Left to right: Jo Frances Meyer, co-chair, Sharon McNally, co-chair, Paula Johnson, MD, MPH, executive director of the Connors Center, and Cathy Judd Stein, co-chair
More than 400 attendees gathered at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston on May 19, 2014 for the ninth annual Women’s Health Luncheon organized by the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). The program began with a welcome message from Paula A. Johnson, MD, MPH, executive director of the Connors Center, followed by a video recapping a national policy summit held by the Connors Center in March. As a result of the summit—which shed light on gender inequities in medical research—several government agencies, medical journals, and other stakeholders are changing the way research is being conducted and reported.
Guests were then treated to a video message from Betsy Nabel, MD, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who elaborated on the importance of sex-specific research for the benefit of women and men.
To provide a window into a health issue that affects women and men differently, the program, “Demystifying Stress: An Integrated Approach for Women,” guided guests through the evolution, science, and management of stress. Two health experts from BWH—Martin A. Samuels, MD, founding chair of the Department of Neurology at BWH, and Helene Langevin, MD, CM, director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, a joint program of BWH and Harvard Medical School—discussed how internalizing chronic stress can lead to health problems, including back pain, sleep disruption, heart conditions, and stroke. They also shared ways for women to manage stress, from medications to help with sleep to yoga, massage, and acupuncture to help stretch the body’s connective tissue, which can be a source of chronic pain.
While the focus of the luncheon was to learn, attendees also had the opportunity to honor former First Lady of Boston and honorary event chair Angela Menino, a long-time champion of women’s health.
The Connors Center would like to acknowledge event co-chairs, Cathy Judd-Stein, Sharon McNally, and Jo Frances Meyer, the premier event sponsor, the PI Garden Fund, courtesy of Anne Finucane, as well as corporate and individual sponsors, the Women’s Health Leadership Council, and the Women’s Health Board of Advocates for their support.