Women's Health Symposium

This multifaceted event specifically targeting women’s health is held biennially. The WHS is co-hosted by OCAC and the National Council of Negro Women. Other community-based organizations collaborate in this event making it a very informative and vital experience for all who attend. The unique component of this event is that licensed professionals lend their talent to provide up to date and medically relevant health information to attendees. Medical professionals participate in a panel discussion regarding contemporary issues in women’s health, scientific breakthroughs affecting our community, and other pertinent topics as guided by the discussion.

Read the full article below from the Prescinct Reporter Group News Online:

By Eliz Dowdy
Staff Writer

The eighth biennial women’s health symposium was held at Chapman University over the weekend with the theme African American Women: Mind, Body, and Spirit. The event hosts were a coalition of women's groups working for a more balanced life for African American women, including the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the founding organization; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, fighting blood cancers.

The activities started at 7:30 a.m. with a health expo in the lobby of the Beckman Center. After a continental breakfast, the sessions were ready to educate, motivate and empower the women to make whatever changes were needful and necessary to obtain a more healthful lifestyle. President of NCNW, Cathy Woodard, officially opened the symposium; she introduced the mistress of ceremonies, Kathi Bowman, executive director of WisePlace. There were indoor and outdoor fitness programs offered to enervate the attendees.

Sessions covered many seasons in a woman's life from HIV/AIDS to long-term care insurance, youth, distracted driving, clinical trials, a roadmap for the sandwich generation for those women caught in the middle of caring for their aging parents, working and raising children or grandchildren.

Other topics covered were adult and youth, ask the doctor, and fibroid tumors.

Instead of rushing from one session to the next, the women received a nutrition break and an opportunity to visit the health expo between sessions I and II.

Dr. Jacqueline Lauder was speaker for the sandwich generation, the goal of helping families prepare to care for aging parents and the family meetings that need to take place before a crisis develops. The Council on Aging offers many services to make transitions easier for all. She repeatedly told the women that walking in one day and announcing to their mature family member that they were taking the keys to the car, or that they were going to an assisted care facility without previously talking and planning if the family member was able to do so, was not the way to begin elder care. Some of the assistance available are the ombudsman programs; they work with the patient or with the facility if the family member is residing in one to insure quality care. They investigate financial abuse, facility care and the care management team; they are the ones who go into homes and help make choices that enable seniors to remain in their homes. Another program is HICACP (health insurance counseling program).

During the working lunch, Marlene Dyce, representing the G.R.E.E.N Foundation, gave nuggets of information to successfully battling breast cancer.

The women gathered for a town hall meeting with all the presenters to hear a synopsis of the session they had presided over and to ask questions. The session was facilitated by Dr. DeVera Heard, Ph.D.

The panelists participating were: Maria Olivas, who taught the AIDS session. She is an HIV Prevention Specialist/Latino Community Outreach representative. Phaedra Lynn Lawson is a claims adjuster for the State of California. After she was asked to present a program to Orange County High School students, she found an avocation that is rewarding, helping to save lives through pointing out flaws that could lead to preventable fatalities not only in teens, but adult drivers as well.

Dr. Lauder emphasized elder care and the proper procedures for implementing it, and Dr. Pamela Middleton emphasized blending allopathic and alternative modalities in medicine to fill in some of the gaps.

The town hall session enabled those who had chosen another session to receive pertinent information to help them navigate a more balanced, healthy, whole lifestyle.

The health symposiums are the brainchild of founding president of NCNW, Sybella Ferguson-Patten.

The coalition members will begin the plans for 2013 in the next several months.

Written by: Precinct Reporter Group