12th Annual Western Regional Conference

July 30, 2009 - August 1, 2009, San Diego, CA

 

Women In Government’s 12th Annual Western Regional Conference was held July 30 – August 1, 2009 at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort near San Diego, California. This meeting convened women legislators from across the Western Region to discuss cutting edge policy topics. Below is a summary of presentations from the meeting. For a full copy of the meeting agenda, click here. You can also view photos from the event here.

Presentations Overview

Stimulus Demystified

Speaker:
Chris Whatley
Washington Director
Council of State Governments

Overview:
Over $300 billion in federal funds will flow into, through, or be touched by state governments as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This session outlined the funding states will receive as well as strategies for legislators to help constituents access opportunities in the stimulus package.

View the presentation

For more information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, click here.

Warrior Wellness: “Battle Ready Every Day”

Speaker:
Jennifer Cabe, MA
Executive Director
Canyon Ranch Institute

Overview:
This presentation addressed what legislators should further understand in order to support the seamless reintegration of servicemen and women into unit, family, and community. Legislators learned of current programs related to warrior wellness, as well as prevention and management of PTSD and traumatic brain injury and how to integrate these programs into their state and local communities.

Learn more about Canyon Ranch Institute.

Water Issues in the West

Speaker:
Senator Karen Fraser
Washington State Legislature

Overview:
Senator Fraser serves on the Environment Water & Energy in Washington state. She shared her extensive experience with western water policy and outlined key water issues facing the west. Senator Fraser discussed the background of water issues and how they developed, major challenges that are faced in the future and why legislators should take an informed interest in water issues.

View the presentation

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Speaker:
Patience White, MD, MA
Chief Public Health Officer
Arthritis Foundation

Overview:
Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1.3 million Americans. Furthermore, arthritis and other rheumatic conditions, are the most common cause of disability in the United States. This session provided information on the disease state and current research to find appropriate medical regimens.

View the presentation

Visit Women In Government’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Policy Resource Center to learn more about this debilitating disease and what state legislators can do to help. 

Cyberbullying and Sexting: Adolescent Electronic Communication Abuse

Speaker:
Jean Vaughn, MLS, JD
Director, Cyber Crime Unit
Office of the Attorney General, State of Mississippi

Overview:
As technology is constantly advancing, electronic communication is being abused by adolescents across the nation. Ms. Vaughn addresses how adolescents use technology, including social networking, and the constantly evolving lingo that surrounds it. This presentation looks at what laws are on the books to protect teens and how state legislators can help.

View the presentation

Resource Center Update

Overview:
Women In Government currently has five resource centers for state legislators to utilize these policy resource centers work on the topics of, HPV and cervical cancer, family economic success, higher education, rheumatoid arthritis, and Medicare preventative services.

View the presentation

Adolescent Well Visit

Speakers:
Rachel Caskey, MD, MaPP
Associate Program Director, MedPeds Residency Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago

Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Assistant Majority Leader of the Senate
Oregon State Legislature

Overview:
Well visits during the teen years are important for preventative services such as vaccines and also provide an opportunity for doctors to educate teens about the health effects of risky behaviors. This presentation provided legislators with an overview of adolescent well visits as well as presenting the role policymakers play in ensuring teens see primary care providers regularly.

View the presentation

Learn more about adolescent health.

Blue Collar Goes Green

Speaker:
Kil Huh, PhD
Project Director, Research
Pew Center on the States

Overview:
The emerging clean energy economy is creating well-paying jobs in every state for people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds. This emerging sector is poised to expand significantly, driven by increasing consumer demand, venture capital infusions, and federal and state policy reforms. Between 1998 and 2007, jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7 percent. In this presentation Dr. Huh discusses the current climate and the future of the clean energy economy and state legislators' role in addressing the issues surrounding the energy economy.

View the presentation

To learn more about “green collar” jobs, click here.

Social and Economic Costs Patient Compliance and Adherence

Speaker:
Michael Wolf, MA, MPH, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Overview:
Patient non-compliance occurs when individuals do not follow the treatment regimen prescribed by a doctor – usually for a chronic disease. This results in complications or worsening of the condition and eventually increased medical treatment costs. Encouraging constituents to adhere to treatment regimens and living a healthy lifestyle will save overall health care costs for states. Dr. Wolf addressed the issues surrounding patient non compliance including the economic impact on states and the societal impact on constituents as well as the barriers patients face.

View the presentation

To learn more about the labeling of prescription medication, click here.

Endometriosis: Barriers to Treatment and Diagnosis and Effects on the Workforce

Speaker:
Deborah Metzger, PhD, MD
Gynecologist and Reproductive Endocrinologist
Medical Director, Harmony Women's Health

Overview:
Endometriosis is a poorly understood disease by the medial profession and the general public. This session focused on raising awareness of this disease in states and the debilitating effects of the disease on women’s personal and professional lives.

To learn more about Endometriosis, click here.

Fuels for the Future

Speaker:
Sara Tays
Southwest Public Affairs Manager
Exxon Mobil Corporation

Overview:
The largest publically traded oil and gas company described how industry is investing in new technologies to meet the anticipated 35% growth in energy demand. Also discussed were the ways the government and technology can work together to advance breakthrough technologies.

View the presentation

Paths To Power

Speaker:
Assembly Member Lori Saldaña
Speaker Pro Tempore
California State Assembly

Overview:
This panel presentation provided participants with a personal viewpoint of a state legislator’s rise to leadership. Assembly Member Saldaña was elected to the California assembly in 2004 and now serves as the Speaker Pro Tempore. Assembly Member Saldaña discussed strategic bi-partisan efforts, overcoming obstacles to advancing policy or legislation, and specific steps she took to achieve a leadership position in their state.

Obesity: Prevention Through Walkable Communities

Speaker:
Jacqueline Kerr, PhD, MSc
Assistant Adjunct Professor
University of California at San Diego

Overview:
As the obesity epidemic continues to worsen in the United States the social and economic costs are worsening. One solution that has been shown to help address the concerns surrounding obesity is the development of “walkable” communities. By providing residents with trails and path ways to walk or bicycle communities have been able to address obesity as well as improving quality of life for residents. This presentation addresses what state legislators can do to help their local communities.

To learn more about strategies to prevent obesity, click here

“Race to the Top” Colorado’s P – 20 Education Program

Speakers:
Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien, PhD
State of Colorado

Representative Nancy Todd
Colorado General Assembly

Senator Suzanne Williams
Majority Caucus Chair
Colorado General Assembly

Overview:
Reviewing state standards for K-12 education and early childhood priorities have been inclusive of citizen input across the state of Colorado. This presentation addressed how increasing accessibility, accountability for post secondary options and data collection on teachers and students places Colorado in a good position for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) "Race to the Top" fund to improve education quality and results statewide.

To learn more about Colorado’s P – 20 Education Program, click here

Diabetes: Prevention and Treatment

Speaker:
Yolie Acosta
Director
Latino Diabetes Association

Overview:
By 2025 Latinos will comprise 25% of the population and diabetes disproportionately affects this group. Ms. Acosta presents policies and programs which can help prevent and manage diabetes for this growing segment.

To learn more about the Latino Diabetes Association, click here

Rethinking the New Asylums: Strategies for Reducing the Incarceration of Persons with Mental Illness

Speaker:
Laura Pitman, PhD
Deputy Director of Female Offender Operations
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Overview:
One unintended consequence of deinstitutionalization has been the incarceration of persons with mental illness. Frequently, incarceration represents the antithesis of what was originally intended. Multiple strategies that have the potential to stall and even reverse this trend were addressed in this presentation. Dr. Pitman discussed her personal experience with those incarcerated with mental illness as well as what has been done in Oklahoma to address the issues surrounding incarceration and mental illness.

View the presentation

Learn more about mental illness and women in the corrections system

To learn more about the presentations at the 12th Annual Western Regional Conference please contact our office at (202) 333-0825.

 

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