Members of the committee for the ninth annual “A Woman’s Journey” health conference and luncheon held a kick-off reception recently to review the schedule and finalize preparations for the upcoming event, to be held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Thursday, February 4th.

Committee members enjoyed a “preview” heart-healthy lunch of frisée salad with orzo and watermelon, along with a chocolate mousse and fruit that will be served to the more than 400 guests expected to attend “A Woman’s Journey,” Johns Hopkins Medicine’s award-winning women’s health conference.

The annual conference is one of the largest in the area focusing on women’s health issues, presenting the latest advances in preventing, detecting and treating diseases in women, such as heart disease and cancer.

“As women, it is vital that we take control of our health and remain well educated about diagnostic and treatment options,” said Betsy Meany, co-chairman of the event. “A Woman’s Journey is a rare opportunity to learn from Johns Hopkins physicians and faculty who are exploring the root causes of and innovative treatments for diseases. It will help you make informed health care decisions for you and those you love.”

Mary Freitas, Erin McGould and Debra Vasilopoulos join Meany as co-chairs of the event. Susan Keenan and Susan Telesco are the 2016 honorary chairs.

“A Woman’s Journey” host committee members in attendance at the kick-off reception were Honorary Chair Susan Telesco, Co-Chairs Mary Freitas, Erin McGould, Betsy Meany and Debra Vasilopoulos along with committee members Kathleen Bleznak, Rosemary Bronstien, Cecil Cooper, Laurie Kopp, Nancy Maio, Sharada Shankar-Alducin, Janice Snyder and Judy Wyman.

Susan Telesco and Betsy Meany
Susan Telesco and Betsy Meany

Other committee members include Natalie Alverez, Kathleen Barr, Wilma Bernstein, Sandy Bobb, Sue Brands, Jonna Brown, Cindy Cerone, Arlene Cherner, Glanna Copeland, Rachel Docekal, Judi Donoff, Susie Elson, Kiki Esrick, Esther Feldberg, Anita Gabler, Lori Gendelman, Sandra Heine, Shelly Pechter Himmelrich, Trisha Keitel, Kathleen Kiernan, Sasha Klein, Esq., Paulette Koch, Jessica Koch, Dorothy Kohl, Melisa Krupnick-Ferro, Lady Sylvia Leigh, Ellen Levy, Karen Lombardo, Carla Harrod Mann, Patricia McGrew, Judy Messing, Marilyn Meyerhoff, Michelle Millard, Margaret Moore, Marsha Moskowitz, Patricia Myura, Allison Nicklaus, The Rev. Dr. Barbara Nielsen, Polly Norris, Nancy Offit, Mary Ourisman, Nancy Parker, Beth Pine, Laurie Rappaport, Cari Rentas, Didi Shields, Eddy Taylor, Mary Weiss, Jan Willinger, Cathy Wilson and Ramona Zapper.

Conference attendees will enjoy a Johns Hopkins heart-healthy breakfast, two seminars of their choosing and lunch with members of the Hopkins faculty. Hopkins doctors and specialists will present eight, hour-long seminars covering new medical treatments and important health issues facing women, such as strategies to reduce cancer risk, improve digestion to facilitate weight loss, and age well, among other topics.

Opening the conference, oncologist Dr. Julie Brahmer will reveal breakthroughs in cancer treatments, including immunotherapy, a promising new strategy to recruit the body’s own defense mechanisms, and the role of DNA testing to enable personalized medicine for cancer.

Also, this year’s luncheon topic is Changing Matters of the Heart, with cardiologist Dr. Gordon Tomaselli. He will discuss why heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death among women, and what women can do to decrease their risk of heart disease, along with new treatments in the field of cardiology.

Johns Hopkins doctors will present sessions including:

The Role of Inflammation in Diseases – Most people have experienced inflammation from a cut or bee sting. But how does inflammation affect your cells? Learn about inflammation – what it is, its role in heart disease, cancer, arthritis and a host of other diseases, and strategies to reduce inflammation throughout our bodies with rheumatologist Lisa Christopher-Stine.

10 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer – Soon cancer will become the leading cause of death in the U.S. Understand potential causes of breast, ovarian and other cancers, and why some women may be at greater risk for the disease than others, as oncologist Deborah Armstrong shares how to reduce our risk of cancer.

The Golden Years – Is the best really yet to come? Geriatric psychiatrist Susan Lehmann considers how aging affects our emotional health and self-identification, and the impact of life events on our emotions. These changes associated with aging can have a profound effect on our physical and cognitive well-being. In sensitive remarks, she also explores what we can do to find meaning, enhance resilience and diminish stress as we age.

Skin Deep – Doctors have an unexpected aid in their toolbox. Your skin can reveal a great deal about your general health. Dermatologist Manisha Patel examines the body’s largest organ and reveals how your skin can lead to diagnosis of common medical conditions, from vitamin deficiencies to jaundice.

Don’t Sweat It – Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can be a warning sign of underlying thyroid, diabetes, infection, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure and some cancers. Surgical oncologist Malcolm Brock explains the two types of hyperhidrosis and various therapies, including Botox, medication and surgery that can be used to combat this sometimes embarrassing condition.

Just What The Doctor Ordered – Recommendations have changed for a panoply of screening tests, from colonoscopies to mammograms. Which tests are appropriate, and how frequently should you get them? Internist Redonda Miller distinguishes between the various available diagnostic screenings, and unveils screenings women should make a priority and those no longer necessary as we age.

The Gut Balance Revolution – Trillions of bacteria live in our digestive tract. According to recent research, this microbiome can influence our metabolism, appetite, energy, hormones, inflammation and insulin resistance. Gastroenterologist Gerald Mullin explains how to reseed your gut with healthy flora and discusses bacteria’s role in helping to control metabolism, burn calories and restore health.

Love and Forgiveness – The act of forgiveness can be very powerful. Psychiatrist Karen Swartz pursues factors that enable some people to easily forgive family members, friends and colleagues, while others may struggle to let go. The emotional stress from conflict can also lead to negative health consequences, including anxiety and depression.

“A Woman’s Journey” is the creation of two women from Baltimore MD, Harriet Legum and Mollye Block, who together realized the need to provide women with a forum to gain knowledge about their health concerns. Last year’s event in Palm Beach attracted over 300+ attendees. The Baltimore version of the conference, held each November, was launched in 1995.

Sponsors for this year’s “A Woman’s Journey” include Sabadell Bank & Trust, Susan Telesco, Braman Motorcars and the Palm Beach Daily News.

For additional information on the program, a schedule of the sessions, a list of speakers and registration information, please visit or by calling 410-955-8660.

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