and even reverse illness,” she said. “We just simply have to start looking further upstream, to prevent this whole array of chronic illnesses. We have to get a handle on (them) because they are very expensive to treat, for individuals and hospitals and insurance companies, and they are debilitating. (One has) the ability and potential to go into their later years without having to take medications with challenging side effects, and to maintain quality of life.”

Moab Regional Hospital hosts free event on Feb. 6

“People come with their own concerns, so we love the discussion because people get to ask what’s specifically on their mind.”

When: Monday, Feb. 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Where: Moab Regional Hospital, 450 Williams Way

Cost: Free; seating is limited

Information:, or 435-719-5580

Seats are limited at this free event. To reserve a spot, email Susan Toth at, or call 435-719-5580.