16th Annual Southern & 17th Annual Eastern Regional Conferences

Event Date(s): 
October 8-10, 2015
Charleston, South Carolina
Event category: 

Women In Government is pleased to announce its 16th  Annual Southern Regional & 17th Annual Eastern Regional Conferences which will take place together on Thursday, October 8 - Saturday, October 10, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. The meeting will convene women state legislators throughout both regions to discuss cutting-edge public policy issues. Topics will include diabetes, energy, the environment, education, economic development, and more.


Higher Education in the States

In this session, facilitated by Senator Eileen Donoghue, Vice Chair of the Higher Education Committee in the Massachusetts State Legislature, participants looked at the reasons why an increasing proportion of Americans are not obtaining high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials, limiting their potential. Alli Bell, a Senior Associate at HCM Strategists and Krissy De Alejandro the Executive Director of Tennessee Achieves discussed how every student, regardless of family income, zip code, and even academic preparedness, can work to receive a post-secondary education. For more information about tnAchieves please visit their website here as well as HCM Strategists website here. You can also access the presentation here.

Paid Leave

Ellen Bravo, the Executive Director of Family Values @ Work and Senator Gayle Goldin from the Rhode Island State Legislature led a discussion on Paid Leave and the challenges of maintaining employment and financial stability while also addressing the culture regarding paid sick leave. National statistics show that millions of Americans struggle to find jobs or are stuck in low-wage positions that do not afford them paid sick leave. You can find their presentation here.

Airline Policy

Lindsay Leonard is the Senior Director of National Strategy & Engagement for Boeing Airlines. Lindsey led a discussion on how the airline industry has played an important role in making sure that people make it to their destinations safely. She also focused on bringing attention to the ever changing airline industry and its most recent focus on safety, up to date technology, and competing in the global market.  

COPD Legislation

Representative Michelle Cook, Deputy Majority Leader in the Connecticut State Legislature and Dr. Ennis James led a discussion on the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., COPD. Rep. Cook and Dr. James discussed ways in which COPD can be combated and discuss effective ways in which policy can be implemented to stop the increase in this disease.

For more information about COPD please check out the following resources:

You can access a summary of the COPD  Legislation passed in Connecticut here

For more information about COPD broken down by state you can visit the CDC's websitehere.

You can access Rep. Cook and Dr. James' presentation here.

You can also access Women In Government's updated toolkit for 2015 here

HPV & Cervical Cancer

Jennifer Young Pierce, MD is an Assistant Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the Medical University of South Carolina and also does work at the Hollings Cancer Center. Dr. Young Pierce led a discussion on the connection between HPV and cervical cancer. She also discussed the incredible advances in vaccines in recent years that are able to combat nine different types of HPV and how legislators can support local initiatives to increase vaccination rates. You can view Dr. Young Pierce's presentation here.

Affordable, Accessible, & High Quality Healthcare

Creative solutions are needed when looking for ways to increase healthcare access. This session examined the new advances available, including telehealth services and clinic visits which are offered more and more as an alternative to traditional medical visits, and how states can work to implement telehealth services. Jennifer La Perre, the Senior Director of Health & Wellness at Walmart Stores, Inc. spoke about her company is implementing these advances, and how the trend is industry wide.

Diabetes; Licensure & Legislation

In a session facilitated by Kurt Anderson from the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Kim DeCoste, RN, MSN, CDE, MLDE also of the American Association of Diabetes Educators spoke about how legislation can help diabetes patients, including looking at the importance of qualified diabetes educators. To learn more, view her presentation here.

Stable Patients & Medications

Mark Guimond, the Director of State Legislative Affairs for the Arthritis Foundation spoke about keeping stable patients on their medications. Achieving control of a chronic disease is often a difficult process, highlighted the importance of protecting patient safety and the physician-patient relationship. To learn more about this topic, view his presentation here.

Radiology: Dangers & Decisions

Making healthcare choices can often be daunting, but it is important to raise awareness of radiation as a growing health concern. Imaging is a wonderful thing, but it can be dangerous, and this session looked at ways to be aware of health risks. Rebecca Smith-Bindman, Professor of Radiology, Health Policy, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at the University of California San Francisco spoke about her experience in radiology, and how state policy can have an impact.

Retail Taxation

In recent years a major property tax issue has arisen that has caused assessors and taxpayers alike to be at odds.  Our speaker, will be able to provide us with an explanation of this issue and its Legislative and Constitutional concerns will be explained. Stephen Paul, a Partner at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, shared his expertise on what has happened in Indiana, and what states are looking at across the country. To learn more about the issue, view his presentationhere.

Woman Heart

Eva Maciejewski, the Senior Manager of Communications & Marketing for WomenHeart spoke about the organization, and how they help women with heart disease. WomenHeart is national coalition for women with heart disease, to give legislators a patient’s perspective on heart failure, cardiac rehab, and related policy issues. To learn more about WomenHeart, visit their website here, and access Ms. Maciejewski's presentation here.

Nuclear Energy

Maria Korsnick, the Chief Operating Officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute spoke about how the nuclear industry has reacted to the recently unveiled Clean Energy Plan. The project's goal is to protect public health and address the threat of climate change by cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants, and the nuclear industry has a key role to plan in state implementation plans.


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

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

For Policy information, please contact:
Brenna Kehew Sculley, Associate Director, Policy & Programs
202.333.0825 ext. 211