21st Annual Midwestern Regional Conference

Event Date(s): 
June 26-28, 2014
St. Louis, MO
Event category: 

The 21st Annual Midwestern Regional Conference is taking place June 26-28, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Approximately 40-45 women state legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin will be in attendance. The meeting will convene 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 Parlist HERE.
View the Speaker Bios HERE.
View the Conference Sponsors HERE.
View the Pictures HERE.

Read below to learn more about the topics being discussed.

Welcome Remarks
CD Davies CitiMortgage in March 2014 as Head of Corp and Head of Originations in North America. In addition to the Corp P&L responsibility, CD leads the strategy and transformation of CMI Sales, Fulfillment, Marketing and Decision Management. This opening segment kicked-off Women In Government’s conference, provide legislators with information on her work in the mortgage field, and celebrate an example of a women in leadership.

Addressing the Cost of Diabetes
Women In Government continues to make diabetes a priority as the increase of diabetes prevalence impacts state budgets and resources. Tamara Hannon, MD, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine spoke about her work and patients, as well as the overall cost and need for improved access to diabetes treatments. Learn more by viewing her presentation here.

Addressing Mental Illness
Jacqueline Lukitsch, MPA, the Director of Advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), St. Louis provided a presentation on mental illness and Medicaid expansion in relation to mental health as well as evidence-based programming, workforce development programs and mental health professional accessibility. Find a NAMI near you by visiting their website here, and access her presentation here. Read the article she mentioned, The Cost of Not Caring - Nowhere to Go here and the Stigma set in stone here.

Pulmonary Hypertension
Jessica Armstrong, an Early Diagnosis Campaign Manager for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, shared her personal story of pulmonary hypertension diagnosis, and her current efforts to support prevention and a cure to pulmonary hypertension, and to provide hope for the pulmonary hypertension community through support, education, research, advocacy and awareness. Learn more about pulmonary hypertension by visiting the Pulmonary Hypertension Association website here, and access their fact page here.

Developing a Workforce
Representative Jacqueline Sly from the South Dakota State Legislature saw the need to build a competitive advantage for her state, and worked to develop a plan to improve the educational system and comprehensive measurements with a strategic outlook for the future. Access the Strategic Planning Brief here to learn about the program. 

Economic Security and Opportunities
This segment is a part of our ESO Advisory Council presentations on the most pressing ESO issues faced by our country. Wisconsin Representative Melissa Sargent, a member of the Advisory Council, used this presentation to discuss the challenges faced by unaccompanied youth. Unaccompanied youth are defined as youth experiencing homelessness while not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian (NAECHY). The presentation began with a viewing of Make Room for Youth, a documentary looking more closely at the real stories of unaccompanied youth in Dane County Wisconsin. Representative Melissa Sargent followed this video with a discussion on how legislators can begin addressing the prevalance of unaccompanied youth in their states. She presented models that have been considered in other states and options for legislators to expand support for this vulnerable population. You can learn more on the Make Room for Youth website here.

Streamlining Higher Education Attainment
In an effort to make higher education more affordable and accessible for an adult population, organizations like the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) seek to find ways to make it easier for people to get the education and training they need by evolving real-world experience into college credit. Amy Sherman, Vice President for Policy and Strategic Alliances at CAEL, discussed the importance of achieving the completion agenda, for all forms of postsecondary certification. During this segment she presented one specific tool that can help move us toward this goal. Prior Learning Assessment or PLA is a process for evaluating knowledge and skills in order to award college credit for learning. To learn more, view the CAEL website here

Changing Healthcare Coverage
For people with HIV, healthcare coverage is critical, and when they are denied life-saving medications, they can endanger lives. During this session, John Peller, Interim President & CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, provided examples of how coverage changes can impact different patient populations. To learn more, view Mr. Peller's presentation here

Community Programs & Childhood Obesity
Minnesota Representative Kim Norton discussed the establishment of the Childhood Obesity Legislative Working Group that works to reduce the high rate of childhood obesity in Minnesota. Representative Norton focused on the ways in which this working group has pursued bipartisan solutions to create meaningful and effective policies.

Pathways to Power: Promoting Women In Leadership
Jennifer Drake Fantroy, Assistant Director of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, discusses the substantial work that the Sue Shear Institute has completed within the state of Missouri. This Institute is a non-partisan, non-issue organization focused on encouraging women's full participation in the policy process. They concentrate their efforts on assisting women in developing the interest and skills necessary to succeed as full participants within government, serving in elected and appointed office as well as employed policy makers. During this segment, Future WIG student participants and legislators had the opportunity to learn more about the status of women in politics and business, and the challenges that women face as they pursue leadership roles. Learn more by visiting the Sue Shear Institute's website here

For Legislator or Registration information, please contact:
Johnathan Lozier, Sr. Legislative Outreach Associate
202.333.0825 ext. 214

For Sponsor information, please contact:
Sumeira Kashim, Development Associate
202.333.0825 ext. 210

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