20th Annual Midwestern Regional Conference

Event Date(s): 
September 19-21, 2013
Oklahoma City, OK
Event category: 

Thursday, September 19 - Saturday, September 21
Renaissance Hotel Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The 20th Annual Midwestern Regional Conference took place September 19-21 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Women state legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin were in attendance. The meeting  convened women state legislators throughout the Midwestern region to discuss cutting-edge public policy issues including diabetes, women’s health, energy, the environment, education, economic development, and more.

  • View the Agenda here
  • View the Participant List here
  • View Speaker Biographies here
  • View Conference Sponsors here
  • View the pictures here

Improving Quality Healthcare
The need for efficient, effective, and high quality healthcare for all Americans is something that is important to every legislator. This session featured the different measures available to improve quality healthcare and address this need. Nelly Ganesan, MPH, Manager at Avalere Health provided her expertise for legislators. To learn more, view her presentation here.

Potential Dangers of Compounding Medications
Jennifer Gudeman, PharmD, the Director of Medical Affairs for Ther-Rx Corporation and Casey Younkin, MD, the Associate Professor, Division of General OB/GYN at the SIU School of Medicine, Department of OB/GYN spoke about the dangers of compounding medications. This session addressed the issues of contaminated compounded drugs, and the need for enhanced FDA oversight. Ms. Gudeman provided a general overview of the topic in her presentation, available here, and covered some of the significant issues that have arisen recently. Dr. Younkin provided specific examples of how potentially compromised compounded medications impacted pregnant women, and his presentation is available here.

Diabetes Education & Chronic Disease
In April of 2013, Women In Government hosted a state briefing in Oklahoma on diabetes, and had an excellent response from legislators looking to take action combat this issue. Rita Reeves, MBS, the Diabetes Prevention Coordinator for the Oklahoma State Department of Health spoke at that briefing, and joined Women In Government again to provide information in her presentation, available here, on the human and economic costs of diabetes, and the importance of referral to screening and follow up by referring to DPP and DSME programs. She also spoke about involvement of legislators in events like state briefings, and screenings at state capitols. Representative Patti Bellock, who facilitated this segment, spoke about the Illinois Diabetes Caucus, and how legislators in her state in Illinois are taking action on National Diabetes Day, November 14th, to providing free diabetes screening for their constituents.

Comprehensive Treatment of Obesity
Adult obesity is trending upward alarmingly in every state in the nation.  This session focused on defining the contributing factors and offering solutions to policy makers who are engaged in reversing the trend. To learn more about obesity and various treatment options, view Mr. Nadglowski's presentation here.

Medical Innovations
Medical innovations are an important part of advancing healthcare and saving lives through developed treatments. They also are a job source that contributes to economic growth. Francesca Tedesco, the Strategic Market Access & Policy for Celgene Corporation spoke about how corporations invest in research for medical innovation. The extremely high costs must meet strict guidelines and are incredibly expensive. View Ms. Tedesco's presentation here for more information. Lisa Nelson, the Senior Director of State Government Affairs for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Office of Public Policy spoke about her experience with patients surviving explicitly because of medical innovations. The session provided background on the topic, and the role legislators play in protecting innovation.

Going Green
Virgin material and natural resources scarcity is an increasingly important issue as resources become more and more limited. Traci Phillips, the President of the Oklahoma Recycling Association spoke about her work in better recycling the various types of waste out there, specifically electronic waste. This session provided legislators with background information on the many ways that they can improve their state’s recycling. Learn more about recycling in her presentation, available here.

Environmental Issues & Medicines: Prevention & Disposal
Doug Finan, the Director of EHS Regulatory Affairs & Product Stewardship for GlaxoSmithKline utilized his 24 years of experience in the field to talk about how unused medicines have been disposed of in the past, and how they can be better reduced and disposed of through take-back programs. Angela Conover, the Director of Media for Marketing & Community Relations from the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey also presented. Both presenters advocated that everyone should take inventory of their prescription medication to protect them from potential theft, and to assess if any need to be specifically disposed of. Learn more by viewing Mr. Finan's presentation here, and Ms. Conover's presentation here.

3D Mammography
Elizabeth Jett, MD, the Director of Imaging at the Oklahoma University Breast Institute gave a presentation on expanding the breast imaging options for women with dense breast tissue. 2D mammograms often do not catch early stages of breast cancer, and 3D mammography offers a more advanced screening for earlier breast cancer diagnosis. Legislators also had the opportunity to see 3D mammography in person when a mobile coach stationed outside of our conference to give them a better scope of the technology. Learn more about 3D mammography screening by viewing Dr. Jett's presentation here.

For Legislator information, please contact:

Johnathan Lozier, Sr. Legislative Outreach Associate
202.333.0825 ext. 214

For Sponsor information, please contact:
Sarah Mier, Associate Director of Development
202.333.0825 ext. 246

For Policy information, please contact:
Brenna Kehew, Sr. Policy & Program Associate
202.333.0825 ext. 211