Conference Brings Focus on Women's Health to New Jersey

September 28, 2005

Applied Clinical Trials

Empowering Consumers to Learn More and Make Informed Decisions is Goal

LONG VALLEY, NJ – What if your doctor did not recognize that you were having a heart attack, just because your symptoms did not match the classic warning signs that have been taught? What if you were sick, but could not get a proper diagnosis because too little research has been conducted on your condition?

These are scary scenarios, but real life situations for many women.

"Until recently, the last 15 – 20 years, women were excluded from most medical research studies," said Linda Jo Parrish, vice president for institutional advancement at the Washington, D.C.-based Society for Women's Health Research. "As a result, most physicians and patients did not know that women are affected differently by most diseases, everything from heart disease to cancer. Thanks to our efforts and the work of allied health groups, women's health research has made great strides over the last decade."

One problem that persists, Parrish said, is that knowledge gained from research can take many years, sometimes decades, to be fully integrated into the health care system.

To help bridge this knowledge gap, the Society is partnering with Garden State Woman Magazine to present an educational health conference for women that will teach them how to be a smart consumer of health care for themselves and their family.

"Take Charge of Your Health" is the theme of the conference, which takes place on Saturday, October 15, at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Attendees will hear local and national health experts on topics ranging from sexual health to heart disease and from cancer to healthy aging. Keynote speakers will focus on health differences between women and men, as well as the state and federal policies that impact the care patients receive.

"This important conference will provide women with the most up to date health information available," Judy Chapman, editor and founder of Garden State Woman Magazine, a Long Valley-based bimonthly publication dedicated to helping New Jersey women thrive in all aspects of life. "We're covering many of the serious health issues that women face today or will face in the course of their life. We want to empower them to take charge of their health and be smart and savvy consumers of health care services."

Even though researchers are answering a lot of questions about how and why women's health differs from men's health, it takes a long time for health care providers to incorporate new findings into their practice. The conference is part of the Society's larger effort to make sure the fruits of research are translated into better care for women.

"We want women to know the latest health information," Parrish said. "That allows them to detect symptoms more quickly and accurately. It allows them to ask their doctors the right questions. Informed patients not only receive better care, they encourage their doctors to stay on top of new developments."

The conference organizers selected New Brunswick to host the event because of its central location so that it will be accessible to women across the state.

Individuals interested in attending the conference can learn more and register online at www.gswoman.com. You can also the Garden State Woman offices at 908-879-7143 for more information.

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