Heritage College faculty talk health at annual Celebrate Women conference

Mar 31, 2016

M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D., 15th Surgeon General of the United States, delivered the keynote speech at the 10th annual Celebrate Women conference which focused on wellness. (LANCASTER, Ohio) Wellness was the theme at the 10th annual Celebrate Women conference held March 18 at Ohio University Lancaster. More than half of the sessions featured speakers who are faculty or graduates of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, including Paige Gutheil Henderson, D.O. (’02), Jane Balbo, D.O. (’07), Katherine Kropf, D.O. (’02), Robin Newburn, D.O., Jody Gerome, D.O. (’05), Orman Trent Hall, D.O. (’15), and Michelle Clay, D.O. (’98).

These Heritage College speakers provided their expertise on a variety of health-related topics that ranged from practicing mindfulness to assessing health screening options. In addition, the Heritage College assisted with the creation and delivery of sessions that for the first time in conference history offered continuing medical education credit to physicians. These sessions included how physicians can communicate about HPV prevention and a discussion on smartphone apps for physicians.

The wellness theme of this year’s event was reinforced by keynote speaker M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D., 15 th Surgeon General of the United States, who told a packed audience that “the health of any nation is directly related to the health and education of its women.”

Attendees alternately laughed and listened quietly to a speech filled with colorful southernisms, observations about political figures, and poignant stories about growing up a poor sharecropper’s daughter in Arkansas in a house without running water or electricity. She talked about the sacrifices her family made like picking cotton to raise bus fare so she could go to college, being an Army veteran, attending medical school and later becoming a physician and scientist. She advocated for education telling the audience, “You’re planting trees for the bright young people of the future to sit under.”

The former surgeon general’s address was followed by a speech from American Osteopathic Association CEO Adrienne White-Faines that focused on the qualities that make a leader. She encouraged conference attendees to find the courage to go beyond their comfort zones. “The beauty of life is in the learning,” she said.

Co-sponsored by ohio women in medicine, the conference attracted a diverse audience that included medical professionals, women from the community and Heritage College students.

“The idea of taking a day out of life to celebrate with hundreds of new girlfriends is pretty cool,” said Gutheil Henderson,  Heritage College assistant professor of primary care medicine and chair of ohio women in medicine.

The day-long conference is held annually at the Ohio University Lancaster campus during Women’s History Month.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. CARE LEADS HERE