This week is National Women’s Health Week. In honor of this important health awareness week, the Women’s Health Research Institute recently hosted the third annual Celebrating National Women’s Health Week event at Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, IL. Activities included keynote speaker, Holly Herrington, MS, RD, LDN, from the Center for Lifestyle Medicine, a poster session featuring current research in women’s health, and exhibitors from in and around Chicago promoting women’s health through advocacy, research, and/or education. Approximately 400 people attended this event, making this year the most successful turnout yet!
Anxious to take part in this fantastic event bringing awareness to gender specific health issues and organizations, we signed up to participate alongside two dozen other groups promoting women’s health. Exhibiting next to us was a local organization called SHINE, which provides infertility group support in Chicago for men and women experiencing fertility struggles. Together, we proved to be a popular stop for health care professionals, specifically nurses, eager to bring fertility preservation information back to their patients. Recognizing fertility as a critical component of patient care, they expressed their gratitude for the Consortium’s efforts to educate clinicians about the value of discussing reproductive health outcomes with newly diagnosed pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancer patients, and their parents when appropriate.
While perusing the exhibit tables, attendees were also exposed to a poster session displaying the latest in women’s health research. Woodruff Lab members presented their research to captivated audiences eager to learn more about the future of women’s reproductive health. Another Woodruff Enterprise making its mark at the poster session was the Women’s Health Science Program (WHSP), providing science education programs to females from underserved communities. WHSP targets young women who are considering careers in science and medicine and prepares them with valuable knowledge and skills to successfully become the next generation of women science leaders.
At noon, keynote speaker, Holly Herrington, RD, LDN, a Registered Dietitian in the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, took the stage to discuss how women should be eating to maintain optimal health at every age. Holly’s presentation centered on helping attendees understand how nutritional needs for women evolve across their lifespan, and how they change based on different health and disease states. She provided information on nutrients, vitamins, and the evidence behind dietary recommendations, which can protect against or contribute to the development of chronic health issues, such as obesity, osteoporosis, and other diseases. The takeaway message from her presentation was to eat a healthy diet mainly comprised of superfoods in an effort to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, improve mood and keep your weight in check. Sounds like good medicine to us!